Even if smoking pot may be legal in your state, is it still sinful?
Patrick Madrid addresses a question from a caller named Rick from Burlington, New Jersey, regarding the occasional use of marijuana and its moral implications. Patrick cites the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2291 and 2211, to illustrate the Church’s stance on drug use. According to the Catechism, “using drugs, except for strictly therapeutic purposes, inflicts grave damage on human health and life and is considered a grave offense.” The Catechism also emphasizes the political community’s duty to protect the public from dangers like drugs.
Patrick argues that even if marijuana is legal in a certain state, which removes the illicit aspect, there are still two main considerations for you to keep in mind. The first is the harm it can do to one’s body, especially given the increased potency and addictiveness of modern marijuana compared to the past. He suggests that intentionally harming one’s health could be sinful under the fifth commandment. The second consideration is the indirect participation in the evils of narco trafficking when one uses marijuana, as most of it comes from that world, even if one doesn’t see it directly.
Todd from Madison, Wisconsin, then discusses the allure of marijuana as a social drug of rebellion. Patrick expresses his inability to see the attraction to marijuana, despite its growing acceptance as a recreational drug comparable to having a glass of wine. Patrick tells you about a personal experience from the late ’70s where he resisted peer pressure to smoke marijuana at a party. He felt embarrassed because of feeling rejected, but he realized that he needs to remain strong and be a positive witness for others.