Is recreational cannabis muttar?
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January 10, 2018 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #1447186
In several US states it has been legalized not only for medical but also recreational use. Even in Israel personal recreational use has been decriminalized. So maybe there is a tzad in certain places to say din d’malchusa isn’t an issue (I know that in the US it’s still against federal law but unless you growing it in mass or happen to light up next to an FBI agent I don’t think it’s really relevant – however technically still is illegal in some sense). Much research seems to point that moderate use doesn’t present serious health threats and it’s chemically far far less addictive than alcohol or cigarettes which seem to both seem to have widespread acceptance amongst the frum world.
As this is frum forum I won’t get into details of my life before becoming religious, however I’ve been around a lot of people doing a lot of things and from my own personal observations I don’t think it is a gateway drug for the vast majority of people. So with no tzad for medical use whatsover, just purely recreational, what’s are Torah perspectives on cannabis? Muttar l’gamrei? Assur l’gamrei? Not the greatest thing but maybe not such a big deal if someone does in moderation?January 10, 2018 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #1447313groissechuchumParticipant
ingesting/smoking marijuana for sure will leave one lightheaded and not able to learn. it also affects memory. so if you’re a serious ben torah then these are serious reasons against. I can’t imagine it’s healthy so there is that issue as well. (“well I guess I’m not serious then” is stupid answer to serious question)
obviously one can’t compare aveiros but if one could then most probably ingesting/smoking marijuana would be lower on totem pole then other infractions. I agree it’s not necessarily a gateway drug (depending how liberal you are) but how many people start with heroin?January 10, 2018 8:36 pm at 8:36 pm #1447308
Like far out, man.January 10, 2018 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm #1447369NOYBParticipant
I cant see how it would be muttar. It has many of the mental effects of drinking, in some cases, it is a gateway drug, in many places, there is the possibility that it is laced, and we still don’t really know how harmful it is if at all.January 10, 2018 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm #1447373yytzParticipant
It’s assur. Rav Moshe has a good teshuvah about it–can someone post it in English, please?
Some people may appear to use it without negative consequences, but in fact, for many people it tends to have many negative effects — anxiety, paranoia, panic attacks, laziness, lack of motivation, psychological dependence, lack of normal physical and emotional maturation, focusing on maximizing physical pleasures and desires, etc. A large proportion of users have serious anxiety problems from it. Several studies show that young people who use it have twice the rate of schitzophrenia and psychosis–which by the way, are incurable.
As Rebbe Nachman said about tobacco–what, do we not have enough cravings in this world that you need to add another one?
Just think of how many tzaddikim have lived b’simcha throughout the ages without ever trying marijuana (or wanting to)! Davening, fasting, a little l’chaim — we Yidden already have plenty of time-tested ways to alter our consciousness. It’s not necessary and it poses dangers — so why try it?
At the same time, yes, it should be legalized, since the Torah frowns on prison as a punishment anyway, and there are better ways of reducing drug use and dealing with addiction than locking up addicts in prison. But that doesn’t mean we should use it.January 10, 2018 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #1447374Takes2-2tangoParticipant
Why should cannabis be less or more Ok then cigarette smoking?
Should wine be *assur* because of the prohibition period?January 10, 2018 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm #1447380
I am 100% against Pot smoking, however it is likely not any more dangerous than Alchohol and I see plenty of frum jews get drunk on Purim, Simchas torah, Shabbos and other timesJanuary 10, 2018 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm #1447382
I have no opinion about medical cannabis. But recreational, oh yes. The OP wanted to address this from a Torah perspective. I will try to keep to that.
There is not a question that marijuana is a mind altering substance. If it was as benign as a slice of cucumber, there would have never been discussion.
Question #1. Is there a heter to alter one’s mind? At all times, a Yid is obligated to be an oveid Hashem, whether in the midst of learning, davening, and even going through the mundane parts of one’s daily existence. While lofting away under the THC laden smoke, it is a tough sell to say that one is aware of HKB”H. The euphoria one experiences is not the product of ‘ אז תתענג על ה, but a chemically induced neurological state. That is not to be confused with Avodas Hashem. I have heard some young people claim to “learn Gemora better when under the influence”, but that is so absurd is laughable.
Question #2. Is there a threat to health? Great question, though most people first provide the answer they want, then go backwards to justify it. There is a very different toxicity from marijuana than most other drugs. There is no risk of overdose. The degree of impairment while “high” is both different from other drugs, and less dramatic. It does not normally trigger getting wild. We can list many other things it does cause. But it is important to examine what it does do. Research indicates it is a serious gateway drug. It impairs reaction time, making driving and operating machinery a risk. It affects a great many internal organs, and is stored in fat cells as well as those making up many organs and glands. The MJ remains in the cells for periods up to several weeks, and its effects at the cellular level continue until it is somehow excreted. It can impair fertility. I have met people whose pancreas was affected, and are now insulin dependent diabetics. I have met people whose voice and other gender specific characteristics have changed because of impairment to their glands. If tobacco smoking poses risk to the lungs, MJ is several hundred times more dangerous. Considering the mitzvah of ונשמרתם מאד לנפשתיכם, MJ poses a huge problem.
Question #3. Is there anything wrong with being high? The Rambam specifies that mitzvos, including learning and davening, that are performed while intoxicated are not mitzvos at all, and are actually abominable.
Question #4. If marijuana is not addictive, is it less dangerous that alcohol and tobacco, both which seem to be quite widely accepted in the frum community? The problem is the word “addictive”. If one is looking for physical dependency, that would be characterized by tolerance and withdrawal, no. But addictive means much more than that. Becoming accustomed to dealing with life by escaping into a world of another brain state is actually quite terrible and frightening.January 10, 2018 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm #1447387adocsParticipant
“ingesting/smoking marijuana for sure will leave one lightheaded and not able to learn. it also affects memory”
So can alcohol.January 11, 2018 1:27 am at 1:27 am #1447414
Several posters note that canabis (in moderation) is no more dangerous than alcohol (in moderation) and probably less dangerous than tobaco. Why don’t we seriously consider assuring both alcohol and tobacco.January 11, 2018 1:30 am at 1:30 am #1447410in galusParticipant
“ingesting/smoking marijuana for sure will leave one lightheaded and not able to learn.”
No one who actually smokes pot will attest to this. That is not what pot does. On the contrary, pot can enable a person to shteig very seriously and substantially. Nor does pot alter your mind, generally speaking, although like many permissible things it can have side effects. Taken right, it enhances your awareness.January 11, 2018 6:50 am at 6:50 am #1447433
Gadolhadorah – “Several posters note that canabis (in moderation) is no more dangerous than alcohol (in moderation) and probably less dangerous than tobaco. Why don’t we seriously consider assuring both alcohol and tobacco.”
Now THAT is some very interesting food for thought!January 11, 2018 6:54 am at 6:54 am #1447435
Of course it’s a mind altering drug. That’s kind of the whole point for its recreational use.January 11, 2018 8:42 am at 8:42 am #1447440
There was a video posted right here on YWN (And widely shared) of Rav Chaim saying amen to a Bracha on pot
VIDEO: Pesach Psak Halacha For Medical Cannabis [Marijuana] From Bnei Brak; Rav Chaim Kanievsky Says Amen To Bracha On MarijuanaJanuary 11, 2018 8:44 am at 8:44 am #1447447
The Ari Z”L says quite openly that the galus of Mitzrayim was a galus of daas. The minds of Klal Yisroel were in galus. There are probably multiple ways of understanding this. There was a slave mentality. In your case, your comment, as well as screen name suggest someone who is “out to lunch” or “in galus”. No, I’m not name calling. I am attacking your comment, being completely stupid and not factual.
The precise problem of cannabis is that its mind altering effects lack the drama of the “high” that accompanies many other drugs. The person under the influence of pot believes himself to be perfectly normal, even more aware. That feature is sometimes called denial, perhaps other labels. But in multiple studies, the person under the influence of cannabis cannot maintain scores on so many tests that measure acuity, reaction time, memory, decision making, etc. I am personally acquainted with people who, while still using pot, insisted they could understand a piece of Gemora better than when sober. Yet, if one engages them in some dialogue while under the influence, one discovers that there is no one home. I have tried it. You are failing to sell me the package that pot in any way truly enhances anything. Things that are not humorous at all trigger laughter. Purely mundane things spark interest. Non-musical percussion is experienced as music to enjoy. All absurdities that defy reality. You are totally wrong about shteiging on pot.January 11, 2018 8:49 am at 8:49 am #1447434
As far as altering you state of mind/consciousness, I had learned in one of my psychology courses that there is no such thing as a “default” or “normal” state of consciousness. Rather our state of consciousness is constantly in flux and operates on a spectrum affected by innumerable things such as food intake, level of sleep, stress, caffeine, etc. So something like cannabis doesn’t take you out of a certain state of consciousness that you would naturally be in otherwise but rather pushes you further along in a certain direction along the spectrum. Some may want to write that off as goyishe shtus from some nutjob professor – which it very well may be, but I guess take it for what it’s worth.
I don’t understand the objection that you can’t operate machinery – so what? You also probably shouldn’t get in a car after having a glass of wine or a couple of beers – should we say that you shouldn’t drink something like that at dinner in your home? I would think it’s also not a good idea to operate machinery while learning a sefer. One also shouldn’t drive a car while talking on a phone and many people do that as well.
As far as learning while high, I’ve never really tried learning Gemara while under the influence. I doubt I would be able to focus on it but I suppose there could be some who it could help their focus – I’ve known some people who tell me they ability to study certain non-religious subjects was greatly enhanced by it. But what about something lighter like putting on your headphones and listening to a good shiur?
I’ve personally found that when I contemplate inyanim of kedusha I sometimes get profoundly deeper insights than I would normally get and once I “come off of it” I feel a renewed and deeper appreciation for Hashem and His mitzvas and a stronger desire to fulfill them. It’s like packing 500 mussar shmuzes into one hour. I’ve heard some say such realizations if derived with help from an outside substance are worthless but if it leads to better avodat Hashem is it really? I forget which specific book, but I remember reading in an Aryeh Kaplan book or essay that part of the reason we have wine for kiddush on Friday night and Chagim is for the alcohol to help lift up our state of mind to help us better appreciate the kedusha of the special day.
Again I’m not chas v’shalom advocating using cannabis all the time or even a lot. And I fully acknowledge that for many (maybe most?) people it leads to dumbing them down or indulging in teivos. But if somebody could use it (again responsibly and in moderation) and potentially maybe even grow in their ovadat Hashem do we still write that off from a Torah perspective?January 11, 2018 8:50 am at 8:50 am #1447436
Galus—there is more than one type of marijuana. The differences between Sativa, Indica and hybrids are enormous. Pure Sativa would help in learning, as it energizes and enhances. However, the hybrids generally focus on keeping the “energy” of Sativa and mixing it with the “head high” of Indica. Certain hybrids can even cause hallucinations!!!(Even though weed generally does not). Besides for that, the general culture around Marijuana use is not at all conducive for learning.(i was part of that culture for three years ignored my teens את חטאתי אני מזכיר היום).
Gadolhadora—Many poskim would in fact say that tobacco is Assur. I don’t know of anyone who allows casual “heavy” (enough to get one drunk) drinking. Even Chabad, which is known to drink much—it is meant to be 4 shots of vodka at a tish—correct me if I’m wrong chabadshlucha and seichel.January 11, 2018 8:51 am at 8:51 am #1447437
Another few points that are often ignored with regards to weed: The health benefits of it are many, however no doctors recommend smoking it. Smoking anything can cause severe lung damage as well as cancer. Medicinal marijuana is usually consumed in the form of edibles, oils and pills.
Additionally, medicinal marijuana is generally strains that have higher concentrations of the healthy chemicals, and lower concentrations of the high-causing chemicals. There are plenty of people on medicinal marijuana who function 100% normal, and whose quality of life has improved tremendously due to taking it. I’m contrast, street or recreational marijuana, is usually(not always, there are strains that don’t obey this “rule”), grown for higher concentrations of the high causing chemicals. As a further matter of fact, many times street weed is cut with other, far far heavier drugs. In some countries, up to 50% of street weed contained either PCP or crystal meth.January 11, 2018 8:52 am at 8:52 am #1447446Golden nuggets of wisdomParticipant
Not all marijuana was created equal. The effects vary greatly depending on the strain. Furthermore it effects each individual in a different way. While it may make one person lazy it can make the next motivated while it may make some dumbed down it can make the next more intelligent etc. Another factor is the amount ingested. So to make a generalization would just be ridiculous.
P.s. its definitely less dangerous than alcohol and tobaccoJanuary 11, 2018 9:51 am at 9:51 am #1447455Golden nuggets of wisdomParticipant
It’s not necessarily an issue of muttar or Assur, it’s a matter of menorah. Our parents and grandparents in Europe didn’t light up and therefore neither should we, it’s just like eating garlic on pesach, some things we just don’t do!January 11, 2018 9:56 am at 9:56 am #1447544
It’s amazing the lengths people will go to defend their actions which are simply based on tremendous weakness of character.
Pot is most definitely assur, dangerous and stupid. Not necessarily in that order.
Any comparison to kiddush wine, a glass of wine with dinner, or even drunkenness on Purim and Simchas Torah, is so ridiculous as to make the motivation for the argument completely transparent.January 11, 2018 11:23 am at 11:23 am #1447556
I said before I am 100% against Pot smoking, but one does have to be honest and say getting high isnt much different than getting drunk and smoking ciggarettes are also quite harmful
Having a glass of wine is not getting drunk, Having a few bottles of wine is getting drunkJanuary 11, 2018 11:24 am at 11:24 am #1447558besalelParticipant
to address the OP:
Cannabis is mentioned throughout the gemara, rishonim and achronim. The gemara menachos 15b, for example:
היתה שדהו זרועה קנבוס ולוף לא יהא זורע על גביהם שהן עושות לשלש שנים
The Shulchan Aruch says to beautify the shabbos candles use a wick made of cannabis (although he probably meant hemp).
There is also discussion in the rishonim about using cannabis for skhakh.
All of the above most probably point to hemp being used but was cannabis used the way it is today?
There are some suggestions that yes.
The late achronim debate whether it is kitniyos. The Radbaz, when describing uses of cannabis in relation to kilyaim laws says its used for hemp and also gives a person simcha.
The Rambam talks about cannabis as it relates to kilayim but in his medical writings writes extensively above using it for medicinal purposes.
Rav Moshe, of course, assured it in Yoreh Deah 3:35 for dina demalchusa and also all the reasons given in the comments above.January 11, 2018 11:25 am at 11:25 am #1447561
Daas Yachid says…”Any comparison to kiddush wine, a glass of wine with dinner, or even drunkenness on Purim and Simchas Torah, is so ridiculous as to make the motivation for the argument completely transparent”
Sorry, but on one said having a glass of wine for Kiddush or dinner should be assur (unless you don’t know what the word “moderation” means and if so, you have other issues. When you day there is no comparison between getting high on week and getting drunk on wine (“drunk” means beyond “moderation”), tell that to the parents of yungerleit killed by drunken drivers on Purim (or year round)….the number of traffic deaths attributed to cannabis (according to data from the CDC) is less than 1 percent (.003%) of those attributed to alcohol.January 11, 2018 11:27 am at 11:27 am #1447562Avram in MDParticipant
So something like cannabis doesn’t take you out of a certain state of consciousness that you would naturally be in otherwise but rather pushes you further along in a certain direction along the spectrum.
Altering a changeable variable vs. a fixed variable is still altering. Your psychology reference strengthens the argument against using marijuana. As Jews, we understand that operating in certain parts of the mindfulness “spectrum” as you say is ideal. Torah and mitzvos are intended to push us towards a more centered and long-range viewpoint, where we can see the situation at hand within the context of the idea that we are servants of Hashem, rather than a cork bobbing along in a tempest. Therefore, we should utilize sleep, food, music, etc. to help us get to those beneficial places on the “spectrum”, not let the “spectrum” dictate how we act and perceive the world. Yes our state of mind changes a lot, but we are still responsible for ourselves.
I’ve known some people who tell me they ability to study certain non-religious subjects was greatly enhanced by it.
Ever have a dream where you believe you’ve had an incredible insight, that you’ve figured something amazing out, and then woken up and realized that your idea was a jumble of nonsense? That’s the enhancement of marijuana. It doesn’t make learning better. It makes nonsense look like genius.
But what about something lighter like putting on your headphones and listening to a good shiur?
A good shiur may be relaxing to some, but recreation is not the ikkar of Torah learning.
I’ve personally found that when I contemplate inyanim of kedusha I sometimes get profoundly deeper insights than I would normally get and once I “come off of it” I feel a renewed and deeper appreciation for Hashem and His mitzvas and a stronger desire to fulfill them.
Until your next brownie, where you then lose lots of mitzvah opportunities because you cannot focus on gemara, or cannot drive to visit the sick, or bring food to a family with a newborn, or handle your children with clarity. The yetzer hara is extremely wily.
It’s like packing 500 mussar shmuzes into one hour.
Ridiculous. If 500 mussar shmuzes were on one side of a self-improvement scale, and a bong was on the other, you really think they’d balance out?
I remember reading in an Aryeh Kaplan book or essay that part of the reason we have wine for kiddush on Friday night and Chagim is for the alcohol to help lift up our state of mind to help us better appreciate the kedusha of the special day.
Then why don’t kohanim duchen by Simchas Torah mussaf? Surely their state of mind is lifted to help them better appreciate their people and the flow of bracha that should come to them from Hashem?
But if somebody could use it (again responsibly and in moderation) and potentially maybe even grow in their ovadat Hashem do we still write that off from a Torah perspective?
That’s a big “if”. And not even the big marijuana advocates are silly enough to present arguments like that. They argue for medicinal (pain relief) purposes – that it may be a better choice than opioids, for example, and recreational purposes – that the government inconsistently forbids marijuana as a recreational activity while allowing other activities that may be more harmful.January 11, 2018 11:30 am at 11:30 am #1447560Takes2-2tangoParticipant
Golden nuggets of wisdomParticipant
It’s not necessarily an issue of muttar or Assur, it’s a matter of menorah. Our parents and grandparents in Europe didn’t light up and therefore neither should we, it’s just like eating garlic on pesach, some things we just don’t do!
Im not saying your grandparents did or did not light up. But neither do u. Just because they didn’t share that info with u does not mean anything. Trust me , in europe people smoked up things besides cigarettes. Also it wad common for women to smoke cigarettes too.January 11, 2018 11:35 am at 11:35 am #1447571Avram in MDParticipant
Golden nuggets of wisdom,
it’s a matter of menorah. Our parents and grandparents in Europe didn’t light up and therefore neither should we
I think I do have a mesora from my great grandparents in Europe of lighting up a menora.January 11, 2018 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1447576twistedParticipant
We are servants of the Creator, and while the servitude is benevolent, there is no down time. Engaging in anything that harms your tzelem is insubordination. That includes the goings on on Purim, and for some every shabbos and Chag.
בכל דרכיך דעהוJanuary 11, 2018 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm #1447585
We are servants of the Creator, and while the servitude is benevolent, there is no down time. Engaging in anything that harms your tzelem is insubordination. That includes the goings on on Purim, and for some every shabbos and Chag.
What about Ciggarettes?January 11, 2018 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #1447628
This topic is a mess, with people getting mixed up between risk assessment, the ethics of deliberately altering one’s state of consciousness using chemical substances, and comparisons to other substances used for similar purposes or with similar side effects.January 11, 2018 3:32 pm at 3:32 pm #1447655
Seeing yngerleit and even some of their rabbonim engaging in the disgust habit of smoking right outside of the doors of the yeshiva/beis medrash is a much greater chilul hashem than cannabis. The selective morality (aka getting drunk on purim is OK) is contradicted by the efforts in recent years to limit or eliminate excess drinking by most roshei yeshivos and askanim affiliated with various mosdos.January 11, 2018 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #1447639kvetcherParticipant
GroovyJanuary 11, 2018 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1447669
Several posters note that canabis (in moderation) is no more dangerous than alcohol (in moderation) and probably less dangerous than tobaco. Why don’t we seriously consider assuring both alcohol and tobacco.
Because those posters are wrong.January 11, 2018 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1447670
Having a glass of wine is not getting drunk, Having a few bottles of wine is getting drunk
And it should be limited to Purim and perhaps Simchas Torah when it’s a mitzvah/minhag.January 11, 2018 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #1447674
You’re all missing the big picture here.
If the liberals all start smoking grass, that will keep them passive, effectively removing them as a political force.
If the military air-dropped massive amounts of the stuff on the terrorists, they’d stop doing terrorism.
If the police distributed free stuff to the violent mobs, they’d sit around smoking the stuff instead of doing violence.January 11, 2018 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #1447675
Sorry, but on one said having a glass of wine for Kiddush or dinner should be assur
No one said that anyone said having a glass of wine for Kiddush or dinner should be assur.
I was addressing this post.January 11, 2018 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #1447683
Please tell us how you know Cannabis is more dangerous than Tobacco or Alchoul?
Tobacco causes Lung cancer, Emphasema , mouth Cancer , throat cancer and more
Alchol causes Drunk Driving (Probably the biggest killer related to Alcohol) cirrhosis of the liver, It can cause Alchol poisoning which can kill
Also Tobacco and Alcohol are addictive. Canabis is not addictive. I am not advocating people get high, one should never do that as things can happen then, but its not any more dangerous than Ciggarettes or AlcoholJanuary 11, 2018 4:52 pm at 4:52 pm #1447678MenoParticipant
Who calls it “cannabis”?January 11, 2018 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #1447684
This will drag the thread into a different direction, which perhaps should have a thread of its own (if I recall, there have been threads on this), but i challenge what you wrote: “And it should be limited to Purim and perhaps Simchas Torah when it’s a mitzvah/minhag.”
Our Gedolim have spoken openly about the myth of serious intoxication on Purim as being plain old yetzer horah. It is fairly clear from the poskim that the “dead drunk” is not the intent of the mitzvah on Purim. Next, I still await to hear something reputable about drinking on Simchas Torah. I asked around several poskim and dayanim I know, and none was able to find a source for this “mitzvah” or “minhag”. Someone once challenged me on my revulsion to drunkenness on Simchas Torah by claiming that it was unfair to see it as negative. After a painful month of Elul, with the requisite cheshbon hanefesh and teshuvah, there was selichos, then Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, then the Sukkos mitzvos, one needs a break, and the imbibing on Simchas Torah is that chance to let go. This was cast as if it was Toras Hachasidus. I was as disgusted by this perverse thinking as I am by shikruso shel Lot. Maybe on these two Yomim Tovim, there should be a mitzvah to smoke weed? I am sure the Satan will derive much nachas from this, and I am convinced that HKB”H will not accept this as positive anything.January 11, 2018 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #1447705
DY—Why is weed worse than alcohol or tobacco? Too much alcohol can kill, destroy the liver,kidneys, brain.
Too much weed cannot kill you. It is impossible to overdose on marijuana. Physical addiction does not occur with pure marijuana(but, like I said earlier, a ridiculous amount of street weed is laced with fat heavier drugs)
I believe weed is most definitely Assur, but it is no worse than drinking to excess.January 11, 2018 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #1447805
Meno, cannabis is considered the PC term.
Whattosay, weed absolutely can kill you. It may not poison you to death directly, but it can cause accidents, which are also a common way that alcohol kills.January 12, 2018 12:06 am at 12:06 am #1448261
It is difficult to compare issurim to determine which is worse. I think enough commenters here recognize the issurim on excessive alcohol, tobacco, and weed. Whenever I discuss any of these topics, I find those who wish to retain their freedom to ingest the substance as the most avid matirim, with some pieces of logic that any toddler would reject. So let’s recap a bit. Cigarettes are lethal to the smoker (and pretty bad for the second hand smoker, too). Smoke does not belong in the lung. Only clean air does. All the dangers of tobacco smoke exist with cannabis smoke, plus lots of others. Tobacco creates physical dependence. Marijuana does not. Actually, NIDA has published evidence of physical dependency to marijuana, but this is definitely not the most common or dominant issue with it. Alcohol affects many organs, including liver, pancreas, stomach, brain, and more. There is brain damage from excessive alcohol. Nothing near that is found with weed.
The medical damage from weed is more insidious. It appears with little to no drama. Rarely does MJ send someone to the emergency room. It becomes hallucinogenic in very high doses. This can occur with anyone, but it is rare that someone bothers to ingest that much. But the damage is more subtle, and one does not see it happening at all, so there is no motivation to abstain. That makes it more of a danger.
MJ – Long term damage to lungs, glands, and brain. Short term memory and reaction time impairment. Makes one stupid.
Alcohol – Intoxication and poisoning, physical dependency, damage to gut, brain, liver, and pancreas, among other organs.
Tobacco – Heart, lungs, and cancer.
These are just a sampling of the headlines of dangers associated with these 3 substances. There are also a variety of issurim. My Torah tells me that every לא תעשה is bad.January 12, 2018 12:09 am at 12:09 am #1448275yytzParticipant
It’s true that more people die from alcohol and tobacco. But that doesn’t mean that marijuana is less dangerous.
Marijuana causes major mental health problems, from anxiety to psychosis (ever heard of druggies who are “burn outs”–who have basically lost their minds? It happens). There is also growing evidence of its addictiveness.
It negatively affects short-term memory, dulls your mind, reduces motivation, and makes you focus on physical pleasures, while sometimes giving you the false impression you’ve come to some great insight, which turns out not to make any sense when you try to tell people who aren’t stoned—all bad things for one’s avodas Hashem.
Drunkeness is very bad, and totally assur (as is all tobacco use), but small amounts of alcohol have safe and predictable effects.
TLIK: You’re right there’s no real justification for getting drunk on Simchas Torah, and even on Purim getting drunk is prohibited according to many authorities.January 12, 2018 12:10 am at 12:10 am #1448454
Meno, cannabis is considered the PC term.
Using “canabis” and “PC” in the same sentence?????
We are enemies now.January 12, 2018 1:00 am at 1:00 am #1448494
It’s not actually illegal. Besides, I think we might have been enemies before.January 12, 2018 9:23 am at 9:23 am #1448585
Our Gedolim have spoken openly about the myth of serious intoxication on Purim as being plain old yetzer horah.
Except for the gedolim who have gotten drunk on both Purim and Simchas Torah.January 12, 2018 9:23 am at 9:23 am #1448586
It is difficult to compare issurim to determine which is worse. I think enough commenters here recognize the issurim on excessive alcohol, tobacco, and weed.
If you’ll notice, the potheads here are arguing that weed is okay because alcohol and tobacco are bad.
You can argue that they’re bad, but when you make them all somehow pretty much equivalent, you support the potheads. Since smoking and drinking are considered socially acceptable, you can argue all you want that they shouldn’t be, and I’ll agree with you 99%, but let’s not conflate them; let’s acknowledge that marijuana is much worse.January 12, 2018 9:24 am at 9:24 am #1448587
DY—Why is weed worse than alcohol or tobacco?
I don’t know, go ask a scientist. I don’t either know why it’s worse than water, but it is.
Too much alcohol can kill, destroy the liver,kidneys, brain.
Someone can die from water poisoning as well, but let’s please keep things in perspective. Of course too much alcohol is terrible, but some, under limited circumstances, can be okay, but recreational pot use is not.January 15, 2018 11:45 am at 11:45 am #1449541Neville ChaimBerlinParticipant
DY is actually right about the science. Pot has more carcinogenic content than tobacco; the real question is why do so many people believe it’s the other way around?
For starters, people who smoke tobacco often smoke 20 cigarettes. Nobody is smoking 20 reefers a day. Pot smokers who do end up with lung cancer have always been people who also smoked tobacco, so there’s never been a case of someone getting lung cancer purely from pot (to my knowledge). That is the basis of the “pot doesn’t cause cancer” myth. Breathing in campfire smoke, coal smoke, paper burning smoke, etc. is bad for your lungs. The idea that there’s this one magical plant that breaks that rule is laughable.
I think there’s a real halachic debate to be had, especially about whether or not it would be theoretically mutar on Purim, but clearly that’s not the direction this thread went. The pro-pot posters have made their agenda very clear.January 15, 2018 11:46 am at 11:46 am #1449561Neville ChaimBerlinParticipant
And, while we’re at it, another faulty argument that bothers me is the comparison of drunk driving accidents to high driving accidents. This is exactly like when the claim is made that “guns are safer than toasters” or some such thing.
What you need to compare is the conditional probability that one will get in an accident given that he’s high vs. given that he’s drunk. The fact that there are more accidents caused by alcohol isn’t even worth mentioning because drunk driving is probably a million times more common than high driving.
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