Is smoking marijuana assur?

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    Now that its legal in DC…..

    I know its not a frum thing to do, but is it assur? What is the difference between smoking marijuana and getting drunk or smoking a cigarette, in terms of halacha? What are the tzdadim?


    Rav Moshe was mattir smoking but assered marijuana.


    DY: Was that due to dina d’malchusa? If so, the dina in the malchusa may have changed.


    Marajana might be less dangerous than Ciggarettes or Alchohol.

    However there is the Dinah D’Malchus Dinah issue. For most states and countries of the world


    the OU is looking to give a hechsher to products made with marijuana for medicinal purposes.


    I dont think Medical Marjauna would need a chechser, I think the OU is looking to give chechser on Brownies and cupcakes made with Marijuana


    Every puff of a cigarette without a single exception is a failure of compliance with a Chiyuv Min haToroh of “vNishmartem Meod leNafshoseichem”.


    How is that different to what i said zd?


    Just vape.

    No harmful toxins, just the marvelous tetrahydrocannabinols.


    Rav Moshe had several reasons to hold that pot was assur. Search on Mi Yodea and you’ll find detailed description and a link to his teshuvah.

    I’m not aware of any Rav who has said it’s permissible.

    Regardless, one shouldn’t smoke marijuana. For one thing, it’s a big risk, because a large proportion of people experience negative side effects like paranoia and panic attacks, even people who never realized they were predisposed to such mental disorders. And these things (like panic attacks) can persist after one has stopped using the drugs as well. Also, there’s growing evidence marijuana makes certain people come down with major, permanent, life-changing psychiatric diseases like psychosis and schitzophrenia.


    We all know the dangers of smoking tobacco, which is just as bad, but some of us do it anyway.


    Liquor is probably more dangerous than Marajiuana. And especially this week coming up. Many bochering do not normally drink during the year, but will get drunk on Purim, some will R’L drive or be hit by some who did drink and drive.

    Too much Alcohol also causes cirrhosis of the liver and other liver diseases as well


    Rav Moshe assered marijuana (for reasons that would apply regardless of legality) but did not asser tobacco or alcohol.


    At one time Tobacco was the #1 killer in the US, I think now its obesity (Or obesity is rising fast)


    So anybody who thinks smoking is assur should also think that Big Gulps are assur.


    I’m curious. Where does Rav Moshe assur it? Can someone find me the chelek and shayloh?

    Jewish Thinker

    So anybody who thinks smoking is assur should also think that Big Gulps are assur.

    Are you being serious?


    A friend of mine was once smoking marijuana and then someone told him its assur, and he didn’t even stop.

    That’s what marijuana does to you–makes you not even care if something is assur.

    So how can such a thing be muttar?


    At one time smallpox was. Or hunger. Or plague. Or wolves.

    Now that we’ve conquered all of those, people mostly die of old age. And we complain about it and call it heart disease.


    JT, not entirely, but can you articulate a difference?

    Jewish Thinker

    Yes, the chances of dying from smoking is extremely more likely than dying from Big Gulp


    Yserbius123, Y.D. 3, 35.

    Jewish Thinker

    It should be noted that Rav Moshe Tendler writes (I think, I’m not certain about this) that in light of recent studies showing the terrible affects of smoking and since less people smoke today, Rav Moshe tz”l would reverse his opinion and prohibit smoking tobacco.


    A quick search shows Iggros Moshe, Yoreh De’ah 3:35


    Marijuana has been ( in liquid drop form ) shown to be effective in controlling glaucoma.


    JT, if I compared a high sugar diet to smoking one cigarette, I would get similarly skewed results.

    To be fair, let’s compare a sugar laden diet to a smoking habit. They’re both quite unhealthy, and cause people to die. I’d like to see a study fairly comparing the two. Even if smoking is worse, where do we draw the line between inadvisable and assur? Maybe after a high sugar diet, but maybe before smoking. Maybe in between, as you suggest, but meiheicha teisi?

    Also, I once saw an article in a halacha journal written by a physician who says he tried to convince R’ Moshe to asser smoking because of the risks, but he wouldn’t. So I don’t buy that R’ Moshe would have assered had he known how dangerous it is. He did know.

    The second tayna might be more reasonabis, but again, where do we draw the line? It’s not as if smoking is terribly uncommon.

    Jewish Thinker

    DaasYochid-Smoking is terrible,even Rav Moshe tz”l who permitted it said it is better not to do it. Also see here, an article which tons of Rabbonim approved of, saying smoking is assur gamur:

    (Mods, please let this link go through, it is from many prominent Rabbis who prohibit smoking. If you can’t post the link, then please post my post without the link)

    The article discusses Rav Moshe tz”l’s view.


    I said it’s better not to smoke. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s better not to have a diet high in refined sugar? My question us when does it reach the level of issur.

    I took a quick look at your link. Is there a piece by R’ Bleich about smoking? I’d be curious to see it.

    Patur Aval Assur

    Regarding R’ Moshe on smoking:

    Igros Moshe Yoreh Deiah 2:49

    Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat 2:76

    In the second one he also talks about eating unhealthy foods.


    Of course, the pro-marijuana crowd claims that R’ Moshe’s Psak is based off of incorrect medical information.

    Patur Aval Assur

    The Chofetz Chaim also writes about smoking.

    See Zachor L’Miriam about halfway into Perek 23

    And Likutei Amarim about halfway into Perek 13

    (Sorry, it’s not on hebrewboks.)


    Popa: You sure those are totally vanquished? The anti vaxxers might yet help bring some of them, or their friends – like polio and measles – back!

    Jewish Thinker

    DaasYochid- Your comparison to sugar and smoking,

    in my opinion is absurd.

    Smoking is very, very dangerous and even if you quit right away it could still have an effect on you later in life. Eating candy all day is certainly not as terrible as the effect of smoking. That is besides the fact that smoking is addictive. Even Rav Moshe tz”l says clearly it is assur to get addicted. Also, the dangers were not as known back then as they are today.

    {NOTE:I do not mean that eating candy all day is not bad and terrible for your health, but I think that it does not touch base to the terrible sakanah one puts himself into by smoking}


    JT, visceral, or studies?

    Jewish Thinker

    DaasYochid-I just don’t want some idiots to look here and see,

    smoking is not so bad, just like eating too much candy.

    They might then smoke, chas vesholom, and put their life in terrible danger.

    Studies have been done. Just look online.

    Ask any doctor, there is no comparison between eating candy and smoking.



    Smoking is terrible. It’s unhealthy, dangerous, smelly, expensive, bad for your teeth, addictive, bad for shidduchim (especially if you’re a girl), dumb, inconvenient, and ADDICTIVE. ADDICTIVE.

    But do any of those things necessarily make it assur?


    Let’s just say, its more dangerous than MBP.

    Jewish Thinker

    Smoking is terrible, besides the fact that you put other people at risk with second-hand smoke. I even once saw that third-hand smoke is also dangerous.


    Popa, is Marijuana B’kash any safer?


    JT, btw, thanks for answering my question. Visceral it is.

    Jewish Thinker

    Tons of poskim have prohibited smoking. The poskim who permitted it, did it back then, when it was not know the terrible affects it had.

    Here are contempary poskim saying assur <Taken from an article by Rabbi Yehuda Spitz> There are more then this, I believe, but this is for starters:

    There have also been kol korehs out that have prohibited smoking.

    Also from the article:


    What is third hand smoke?

    Smoking marijuana is like a skunk spraying, if you’re a skunk, or picking your nose in public, if you’re human. Sure, you can do it for medical purposes, but it’s just a really bad idea.

    Jewish Thinker

    It is very possible that Rav Moshe tz”l would have prohibited it now.

    In 1981, the facts were not as known as how dangerous it is.

    Rav Moshe’s own son-in-law, Rav Moshe Tendler, I believe says that today

    Rav Moshe tz”l would prohibit it.


    I think this post is related to the story that came out this week that the o-u is considering putting hecherhers on Marijuana. it wasnt clear if they are just going to put it on joints or baked goods

    lebidik yankel

    Perhaps assur and muttar depend on the perception that people have; something known to be dangerous is forbidden and something considered harmless is permitted. So if marijuana becomes acceptable it becomes muttar. No different than eating shmaltzy food or living in NYC, which may be subjectively dangerous yet not forbiden.

    Jewish Thinker

    I want to quote the conclusion from the article approved by many Rabbonim (the link I posted before)

    “Accordingly, this analysis must lead to the unambiguous conclusion that smoking is clearly and unquestionably forbidden by ???? and that this should be made known to all who care about the ???? and their health.

    A final note is in order: People who smoke are not, ? ”?, doing so in an attempt to flout ????. In fact, most would dearly wish to quit, but shedding an addiction is no simple matter. While it is important to make clear that ???? prohibits smoking, it is also important not to condemn those who struggle with this issue. Rather we must offer our

    full help and support to aid them in their quest for physical and spiritual health.”


    With regard to Marijuana, Rav Moshe tz”l said it is assur for a variety of reasons. See his teshuva on it for more details or look online where his teshuva is explained in English.


    Why would anyone one assume that marijuana is safer than alcohol or cigarettes? isnt it addictive? Does smoking it have less an effect on the lungs than tobacco? And it’s usually not even filtered?

    As far as I know, there is no other purpose to smoking marijuana other than to get high, an altered mental status. Which is not the same with drinking alchahol. One does not automatically or just drink wine, beer or whiskey to get drunk or even high and cigarettes so not have the same mind altering effects as pot.

    I have no idea if just taking a small hit does not alter the mental state and if users do just take a small amount which does not alter their mental status at all. But I suspect that is not the case, however I will leave that up to the self proclaimed experts posting here.


    JT, IIRC, one of his reasons is kivud av v’eim. So interestingly, our debate is probably academic in most cases, because, at least regarding when most smokers start, probably the vast majority of their parents forbid it.


    BTW, google “Paul van der Velpen sugar” and tell me if you think I’m being absurd.

    Or, for more articles, google “What Kills More People: Sugar or Cigarettes?”

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