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Newly Legal Marijuana And Wow


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#1 mbh26

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:12 AM

It's been almost two decades since I taught an investigator the word of wisdom as instructed by the missionary discussions. Marijuana came under the umbrella of illegal drugs. Will the Church explicitly state that marijuana is against the word of wisdom now that it's legal in CO and WA? Is it just expected to be understood implicitly, or are members free to make special brownies responsibly as their conscious dictates?

Edited by mbh26, 10 November 2012 - 09:12 AM.

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#2 jwhitlock

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:19 AM

Alcohol and cigarettes are also legal; it has always been understood that recreational drugs are against the Word of Wisdom.
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#3 BCSpace

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:16 AM

A good point. The Church may have to expressly state it's against the WoW or put it into the realm of "not commanded in all things" if, at both the Federal and State level, marijuana is legalized.
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#4 MorningStar

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:16 AM

I was joking with friends that our next Super Saturday will have some "special" jarred brownie mix. As for the Word of Wisdom, this is a common sense issue. Of course it will remain on our list of things to abstain from. Can you imagine a pothead bishop? "I broke the Law of Chastity, Bishop." "DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE!!!!!"
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#5 BCSpace

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:31 AM

Yeah, I think it's highly unlikely marijuana won't be specified in the WoW even if it becomes legal and I would certainly support that having seen too many potheads myself. Although the prankster in me does ponder the spiking of the bread in sacrament meeting to test D&C 27:2 just as we did more than 30 years ago with Sprite instead of water one Sunday.

:crazy:

I think it takes a brownie though, to hide the flavor and a brownie would never get past inspection. Can you imagine the HPG meeting getting any mellower?

Edited by BCSpace, 10 November 2012 - 10:32 AM.

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#6 CA Steve

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:32 AM

Setting aside the question of its effectiveness, if it were being used legally and medicinally, would it be a violation of the WoW?
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#7 calmoriah

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:42 AM

Setting aside the question of its effectiveness, if it were being used legally and medicinally, would it be a violation of the WoW?

It is not a recreational drug if used medicinally. It is like using Kava Kava for pain or for getting plastered, I haven't heard anyone say the first is wrong, of course the second is totally inappropriate (and is, I remember someone telling me, a bit of a problem for members in the areas where it is used as a ceremonial drink).

Someone mentioned somewhere else this was brought up that in countries where it is already legal, the policy is stated when people ask that it is against the WoW.

Edited by calmoriah, 10 November 2012 - 10:45 AM.

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#8 CA Steve

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:47 AM

It is not a recreational drug if used medicinally. It is like using Kava Kava for pain or for getting plastered.

Someone mentioned somewhere else this was brought up that in countries where it is already legal, the policy is stated when people ask that it is against the WoW.


So there is a policy that states that medicinal use is against the WoW? (I am not asking for a CFR Calmoriah, just trying to clarify your response.)
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Nothing is settled yet, not only because the last precincts are never heard from in science—and their report always comes as a shocker—but because we are far from getting the last word in religion either. For us the story remains open-ended—at both ends—in a progression of beginnings and endings without beginning or end, each episode proceeding from what goes before and leading to the next.

"The Expanding Gospel," in Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless, 22

#9 BCSpace

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:01 AM

Setting aside the question of its effectiveness, if it were being used legally and medicinally, would it be a violation of the WoW?


I think a Bishop has broad enough discretion to decide those cases. And I do believe because of the Church's strong stance currently it would have to be case by case and not something someone could decide on their own without involving the Church's in terms of worthiness issues.


I've never had to decide such a case, but that is my first instinct. According to 21.3.11 of Handbook 2, members should not use habit forming substances except under the care of a competent physician. 21.3.6 communicates this notion and adds the word "licensed". I also realize that licensed does not always mean competent.

I find it highly unlikely that I would approve of most cases I've heard about but there is always a first time.

Here is an interesting doctrinal quote showing that marijuana is currently understood to be against the WoW whether it's legal or not:

D&C 89:10–11. Why Isn’t the Word of Wisdom More Explicit?

The Doctrine and Covenants does not specifically mention heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, other illegal drugs, or the abuse of prescription drugs. President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Such revelation is unnecessary. The Word of Wisdom is a basic law. It points the way and gives us ample instruction in regard to both food and drink, good for the body and also detrimental. If we sincerely follow what is written with the aid of the Spirit of the Lord, we need no further counsel. …
“Thus by keeping the commandments we are promised inspiration and the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord through which we will know what is good and what is bad for the body, without the Lord presenting us with a detailed list separating the good things from the bad that we may be protected. We will learn by this faithful observance that the promises of the Lord are fulfilled.” (Improvement Era, Feb. 1956, pp. 78–79.)

http://www.lds.org/m...query=marijuana


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#10 calmoriah

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:02 AM

So there is a policy that states that medicinal use is against the WoW? (I am not asking for a CFR Calmoriah, just trying to clarify your response.)

No, I am thinking it is probably okay to use medicinally, kind of like it is okay to use Nyquil (at least I've never heard anyone say it was wrong, no one in authority that is as I've heard a few people who have said they refuse to use alcohol even when it is in a medicine).

Up in Canada, there was a handicapped individual who had been smoking for years to deal with pain and the doctors told him he should not quit at that point because it would require too much pain medication that his body could not handle to replace it (he was not in good shape, confined to a wheelchair among other things). The mission president and bishop decided to allow him to be baptized as he was using tobacco for medicinal reasons. He died three months after baptism, three months that were a wonderful experience for him, something very positive in his life that had been so frustrating for him before, the Church and his new faith giving him new purpose and meaning in his life. I think in such cases it is compassionate wisdom to allow for exceptions. No one is harmed by doing so.

Edited by calmoriah, 10 November 2012 - 11:09 AM.

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#11 mbh26

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:48 PM

Someone mentioned somewhere else this was brought up that in countries where it is already legal, the policy is stated when people ask that it is against the WoW.


Is it only when someone asks, or is it stated explicitly like, "No coffee, alcohol, or tobacco," is stated now?
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#12 mfbukowski

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:08 PM

It's been almost two decades since I taught an investigator the word of wisdom as instructed by the missionary discussions. Marijuana came under the umbrella of illegal drugs. Will the Church explicitly state that marijuana is against the word of wisdom now that it's legal in CO and WA? Is it just expected to be understood implicitly, or are members free to make special brownies responsibly as their conscious dictates?

Two points:
It's still illegal under federal law so those laws are irrelevant except to local enforcement decisions.
The WOW is taken to include any intoxicant OR addictive substance and that is why some even apply it to caffeine.

And don't try to tell me that it is not addictive. Sorry. I survived the 60's you know, as a non-member, and know otherwise unfortunately.

Bottom line: Of course it is against the WOW.

And now I, like Forrest Gump will say, "that's all about I have to say about that."

Edited by mfbukowski, 10 November 2012 - 01:11 PM.

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#13 Garden Girl

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:11 PM

Is it only when someone asks, or is it stated explicitly like, "No coffee, alcohol, or tobacco," is stated now?


I can't believe a question has even been asked... the WoW gives us the guidelines... when it was revealed there were not half the products available that we have today... the principle is what guides us and what keeps the WoW relevant for our day. WE then govern ourselves according to the principle and intent of the WoW, and we know whether a product should be ingested or not. No one has to specifically state each and every product. Alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee were the strong drinks etc, i.e., stimulants, of the day... the principle can be applied to the products that have become available to us if we will use our common sense and not expect someone to tell us specifically... what did Joseph say? we teach them correct principles and they govern themselves...

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#14 DavidB

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:26 PM



What is addictive to one is not addictive to all.

For what it is worth, in 2002ish the State I lived in was considering medical marijuana, I was talking with a High Council member who said "I know a Stake President in the southern part of our State who buys illegal marijuana for his ailing wife."

I believ in 1998-1999 there was a Conference talk could be construed as speaking against medical marijuana.

I tend to take a stance of "Does the Church follow State law for illegal drugs or Federal law."

Frankly the ire the US GOV has against marijuana is one of the worst cases of self deception.


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#15 DavidB

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:35 PM

Here is a thought, if all other pain medicine does not violate WOW, then why should medical use of marijuana in a State where the will of the people supports the medical use of marijuana.
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#16 pogi

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:10 PM

Marijuana has been well tested and has been found to have far fewer side effects and is more effective in treating certain conditions than many other medicines on the market. Had marijuana been utilized early in history for medicinal purposes and mass marketed by pharmaceutical companies, nobody would even be questioning its use. It would be common place and widely accepted in the church. There is nothing wrong with its medicinal use! Pain meds are far more addictive, with more side effects, and yet we don't even question there use when in pain.

On a side note - When was the WoW ever made a commandment in the first place?
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#17 blackstrap

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

I'm sure the use of medical marijuana would be winked at until somebdy lights up a big doobie in the lobby after sacrament meeting.

The massive increase in outlets for medicinal marijuana in California says a lot about how many 'sick' people there are there.
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#18 DavidB

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 03:40 PM

I'm sure the use of medical marijuana would be winked at until somebdy lights up a big doobie in the lobby after sacrament meeting.

The massive increase in outlets for medicinal marijuana in California says a lot about how many 'sick' people there are there.


The flop that is California medical marijuana laws demostrates the state, itself, does not care.

Many, if not most, marijuana shops in california operate illegally I.e. for profit or unlicensed, once again though the apathy of the state is telling.
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#19 Hamba Tuhan

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

I live where prostitution is completely legal. Remarkably, we haven't yet had to explain to members that employing a legal prostitute in a licenced brothel is still a violation of the law of chastity.
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#20 Pa Pa

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

Alcohol and cigarettes are also legal; it has always been understood that recreational drugs are against the Word of Wisdom.

Correct...this is a no brainer.

Edited by Pa Pa, 10 November 2012 - 04:35 PM.

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