Monday, January 20, 2014


Pot is no worse than alcohol, so says our President. I don't want ugly statements about the president and I will delete them if written, but I do want to discuss the premise of this especially as it regards the dangers of smoking and the fascism of the liberal left in terms of smoking cigarettes where their smoking ideology  isn't extended to pot!

First, what is the Catholic attitude on smoking and the use of alcohol?  The Church is not opposed to using what God created for our benefit when used in moderation. The Church does acknowledge the state's right to regulate the use of some substances and to outlaw them for public health reasons. Thus we have no problem with outlawing pot, cocaine, heroin and the like and regulating the use of prescription medication especially those that are addictive.

So under the umbrella of moderation and legality, a Catholic could smoke pot, drink alcohol and use prescription drugs that are addictive.

However, today we are more aware of the dangers to health of all of these. That using too much pot, too much alcohol and too many addictive drugs can lead to addiction and the ruination of one's life and health that can lead to death because of health complications and cancers, and diseases of the liver and lungs. 

But just as today we are concerned with second hand smoke and the harmful effect of it on those who don't smoke, progressive liberals have in a most puritanical way banned smoking in public forums and upheld an employer's right to not hire or to fire someone who smokes because of the health complications it can produce in that person. Parents are derided if they smoke in the house where infants, toddlers and children live because the second hand smoke can compromise their health.

Yet, the most political and idiotic statement is made that pot is no more dangerous than alcohol and it is made for political purposes to court those who are promoting the legality of pot today who are young progressives and old geisers of the drop out generation of the 1960's, the hippies of yore!

I would say that pot and cigarette smoking, because both produce second hand smoke is far more dangerous than alcohol especially in a public setting and especially in the home and especially for infants, toddlers and children!

I suspect that pot, like cigarettes, has deleterious health concerns that could lead to cancers of the lungs, throat and mouth and it is harmful to pregnant women! Why isn't there the same outcry from the same liberal political cabals about the harmful effects of smoking pot not only for the individual but for those who breathe the second hand smoke as for cigarette smoking? The only answer is HYPOCRISY!


qwikness said...

Apathy is the most dangerous affect of smoking pot. A nation or voting block will not be outraged at government abuses of power. will be placated at lower wages and poor working conditions. Will be more easily defeated by raiders. etc. The only thing they will stand for is easier access to the drug. They would care less about others and only look for medicating themselves.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Agreed and exactly and it leads to the use of other numbing drugs and social problems. But more so than alcohol? I tend to think so but have no data to back that up.

Gene said...

The Dems know this, too, and will promote its availability in order to maintain their self-indulgent, self-destructive constituency.

Rood Screen said...

I wonder how he rates in comparison with mead?

Robert Kumpel said...

When I was a teacher, I attended a one-day inservice on drugs and alcohol. The young woman who led it was a recovering addict herself and also a classroom teacher. One of the things she told us is that when one takes a drug, the drugs simulates one of the body's major neurotransmitters--brain chemicals that regulate bodily responses-- such as dopamine (feelings of gratification), norepinephrine (essential for concentration), epinephrine (stimulation/adrenaline) and serotonin (sleep). When people take drugs, the drugs, the brain stops manufacturing the necessary neurotransmitters. Some people will be lucky enough to get their brains manufacturing them again when they stop taking the drugs and SOME PEOPLE WILL NOT. It is completely random. For instance, cocaine simulates epinephrine, which is what causes us to to be hyped up, like adrenaline. I know this is not the most precise scientific language, but here is my point: Only one drug simulates three of the four neurotransmitters mentioned: Marijuana. That means marijuana users risk losing the brain function that provides three of the four mentioned brain chemicals essential for leading a normal, healthy life. My second cousin was a heroin addict for nearly 25 years. He kicked heroin with no withdrawal. However, he never got over his craving for marijuana and the end result was irreversible liver damage that killed him.

Anonymous said...

Fr. McDonald - There is nothing "puritanical" about banning smoking in public forums.

(" liberals have in a most puritanical way banned smoking in public forums...")

"Puritanical" implies scrupulosity or rigidity. Banning smoking in public is simply a reasonable step toward protecting the health of the public.

rcg said...

The president is not competent to make that declaration. That he would do so leads me to believe that he believes his own press. It seems that a competent politician would want only to understand how to properly construct law to help the ruled society deal with human behavior. It seems the President and congress are looking for ways to abdicate proper governance to their bureaucracies out of frustration with their own impotence.

Anonymous said...

How many people have died from drinking booze? Millions...billions?

How many people have died from smoking pot?

Anonymous said...

It's my guess that almost everybody on this blog would be tickled pink to hear ugly comments about this president. He's not European....and aren't y'all still waiting to see his "real" birth certificate?

Anonymous said...

Have I been censored AGAIN padre?

Gene said...

Would you rather your commercial airline pilot have just had a martini at the bar or smoked a joint?

Anonymous said...


Random Thoughts said...


You admittedly "have no data" to support your belief that marijuana is more dangerous then alcohol. Yet, your lack of data does not stop you from calling those who support legalizing a plant "liberal fascists."

Meanwhile, there is plenty of evidence out there if you wanted to educate yourself on the issue. For example, according to the CDC there are approximately 88,000 deaths per year in the US due to over consumption of alcohol. This figure does not include traffic related fatalities and injuries. If you objectively view the evidence, as it stands now, alcohol is a far more dangerous drug in our society than marijuana.

Further, you position ignores the fact that THC can be ingested in food, drink, or even pill form thereby eliminating any of the hazards of second hand smoke.

I get that you don't like the President and liberals in general. For the most part I don't either. But not everyone who supports legalizing marijuana believes in banning tobacco. But just like you point out that those who are anti-tobacco pro-marijuana are hypocrites, the same is true about those who are pro-tobacco/alcohol anti-marijuana. They are hypocrites as well.

Final point, consider how much money we waste as a country throwing people in jail for possessing and using a plant that was once grown by George Washing, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and the list goes on. Couldn't that money be better spent on other things? Or given back to the people through tax cuts.

And Gene, you raise a straw man argument. It is against the law for a commercial airline pilot to have by alcohol in their system. So just because something becomes legal, doesn't mean there are not rules that still have to be followed. For example, alcohol is legal but if I show up to work with it on my breath- I'd be fired. So the idea that legalization will lead to everyone walking around stoned all day is ridiculous.

Carol H. said...

Random Thoughts,

Alcohol remains in your system for hours; THC remains in your system for weeks.

My brother goes to bed every night yelling at things that are not there. He will never marry and have the children he wishes he had because pot has ruined his life.

Gene said...

Random Thoughts, Well, by God, toke on, then!

My comment was a "thought experiment." Never mind.

George said...

I don't believe that a person can use marijuana whether frequently or infrequently and have a right relationship with God. I just don't.
Now for those with cancer who are using it for medicinal purposes that is a different story. That is a similar situation to those who need a pain reliever such as morphine. Because marijuana works on the brain I myself would not use it under any circumstance.
My advice to those who are using marijuana but are truly seeking
and trying to develop a closer relationship to God is to give it up.

Gene said...

Why Hell, Lib Anonymous thinks he is a three-bong-hit St. Francis…LOL!

Random Thoughts said...


I suppose you would agree that anyone who imbibes to the point of intoxication, whether frequently or in frequently cannot have a right relationship with God? So let's bring back the prohibition days. (Keep in mind alcohol works on the brain. And it is possible to drink yourself to death in one evening, not so with marijuana.)

This topic started with a criticism of the President's statement that pot is not more dangerous than alcohol. He did not say pot wasn't dangerous, just like he did not say alcohol was not dangerous. And no one has pointed out any facts to refute his statement, just subjective beliefs. The point is should we continue to spend billions of dollars to criminalize a plant and brandish millions of people who use that plant for recreational or medicinal purposes as criminals?

It always amazes me how many "conservatives" hate big brother government, until it comes to big brother regulating people's free time and personal lives.

Gene said...

Random, There are studies that are showing increasingly the adverse effects of marijuana ion the brain. There are a number of documented incidents of paranoid reactions to marijuana and other psychiatric effects. But, you guys that like dopier are not going toy listen. You might also consider the culture that goes along with smoking dope.

Now, regarding gov't regulations…I hate big government but, since we have it, why not have it regulate the things that really need regulating instead of someones's Constitutional right to own and carry a pistol or what kind of light bulb to buy? There are some things gov't has to do because no one else will. I think drug control is one of them.

Random Thoughts said...

Often, but not always, psychiatric reactions to marijuana are caused by adulterants that are added to the drug that may not be known to the user, ie PCP. If it is legalized and regulated instances of people unknowingly using laced marijuana will be greatly diminished.

With that said, every drug available on the market is known to cause acute adverse reactions in some people. Tylenol along with most cholesterol medications can and have caused acute liver failure. But we do not make every drug that causes acute idiosyncratic reactions illegal, do we? No, we warn people and allow them to make their own decisions.

As for your reference to the "culture that goes along with smoking dope," that buys into the belief that everyone who uses the drug is a non-functioning stoner a la Cheech and Chong. This stereotype is simply not true. There are many productive professionals who use the drug to relieve stress at the end of the day the same way others wind down with a glass of wine. What was the culture surrounding alcohol use during prohibition like? Was that culture a product of the drug (alcohol) or a product of its legal status? I submit it was the latter. Legalize marijuana and you will see many productive members of society who use enjoy its benefits without destructively impacting their or other's lives. Yes there will always be nonproductive stoners just like there are nonproductive barflies. Frankly, those people will mostly be nonproductive with or without any drug. Some people are just lazy. Why should we allow the government to restrict everyone's rights because some people can't control themselves? Go check out the culture on Bourbon Street on any given day or River Street in Savannah on St. Patrick's Day. How is the alcohol culture different?

"I hate big government BUT..." that is the precise mentality that perpetuates our expanding government.

Fun debate, but we will have to agree to disagree.

Gene said...

Enjoy your bong, Random.

George said...

Christ Himself partook of wine.
In fact it was the physical matter (along with bread)which he chose to use to be transformed into His Body,Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Now being God, He has the power and could have chosen marijuana for that purpose since it was around back then, and unlike alcohol did not have to be produced but could just be grown and cultivated.

There are Over 400 known compounds in the marijuana.
Exposure to marijuana has biologically-based physical, mental, behavioral and social health consequences and was associated with diseases of the liver, lungs and heart.

The FDA maintains that cannabis is associated with numerous harmful health effects.

Studies have shown evidence of brain alterations in long-term marijuana use.

Relevant references:

Gordon AJ, Conley JW, Gordon JM (December 2013). "Medical consequences of marijuana use: a review of current literature". Curr Psychiatry Rep 15 (12): 419. doi:10.1007/s11920-013-0419-7. PMID 24234874.
^ Jump up to: a b Borgelt LM, Franson KL, Nussbaum AM, Wang GS (February 2013). "The pharmacologic and clinical effects of medical cannabis". Pharmacotherapy 33 (2): 195–209. doi:10.1002/phar.1187. PMID 23386598

Batalla, Albert et. al (2013). "Structural and Functional Imaging Studies in Chronic Cannabis Users: A Systematic Review of Adolescent and Adult Findings". PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055821. PMID 23390554

Random Thoughts said...


Everything you posted about marijuana use holds true for alcohol use. Except the study you cite from Batalia states marijuana use may (not does) effect the brain long term. It specifically said more study was necessary.

On the other had, studies have definitively shown that long term alcohol abuse effects the liver, kidneys, pancreas, brain, etc. etc. etc. It is linked to many different types of cancers, causes psychological problems, harms the developing fetus, and can damage your central nervous system. Noteably alcohol has been found to be considerably more addictive than marijuana.

Also many of the studies that cite the potential damaging effects of marijuana on the brain point that adolescents are primarily susceptible to damage because their brains are still developing. Importantly, alcohol has the same damaging effects on the developing adolescent brain. In other words, kids in particular should not use either.

Simply saying that Christ himself drank wine does not refute the fact that the use of alcohol carries with it many significant health risks-some immediate and some long term. Both are drugs and both adversely effect one's health, to argue otherwise simply ignores the facts.

Obviously both drugs are harmful. So the question is why should we criminalize one and allow people to use the other? If, as Gene argues we need to rely on the government to control drug use, they should both be illegal-along with tobacco-or at least require a prescription due to the obvious adverse health impact. Or, we can move past this nanny state we live in and allow people to make their own choices.

For the history buffs out there research when the move to make marijuana illegal in the US began and you will see it started around the same time as the prohibition movement. (In fact Roosevelt signed the first federal law making marijuana illegal- he wasn't for big government was he?) In other words, for the majority of US history it has been legal.