Is Medical Marijuana Against the Word of Wisdom?

By: Mike S
February 22, 2012

The impetus for this post is a recent report that a mission president in Oregon has told the missionaries in his mission that an investigator using medical marijuana cannot be baptized unless they first stop.  From the outset, let’s be clear about what we are talking about.  This is medical marijuana for which someone has a valid prescription.  This also necessarily implies that the person lives in a state where medical marijuana has been declared legal.  Before reading my thoughts on the issue, I’d be interested in your opinion, so please consider answering the following simple question:

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Is medical marijuana against the Word of Wisdom?

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It’s obvious that marijuana isn’t specifically mentioned in the Word of Wisdom as revealed by Joseph Smith.  But it is also obvious that many LDS members consider medical marijuana to be against the Word of Wisdom. (DISCLAIMER: I have never actually used marijuana in any form, legally or illegally, so perhaps for me the question is moot) It is interesting to me why some people consider medical marijuana to be against the Word of Wisdom?  Not a good idea or a bad idea, but specifically against the Word of Wisdom.  Let’s consider some of the reasons people have given:

1) Medical marijuana is dangerous

This is almost entirely false.  I say “almost”, because ALL drugs have side effects and can be dangerous.  An important concept when looking at safety of drugs is Therapeutic Index.  This is essentially a ratio between a TOXIC dose of a drug and an EFFECTIVE dose of a drug.  Some drugs have a NARROW therapeutic index, the range between the toxic and effective doses is small, while others have a WIDE therapeutic index, where the range is large.

As an example, consider alcohol.  This has a narrow therapeutic index of approximately 10:1. This means that a where a given amount of alcohol is needed to get a desired “effect”, only around 10x that amount can be toxic or lethal.  In medicine, we regularly prescribe drugs with a narrow therapeutic index.  A perfect example is pain medication.  Narcotics also have a fairly narrow index, where some are needed to get the effect, but not too much more can kill you.

The use of these potentially dangerous medications with narrow therapeutic indices is widely accepted in the LDS Church.  Because my medical practice is based in Salt Lake City, the majority of my patients are LDS, and I write prescriptions for literally thousands of pain pills per week (NOTE: This sounds like a lot, but is realistic.  10-15 surgeries / week x 40-80 pills per post-op patient is at least a thousand.  And I see 80+ patients / week for follow-up, injuries, etc., which is at least another thousand).  Besides my anecdotal experience, the insurance plan used by LDS Church employees is DMBA, which has tens of thousands of members, which are generally worthy, temple-recommend holding members.  The second most commonly prescribed group of medications in the DMBA system (after anti-depressants) is narcotics.  So, as Church members, we regularly use A LOT of dangerous medications, and don’t consider them against the Word of Wisdom.

How about medical marijuana?  Is it more dangerous than these other commonly accepted drugs?  The therapeutic index of marijuana is actually extremely WIDE, and is estimated to be 20,000-40,000:1, thereby making it a very “safe” drug.  Putting this in perspective, the DEA has estimated that a man would have to smoke 1,500 pounds of marijuana in 15 minutes to reach a lethal level.  That means it is essentially impossible to overdose on marijuana, and in fact, there are NO REPORTED DEATHS from marijuana anywhere in the world.  Ever.

So, the argument that medical marijuana should be against the Word of Wisdom because it is a dangerous substance is pointless.  We regularly use MUCH more dangerous things.

2) Medical marijuana is illegal

This is a gray area.  Marijuana is classified by the Federal government as a Schedule A drug, which means it cannot be legally prescribed in the United States.  At the same time, there are a growing number of states where marijuana CAN be legally prescribed.  Technically, federal law trumps state law, but it mostly depends on how the executive branch wants to enforce it.

Some people have claimed that medical marijuana is against the Word of Wisdom because it is illegal according to federal law.  But does this make sense?  Do we, as members of the LDS Church, follow all laws of the United States, officially or unofficially?  The answer here is very clearly no.

In the earliest days of the Church, we practiced polygamy, which was in direct violation of federal law.  While we no longer practice polygamy, the practice of ignoring federal laws with which we disagree continues.  For example, there are congregations in the Salt Lake area where the majority of the members are living in the United States illegally.  People in these congregations are called to positions of leadership, are granted temple recommends, and are called on missions.  And missionaries can teach and baptize people who are in clear violation of federal law.

This is NOT a post on illegal immigration.  However, our implicit and explicit institutional acceptance of violation of Federal law regarding immigration does somewhat weaken the claim that someone is breaking the Word of Wisdom because medical marijuana is a violation of federal law.  This argument therefore doesn’t make much sense.

3) Medical marijuana is addictive

For most people, marijuana is not addictive.  Over 90% of people who use marijuana do so on an intermittent basis, and less than 10% will develop an addiction.  Even with an addiction to marijuana, the withdrawal symptoms are very mild.

While any addiction is obviously bad, we accept addiction in our church.  Many people drink caffeinated drinks daily.  Many of my patients can’t sleep without their “sleeping pill”.  Many of my patients take anti-anxiety or pain medications or anti-depressants on a regular basis and have built up tolerances.  Several of these medications can actually have much more significant withdrawal symptoms if they are stopped suddenly than medical marijuana.  So, as long as we accept these other addicting substances, declaring medical marijuana against the Word of Wisdom because a small percentage might become addicted makes no sense either.

4) Medical marijuana is driven by profit-motives

Duh.  So is everything else.  We have members who have made millions of dollars because of “profit-motives”.  It is the basis of our capitalistic society.  Mitt Romney made hundreds of millions breaking-apart “rescuing” companies because of profit motives.  The Huntsman family made billions making plastics because of profit motives.  We celebrate them.

Regarding drugs, the pharmaceutical industry accounts for approximately $300 BILLLION in sales in the US alone, each year .  The industry spends over $30 BILLION marketing drugs in the United States alone, each year.  So saying that medical marijuana should be against the Word of Wisdom because people are driven by making money off it is ludicrous.

5) Medical marijuana is stronger than marijuana from 20 years ago

This is true.  But is making a drug stronger a reason for making it against the Word of Wisdom?  Essentially ALL of our drugs are highly concentrated and chemically refined forms of things found in nature.  In surgery, we regularly use drugs that are hundreds of times stronger than naturally occuring morphine, yet they aren’t against the Word of Wisdom.   While they are stronger, we just use lower doses to get the same effect.  Studies of different strains of marijuana also show that users tend to self-regulate in the same manner – people tend to use less of stronger marijuana.  So this isn’t a great reason either.

6) Medical marijuana can affect someone’s thinking process

True.  But so do pain medications, anti-anxiety medications, cough and cold medicine, allergy medicines, anti-histamines, anti-depressants, sleep medications, etc.  None of these are against the Word of Wisdom.

7) Medical marijuana might be diverted for recreational use

True.  But so do other drugs.  Utah has the HIGHEST per capita rate of “non-prescription use of prescription medications” in the ENTIRE COUNTRY.  This is essentially someone getting a prescription for Lortab or Xanax or Valium or whatever, and it being used by someone else for recreational purposes.  And we lead the country in this regard.

I haven’t heard of anyone suggesting these drugs should be against the Word of Wisdom because they might be diverted.  As mentioned above, anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medications and narcotics are the most commonly prescribed medications in the Church’s insurance plan.  And they are all certainly more dangerous than marijuana.

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Anyway.  These are just some of the common reasons I have heard why medical marijuana should be against the Word of Wisdom.  I don’t know that any of them make sense.  Marijuana certainly has a social stigma.  There are people who get hung up on issues like this.

In my hospital a few years ago, one of the anesthesiologists was talking to a patient before surgery, going through their medical history, etc.  She was on a number of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medications, etc.  She explained that they helped a lot by the end of the day with all she had to go through.  He was only somewhat joking when he suggested that it would probably be healthier if she just had a glass of red wine in the evening instead of all the chemicals she was putting into her body.  She formally reported him for suggesting something against her beliefs, but I think he was probably right.

So, are we missing the forest for the trees?  Are we perhaps too focused on the minutiae that we are missing the bigger picture?  Medical marijuana is much safer and much less addictive than many other drugs we use to get the same effects, yet many people get hung up on it.

And just as food for thought, the closest the Word of Wisdom comes to talking about medical marijuana is the following:

10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, whether you think medical marijuana is AGAINST or ALLOWED by the Word of Wisdom.  It doesn’t matter if you have ever used it or not.  Hopefully, these thoughts are more than just “It’s bad just because”.

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Questions:

 

 

  • Do you feel medical marijuana is against the Word of Wisdom?

 

 

 

 

 

  • Should an investigator be allowed to be baptized if they use medical marijuana for which they have a valid prescription?

 

 

 

 

 

  • If you feel it is NOT against the Word of Wisdom, would you personally use it if it was legal in your state and was prescribed by a doctor?

 

 

 

 

 

  • If you feel it IS against the Word of Wisdom, what is your reasoning?

 

 

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171 Responses to Is Medical Marijuana Against the Word of Wisdom?

  1. Jon on February 22, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    No, I don’t think marijuana is against the word of wisdom. Yes, people should be allowed to be baptized.

    Would I use it? If I were sick and it would help. I prefer benign herbals before anything else. I’ve heard marijuana can be used without smoking it and used more like other herbal medicines.

    I don’t understand why people fear marijuana so much but then turn around and give opiates to their young children just because they can’t sit still in their boring class for 6 hours a day.

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  2. Justin on February 22, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    Do you feel medical marijuana is against the Word of Wisdom?

    I don’t even feel recreational marijuana is against the word of wisdom.

    Should an investigator be allowed to be baptized if they use medical marijuana for which they have a valid prescription?

    Holy crap — no. I’m not even really all that sure about us using the word of wisdom as a litmus test for membership anyway — let alone for someone with medical need.

    If you feel it is NOT against the Word of Wisdom, would you personally use it if it was legal in your state and was prescribed by a doctor?

    Sure

    If you feel it IS against the Word of Wisdom, what is your reasoning?

    I look forward to reading these…

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  3. hawkgrrrl on February 22, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    I’m shocked anyone would be prevented from being baptized for this. My view is that it is sometimes overprescribed for very non-specific symptoms such as “chronic pain.” It’s certainly not the only thing that is overprescribed.

    But it is also legitimately helpful to those who are going through chemotherapy, and I would consider it if I were in that situation.

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  4. Aaron Lowry on February 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    This reminds me of a patient of mine from a couple of years ago who suffered from painfully debilitating spasticity following a spinal cord injury. The MDs tried every pain management strategy at their disposal and nothing worked. This man couldn’t even get out of bed most days. As a last resort, they turned to hard core chemotherapy drugs that in theory might work, but had weak evidence behind them. They cost thousands of dollars per month, and were well known to destroy your liver and have numerous serious complications. That this man was allowed to take these prescription meds that were known to be very harmful, but not try marijuana was retarded.

    Turns out that the chemo drugs didn’t work either. The only thing that enables him to be functional is a regular dose of Dilaudid, which is much more addictive, and potentially damaging than pot.

    I see no good reason to disallow medical marijuana. Criminalizing any drug, medical or not, often does more harm than good. I wish that we would adopt a model similar to Portugal and treat drugs more as a public health problem than a criminal one, and have more honest discussions about the real health risks involved. As Mike S pointed out, with marijuana, the risks and associated health problems are much smaller than we once thought.

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  5. NewlyHousewife on February 22, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Quite frankly, I wish I could use it but then my husband would come up positive on his random drug tests at work.

    Do marijuana studies show it helps the depressed? Besides it replacing narcotics, could it replace other drugs Utah is known for (like anit-depressants)?

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  6. Jake on February 22, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    The problem that saying Medical Marijuana being acceptable raises is that it shows that there is nothing intrinsically wrong about it. In one context it is good, in another it is bad. This doesn’t fit well with black and white thinking it can’t be both black and white.

    This shows my ignorance, but how is medical marijuana taken? If like most cannabis it is smoked, then it is done with tobacco, which would make it problematic for the word of wisdom on that basis.

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  7. KLC on February 22, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Mike, you left out objection #8, medical marijuana is a joke.

    Here in CA the “Dr” sees anyone and writes prescriptions for anyone for anything at anytime. If marijuana really were medical, ie prescribed by a physician for specifically indicated reasons and then dispensed by a legal pharmacy which purchased it from a legal source regulated by the FDA I might change my mind. But currently it’s just a bunch of stoners who have found a way to get their herb “legally”.

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  8. Justin on February 22, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Jake:

    which would make it problematic for the word of wisdom on that basis.

    D&C 89:8 says:

    tobacco is not for the body
    neither for the belly
    and is not good
    for man

    I see nothing that talks about smoke — what do you mean by “that basis“?

    And,

    The problem that saying Medical Marijuana being acceptable raises is that it shows that there is nothing intrinsically wrong about it. In one context it is good, in another it is bad.

    So what about Romans 14:14?

    I know
    and am persuaded
    by the lord Jesus
    that there is nothing unclean of itself
    but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean
    to him it is unclean

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  9. question on February 22, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    no, its not against the WOW. but neither is beer, and that doesn’t stop people from being crazy about it. which is why i occasionaly drink, and occasionaly smoke pot, but would never tell my super hardcore believing family that i do. not that they have any problem having 3 energy drinks to get out of bed and an ambien to get back into it, while i don’t use caffeine or sleeping pills at all.

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  10. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    #8 KLC: …sees anyone and writes prescriptions for anyone for anything at anytime…

    This isn’t just a problem with medical marijuana in California, but is a problem with many medications in general. Many drugs are given out based for purely subjective reasons. If someone says they feel depressed, we give them anti-depressants. If someone says they have pain, we give them narcotics. If someone says they feel anxious, we give then anti-anxiety medications.

    So I don’t understand the difference with medical marijuana. If marijuana helps someone feel less anxious, it’s safer than taking Xanax or Valium. It just has a different stigma. We accept people taking an “official” anti-depressant to help their depression, yet call someone who might use marijuana for the same thing a “stoner”.

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  11. KT on February 22, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    I loved this post! I do think we in the Church miss the forest for the trees with several issues. I feel like it comes down to the spirit of the law, or the letter of the law. In this case, if it’s used as a medication, then I see it as being within the spirit of the law.

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  12. John Mansfield on February 22, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    Jon wrote, “I don’t understand why people fear marijuana so much but then turn around and give opiates to their young children just because they can’t sit still in their boring class for 6 hours a day.”

    No one is giving opiates to young children. They’re giving them amphetamine.

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  13. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Ultimately, people in the LDS Church have just as much of a need to occasionally get some help with the challenges of life as people outside the Church. We just use different ways of doing this to jump through the hoops of the current interpretation of the Word of Wisdom.

    In other societal groups, someone might have a beer or a glass of wine a the end of the day, much like Joseph Smith did. Other people might use marijuana for the same purpose. Because of the stigma we attach to these things in the LDS Church, we do the same thing, but in different ways.

    - Utah has the HIGHEST rate of “non-prescription use of prescription drugs” in the country.

    - Utah has the HIGHEST per capita rate of anti-depressant use in the country. Some people might say it’s the “non-LDS” people, but as mentioned above, even DMBA, the Church’s insurance arm, has anti-depressants as the number one class of medications prescribed. Putting this in perspective, if you look at the 10 most prescribed drugs in the United States in 2010, NONE OF THEM are anti-depressants.

    So, we are essentially doing the same things as the rest of the country. We really aren’t that different. We choose to take manufactured drugs as opposed to more natural means, because of the Word of Wisdom. But we are doing the same thing.

    And personally, I don’t think it’s any healthier.

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  14. question on February 22, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    to be fair though, there have been studies that show that the anti depressant rate in utah is partially high because people aren’t self medicating with alcohol, and because there isn’t a huge stigma in the lDS culture for seeking mental help and counseling (think bishops)

    the stereotype that everyone is on prozac because they cant keep up with their mormon joneses might not be accurate.

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  15. question on February 22, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    now the porn rates being so high… that is not so easily explained away.

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  16. John Mansfield on February 22, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Nothing like a chance to disagree with “the Church” on marijuana to bring out a batch of anti-science medical-pharmacological-industrial skepticism. Next week perhaps it will be time to take science back up to denounce Mormons who are wary of vaccines and love herbs.

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  17. ji on February 22, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    The idea that drugs are bad are from the hedges surrounding the Word of Wisdom, but not the Word of Wisdom itself. We have built these hedges ourselves. But if we cut away the hedges, then we see that the Word of Wisdom prohibits strong drink and hot drink (defined as coffee and tea by a counselor in the First Presidency) and tobacco. The Word of Wisdom does not really reach to marijuana, cocaine, opium, and so forth, does it? Are they harmful? Yes. Sinful? Yes, maybe in a sense of destroying one’s body, but no, not by the Word of Wisdom.

    Hedges around the law serve a useful purpose, but we need to be able to discern between the hedge and the law.

    Here’s something in our culture we might compare to: haven’t we traditionally allowed for an old and aged member to use strong drink “for medicinal purposes”? Especially back in the days before our modern medicines? I think we did.

    I generally disapprove of medical marijuana in the United States because I cannot support a state making a law that opposes the federal law – order and neatness and so forth. But let the federal law come down, or take the story into another country where medical marijuana really is legal, and I’m more ambivalent.

    Even so, the mission president in this scenario holds the keys, and his answer is “right” until he changes his mind (perhaps after a general authority whispers in his ear).

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  18. Douglas on February 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    IMO, the MP has overstepped his bounds in prohibiting baptism to MM users. Although it is being egregiously abused by stoners as a way to legitimize their recreational habit, there are valid uses. Cripes, it’s not as if some sickly sister, struggling with painful bone cancer, is going to roll up a “fattie” and get baked during Relief Society!
    I pondered this question once myself. Now, being a career “Federale”, I wouldn’t throw almost thirty years of service down the drain over it. Suppose I’m the bishop and a dear sister, having dealt with chronic debilating pain for years, has turned to MM as a last ditch effort? Would I yank her recommend? I would say that as long as she has complied with state law, and her motives are medical rather than recreational, her temple worthiness is NOT in question.

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  19. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    #17: John Mansfield: Nothing like a chance to disagree with “the Church” on marijuana to bring out a batch of anti-science medical-pharmacological-industrial skepticism. Next week perhaps it will be time to take science back up to denounce Mormons who are wary of vaccines and love herbs.

    To be honest, it has nothing to do with the anti-science medical…skepticism. If anything, I lean too much TOWARDS science and rationality.

    The whole point of the post was to examine one of the dogmas that seems prevalent in the Church and see if it really makes sense. Many people suggest that marijuana is against the Word of Wisdom for no really valid reason other than “just because”. The point of the post was to USE SCIENCE to point out irrationality. Marijuana is actually one of the safest drugs we have.

    And regarding the end of your comment, I would actually USE SCIENCE in the same way regarding vaccines. There are possible side effects (although some of the foundational studies suggesting these effects were later found to be flawed), but compared to the MILLIONS of lives saved, they are ultimately a good thing. If one person here and there decides to not get a vaccine, the herd immunity conferred by everyone else having been vaccinated will help protect them. But if, as a society, we jettison vaccines, we will be back 100 years when people lived in iron lungs from polio and children died unnecessarily.

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  20. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    #15 question: to be fair though, there have been studies that show that the anti depressant rate in utah is partially high because people aren’t self medicating with alcohol

    I absolutely agree. We seek the same escape as others – we just do it differently. It does beg the question, though, as to whether it is healthier to take a manufactured drug or to have a glass of wine. In the LDS culture, we don’t have that choice, but for many others, I bet a glass of wine is healthier for many people.

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  21. KLC on February 22, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Mike, telling me that we currently prescribe other drugs with not enough control is not an argument.

    Here is what we do with other drugs that we don’t do with “medical” marijuana. We regulate them through the FDA, we conduct clinical studies to demonstrate safety and efficacy before we allow them to be sold. We sell them through legal pharmacies that are also reugulated by law.

    When marijuana is regulated, prescribed and dispensed like other drugs I’d be glad to have a conversation about the WofW but until then it’s, as I said before, overwhelmingly just a bunch of stoners toking for health.

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  22. MH on February 22, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I don’t think medical marijuana is against the Word of Wisdom. However, I have heard that smoking marijuana is MUCH more damaging to the lungs than tobacco. Mike, do you have any information on this, or is it urban legend?

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  23. Justin on February 22, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    just a bunch of stoners toking for health.

    Even if that is the case — which it’s not — so what?

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  24. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    #23 MH:

    Smoking both tobacco and marijuana can damage the lungs. Tobacco is worse in some ways, while marijuana is worse in other ways. It’s largely a byproduct of combustion, however, rather than something inherent to the plant.

    If I were to ever use medical marijuana (unlikely because I don’t really have a diagnosis warranting it as well as the fact I could potentially lose my medical license in Utah if I did), I wouldn’t smoke it. I would instead use a vaporizer, which releases the active ingredients WITHOUT combustion, or would eat it (brownies, peanut-butter crackers, lots of other ways).

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  25. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    #22 KLC overwhelmingly just a bunch of stoners toking for health.

    This is why the stigma is more of a problem than actual science. It’s just different drugs. As an example, without giving away any personal medical information, here are some examples of medication lists in patients I’ve seen recently (LDS patients, here in Utah):

    - Lortab, Cymbalta (anti-anxiety), Valium, Trazodone (anti-depressant)

    - Time release morphine, Percocet, Xanax

    - Xanax, Trazodone (anti-depressant), Klonopin (anti-anxiety), Celexa (anti-depressant), Lortab, Soma (muscle relaxant)

    These are just three patients, all LDS, who I’ve seen in the last couple clinic days. There are more, but you get the point. I guarantee that they are going though life at least as impaired from drugs as anyone who uses medical marijuana. And I also think it likely that they look down on people using medical marijuana as “stoners toking for health”

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  26. Jeff Spector on February 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I think that if medical marjuana were a legitimate drug with real value, the pharma companies would have grab onto it, lobbied congress, throwing money at them and gotten it legalized to some extent.

    While I do not doubt it has some value to some extreme patients, there are other remedies.

    MM has become a sham much like handicap placards and anti-depression meds.

    They are handled out like candy. We are a pill popping society and that is the first remedy for everything.

    The medical use of MM is highly questionable in my mind given the risks.

    The hard core stoners I have known are basically useless now.

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  27. Ziff on February 22, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    the DEA has estimated that a man would have to smoke 1,500 pounds of marijuana in 15 minutes to reach a lethal level.

    I’m just loving the mental image this suggests!

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  28. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    #27: Jeff:

    I agree with you in many ways. I do think that medications, in general, are given out frequently. Unfortunately, much of this is our own fault.

    In my medical training in the 1990′s, there was a campaign that doctors were “undertreating pain”. They were presented as callous and uncaring. Many nursing organizations pressed for pain to be considered the “Fifth Vital Sign”, and everyone started focusing on pain scales from 1-10 with a goal to get a low number.

    The result of this:
    - People expect to not have to experience much pain, because there is a pill for it.
    - Doctors are expected to prescribe medications for pain, or else they are uncaring.
    - The use of opiates in the United States since that time has increased 200-300% or more.
    - The United States represents 4.6% of the world’s population, yet consumes 80% of the world’s opioids and 99% of the world’s hydrocodone (Lortab, Vicodin, etc)
    - More people are now killed in the US each year from opioid overdose than traffic accidents.
    - More US citizens people died in the past 2 years from opioid overdose than in the 20 years of the Vietnam War combined

    We truly have become a pill-popping nation as you correctly point out. The point of this post, however, is to point out that there are many people in the LDS Church who have absolutely no qualms about taking opioids for their symptoms, yet who look down on someone who might use medical marijuana for the exact same symptoms because it’s “against the Word of Wisdom”.

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  29. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    #28 Ziff: I’m just loving the mental image this suggests!

    Sounds like some of the concerts I went to when younger.

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  30. Alice (alliegator) on February 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    I think you need to follow the word of wisdom, but use a little practicality too.

    My great grandfather drank coffee for his low blood pressure. The doctor told him it was either that, or caffeine pills, and caffeine pills were more expensive, so he went with what made sense.

    We can’t be so focused on the letter of the law that we forget to use our own God-given common sense.

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  31. Frank Pellett on February 22, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    #22 KLC –

    Here is what we do with other drugs that we don’t do with “medical” marijuana. We regulate them through the FDA, we conduct clinical studies to demonstrate safety and efficacy before we allow them to be sold. We sell them through legal pharmacies that are also reugulated by law.

    In the places where MM is legal, have there been any clinical studies done, or regulation through some central agency? I would take it as a good step if, before it could be prescribed by anyone, the FDA had it run through its trials like everything else.

    For the WoW decision – I just don’t know. If I lived in a country where it was legal and prescribable, I don’t see why not (though not smoking), since it does seem to come under the rest of the medications now available. I’va always preferred to elave decisions about the Wow to individuals, rather than setting a hard line. I mean, how many of us eat too much meat? how much is too much? Is decaf coffee still a “hot drink” when it is iced?

    Some people spend too much time trying to get the border line absolutely defined that they can barely move for fear of making a mistake. WoW is slightly ambiguous, and I think it is meant to be. The 10 commandments were ambiguous enough that the Israelites needed quite a number of “clarifying” laws. “Is it really stealing if your employer provides you with post-it notes and you really need some at home?” Anyway, I’m rambling into situational ethics. Sorry bout that.

    For me, so long as you’re not doing something illegal or directly proscribed by the Church, you’re ok.

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  32. Alice (alliegator) on February 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    It’s fine to say that it’s supposed to be ambiguous, as long as any iffy practices match up with everyone else’s iffy practices.

    The WoW is used so much as a litmus test to righteousness, but only selectively, so if your “weakness” is something other than diet coke or lots of meat, you are likely to face judgement from those around you.

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  33. Douglas on February 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    At least with MM there are arguments against allowing members to use it – illegality under Federal law, perception, and the dubious medical benefits. The lists of “war stories” re: WoW enforcement are legion. My two cents worth would be being told by my then bishop that my use of a duly prescribed pain reliever (Vicodin) to deal with arthritis was sufficient cause to deny a temple recommend. I’m glad that nitwit isn’t my bishop anymore.
    I can understand that the mission president doesn’t want his missionaries hornswoggled by stoners that use MM to falsely legitimize their recreational habit. IMO, rather than a blanket policy of denial of baptism, he should have such a case sent up the chain of command and make an evaluation as to the applicant’s sincerity. I had to be cleared for baptism by the MP 33 years ago, but it wasn’t about pot or any drug.

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  34. Jeff Spector on February 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Mike S.:

    ” The point of this post, however, is to point out that there are many people in the LDS Church who have absolutely no qualms about taking opioids for their symptoms, yet who look down on someone who might use medical marijuana for the exact same symptoms because it’s “against the Word of Wisdom”.’

    totally agree with your whole premise. Drug abuse is drug abuse no matter how it starts out, I think. And that is against the WoW, at least the spirit if not the letter.

    I am amazed at how easy if seems for some to get hooked on this drugs. I’ve used them for pain and was thrilled when I no longer needed them and could tolerate whatever residual pain might have existed or go to another over the counter med.

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  35. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    #34 Douglas: At least with MM there are arguments against allowing members to use it – illegality under Federal law, perception, and the dubious medical benefits.

    But I disagree with those arguments.

    Regarding “illegality under Federal law” as a reason – as above, there are whole congregations populated and led by people who are in the country illegally under Federal law – issuing temple recommends, sending people on missions, etc.

    Dubious medical benefits – A number of studies show minimal, if any, effect of anti-depressants over placebo, yet they are prescribed to the tune of billions of dollars a year. So that never stopped anyone.

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  36. MH on February 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Mike,

    Thanks for the info. If my memory serves me, it was in an epidemiology class I took in which I learned that smoking marijuana has more cancer causing agents than smoking tobacco. As such, if there is a better delivery system (such as brownies), then that would seem to eliminate the lung cancer aspect of the problem. However, I have heard that users prefer smoking it because the benefits arrive faster than ingesting it (like through brownies.)

    Since we’re talking inhalents (well, sort of talking it), I heard that there is a new way to inhale caffeine. I’m not sure of the medical benefits, but some say it is a good way to get an energy boost without the coffee. As such, I’m curious if others think inhaling caffeine is against the WoW.

    Now back to Medical marijuana. During the days of Prohibition, alcohol could only be used for “medicinal” purposes as well. (At least, that’s what they said on Pawn Stars). The problem during Prohibition was that you could get any doctor to “prescribe” whiskey for pretty much any reason. I think the same problem applies to medical marijuana–lax standards for prescription. Obviously abuse of medical marijuana gives it a bad name. If there was a way in which prescribing marijuana didn’t seem like it was willy nilly, I think it would give proponents a better reputation. As well it might be better if marijuana was eaten, rather than smoked.

    Remember that President McKay said the WoW prohibited DRINKING alcohol, but didn’t prohibit EATING alcohol. (See this post on the exact quote.) Perhaps the same could apply to marijuana (eating vs smoking).

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  37. Rigel Hawthorne on February 22, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I see people who use prescription opiates for management of chronic pain or prescription anxiety medication continue to maintain employment in higher level jobs. I do not see people who use marijuana for these problems accomplishing that. People who self identify as someone who needs to use marijuana have often already determined that they cannot work and the need to stay home so they can use marijuana throughout the day for medicinal reasons gives them another obstacle from attempting to return to the workplace.

    Nevertheless, I wouldn’t say that any using it should be prevented from being baptized. One of my ward members has consistently used coffee as a treatment or adjunct in managing ADD. The only impact it has had on his standing is the need to go off of it in order to put in mission papers.

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  38. Mai Li on February 22, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Come on people. Do you really imagine that there is a line of “stoners” waiting outside some MP office wanting to be baptized. Give me a break.

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  39. Jenkins on February 22, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    #38 Rigel – “People who self identify as someone who needs to use marijuana have often already determined that they cannot work and the need to stay home so they can use marijuana throughout the day for medicinal reasons gives them another obstacle from attempting to return to the workplace.”

    Can you back this up in any way? A lot of people I know who use Marijuana are successful in their prospective careers. However, they do not broadcast their marijuana use to most people because of the social stigma around it.

    It’s easy to imagine all marijuana users as the stereotypical high school or college drop out living in their parents basement with no motivation and only a desire to get high. This is not reality for most marijuana users. At least that is not my experience with the marijuana users that I know.

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  40. question on February 22, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    a lot of people have put out anecdotal evidence about what they think of the “stoners” in their life. how very helpful!

    why would anyone admit anything to a bishop about this stuff. its not his business. if he asks if you keep the WOW and you think you do, then say yes.

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  41. el oso on February 22, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    Smoking a joint is always going to result in a denial of baptism without giving it up. Why? Because the prophet said so. (President Hinckley) I could see ingestion of marijuana in other ways with a valid perscription as acceptable in some circumstances.

    The misuse of other drugs is really a side issue. I suspect that many leaders would consider a candidate for baptism not ready until they reduce or eliminate their legal drugs use, if it seems to be abuse.

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  42. hawkgrrrl on February 22, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    It will never get past the stigma I think. There are drugs being worked on that deliver the chemicals in marijuana to the patient without the “stoned” effects, and those would not carry the stigma. People swallow pharmaceutical pills wholescale – it’s ALL acceptable – but universally stigmatize the raw or natural forms of these substances.

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  43. Mike S on February 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    #42 hawk:

    That is a very interesting concept – of stigmatizing the raw forms of things.

    - We shun marijuana, yet accept Marinol.
    - We shun heroin and opium, yet accept morphine and all the other opiates (even though heroin is simply converted to morphine in the body)
    - We shun wine, yet accept the alcohol mixed with other things in cough medicine, or the reservatrol given in extract form
    - We shun coffee, yet accept the caffeine and other substances extracted from it as long as they are mixed with other chemicals in Coke
    - We shun tea, yet accept anti-oxidants extracted from it

    It is kind of odd when you look at it that way.

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  44. Heber13 on February 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Mike S, you make a great point which highlights how out of date the WoW is for us in our day and age. It is nothing more than a tradition in Mormon culture clung to by saints who don’t think for themselves.

    The Word of Wisdom was never in context for treatment for human illnesses, it was always intended for living a clean lifestyle.

    If BY can take whiskey for his toothaches, MM can be used for legitimate reason. However, in my ward Red Bull is a no-no (roll eyes) for those who ask the bishop to think for them.

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  45. Rigel Hawthorne on February 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Jenkins #39

    I don’t have evidence to back up my observations. I would, however, ask you this question. Are the successful people you are talking about using marijuana recreationally or medicinally? “Using” Marijuana and being successful in the career does not contradict the observation that I threw out, necessarily. NOT being able to go a day/half-a-day/quarter-of-a-day without using it for medicinal reasons is the association in my observation. Although there could be some sample bias in the segment of the population that I interact with professionally.

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  46. Alice (alliegator) on February 23, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    (red bull should be a no no for those who think for themselves- that stuff is bad for you)

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  47. GBSmith on February 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    I’m a doc in an area outside the corridor and see med lists just like the ones you listed for LDS members. A good place to start in these discussions is avoid moral judgements about meds and diagnoses and just deal with people and the problems they have. As long as use of pain meds, antidepressants and tranquilizers and even MM are considered moral failings people aren’t going to get the treatment or be treated the way they deserve.

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  48. Mike S on February 23, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    GBSmith: As long as use of pain meds, antidepressants and tranquilizers and even MM are considered moral failings people aren’t going to get the treatment or be treated the way they deserve.

    I agree absolutely. I see people with all sorts of med lists, people taking methadone to recover from addiction, people on whatever … it really doesn’t matter to me unless it may impact something I may do. I really don’t judge anyone for meds, appearance, lifestyle, insurance, etc., and as physicians we shouldn’t.

    My main point in bringing the med lists up is to point out the irony of an LDS member perhaps judging someone for using marijuana because it is “against the Word of Wisdom” when they themselves are taking much more powerful and dangerous drugs for perhaps the same symptoms.

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  49. mh on February 23, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    well said gbsmith.

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  50. LovelyLauren on February 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    I got into an argument on this issue with a hardcore, traditional Mormon blogger who insisted that even if MM was an option for him, he wouldn’t do it because he wouldn’t want people to say that he smoked pot. I used most of the arguments listed in the OP, such as the acceptance of heavy prescribed narcotics, the ambiguity of the WoW, etc., but he wouldn’t budge.

    I think this attitude is probably common among church members and is one of the reasons that more clinical studies haven’t been done on marijuana. The stigma is just too great.

    I do not think it’s against the WoW and would probably use it if medically useful for me. I live in a state where it’s legal.

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  51. Heber13 on February 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    well said, GB.

    #46, Alice, do you think it is right for bishops to teach over the pulpit their interpretations of the WoW standards for their congregation that aren’t in the CHI?

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  52. Alice (alliegator) on February 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Heber13- No, I do not think it is right for bishops to interpret the WoW. If someone asks them privately, they can give their opinion (making it clear that that’s what it is), but encourage people to take it to the Lord and find out for themselves.

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  53. Ritualistic on February 23, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    GBSmith #47 Well said!

    Rigel #37 “I do not see people who use marijuana for these problems accomplishing that.” (maintaining high level jobs)

    Rigel #45 “I don’t have evidence to back up my observations.”

    Thats the problem with many peoples view of Cannabis, it’s short on evidence, but looooong on biased judgement. I’m a Medical Marijuana patient and I’m a working professional. I use Marijuana medicianlly, recreationally, and sometimes spiritually. If your first thought about me after reading this fact is negative, than shame on you, not me.

    The fact is, (as Mike S has so eloquently put in this post) marijuana is not that dangerous at all. Much less so than most of the pharmicuticals we use all the time. In fact, real SCIENTIFIC evidence from peer reviewed studies have shown all sorts of potential uses of the compounds in Marijuana. This includes evidence of canabanoids (the compounds in Marijuana) selectivly killing cancer cells and shrinking tumors. We are just now learning about these things thanks to the federal ban making research on Marijuana’s compounds nearly impossible for decades. Now, as more states legalize it’s medicinal use, we are finding out lots of exciting things.

    I so wish that the national discussion on Cannabis use would be based on more facts, and not the same old false arguments that we all heard in grade school. As this thread has shown, the undeserving negativity that we as a society have hold this God-send of a plant is so deep rooted, that it’s hard to overcome. Even with facts.

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  54. Jenkins on February 23, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Ritualistic, well said! I’m in the same camp, I use Marijuana medicianlly, recreationally, and sometimes spiritually as well. I have a hard time with the idea that if it is used recreationally it is somehow bad. When did did we decide that things we enjoy are somehow immoral?

    If anyone comes away with anything after reading this I hope it is a more open mindset towards marijuana. Just be willing to look at the facts without pre-judgement.

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  55. Heber13 on February 23, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Alice, I agree with you (and I agree Red Bull is not good for the belly!…but that’s another topic. ;) ) Thanks for your thoughts.

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  56. larryco_ on February 23, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Wowww, man, good question. It’s, well, like I was tellin’ this dude the other day, it’s sorta like, well, ya know…a…what was the question?

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  57. MH on February 23, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Larryco, funny point (and I’m not sure why you’re getting thumbs down), but that does bring up another point about marijuana use. Dr Drew Pinsky on the show Love Lines (I haven’t watched it in a decade, so I don’t even know if it is still on), often commented about prolonged use of marijuana causing memory problems, as well as the “stoner laugh.” (I always got a kick out of it when Drew mentioned the laugh and then the caller unintentionally laughed, confirming the problem.) I think these are side-effects worth considering.

    Mike, you seem to be saying that marijuana use is safe, and I’m not quite so sure I completely buy that argument, or perhaps it just appears to me that you are downplaying the side effects. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard that smoking marijuana is a great pain killer and doesn’t have the problems with nausea that some other prescription drugs have, but I don’t see some of the side effects listed here either. It may be useful in some limited cases, and I know there are some people who use marijuana and still function at a high level, but there are plenty of other people who don’t function very well, especially with long-term use. I think these issues are important to consider as well.

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  58. Douglas on February 24, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    There are overall issues that I don’t think have been brought up (though most of the posts have made good pro and con arguments).
    This country has long been, at least for a century, dominated by varying forms of authoritarianism. Most was for a good purpose. For example, and this is part of what led up to the current slew of ridiculous laws about marijuana, there were issues about food and drug quality (more precisely, lack thereof). Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” comes to mind. Led to the creation of the Food and Drug administration. This was the solution presented by a “Progressive” President (Teddy Roosevelt), since there was a feeling that the public was in danger by questionable food processing practices and charlatans pushing their “patent medicines”. Don’t get me wrong, these were very real problems at the time. So there was an appeal to the highest authority in the land, good ol’ Uncle Sugar, to set things right. Of course, over time, this led to the medical community and Big Pharma collaborating to monopolize healing. Hence why alternative health practices (ex: chiropractic) have faced difficult in gaining legal and/or public acceptance. Likewise, though it’s understandable that recreational use of marijuana is something to be strongly discouraged, thanks to the influence of self-interested parties like William Randolph Hearst, even useful products made from hemp (including biodiesel) have been all but outlawed in the US.
    The Church as a body, at least in the USA, has fallen in step with this line of thinking. Rather than think for ourselves, and use our minds and good judgement as to how to please our Lord, instead we allow ourselves to be micromanaged. If not by official Church policies and/or directives, then by cultural customs. We’ve done exactly what the late Bruce R. McConkie warned about re: WoW…become to some extent “unstable cranks”, worrying about white flour, chocolate, Nyquil. Good grief, you need a commandment to distinguish between someone attempting to justify a useless and counter-productive habit, versus someone who is struggling with pain (or nausea as in a chemotherapy regimen) and who the “good doctors” have failed to help? Me, I’ve received enough of the lack of compassion with regard to my arthritis (re: I’m supposed to not take Vicodin because it’s contains a narcotic, never mind that it works effectively and causes the least side effects, rather I’m supposed to “prove” my worthiness by enduring pain “like a man”). Imagine what it’s like for folks suffering far worse than I. No, I’d rather err on the side of compassion, and not deny spiritual blessings to folks suffering enough as it is.

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  59. Mike S on February 24, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    #57: MH Mike, you seem to be saying that marijuana use is safe, and I’m not quite so sure I completely buy that argument, or perhaps it just appears to me that you are downplaying the side effects
    …. there are plenty of other people who don’t function very well, especially with long-term use. I think these issues are important to consider as well.

    Absolutely. I completely and 100% agree with this.

    There are side effects to marijuana. If you drive under the influence, you are a hazard and could go to jail. If you use marijuana throughout the day, every day, there are chronic side effects. If you get lethargic from being under the influence, you aren’t as productive. I don’t argue that.

    But it’s no different than anything else. We eat food. But there are side-effects from chronic overuse of food. Obesity is a MASSIVE problem in this country (pun intended). In treatment of diabetes, arthritis, stroke, heart disease, etc. directly related to obesity, we spend over $150 BILLION EXTRA in the US alone. There are side effects from driving a car – people get seriously hurt and killed. There are side effects from pain medication – as mentioned above, more people die from opiate overdose each year than cars. There are side effects from just about anything we do. And, while marijuana obviously has side effects as well, on a relative scale, it is safer than MANY things we affect without batting an eye.

    Additionally, we generally don’t make things a religious issue because of side effects. Otherwise:
    - we would ban cars
    - we would make someone’s BMI a more important question in the temple recommend interview than if they had a cup of coffee
    - we would ban most medications
    - Etc

    But we don’t. We leave it up to the individual to determine the level of risk/benefit they are willing to accept. For me, I don’t see much benefit in using marijuana personally (I thankfully don’t have chronic pain, cancer, nausea, etc.) and the risks are high (I could lose my medical license, etc). So the ratio doesn’t make sense FOR ME. But I do lots of things other people would think are dumb – rock climb, mountaineering, heliskiing, cliff jumping, etc. (In fact, here’s something I’m doing this spring here in Utah).

    The whole point of this post is that it doesn’t make sense to judge someone (ie. comment #56) for using medical marijuana when we all do stupid things – just different stupid things.

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  60. Mike S on February 24, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    #58 Douglas: I’m supposed to not take Vicodin because it’s contains a narcotic, never mind that it works effectively and causes the least side effects, rather I’m supposed to “prove” my worthiness by enduring pain “like a man”

    I hope you haven’t encountered this sentiment. Although I have pointed out the risks of opiates above, as I mentioned, I prescribe thousands of pills a week for reasons just like yours. It is ironic, however, that many people will accept narcotics as being “ok”, yet think that medical marijuana is against the Word of Wisdom.

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  61. Justin on February 24, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    it doesn’t make sense to judge someone for using medical marijuana when we all do stupid things

    I agree with this argument in general — but think it applies better to recreational pot use.

    Your examples of risk-seeking hobbies [rock-climbing, sky-diving, etc.], poor diet/exercise choices, alcohol consumption, etc. — those are all recreational choices. No one is medicinally over-consuming sodas, processed grains, and trans-fats.

    Some people think you should legislate against stupid, “recreational” choices. If people want to make a case against recreational pot use being illegal because it is stupid to do it recreationally — then that’s a discussion.

    But medicinal? I don’t see how that could be one of the “stupid things we all do”.

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  62. Jenkins on February 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    #59 Mike S – Brilliant point! If there is an addictive substance we have all fallen victim to it’s sugar! I don’t see the church advising against the over use of sugar. I do, by the way, have a theory that it was the copious amounts of sugar being consumed in “hot drinks” that was the target for the WoW, not the caffeine.

    Justin, I agree with you. However, since a lot of people seem to think that the #1 reason for MM is so people can use it recreationally it is difficult to separate the two. Personally I don’t think there should be a separation. Why can’t my medical reason simply be that I enjoy a product that helps me feel happy with very little side affects. I know what the risks are and don’t over indulge. I have a harder time with over indulgence of food than I do with Marijuana. (Of course, that could be a side affect of the Marijuana)

    Dr. Melanie Dreher has done some interesting studies on Marijuana use in Jamaica. She did the research in a place with no cultural stigma involved with Marijuana use. You can look her up and find a lot of articles about it. The cultural taboo of using did not exist, however there was a strong stigma attached to inappropriate use of Marijuana. You were looked down upon if you couldn’t keep it together or you always had the munchies.

    She also found a lot a medical benefits from Marijuana use but the National Institute on Drug Abuse pulled funding when she didn’t find negatives for Marijuana use.

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  63. Rock Waterman on March 3, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    That this question even has to be asked is evidence of how thoroughly some members, such as this palpably stupid mission president -and yes, I did call him STUPID- allow cultural indoctrination to override the tenets of their religion.

    Jesus commanded all to be baptized. This idiot places federal decree above the word of Christ. He should have been released and put on a plane home the next day.

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  64. Mormon Heretic on March 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Apparently Pat Robertson is in favor of legalizing pot. See http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/09/10624653-pat-robertson-is-for-legalizing-marijuana-what-would-jesus-do

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  65. Rock Waterman on March 10, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    That only shows Pat Robertson is more receptive to what should be obvious to Mormons than a lot of Mormons are.

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  66. Peter B. on April 25, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Well here I sit, slightly medicated, reading a topic that has been on my mind for quite a while. I find the whole yes or no argument nice food for thought. I am an active LDS recommend holder, I hold 2 callings in my Utah ward. I have no qualms about using MJ in moderation. It is an activity that relieves stress, reduces pain, and even helps me to better serve my family and community. I personally take no issue with the legalities, if I did it would be tough being in Utah. For the most part I use edibles(brownies of my own make). My wife and I will continue to use God’s natural and miraculous herb for our own benefit. I have a relationship with my Heavenly Father, and I know of a surety that his Son, Jesus Christ gave everything for me. I also believe the BoM to be correct and the finest book I will ever read. I feel no sin and do not regret my choice. -Pete

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  67. Bob on April 25, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    #66:Peter,
    I am in pain 24/7. I am careful what I take. But if I could get MJ, I would take it. It’s one thing to pedge to be pure 24/7, it’s another to be in pain 24/7.

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  68. James on August 8, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    I do not believe medicinal marijuana should be against the word of wisdome. I for one have used it for medical use. For quite a wild, I have recently Ben babtized and am very great full for doing so. I for one believe in medicinal marijuana die to the fact that it can and will do much greater things for our biddies then any proscription I have or ever seen anyone take in my hool life. This plant was put here my god and should be used as a medication. The only reason why it would be against the word of wisdome is be because if the simple fact that it is against the law, which I can respect. And if you did not know or you are just to stuck by other peoples oppenions that you do not believe in it go do sometimes resources that prove this to be true. Marijuana can slow down and cure cancer, if done in the right way, able gets rid if add depression ADHD and other sociological disorders by a plant. Again a lot better then taking a drug or giving it to your kids that us actually worse for you in the long run. Doesn’t it say we are supposed to preserve our temples given to us by out beloved four her in heaven. Nor to harm them. Add medications I you did not know are a low dosage if tweak or heroin which leads to more abducting drugs like the actual drug meth. I’d a kid is given riddlin there hool life they are proven ro be more prone to do so. With marijuana you are not if you use it under the care I’d a doctor. In fact the only thing that this plant can harm you in any way is smoking it, and if you did notbkbowbibwiuld like to inform you that it can be ingested in manner different ways suk as butter or pull form. Ha again doing so can cure amp privet cancer. Proven by Harvard students. Ha do I am for marijuana to be apart of our beloved religion and hope to see it passed in every stare I pray to our new profit to accept it as a madicional use and midcional use only. I sy these things in the name if our brother saviour Jesus Christ amen.

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  69. Jamie on August 28, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    I have a son who is trying to convince me to take medical marijuna for the constant pain I’m in from plantar fasciitis, as well as depression/anxiety and ADD. He does not have a ‘medical’ card to take it, but says it has helped him with his anxiety considerably. I’ll admit that I have a stereotype associated with “pot heads”…either old hippies or lazy, unmotivated punk teenagers. My 57 year old neighbor takes it medically and sings it’s praises. I’m tired of hardly being able to walk from the pain in my foot-not to mention the recently sprained ankle on the other foot that is taking forever to heal. And I’m tired of dealing with depression/anxiety and ADD. I’ve tried prescription drugs and have found some to be effective, and some to not be worth the side effects. I don’t know how I feel about this issue. I want to be as ‘whole’ as possible…and I want to obey God. You made some very valid points. Personally, I think the Word of Wisdom should be updated to include all the crap we put in our bodies nowadays; soda, energy drinks, twinkies, cheetos. We get on a high horse about the Word of Wisdom and then fill our body with junk food and weigh more than we should. Anyway…you’ve given me a lot to think about. And what I’m thinking more than anything is that if it would work for me it should be a decision I make with God, and not the opinion of family, ward leaders, etc. since people can interprut things how they want.

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  70. Mormon Heretic on August 28, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    Jamie, I’m sorry to hear about your plantar fascitis. I just wanted to point you to a podcast on barefoot running. One person claims that by taking off the shoes, the plantar fascitis went away. Your mileage may vary. See (or listen to) http://radiowest.kuer.org/post/barefoot-running

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  71. Hedgehog on August 29, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Jamie (#69), sympathy.
    I’ve suffered from this on and of since my 20s and don’t go running (I cycle for my additional exercise), but do an awful lot of walking because I don’t drive.
    I noticed a big improvement however, when I began to take joint supplements because I was having problems with my hip a few years ago. My hip did improve, but my feet even more so. The particular supplements I take contain collagen and collagen precursers in addition to the usual glucosamine and chondroitin, along with mineral trace elements copper, zinc and selenium. I gather it is the collagen (& its precursers) and copper are aimed at the connective and tendonous tissues.
    In fact since then, I have torn my calf (a few years ago now) – on the bright side this had to mean my feet were no longer the weak point! :-)
    These days I keep taking the supplements, and I wear birkenstock sandals in the summer (I can feel those calves stretching in first few days). When I have been out walking for most of the day my feet certainly zing, but nothing like the walking on cut glass of earlier times.

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  72. Kimber on November 7, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Thank you for taking time to write this article to address this issue. I work in the healthcare field and have often pointed out that I’ve NEVER seen a patient in the E.D. overdosed on marijuana. In contrast, I’ve been involved with resuscitation efforts on young and old alike for overdoses on medications prescribed by their doctors. If I used marijuana medicinally, perhaps I wouldn’t share that information. Missionaries don’t ask what prescriptions an investigator is using!

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  73. d on November 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Oops I didn’t mean to like Jeff Specters comment. He’s un-informed.
    The reason the pharmaceutical companies havn’t gottten a hold of it and patented marijuana is because you cant patent a plant. The pharm companies would go out of business if we could all grow our own medicine. Thats why its illegal. Read your D&C herb is to gladden the heart and to enliven the soul. Not just for medical… but to also norish those without faith of healing D&C…

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  74. GBSmith on November 14, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    “Read your D&C herb is to gladden the heart and to enliven the soul. Not just for medical… but to also norish those without faith of healing D&C…”

    Good luck with your next recommend interview.

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  75. John on December 9, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Thank you so much for your perspective. You make some very rationale arguments against the most commonly used reasons why medical marijuana should be against the Word of Wisdom. I really like the scripture in Alma 46:40, which states that God has prepared plants on the earth to help cure disease.

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  76. Tyler on December 9, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    If anything, marijuana helps me feel closer to God. Smoking recreationally and listening/writing music is more real to me than any religious experience I’ve had growing up in the Mormon religion and serving a full-time mission. I’ve heard people telling me my whole life what’s right and what I should do. It’s a relief once you do what you feel is right, regardless of what someone else has told you.

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  77. El Zorillo on January 22, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Genesis 1:12 “And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind…and God saw that it was good.”

    Moroni 7:14 “Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that you do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.”

    Marijuana was created–and subsequently called “good”–by a loving Heavenly Father. It influences many human metabolic systems through the binding of active ingredients, which are unique to this plant, to specialized receptor sites which have been strategically distributed throughout the human organism by that same loving Heavenly Father. To patently hold that there is no use for this plant in human medicine is tantamount to saying that Heavenly Father, in creating all things, either mad a mistake or committed an oversight–both of which are inconsistent with our concept of a perfect and omniscient Creator.

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  78. Richard Rozier on January 26, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    I believe, and I’m sure the good Mission President in Portland believes, that the vast majority of “medicinal” marijuana is used recreationally. Certainly there could be exceptions made for the rare case of legitimate medicinal use…

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  79. Scot Chipman on January 26, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    I think before you can answer the questions you first must understand the real history behind The Word of Wisdom. For some eye opening history read http://mormonthink.com/wow.htm

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  80. Adam on January 27, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    Poorly written article from a technical standpoint. In order to make your point understandable and to show you understand the world of medicine and the process for God giving commandments, you need to define your words. What do you mean by ‘dangerous’. You mean potent? You use everyday words to possibly dumb down the language so everyone can understand but in the process you weaken the context. I stopped reading because I quickly realized you have little background in both these areas. Also realized that WE make reasons to understand why God gave a particular commandment but really have no idea why we should not drink coffee, for example. So, we can write articles to help us guess, but if God wants it included or not, he will let us know. End of article writing and guessing.
    Best,

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  81. hawkgrrrl on January 27, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Personally, I think it’s up for debate whether it’s in or out when prescribed. There are no other prescriptions that are out, not Valium, not anything – any many of these are highly addictive. We don’t pry into sharing prescriptions which is a bad idea and frequently done. Most LDS would say smoking anything is out, but the D&C doesn’t even refer to smoking specifically (many were chewing tobacco vs smoking it). I think there’s also the question of it being ” unseemly.” It doesn’t conform to the image.

    I suspect we are in a default “don’t ask, don’t tell” and maybe that’s best.

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  82. hawkgrrrl on January 27, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Scot, I’ve read the history of the WoW before, and the MT article you link is a very comprehensive history. I would like to suggest some editing of the final paragraphs that sound condescending and mocking. Referring to “the Mormon God” is a rhetorical trick common to anti-Mormon websites. If you are trying to educate Mormons, you don’t make friends by mocking. Following that term closely with “in the real world” which refers to studies in the last decade showing that a glass of red wine daily may be healthy (the same studies show equal benefit from red grape juice BTW), is again very condescending. If your intended audience is only those who have already decided Mormonism isn’t for them, then the tone is pitch perfect. To me, it reveals your biases and undermines an otherwise excellent and thorough article.

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  83. Scott on February 2, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    There are many strains of medical marijuana(MM) which can target each patients need. For instance, a certain strain can suppress appetite whilst another strain can increase appetite. MM works to lift me out of my depression and calms my mania. MM is not against the WOW…..after warnings of using any drugs Elder Russel M. Ballrd goes onto say “Now, brothers and sisters, please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I’m not questioning prescription medications for those suffering with treatable illness or great physical pain. They are indeed a blessing. What I am saying is that we need to carefully follow the doses prescribed by doctors. And we need to keep such medications in a safe place where youngsters or anyone else cannot gain access to them.” Agreed. MM has it’s place in treating illnesses & pain but must be used responsibly and locked away.

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  84. Andy G on February 16, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    RE:Jeff Spector. MM not being a legitimate drug. The reason big pharma has not pushed to get it legal is the fact that it is a plant and can not be patented like a chemical. Also this wonderful plant stands to make them lose lots of money.

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  85. Douglas on February 16, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    This shouldn’t be difficult.
    IF the member with the MM card got it in good faith after conventional methods of alleviating pain and suffering have failed, then AFAIK it’s simply another herb that the Lord hath ordained for the use of men, to be administered with judgement and skill. It’s no different than my taking Vicodin to relieve my arthritis symptoms, even though this has been identified as another “bete noir” of abused painkillers. Mine is duly prescribed IAW the law and medical practice (and subject to rather onerous DEA bureaucratic nitwittery, IMO), and used according to the physician’s instructions. As long as the member complies with the applicable state law (and I don’t give a hoot what the Feds say, there’s such a thing as the Tenth Amendment) and sound advice of his/her health practitioner, then AFAIC, said use of MM is NOT a Word of Wisdom problem.

    Of course, let’s be honest and admit that so many get a MM card as an excuse to toke up. Amazing how many cases of glaucoma there are in “Kal-Lee-Forn-Yah!”. Any bishop worth his calling ought to be able to ferret out a tweeker.

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  86. GD on April 9, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    I currently serve as bishop, and have one member of my ward who has a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis. Having been an avid cannabis user during a period of inactivity in my teens and early twenties, I have a fairly liberal attitude about it. I was not sure what the Church’s position would be on it when I inquired of my stake president though on this member’s behalf. His feedback was that vaporization and edibles were fine, smoking was not.

    Now, I suffer from the stress of the calling, running a few different business ventures, community service, family activities, and so forth. That has caused me to have increased episodes of insomnia, which is causing tension head and neck aches due to being poorly rested. I suppose I could go down to the local quack and get pain pills and sleeping pills, but that doesn’t feel right. Rather, I feel the Holy Ghost prompting me to seek relief through cannabis. Therefore, I have obtained my chiropractic records to take to a MM clinic next week in hopes of obtaining a recommendation. I believe vaporizing a small quantity of the right strains will allow me to relax, sleep well, and reduce pain. I am going to give it a try anyhow. For all of the self righteous, pious Mormons; who are quick to put a label like “stoner” on anyone who uses cannabis, be slower to judge. I voted against the law to legalize medicinal use, and I too ran my mouth about the “sham of pot being called a medicine”. Now I am eating those words, and have some regret about how narrow minded I acted because of our cultural expectations to portray ourselves a certain way.

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  87. El Zorillo on April 10, 2013 at 5:55 AM

    Hey GD–

    Having been in the exact same boat as you, I followed the exact same prompting…and my strong recommendation is that you follow it too! I will pray that you experience positive results (according to God’s will, of course). For me the results (benefits) have been incredibly positive–far and away better than those provided by “big pharma’s” man made chemicals!

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  88. GD on April 10, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Thanks El Zorillo. I suppose I will live if my recommendation is denied, I have lived without any medications for 21 years as an acitve, faithful, Latter-day Saint. It is just that my quality of life will continue to be diminished if i don’ t do something. 9 years on the ward council with 6 in the bishopric has taken it’s toll, along with the rigors of normal life. It is kind of ironic though that it is my service to the Lord has led me to this place of being stressed out to the point of being unhealthy, but that is indeed the case. I am sure there are “better” Mormons than me who think I just want to get stoned, but that is not the case. I have some real concerns about my children knowing, and my wife is not all that supportive of the choice. The easy way is to seek a more socially acceptable alternative, but I don’t feel right about those options. Could it be that the Lord is calling people individually the break the stereotype? I don’t know, but I feel good about the choice and hope it has a positive outcome. It is a shame that Latter-day Saints have become as rigid as the Jews during the Savior’s time. You have to look a certain way and act a certain way, or you don’t fit the mold, and if you don’t fit the mold, then you’re probably not as righteous as they are. No wonder Jesus called them a generation of vipers. I believe we have become much the same as the Pharisees and Scribes,perfoming every jot and tittle of the Mormon culture, while in large measure neglecting our relationship to God Newsflash: It isn’t that white shirt and dark suit. on Sunday that guarantee exaltation!

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  89. El Zorillo on April 10, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    GD–yeah I feel much the same way…I mean if you take a moment to think that God created Cannabis, called it good, saw to it (for His reasons) that it contained elements that interact with almost every human metabolic system by binding at specialized receptor sites (as opposed to a process of toxicity, like in the case of the “effects” of alcohol), and saw to it that we, His children (and presumably He Himself–at least upon a time) have those receptor sites strategically distributed throughout our organism…then you can hardly say, patently, that there is no medicinal use (intended by Him) for this plant in man. To do so would be tantamount to saying that He, in creating all things, either made a mistake or commited an oversight–neither of which is possible given our concept of an omniscient and perfect Creator. Nor can you say that He made it (Cannabis) “that way” (i.e. the psychoactive properties) just to tempt man, because God will not tempt man; He only permits the adversary to do so with things that He (God) created for other intended purposes or with things that he (the adversary) puts into the mind of man to devise (like alcohol, which is of course man made–not part of the original “creation”).

    A great read is “Marijuana Gateway to Health–How Cannabis Protects us from Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease”, by Clint Werner. You can get it on Amazon.

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  90. El Zorillo on April 10, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    PS I can’t even imagine why your recommend might be called into question. The question is “Do you keep the word of wisdom?”

    If a person uses medication under the direction and supervision of a physician they are not in violation of the w of w (in my humble opinion). Simply answer the question, when asked, with “yes”. Of course if a person misuses or abuses a medication–whether obtained at the direction of a physician or illicitly–then they are in violation of the w of w (again opinion). But that’s true whether it’s Cannabis, oxycodone, Valium, Ambien, or anything else…

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  91. El Zorillo on April 10, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    PPS–with the possible exception of your wife and children, I would recommend giving neither a crap nor a second thought to what anybody else thinks. Keep it simple–don’t overthink it, and just be true to the prompting you’re receiving. In my experience if we don’t follow promptings they quit coming…

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  92. Craig on April 10, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    I’m sorry GD I can’t accept your logic on this. If your stress is really what you say the only reasonable course is to go to your stk pres and ask to be released. I suspect he’d understand. You are clearly damaging your health and owe it to the people you serve and your family to make real root cause change in your life and not the cosmetic of taking a drug. Why this is not your solution is a mystery. Why is it that you would be ok with taking drugs but not changing your lifestyle? There is something wrong there and I’d recommend some deeper analysis is needed to really fix the problem. If you had simply said “man sometimes I just need help relaxing” I would think some more about how I feel. But your list is not simple and reflects systemic issues of physical and mental health. Good luck to you.

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  93. El Zorillo on April 11, 2013 at 5:50 AM

    Hi again GD:

    Hey, all due respect to “Craig” and any others–all entitled to their (our) opinions–but they’re all included (me too, for that matter) in that group that’s “anybody other than your wife and children”. I strongly recommend not giving a hoot or a second thought–or at the very least not allowing any of it to influence your decision (this, of course, based on the presumption that you are truly being prompted by the Holy Ghost to seek relief in this way, and only you know if that’s “for real”).

    If you’ve felt it and reconfirmed it, I say “go for it”. If you have any lingering doubts, check with your priesthood “upline” (i.e. stake president). He could weigh in under the influence of the Holy Ghost, something that bloggers like me can’t do.

    If it’s all for real I’m confident he will see it the same way. Please consider carefully my points from posting #89–it is counterintuitive to patently hold that there neither is nor could ever conceivably be an appropriate medicinal use of this plant. To do so would be saying that Heavenly Father either made a mistake, commited an oversight, or intentionally set out to tempt man; and all of these are inconsistent with our concept of Deity.

    “To thine own self be true.” Good luck and “happy trails”…

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  94. GD on April 11, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    I had no doubts there would be naysayers such as Brother Craig when I posted. For all anyone knows I have discussed all of this with the stake president and asked to be released. But what then? Are things magically going to get better? Is my genetic propensity for insomnia going to be gone? Based on observing my parent and grandparent who have the same problem, it contines to get worse with age. It very well may be that next year life will be back in some semblance of order and I will discontinue using cannabis. It may be that I try it and it doesn’t work well for me, or I don’t like the effect. At this stage of the game this is not a member/Church issue, that has already been discussed and approved by a bishop and stake president. Rather, this is a person/God/doctor issue. I have been humbled seeing how much trust some members place in their priesthood leaders, as they want to seek counsel on issues that are private in nature. In general, the Church doesn’t get involved in the lives of members pertaining to their bedroom lives or their medical choices, unless we invite leaders in. Even then, often times we simply have to tell them “this is an area of your life where you have to make your own decision”. I think some members almost want to abdicate responsibility for their own choices, and dump the burden on priesthood leaders to make their choices for them. That’s not the Lord’s plan friends, He desires us to actually exercise our agency, aided by the Holy Ghost. It is egregious for anyone to question the guidance a person may receive, even when that guidance appears to contradict the usual path. I seem to recall a fellow named Nephi who was commanded to slay a helpless man. We accept that without hesitatation. Yet, we have the audacity to question inspiration over something as trivial as a professional recommendation for what medication to take! The Mormon culture is indeed a strange animal.SMH

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  95. El Zorillo on April 11, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    Hey there GD:

    Yeah for sure LDS folks (including you and me in our own ways, certainly) can be quirky and guilty of “knee jerk” responses and of not thinking things through for themselves…but the church is true! And I’m sure they probably mean well, too, in their own way.

    I believe you’d already thought this through plenty a while ago…I would recommend you quit analyzing it, absolutely quit stressing about it, and FOLLOW THAT PROMPTING!!! You don’t need any more justification than what you’ve felt God speak to you; and you sure don’t need anybody’s approval but His (and how pleased would he be if you did not follow a prompting??

    It is a little known but well documented fact that James Talmage, when in college, felf “moved” to experiment with Hashish (also Cannabis for all practical purposes). Furthermore, it is also little known but well documented that later in life, when he suffered severe anxiety, the Brethren advised him to use tobacco in the form of cigars as needed for relief from that affliction.

    I say carry on and good luck!

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  96. GD on April 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    It is refreshing to read your encouragement El Zorillo, God bless YouTube brother!

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  97. GD on April 11, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    You, not YouTube. Sometimes Autotype gets over zealous.

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  98. El Zorillo on April 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    No worries, brother. I really do strongly urge you to get and read the book I referenced above–if nothing else to give you intelligent talking poimts for when you find yourself trying to explain your position to well meaning but uninformed “concerned” brothers and sisters.

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  99. Robin on April 13, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    There are probably some people who just want to use marijuana, but are not really sick. There are tons more who are really sick and want to use it to get through the day. It is apparently good for many illnesses, but our government has not allowed any studies. It is still classed by federal law as ‘not good for anything’ which has been proven false by studies in other countries. My daughter-in-law had a chronic pain problem, didn’t use marijuana, but died from the medicines the doctors gave her. I still wonder if she would still be with us if she had been able to use marijuana. Many people now have discovered that a person can use fresh green marijuana leaves to make a juice that is not psychoactive, but has helped people who have MS, cancer, etc. I keep thinking, since God made the plant, it’s got to be good for something, maybe just not for driving under the influence, etc.

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  100. Douglas on April 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    This is a fave subject that makes the rounds every so often.
    The issue boils down to intent, e.g. what is in the heart of the user of MM? If it’s just a pathetic excuse to get baked, as seems evident by the evident outbreak in CA following MM legitimization of glaucoma or chronic pain, then it’s become a moot point. I highly doubt that somebody inventing legalistic arguments to smoke a doob is all that concerned about serving the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart, might, mind, and strength. However, my heart goes out to those that do indeed suffer chronic pain or other forms of agony for whom medical science has proven inadequate. If in desperation they have to turn to MM to alleviate their suffering, then they deserve our compassion, not self-righteous judgement.
    I myself have turned to the fermented fruit of the grape per the advice of a Nurse practitioner at Kaiser, having experienced terrible pain and internal bleeding some five years after gastric bypass surgery. His point was that the Apostle’s Paul’s advice to “take a little wine for thy stomach’s sake” had indeed a sound basis…provided it was red wine (“Astro” of UB40 would no doubt be pleased), and no, Welch’s grape, due to being pasteurized as are most commercially-processed fruit drinks, wouldn’t work. The recommended ‘dosage’ was three or four glasses a week, which amounts to a bottle of “Two buck Chuck”. I suppose that I could have obtained fresh grapes and crushed them out and let them sit in a jar per D&C 89, but as a single Dad and a busy professional, it was easier to duck into Trader Joe’s (and they have a killer chicken curry salad anyway) and just get a few bottles. Now, I haven’t had the problem recur lately, so I haven’t restocked the “wine cellar” (and darn TJ’s, it’s now TWO and a HALF Buck Chuck…). Another casualty of the Obama economy, I suppose…

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  101. Craig on April 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Ok GD let me take a different tack. It’s hard to argue MM on word of wisdom alone. I’d like to know however what you will do when one of these occurs: your child asks you why you have a bong in your drawer. You get arrested when your dealer is actually an informant. Your arrest gets published in the news and goes viral “Mormon bishop arrested for smoking dope”. It seems to me if you want the risk spiritually, this is the temporal consequence. What will your stake pres recommend then?

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  102. El Zorillo on April 14, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    GD:

    Craig raises three valid concerns: your children’s perception, your legal status (free vs. incercerated) and the church’s image as it may be impacted by your loss of “free” legal status. I must at this point add the caveat to all of my prior encouraging comments that I had assumed all along that you reside in a state where MM is legal (as do I). If you do, then “concerns” #2 & #3 are academic (i.e. the possibility of their occurring does not exist in practical terms).

    As far as his first concern–what to do when your kid asks about your bong–I would recommend 1) not using a bong, 2) not having paraphenalia “out” or accessible, 3) being very discreet in any case, and, by all means, 4) when your kids are old enough to understand just explain your situation to them. If the Lord is truly prompting you then your only real concern should be about what He thinks–over and above what friends, brothers and sisters, bloggers, or, if necessary, even your wife and children think.

    Again, all of this is based on the presumption that the promptings you are receiving are for real and from the Holy Ghost–and of course you only (and God) know that. But I happen to know that it is entirely possible that your promptings are for real, because I have received and followed promptings to the same effect (i.e. to wisely and prudently use Cannabis as recommended by a physician), and my wife, kids, and priesthood authorities are all just fine with it. I hold a recommend and use it all of the time. Forward!

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  103. GD on April 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Craig,

    1. Of course it is hard to argue MM on the premise of the WoW alone. That is due to the fact that 85% of the people who have visited this thread and completed the survey indicate that; according to their judgment, it is NOT against the WoWA Furthermore, you have local priesthood authorities saying the same thing, yet you are failing to accept it. I respect your agency to disagree, but to continue to argue your point is basically futile at this juncture. If you have concerns, I suggest you go see your local priesthood authorities for clarification. However, because laws vary state to state, you may not receive consistent feedback as to our unwritten policy.

    2. I already stated that smoking it was not permissible, so there is no “bong” involved. Edibles and vaporization are permissible for ingestion as medicine. Edibles require no specialized equipment for ingestion whatsoever, while vaporization does. Much like it is with a firearm, responsible use is required. While I prefer that my children do not know I am suffering any kind of malady, the fact is one day they may become aware. If so, I will teach them the facts as I have outlined here in my last few posts. Hopefully I am raising kids who can formulate decisions and opinions for themselves, without the Church culture doing that for them in large measure, as is so often the case.

    3.There are no “dealers who are informants” in a state with legal medical cannabis collectives, so this is a really silly comment on your part. The “dealer” is a hometown storefront just like a pharmacy where “normal” Mormons go and get their drugs. ;-) However, I will choose to purchase my medication away from the hometown, so the judgmental Mormons don’t have their testimony destroyed by seeing the bishop in a cannabis collective. Funny how if he were at the local pharmacy getting heavy sedatives that are highly addictive there would be no judgment, but to seek a less addictive, milder, God given solution, would be viewed as very “sinful”. It is really laughable when one stops and considers some of the collective ideas of the modern, rank-and-file, Latter-day Saint.

    El Zorillo, I do reside in a state where medical cannabis is perfectly legal, rest assured. Some of our brothers and sisters who don’t live in such a state obviously cannot even comprehend what it is like to have legal cannabis available as a mild, natural, medicinal option, instead of some synthesized chemicals that come with side effects such as liver failure, impotence, and suicide! They therefore, cannot give a reasonable argument against the use of cannabis. Rather, they just seem to be hung up on it being “wrong” because For The Strength of Youth said it was “bad” when they were younger, or due to some other short sighted, somewhat immature reasoning.

    Many Latter-day Saints tend to be very black and white, where everything is either “good or evil” “true or false”, “of the Lord, or of the devil”. The reality is that the world isn’t like that, there is truth, righteousness, and goodness in places one wouldn’t expect to find it, and there are unfortunate circumstances where there should be holiness and goodness. Clearly Craig and the other 15% of members surveyed on this site who are opposed to the use of medical cannabis struggle with it’s use by members of the Church. However, all members should get used to it, because sooner than later it is coming your way too! I said about 5 years ago to some of my leaders “it won’t be long and you’ll be sitting next to people in the temple who are stoned”. The few leaders I said that to couldn’t even comprehend it, but I saw it coming, even though I was still opposed to it in my voting and so forth. The irony here is that I never envisioned having the need for any medicinal assistance myself. Now that I have come to that point in my life, I am much more comfortable with medical cannabis than any other pharmaceutical alternative after praying about it. Whether that works for me or not is yet to be seen, but it is the first thing I will be trying. I feel very good about it, other than the fact that I am aware there exist in the world some very narrow minded Mormons who would judge and criticize for doing so. The reality is, these same friends will judge and criticize for just about anything that any member does which isn’t in lock step with their own hard and fast perceptions of Mormondom. Methinks they would be quite surprised to sit down with some of the leading brethren of the Church to talk about any number of issues, and find out that the brethren are far less narrow minded than the average “good” member of the ward.

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  104. El Zorillo on April 15, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    GD:

    Well, if you’re being prompted in this then the chance that it will not “work for you” is remote. For what it’s worth, I spent a lot of time “on the soapbox” (blogs, etc.) while I was going through a process of becoming more comfortable with and sure of my position. As time went on I found the whole “campain” to be an enormous time suck on me–not just the time it took to say it all, but also to think and re-think it all of the time.

    I soon found, however, that as a Branch President I had too many other things to be worrying about, so I pretty much “personalized” the whole situation and since then have just kept my head down and been about my and the Lord’s business. Twice a day I take five to take my medication, but other than that it’s not worth the time–we’re not going to convince anybody who has the “don’t confuse me with facts, my mind is made up” mentality, and any attempt to do so will likely just result in their digging their heels in further because it will have evolved into a “pissing contest” (forgive the vulgarity).

    I’ve only been chiming in in your case because I feel your pain and your sincerity.

    Good luck with it. Perhaps one day we’ll find ourselves sitting next to each other in one of those sessions!??

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  105. GD on April 15, 2013 at 7:56 AM

    El Zorillo said:
    “Well, if you’re being prompted in this then the chance that it will not “work for you” is remote.”

    I agree wholeheartedly El Zorillo. I don’t think the Lord prompts us down forbidden or ineffective paths. Unusual paths sometimes? Definitely yes!

    I did the usual internet search about the subject when I felt this was my solution, just to see what was out there. This post by Mike S., with the subsequent commentary and survey, was about the most candid, well written package I have found. I had intended to comment once and move on. Support and opposition have warranted a few more posts. Like your experience, I am about done with that too. Let what has been written stand. For those who don’t “get it”, hold on because in time you very well may. I did. El Zorillo, you have confirmed everything that I already felt about the subject. Your input has been invaluable as a second witness on the matter. Thank you for your being candid.

    Now, with a little luck the Mormon Secret Police will track us down and we’ll both be released soon. ;-)

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  106. vicki dalia on April 21, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I have bad PTSD from severe childhood abuse.
    Marijuana is what helps it the most. I would qualify for medical marijuana, but don’t do it because of the church position.

    I wish it were legal. I agree with everything you said.

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  107. Douglas on April 21, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    #106 – I’d check with your bishop if I were you. No reason to suffer from PTSD or ANYTHING, and if it’s MM or continue to suffer, w/o alternatives, then by all means it should be fine. Both you and he ought to be led by the Holy Spirit, and he has the keys to counsel you. Avail thyself, and don’t suffer in silence.

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  108. El Zorillo on April 22, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    Vicki:

    Ditto to what Douglas said–provided you live in an MM state or country. If not, consider moving to one and then…ditto to what Douglas said!

    No one should have to suffer needlessly.

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  109. D. Fink on April 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    I’m an LDS, NLP practitioner (neuro linguistic practitioner) and appreciate your article. It boils down to perspectives. People believe what they do either b/c they have been ‘programmed’ and imprinted with the opinions of others, they have accepted opinions as truth or they base their beliefs off of personal experience. My experience with this herb as a college student was very positive and the only reason I gave it up was to be in compliance with the law.
    If it were legal for medical use, would I use it? YES, absolutely- for MANY things. And maybe even for an occasional mind-expanding and deeply spiritual experience. God created such wonderful things to bring us health, peace and happiness. Cannabis is one of God’s most beautiful creations, but it has become such a political tool for division of the people.
    I do not use ANY pharma drugs for ‘ailments’- not even Tylenol. I prefer herbs, essential oils, rest, prayer and good food over chemicals any day. I look forward to the day when prohibition ends and agency is restored to the people, so they can CHOOSE for themselves what to do… without stigmas or fear of incarceration.

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  110. astrallds on May 1, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    I have a friend who is a pot user. So this question has been on my mind lately. Through her i know a lot of people who smoke it. I have found that like any drug it depends upon the person as to wether they are effected by it or not. I know some people who have smoked it frequently and it hasn’t effected them but there are others that have had there lives destroyed by smoking pot.

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  111. Matt on May 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    This was a very interesting discussion. I am a toxicologist and a temple-worthy member. I have great faith that this plant was heaven sent. There is no other medication with such healthy efficacy. The side effects are a tiny fraction (if any, for some people) of what is listed with any pharmaceutical. For anyone that has to constantly pop pills all day, often times cannabis will substitute a slew of medications. For a patient with chronic pain, insomnia, and PTSD, cannabis will treat it all. I call this the medication for every occasion. Great article Mike!

    Finally, you don’t have to smoke it. If I had to use it, I’d vaporize it or eat it. If you are smart about it, you will never have to smoke it to medicate. Smoking can be harmful as combustion of organic material results in the release of carcinogenic (cancerous) chemicals. Though how much we should worry about that depends. Emerging research shows that exposure to certain cannabinoids helps cells maintain their proper functions. Even helping and allowing cells to die when they should (cancer is when cells don’t die when they should, hence accumulation of tissue/tumors).

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  112. rickhurd on May 10, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    It is hard for me to understand why an established institution like the Mormon church would take such a stance against an herb.

    “And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.” (2 Nephi 26:21)

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  113. Douglas on May 10, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    (This coming from someone that thinks Rush Limbaugh is a flaming Commie Liberal) – many coflate conservatism, especially the American or Republican brand thereof with the Gospel. While (using Venn diagrams) there is a sizeable ‘area of intersection, there is also a sizeable area that is not. One can be politically liberal and be a faithful member. As much as I contend with LDS liberals over politics, I get my knickers in a twist over their faith being questioned over their politics. It’s actually a fairly big tent and we ought to strive to bring folks under it, not kick them out.
    Therefore, if you can see a use for MM that is consistent with living the Gospel, then do so and don’t worry about what “they” think.

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  114. Craig on May 16, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Ok let’s try a different tak GD.

    You successfully argue that nothing specific about WoW prohibits MM.

    My take on WoW however is that it is not about specifics: it is about a principle.

    But before I get to that I’d like to take on moral equivalency, frequently argued in this blog, I.e., “MM at least isn’t as bad as OxyContin or other drugs taken in copious amounts by supposedly worthy Mormons”.

    Again, I’d be inclined to agree, argued on the basis of what we currently know science wise about these drugs (if MM not smoked).

    You may even argue MM, as some have, that MM is a ‘herb’ and WoW says herbs are good.

    All these kind of arguments are based on comparison of ‘substance X vs substance Y’ type arguments.

    There is literally, and I do mean LITERALLY infinite permutations of this argument.

    Example: a simple understanding of chemistry (which I’m sure many here have better than I)
    shows that the current popular trend of ‘synthetic’ marijuana is exceedingly difficult for the law to control because as soon as they outlaw one compound smart chemists change one atom and presto a new substance is born.

    I hope we all here agree that the WoW is a hopelessly inept way to define what The Lord wants us to learn from the revelation if its purpose was to give us a list of what to avoid. And I personally don’t expect the prophet to start adding addendums.

    So WoW, what mean ye?

    I personally believe the many talks on this subject given over the decades that the WoW is meant to prepare our bodies for the Holy Spirit to reside. And that when we impair our senses we impair that. I would call this the prime directive if you know Star Trek lingo.

    And, that all commandments come with specific blessings and the WoW is very clear on this point more so than most commandments.

    All else is conjecture of which this is as well.

    Personally, having seen relatives live their lives under the various influence of intoxicants I chose different.

    As a father I decided I would never forgive myself if my kids had an emergency (and all parents know its only a matter of time) and dad couldn’t help them because he’s high and couldn’t feel the spirit to provide the blessing they need if it hit me with a bat.

    But that’s just me.

    I actually support you GD and hope you find what you feel you need to make your life and the lives of your loved ones better.

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  115. GD on May 22, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    An update to all followers of this thread. More than a month has elapsed since I first posted. I had my appointment with the doctor who listened intently to all I have going on in my life, and said “you’re going to have a heart attack”. He went on to discuss the impact of insomnia and stress as it relates to myocardial infarction. He approved my recommendation, and had a lot of good questions about the Church and it’s policies and doctrines. He was very knowledgeable, and stated that in addition to the ability to relax and sleep, the use of cannabis would also significantly reduce the risk of some cancers, foremost among them prostate cancer.

    So, it was off to the dispensary. I purchased some edibles as wel as a few strains of bud. My doc recommended cannabis high in CBDs. I have decided edible candies are the easiest and most convenient for me to use. The bad side of that is I have no control as to which strains are used to make commercially available edibles. Down the road I may experiment with making my own, so as to have control of which medicine is used.

    Is it working? I will answer that with a resounding yes! I have not slept so well in years. I have had a few hiccups with dose amounts, but have that dialed in now. I don’t like the effect of too much medicine, and on a few occassions I accidentally over did it. Furthermore, though the stress relief is tempting sometimes during the day, I have decided that I only like to take medicine before bed. There are a few side effects I don’t care for, chief among them dry mouth. There were some unintended surprise benefits as well. I had trouble at night breathing through my nose. Whatever the issue; whether allergy based or just general inflammation, my air intake is greatly improved. Also, I never had any real sexual disfunction, but that aspect of married life has been significantly enhanced to my surprise. Not that there was any real problem in that area, but it is simply better for both of us.

    Lastly, Craig mentioned that being “high” would possibly cause a disconnect with the Holy Ghost. I can report that the opposite has been true. While using Cannabis, I have felt more connected to God, and more dependant on Him. I think the natural man can get pretty full of himself sometimes. Cannabis has helped me to feel more humble and more compassionate towards others. I would not hesitate for a moment to exercise the priesthood while medicated. I suppose someone could use so much Cannabis that they were utterly stoned to the point of being useless, but that was never my objective. I simply use just enough to sleep well in the late evening, and have found that overall my life has been blessed as a result. Best wishes to all.

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  116. Mom in Arkansas on May 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Fantastic! I’m glad to see that you mentioned an increased closeness with your spouse. My husband and I have also experience more excitement in our marital intimacy when enjoying an herbal dose as a couple. Not only that, but the increased intensity in love and interest for our children. And like you, I agree that some of my most spiritual moments have come from deepened ability to meditate and connect to spiritual power while using cannabis for creative thought.

    I use it to help with my eating disorder. Before I discovered cannabis, I was wasting away from lack of appetite and suffered from anemia- literally, I was living skeleton. But since the desire to eat is increased with cannabis, I have been eating more nutritious meals and gaining healthy weight back. I don’t care what the propaganda says about this incredibly helpful herb… it saved my marriage and saved my life.

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  117. GD on May 29, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    That’s wonderful Mom in AR. On the eating disorder, one of the things I feared was a weight gain because of the infamous marijuana munchies. Because of being overworked, under rested, and a lack of time to exercise, I had gained weight to an all time high at the beginning of the year. Not that I was obese, but certainly heavier than I wanted to be. Before being recommended to use Cannabis, I had worked to lose about 21 lbs. Since using Cannabis, I have actually lost another 4 lbs., and I notice that my appetite is greatly decreased. More than just giving one the munchies, I have begun to think that Cannabis is more of an appetite regulator, working to balance one’s appetite to normal portioning, whether one is under or over eating.

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  118. Dave Donohue on July 12, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I cannot remember the scripture, We know that Our Father hid this continent from view of others. In Lamens terms; Everyone was taught the world was flat. It never was flat but for Gods own purposes everyone was taught that it was.

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  119. Dave D on July 12, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    GD, we should talk,

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  120. Kamijo on July 13, 2013 at 5:48 AM

    I am LDS. I was born and raised in the LDS religion. I currently use marijuana for Depression/Anxiety. When I use marijuana I am able to calm down and allow myself to makes sense of my anger and emotions. I find myself gaining spiritual strength through the ability for my mind to find peace. Medical marijuana has helped me get closer to God.

    I honestly believe its your own personal conviction with the Lord. I don’t feel good about using RX narcotics, but I have no guilt for cannabis. I pray about it, and when I use marijuana, I still have the ability to feel the spirit. To each their own.

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  121. Lynda Rowan on July 25, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    I was told that i would have to quit my use to get my temple recommend. I dont feel that to be a rightful thing to have to do. I refuse to take those chemicals that are in precriptions that also give you other diseases or illnesses. I have experienced this and will not go back to precriiptions. My husband is a great example of this he would of developed diabeties if he would of kept on the statin drugs. He almost killed himself from those ant depresants and anxiety pills. I use medical marijuana and i also use caffiene. Its so much better to know whats going on around me than to being knocked out by those drugs they insist are better. Its all about money thats the big problem with it being illegal. It is an herb that God has given us to use properly as for all of them. I dont feel it is against The Word of Wisdom. m to the point that i feel like lying and saying im not using these things so i can get a reccomend but i cant do that its lying. I was told that when the church says its ok and all states have legaized it then it wold be ok. Doctors in my town wont precfibe it so i must go out of town to get it. Thats not fair either. I wont quit and be in the pain or state of mind i was in with pharmacuticals. I enjoy life too much now to do that.

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  122. El Zorillo on July 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Lynda–I am astounded by what you’re reporting…that someone representing The Lord says you cannot use something that The Lord created for your use. That’s absolutely ludicrous–can you just imagine The Lord Himself sitting there and telling you that? I hardly think so…

    I would ask the next higher authority, and continue up the ladder until you get the right answer…

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  123. Craig on August 15, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    It’s interesting to me how this topic inevitably results in moral equivalency arguments. “Hey it’s better than what the drug companies sell!” Or “it’s just a plant!”. Well so are heroin, cocaine, or any other number of mind altering chemicals. I don’t buy it. Easy to think of so many possible outcomes using this kind of thinking. Ultimately we all must confront reality, not run from it. Some get this faster than others. Good luck to all who try MM first. Just please stay off the roads.

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  124. Open-minded Freethinker on August 19, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Is not everything we put into our body ‘altering’ in some way for better or for worse? Wholesome organic fruit/veggies/herbs, which are healthful and nourishing; VS Sugar-laden consumables and sodium (refined salt), for example, found heavily involved in most processed foods, which are the leading cause for temporal devastation today. Yet more people abuse their bodies with these vices because they accept the reality that is presented to them ignorantly without first exploring other temporal philosophies, thus not contemplating other realities.
    One need not be an expert of scientific discourse to see their epidemic effects on society. So what is best? Blindly accepting the foods and chemical additives the FDA purports to be ‘generally regarded as safe’ or to educate oneself on the many benefits of what God made, rather than what man makes?
    And what is yet best? To believe the media and indoctrination of society at large, along with their politics and agendas? Or to allow the agency of man to rule supreme, affording him the rights granted by God to choose for himself without the affliction of another man’s opinion to judge him or make afraid?
    Justification would have no place were it not for the judgment of another. And who are you to judge another’s opinion and belief? Not that your’s has any less efficacy for your own personal lifestyle and philosophy, but cannot another man be free to form his own perspective of reality? Thus by your implying that “Ultimately we all must confront reality, not run from it.” is only a whispering of your inner understanding of reality- which is obviously limited by your own scope of reference and narrowed by your belief that it is ‘truth’ and therefore must be adhered to by all.
    Is that comment based on ‘your’ reality and perspective of the herb or based on gospel truth?
    He who is without sin may cast the first stone. As for me, if my brother wants to use cannabis to heal his temple- or to defile it- who am I to disregard his method of lifestyle, faith or healing? He is not affecting me by choosing TO use, neither is your choice NOT to use. Therefore, until someone can point out a definite spiritual and temporal danger/destructive tendency that applies to all men in regard to using this herb, it is not law, nor does it violate any word of wisdom unless it proves to cause depreciating consequences to each and every user thereof. To say otherwise would be to say law deviates from case to case and is not constant.Eternal laws do not change, but the opinions of man are finite and ever-changing as new information becomes available so as to alter one’s previous understanding.
    To say it simply: To each his own. What does it matter if someone uses a little cannabis for ailments, for social enjoyment or for enlightened pineal stimulation?
    Is it “against the word of wisdom?” In this writer’s opinion is ‘no’. BUT, “is it lawful in your state or province to be in possession of it” might be a more realistic question as to the morality of using it. Then one must question law? Is it constitutional? Doctrine and Covenants 98:5-7
    What is more evil? Using the herb against the ‘law of the land’ or ‘supporting an unconstitutional law’, further in vs 16, “renounce war and proclaim peace” is clearly stated. So where then does the ‘war on drugs’ fit in? War is war. Division is division. And neither are of God.
    Food for thought- I’d love to hear other opinions on the matter.
    Peace. :)

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  125. Mercedes Chavez on August 26, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Hello Saints! I was just denied my temple recommend point blank. I sat in the Bishop’s office and detailed my life beginning with how I had been abused at an early age and suffered continual abuse until I moved away from my family and lived on my own. I told him that before I joined the church I had experimented with Marijuana,Weed, Pot(many names for this plant) and found that many of my physical, mental, and spiritual ailments had been relieved. I then informed him that I am using Medical Marijuana under the supervision of my Doctor and where did I ‘stand’ in the Church. He stated that in his opinion that he would not give me a Temple Recommend (I was not asking for one) but that my sunday school teaching calling was temporarily not in question (?). I then asked him to point out where I had violated Church WOW. He then pointed to 2 sentences stating if it was illegal or without Doctor supervision that would be a violation. I then began to question his ‘opinion’ which made him uncomfortable so he suggested we continue this conversation with our Ward President. Wish me luck please and pray that ‘opinions’ are left out of church proceedings because it’s the eternal soul that is in question where God is concerned, not our worldy And temporary bodies.

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  126. Use with Judgment and Skill on August 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    He needs to set his ‘opinions’ aside and go by the spirit. Ask him to pray with you. If God is okay with your intentions for use and the Bishop actually listens to the spirit, you’ve nothing to worry about. If he sets his bias above the workings of the spirit then he will ultimately answer to God for trusting in his own philosophy rather than the spirit.

    Our Bishop found out we were ‘using’ via a family member who called from another stake to ‘tattle’. However- It is not legal in our state to use for any reason. We were using it for pain management (along with other Chinese herbs) after some broken bones b/c we refused to treat with narcotics. So we got rid of it all after my husband’s injuries healed. We never lost our recommends b/c we got rid of it before the Bishop confronted us about it. Our bishop goes by the SPIRIT. Though he doesn’t agree with use of MJ, he mostly just had issues with the legality issues of it in our state. I humbly made it clear to him that when it becomes lawful in our state to use for medical reasons, it will be in our medicine cabinet with all of our other herbs and oils to be used with judgment and skill. He did not object under those circumstances, but until it becomes lawful to use for medical reasons in our state he asked that we refrain. We are happy to comply- but now we are more eager to be proactive in legalization.

    Our Bishops knows we are not ‘druggies’ b/c we follow the WOW closer than anyone else he knows. We are very educated people and only want to do what is best for our bodies. For that reason, he simply smiled and said, “You did the right thing in getting rid of it for now.” But when it becomes legal, we will have it available in our home for skilled medicinal use.

    Something to consider here too is this: If your reputation in the ward is not one of superior spiritual positivity, it may make it more difficult for a bishop to side with you. If you’ve not been active, a full tithe payer, or one to volunteer in the service of others anytime the need arises, it may lower the bishop’s personal opinion of you thus making it hard for him to decipher whether or not you’re just trying to justify ‘getting high’ or truly using the herb for medicine. It may not have helped that you ‘detailed your life’ in such a way, because it comes across as desperate and as one who see’s life from a victim’s perspective. As a therapist by profession, generally I see that people who feel the need to over-explain their actions are coming from a justification stance and are seeking for approval to act in ways that do not serve them. Perhaps he felt that your intentions for use were not justified by your past? Perhaps he needs to see a more substantial reason for your present use? Not knowing all the details, no one on this forum can really offer much advice. Good luck.

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  127. Brett on August 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    If it is being used for medicinal purposes and for legitimate reasons, it is none of the Bishop’s business. I don’t have to tell the bishop about my pain management program I’m under. The drugs I use are far more dangerous and addictive than Cannabis will ever be. The only reason I don’t use Cannabis is because it is illegal in my state. If I lived in a legal state, you bet your muffin top I would use it. It works better, has fewer side effects and is very inexpensive if grown at home. I’ve baptized people who were illegal aliens, breaking federal laws. This is more about social stigma and a really ugly pot culture than anything else. I’ve pasted my thoughts below from a document I wrote a while ago. Enjoy!

    Intended use and creation of all herbs according to latter day revelation/scripture, and the Bible

    D&C 89:10-11 – Word of Wisdom
    10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the
    constitution (Constitutional homeopathic prescribing, also called classical prescribing, is a holistic system of medicine that has been practiced for more than 200 years (started around 1800). Constitutional prescribing refers to the selection and administration of homeopathic preparations over a period of time for treatment related to what practitioners call miasmic disorders, those caused by an inherited predisposition to a disease. The term miasmic comes from a Greek word meaning stain or pollution. As in acute prescribing, constitutional prescribing is holistic in that it is intended to treat the patient on the emotional and spiritual levels of his or her being as well as the physical. Constitutional prescribing is also aimed at eventual cure of the patient, not just suppression or relief of immediate symptoms).

    nature (health care – diet, exercise, herbs, hydrotherapy, which allegedly enhances the body’s natural healing powers) and

    use (put here for the benefit and use) of man.

    11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.

    D&C 59:17 (17–20) Intended use and benefits

    17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
    18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
    19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
    20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

    Alma 46:40 – Healing
    40 And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate—

    Moses 2:12 (11–12) – Creation
    11 And I, God, said: Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, the fruit tree yielding fruit, after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself upon the earth, and it was so even as I spake.

    12 And the earth brought forth grass, every herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed should be in itself, after his kind; and I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good;
    Moses (3:5) – God created all things

    We learn in Moses 3:5 that all things including plants, were created spiritually in heaven before they were naturally occurring on the face of the earth.

    Gen. 1:12

    12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    Gen. 1:29
    ¶And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    The Hebrew translation of meat is food, not smoke. Most assume that the only way to use certain herbs is to smoke them. This isn’t the case. Herbs can be consumed through teas, tinctures, eaten raw or juiced and can even be made into salves that are rubbed on the skin. Smoking anything, including an herb isn’t prudent (wisdom in the way of caution and provision; discretion; carefulness)

    1 Tim. 4:4 – Manner of receiving a gift from God
    4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

    It seems that the best medicines are usually the safest; if man allows them.

    Many have and will continue to suffer so they do not break God’s law of obeying and honoring and sustaining the man-made laws of the land.

    Moses 1:10: And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.

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  128. Aaron on September 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    My mother was just told by her Bishop her temple recommend would be taken away if she uses medical marijuana. She is currently taking Percocet and is dizzy and has many side effects from long term use of pharmaceutical medications.

    Why is that ok with the church?

    I have been inactive for years due to my use if medical marijuana. I would come back if I wasn’t breaking the word of wisdom and thought of as a bad person for refusing to take chemical drugs.

    If the federal law is changed and it were legal your state would the church change their stance?

    It’s just a medicinal herb made by God.

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  129. ElZorillo on September 11, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    I’m afraid both you and your mother have been misinformed–medical MJ is not against the word of wisdom. I recommend she appeal that decision…it will be overturned at a higher level–guaranteed (presuming she lives in a state where it’s legal).

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  130. ElZorillo on September 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    To ANYONE (living in an MMJ state or country) who has been told that MMJ will call into question their worthiness (i.e. temple recommend): APPEAL THAT DECISION (it is your right)! It WILL be overturned at a higher level if your need for the medication is real. Could anyone actually imagine The Lord Himself sitting there and telling you that He did not intend for man to use this plant as medicine? Anybody that knows Him very well also knows that He would never say anything like that…

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  131. Brett on September 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    The FDA should be left out of this all together. Many of their tried and true drugs are killing people daily. They won’t grab hold of Cannabis because they will lose money. People would find that it is all they need for many ailments and toss the $300/month worth of pills on the garbage for a plant that can almost effortlessly be grown in the back yard. CBD is what we need more focus on. Not THC. And no,it’s not a wow breaker even if it is illegal. Some pills we take in the US are illegal in other countries. That doesn’t mean that if I go to another country with my “illegal” script I’m in violation of the wow. Geographical boundaries don’t determine if something is against the wow. Read Section 89 and pray about it for yourself.

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  132. Mercedes Chavez on September 20, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    I feel like the main issue is the ‘legality’ of medical marijuana. what about all the illegal stuff our government agencies do on a daily basis. I want to live in a world where people are the priority of everything. I know that the spirit has shown me the way and given me the will. I will not back down from this tyranny against marijuana. This country was once great. Look at who founded the country. Hemp growers and marijuana users if I do recall drafted the Declaration of Independence on hemp. This country may have been founded by marijuana users and it may also be that marijuana users may have to save this country from the evil that would keep vital medicine from those of us who need it and benefit from its use.

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  133. ElZorillo on September 20, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    Perhaps our constitution is hanging by a hemp thread…

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  134. Anon on October 3, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Personally I think that is between you and God. God created Marijuana while he created the earth, therefore it has a purpose. Deciphering that purpose and its intended application is the tough part of it. I know that I have felt very depressed in my life and Marijuana has helped me overcome some challenges and center my mind and heart in a way where I could see the problems which I was needing to overcome. That being said, the darkness in my soul at the time was made clearer through my use. I do not personally believe marijuana is bad at all. I believe that it is misconstrued and feared in our world because of a lack of understanding and irresponsibility of its use. When I read peoples opinions on marijuana who have not gone through what I have or even used the plant in any way it really seems silly the things they will say. Marijuana can do much good, but It can also do much harm in the wrong hands and when used inappropriately or in a manner that halts progression in your life. You see, I believe its not the plant that’s evil, It’s the individuals who use it to accomplish selfish and evil purposes. Many of these evil abuses stem directly from the Prohibition of the plant. Marijuana really can be a blessing. People are going to hate my opinion, but I know it’s true in my heart. By the way, I am a Latter Day Saint, and I’m not judging you or advising you. I’m only sharing my experience. I do not smoke Marijuana at this time in my life.

    The stigma is really sad… that’s why we must remain anonymous.

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  135. craig on October 14, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    God also created the Opium poppy, the Cocoa bush, Psilocybin (mushrooms), and, I suppose, the methamphetamine molecule. Does God ‘making’ something mean it is good for you?

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  136. ElZorillo on October 14, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Craig…well, no thing is “good” or “bad” in and of itself. But if God created it, then you can be sure that there is a good reason and, at the very least, one “good” use of it. So that would include Cannabis, Opium, Coca, and Psylosibin. Now God did not directly create the methamphetamine molecule, so you can’t quite make that same argument (that there must be at least one “good” use of it). However you may be interested to know that methamphetamine is available in an FDA approved, “pharmaceutical” form. It is indicated for treatment of narcolepsy and, in extreme cases, for “necessary” sleep deprivation (e.g. Air Force pilots on extremely long missions). It is also used “off label” (but by prescription) for ADD.

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  137. wendy on November 17, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    I stumbled onto this thread because I am an active LDS member that struggles every day with the desire to eliminate pain. So much so that I tend to over medicate because I enjoy being numb. And this, I believe, is my REAL problem. This article and comment thread is very focused on justifying why one numbing agent is more acceptable than others, socially speaking. On the topic of Marijuana, if I have to smoke it… I feel it is against the WOW. There are zero forms of smoking, other than BBQ, that have ever been deemed acceptable. Now, you put the same “herbal remedies” in a pill or powder that can be ingested, I bet you get a lot more acceptance. But I have heard from smokers that these forms are not as potent, probably because inhalation goes from your lungs right into your blood stream.

    So what is the real issue… PAIN. Real or perceived, physical or emotional, it is what we are all trying to get rid of. Are there other, non-chemical, ways of getting rid of pain. Yes, but they require effort. So here I am, happily married with 3 awesome children, loving my job and my life, but at bedtime I have the overwhelming desire to be chemically unconscious. My pain is real to me. I have bursitis in both of my shoulders, which makes finding a comfortable sleeping position really hard. I am also severely anemic, which makes me ache all over, all the time. My family doctor is a lovely person, but getting the numbing meds has been impossible. So I buy a bottle of Vodka and drink every night until the bottle is gone, usually about a week later. Yes, my husband knows about this. Then I lament my unrighteousness for several weeks, all the while knowing that I should be pouring my soul out to the Bishop, until I give in and buy another bottle. Even if I stop the drinking completely, I will still seek out ways to be without pain.

    Is repentance going to take away my physical pain? Probably not. Is my joy at being worthy to hold my recommend going to offset my unholy desires? I would say, sure during the daytime, but I doubt it at night. So where do I stand? I don’t want to lose my standing as a “good person” in my small LDS town. I know that I am prejudging my Bishop, but I am scared to take the next step. Part of me wants to remain a secret sinner and take it up with God in the next life, but I don’t know how that would turn out either. Anyway, thanks for listening.

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  138. Mercedes Chavez on November 19, 2013 at 3:10 AM

    Just to let everyone know that I did ask that there be some discussion on the matter of my temple recommend, but that never happened. What did happen was that when I spoke to my Bishop again he changed his mind and said that I was eligible for my temple recommend. So here I am to let you know that truth is positive. By letting everyone at church know who and what I am about I am now free of secrets and a great burden was lifted. Do not give up hope. Do not accept tyranny in any form. Do not live in fear.

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  139. Elzorillo on November 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Mercedes:

    I haven’t posted in a while, but if you go back in the thread–I think like in the 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s (referring to the. # of the posting) I had been strongly encouraging several people to do exactly what you have done, confident that they would get the results that you have…

    Congratulations on your forthrightness, as well as on the positive results that ensued…

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  140. New Iconoclast on November 27, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Somebody linked back to this, hence some more recent comments…

    I agree with Hawkgrrrl above (#3); in essence, I’m shocked that anyone would be denied baptism for use of a prescribed (not proscribed) medication, whether it’s legal in Utah or not. Could that person go to California or Washington or Colorado and be baptized? How about if they came to Minnesota and took the pill form rather than smoking the bud, like my friend who recently beat cancer (with stem cells!) but used it for her nausea during her chemo period?

    It seems clear to me that our objection to marijuana is a cultural hangover from too many years of ingesting all of the horse manure the government puts out about the alleged “harms” of pot, none of which has much basis in fact (especially when compared to alcohol). The War on Drugs, which has made many careers in federal law enforcement and many fortunes in prison construction and private corrections management, is too lucrative to give up simply because it’s based on myth. And it hinges on marijuana prosecutions and convictions.

    I think the anesthesiologist Mike refers to at the end of his post should have recommended, instead of wine, a pint of ale – historically accepted by the Church as “barley for mild drinks” until the US enacted Prohibition in 1920

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  141. Elzorillo on November 27, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Marijuana is the fruit of a plant…alcohol is the excrement of an animal…

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  142. Nathan Lane on December 2, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    The reason I am against medical marijuana is that the benefits offered from smoking are relatively low when compared to a prescribed concentrated pill form. These can be obtained by recognized approved doctors and are not illegal to buy, from the state or the Federal government.

    I am not for denying membership to anyone wanting to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is not my position or calling but I will support those that strive to fulfill their offices and callings. I believe in the spirit of revelation and that a man must be called of God as was Aron anciently. If a leader works to fulfill their calling and works with the spirit then I support them.

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  143. Lane on December 2, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Marijuana is great for the body, so is tobacco, camp fire smoke, burning tires and sucking on the exhaust of a vehicle is great as well. I can NOT believe all the judgmental people here criticizing our rights to do what we think is best.

    It amazes me that a Bishop would judge! Who does he think he is?

    This is my attempt at sarcasm. PLESE let me be clear, this is a branch of the gospel there is greater safety closer to the trunk.

    I feel that after reading through these posts that I have a greater understanding of what is meant by the philosophies of man mingled with scripture.

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  144. Brett on December 3, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    It’s not meant to be smoked. Plain and simple. We always look at good, better, and best ways to do things. Smoking isn’t even a good way. We use Passion flower extract in my home to calm down my wife instead of Xanax. If Passion flower were made illegal by the government, I guess we would break the word of wisdom when using it? Xanax is legal and enslaves millions. Point is, cannabis can be used in the same way, not to excess and definitely not smoked. It’s safer than pain medication, benzodiazepines, and even safer than your common Tylenol. One point of the word of wisdom is damage control to our bodies which promotes safety from the adversary. I’d take a brownie any day over a highly addictive oxycodone. For now, I’ll obey the law and keep taking the oxycodone so I can be in good standing…….

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  145. BY: Mercedes-Chavez on January 8, 2014 at 5:55 AM

    Nathan Lane! What in the heck is your defect? Government is the one peddling all the crappy addictive substances on us already! They run the drugs in and out of the country and dominate our lives through unlawful taxes and unjust laws! And you want me to get my vital medication from those demons?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
    Something is wrong with you! Seriously, wake up man, wake up already! its not too late buddy, I can pray for you but in the end its your choice to deal in the reality of the life and not in the big daddy government facade you are referring to. Look up the term DEMOCIDE, you will learn a great deal. You should not be trusting a government system that has continually lied to us about everything and it seems anything they do no want us to know. Like; they run the drugs, they profit of the criminalization of the public by illegal and insane laws and taxes, the government is a fraud run by foreign banker and the families that control them. Wake up all the Nathan Lanes of the world and get our country back and our rights to think for ourselves. If not you are going to have this Nathan Lane drivel for the rest of your lives, and its only getting worse. If you give into tyranny it only gets worse>>>look at history folks, dont believe me, look at history, look at what is being declassified from the government showing the corruption and lies and cover ups that has gone on for a long, long time. I will keep learning myself and I hope to be sane enough to pass information along to others so that we will prevail in this lifetime and not when we are dead. PS Happy New Year!!!

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  146. craig smith on January 11, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    I have some room for agreement with those who argue for medical marijuana for chronic conditions like seizures, etc.. There is some research that indicates benefits. But can those who advocate for medical access to pot also agree that what is going on in Washington and Colorado has NOTHING to do with medical benefits and EVERYTHING to do with people wanting to get high? Also, as one who works in a high tech industry where our products directly affect the safety of the public, do you really want me toking up?

    Perhaps surprisingly, the research on pot is very incomplete. But what is coming through does not bode well for the effects of pot on the developing brain and other issues. Links below.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827091401.htm

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216080454.htm

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131121125855.htm

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619132536.htm

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  147. ElZorillo on January 13, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Craig:

    I will certainly concede your point about Washington and Colorado. Regarding the overwhelming lack of research, you need to realize that since the passing of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, and the classifying of Marijuana within “Schedule I” thereof (in the early 1970′s), it is virtually impossible to conduct a study which sets out to document any beneficial effect. It is possible, but very difficult, to obtain FDA approval for a study if, and only if, it is designed to document a detrimental effect. Of the few that have been thus conducted, a majority either did not confirm the original hypothesis or even contradicted it. Aggressive research is being conducted elsewhere–most notably in Israel– and most is supportive of Marijuana’s beneficial effects.

    Big pharma does not want this drug legalized as it will cut into their sales of pain, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressive agents. Big government does not want this drug legalized because it will be left with a butt-load of empty jail cells and bloated corrections staffs. Big (i.e. organized) crime does not want this drug legalized, for obvious reasons.

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  148. Craig smith on January 15, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Well reasoned comments. Can’t say I disagree with them. You know if I thought everyone using marijuana was sitting in their home relaxing and eating pizza much of my personal feelings about paving the way for it to grow in use would be mitigated. The problem is I have to go out on the freeway with the clowns who think it’s no big deal to put me and my family at risk. For some reason in my relatively small circle of acquaintances I have known two individuals who got drunk and ended up killing people as a result. It seems counter intuitive to legalize another intoxicant that is sure to drive similar results. Heck maybe even worse as marijuana is so ubiquitous in the rising generation. My own kids assure me that getting it is much easier than getting alcohol. As we now await the local marijuana stor to be opened up a short distance from our home–yes it has been approved—I wonder what kind of message we are sending the young people who undoubtedly are thinking “hey now I can cure my glaucoma!”. I suppose I don’t reject MM but what is happening now is not about MM. and it’s not like even MM users are going to a pharmacy to get this stuff. Next to come is the slew of lawsuits “I got some bad stuff from that dude and was in the hospital 3 days!”. Call me dubious about the expectation that all this results in a net positive.

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  149. Jenkins on January 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I have a couple of comments. First, while I don’t have the studies in front of me there are those who feel that with the legalization of cannabis the use of alcohol is dropping. This includes drunk driving. And I don’t care how politically incorrect it is but driving stoned is not the same as driving drunk. It does not affect a person in the same way. Anyone that says it is just as bad as drunk driving hasn’t smoked out.
    Second, why should I have to prove there are medical benefits to cannabis use? People do a lot of stupid stuff that is legal. Coke, candy, aspartame and the list goes on and on. Why are these legal and cannabis illegal? Money. That is the only reason. Until we as a country start to understand that government is corrupt and the media is dishonest we will continue to lose our rights.
    Third, legalizing cannabis is not about medical reasons for most people, it’s about me doing something that I want to do and no one else has a good reason that I shouldn’t do it. And no one has the right to stop me from doing something that I find very healthy and helpful in my life.

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  150. ElZorillo on January 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    History has proven repeatedly that any effort on the part of government to enforce morality will not only be futile and a waste of money, but also will result in the accumulation of wealth by black market profiteers who, in most cases (and certainly in that of the illicit drug trade), will wreak havoc and violence on society. Just think–of the “overall” drug problem, which is the more menacing and threatening part…the “high” people or the violent crime committed either by addicts pursuing revenues for their high priced drugs or by dealers and other cartel “worker bees” warring over turf. With the stroke of a pen the latter could be all but eliminated, not to mention that untold billions of dollars–currently wasted on a war that cannot be won–could be put to other and better uses. In fact, those funds would be augmented by the revenues generated through taxing the now legal activity. Perhaps this is why even attempting to legislate morality is far outside of the purview of government (as envisioned by our founding fathers).

    Here are the “parties” most opposed to legalization: 1) Big Government (they need to keep those jail cells full and to pay those bloated corrections staffs; 2) Big Pharma (they need to keep us addicted to their pills); and 3) organized crime (the illicit drug trade is a major source of revenue). With those three groups united in their desire to keep drugs “illegal”, it would seem intuitive to me that the “proper” stance to adopt would be the opposite.

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  151. Teodor Kasabov on January 26, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    There’s nothing wrong in using marijuana even if it’s smoked: “With respect to the development of the lung cancer we found NO evidence of ANY increased risk of lung cancer occurrence in association with marijuana smoking alone. Marijuana smokers, IF ANYTHING, had a REDUCED risk for developing a lung caner. Not a significantly reduced, BUT reduced: less than one-fold, so that means REDUCED!

    WHEREAS THE TOBACCO SMOKERS had a REMARKABLY INCREASED RISK. If those who smoke more than TWO PACKS A DAY had a TWENTY-FOLD INCREASE IN THE RISK: that’s TWO THOUSAND PERCENT! Those who smoke from one to two packs a day had a EIGHT-FOLD increased risk: with 800%!

    So that contrasts with NO INCREASED RISK, if any, with SLIGHTLY REDUCED risk for the marijuana smokers.

    THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the ingredient consisted in the plant marijuana) actually has an ANTI-TUMORAL EFFECT…” — Donald Tashkin, MD

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  152. ElZorillo on January 26, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Teodor:

    You make an excellent point; and the study that you cite is among those to which I alluded above (post #147). Perhaps you’re already aware of this, but an excellent read is “Marijuana Gateway to Health” by Clint Werner, which discusses that particular study as well as many others. As I had mentioned, and is explained in the book, per United States law it is impossible to get FDA approval for a controlled study of Marijuana unless the hypothesis to be proved involves some DETRIMENTAL effect of MJ. The study you referenced actually set out to document a correlation between smoking MJ and incidence of lung cancer. Although the results IMPLY that MJ even protects against lung cancer, the only statement that the researchers could conclusively make regarding their results was that there was no positive correlation between smoking MJ and incidence of lung cancer (as you pointed out).

    Of course, outside of the US and away from those bizarre regulations that preclude research into the positive effects of MJ, much research has been done–most notably in Israel, Spain, and Korea. One study after another confirms that using MJ–even via smoke inhalation–is both protective and curative with respect to many health concerns, including (but not limited to) cancer in many forms as well as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and seizures.

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  153. Fred Schwartz on January 31, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    Mike S. Great assessment and rationales on the subject of Rx cannabis! In answer to your questions. The main yank with med-weed and the WOW is the mode of operandi. Are you smoking it, including vaporizing oils etc., or are you ingesting the medicine? It also depends on the strain, whether it’s a sativa or indica, because of the different therapeudic versus psychotropic cannabinoids. It’s also in a very raw form unlike prescription drugs. If people had to go out and pick poppies or coca leaves and convert them into pill form you would have a lot less abuse. There are synthetic pill forms of THC such as Sativex and marinol but are ineffective.

    3) Marijuana is addictive. Not sure where you got your statistics but most of the users I know do it regularly even daily and I believe like anything moderation is the key. However to say it is not addictive might be a stretch.

    4) Marijuana is stronger today. false! Forty years ago I lived in Central Washington so we got all our pot out of Seattle. We could buy Acapulco Gold, Colombian, Maui Wowie, Thai Sticks, and all kinds of Hash and Sensemilla. Again moderation is the key.

    And there is no such thing as a prescription, that would require FDA approval. Dr Craker of the University of Massachusetts has been trying to get a permit to grow marijuana for his federal research. NIDA is currently the only organization slated to grow pot and with the help of the DEA it remains the only legal source for cannabis to conduct any research with. What most patients get is an authorization which gives them the right to grow it or join a collective.

    In answer to your question, “If it were legal in your state would you use it?” It is and I do, however, Federal Law trumps State Law so is it really legal, for recreational or medical use, in Colorado or Washington? I was addicted to painkillers for 10 years following a bout with cancer. I finally figured out that the side effects ie; constipation, nausea, low libido, low energy, were making it worse than my qualifying condition IP (Intractable or Chronic Pain). When my Dr. finally retired I stopped the pills and started relying on Rx-Cannabis. After my re-activation into the Church I am still faced with the “temple interview” and pretty much can guess what the bishop or stake pres. will say, and that is, “Any mind altering drug, especially those deemed illicit by society such as marijuana, and especially if you smoke it.

    My opinion is if you are using the herb, it’s actually classified as a weed, medically, in an edible or ingested form with very high therapeudic versus psychotropic properties, the Word of Wisdom should allow it just as it allows other so-called medicines.

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  154. ElZorillo on January 31, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Fred: I cannot imagine why medicinal cannabis use would even come up in the temple recommend interview. The question simply is “Do you keep the Word of Wisdom”…if your use is medicinal, then your answer would simply be “Yes (next question?” as it would simply be “Yes” if you were likewise controlling your pain with prescribed narcotics…no need to go into detail; nor has the interviewer any right to pry further upon your responding with “Yes”…

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  155. Fred Schwartz on January 31, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    ELZorillo I guess society with it’s “reefer madness mentality” has got people, especially mormons, paranoid. I feel I have to be totally honest in any interview and I believe honestly that ‘pot’ is a drug, just like coffee or caffeine based teas and sodas. If marijuana is OK why is it so taboo to talk about in the church? Are we all just victims of the times? I can’t deny that sometimes I just need a caffeine boost or want to get ‘high’. The interpretation is all in whether or not the substance you are using is done for recreational or medicinal purposes. The key is the real intention. I’ve lived in Utah, (Springville) and found it ironic to see all the people at 7-Eleven in the a.m. filling up their big gulps like non-members fill their giant coffee cups. But then the soda drinkers subsequently are given leniency in their temple interviews because drinking coke and other caffeine based drinks are supposedly against the WOW. I believe that if any drug, regardless of it’s connotation, is being used therapeutically and not as a hallucinogenic drug, we should all have the right to choose our own medicine.

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  156. Dave Y. on February 9, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Can’t See The Flowers For The Weeds

    I just stumbled upon this website and found most of the posts very insightful and informative. I’m not a bishop or doctor but because I have a medical condition myself, I thought I would put my two cents in. Frankly I’m a little tired of all the recent fervor over pot since the passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado and Initiative 502 in Washington, but my wife and I have had some good conversations lately. I say good because I have an authorization to use medical marijuana for some post traumatic surgery and started using the medicine recently not to augment my opiates, but to wean myself off them entirely. This created somewhat of a conundrum because my wife works with local youth in drug prevention programs. As a matter of fact she just returned from D.C. where she was attending a national convention sponsored by CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) and the big topic at the convention was of course the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington and it’s potential effect on our youth. The kids she sponsored told her that since marijuana became legal for recreational use, at least in Washington, that more students are using pot and downplaying the harmful effects.

    I have a degree in horticulture so I cultivate the marijuana outdoors myself and frankly sometimes it’s hard to find the ‘Flowers for the Weeds’. Colorado and Washington’s Amendment 64 and Initiative 502 did nothing but discredit both state’s current medical cannabis laws by lumping recreational adult pot use with liquor. imposing per se limits on driving buzzed, similar to liquor, sealed the fate, at least in Washington for the original Compassionate Care Act of 1998. And now here in 2014 we are further off from legitimizing marijuana as medicine as we were since the passage of the Controlled Substance Act of 1971. I predict that in years to come the uneducated voters or legislature will erradicate medical marijuana completely in both maybe all states.

    California, who grows and dispenses the most Sensemilla out of all the states, can’t even pass legislation legalizing it’s own product. Colorado and Washington, even though passing recent legislation legalizing marijuana for recreational adult use, stands to be trumped by federal ‘Supremacy Law’. Additionally individual counties or communities, within the legalized states, can vote through local government to ban the state sanctioned stores all together until the feds sort out the whole mess.

    Without reliable research and scientific evidence supporting the therapeutic value and defining any impairment issues (per se limits) citizens will continue to labor under the delusion that cannabis is a schedule I drug. Meanwhile alcohol and Rx drug related problems don’t seem to be as big a deal as all the new marijuana controversy.

    The issues that convolute the whole picture are: 1) the youth factor, 2) the contradiction between state and federal law, and 3) (Which is the biggest in my opinion); is regulating and imposing penalties on marijuana similar to liquor. In the meantime the for-profit, illegal dispensaries that continue to rampantly spread, represent the WEEDS to me. Supporters of I-502 want to reign in the collectives (RCW 69.51A) and regulate medical marijuana under I-502′s same guidelines. Those Collectives and Patients who legitimately need and use marijuana for medical purposes, and represent the FLOWER to me, will gradually be choked out by the recreational market. So in actuality, even though we’ve started supposedly legalizing pot, we haven’t, and we are no further ahead on the “war or drugs” or legitimizing ‘Cannabis’ as medicine, than we were 40 years ago.

    The only good thing emerging out of all the smoke is the recent CBD cannabinoid studies and the development of the therapeutic strains over or in combination with the psychotropic ones, which I hope could eventually be developed into pill form, that could potentially be as or more effective than current Rx drugs. At this point IMHO any ‘Word of Wisdom’ issues would be a moot point.

    Note: By the way vaporizing is just another form of smoking, not ingestion.

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  157. Craig on February 21, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Well you are right. Much like the righteous indignation of the masses is being overtaken by the extremists in many countries currently the advocates of medical MJ find their cause stolen from them by the “a bong in every home and every car” crowd. Heck if you even tried to profile the typical pot user just reading this blog, for example, you’d think it’s just the couple next door sitting down to relax with a joint while watching reruns of Antiques Roadshow. Well. Can we all just admit now that has no resemblance to the real world? I mean, what did you think would happen? On the day the measure passed in Washington state, our downtown plaza in Seattle was filled with several hundred stoned young people that created a haze so dense I thought I was back in a wasatch front cold air inversion barely able to see my feet. You know, the pot and booze flowing to a chorus of P-A-R-T-Y and that’s the picture. I thought about the police that surrounded them, not doing anything to prevent it of course (this is Seattle after all), the business owners who suffered from nobody coming through their doors, and all the families, like mine, watching on TV this place we used to feel safe and family friendly thinking in concert “well we aren’t going their anymore”. Yeah. If it really was Oz and Harriet watching TV and getting high— fine. But I’m on the freeways with these idiots and so are you.

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  158. Dave Y. on February 22, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Another word to go along with P-A-R-T-Y is: A-B-U-S-E. Anytime there is a viable medication that can cure multiple symptoms there will always be the “Hey ya wanna get high” group who ruin the medical aspects of that drug due to their over-use or over indulgence. I hear people complaining of migraines, lost appetite, low libido, joint pain (no pun intended) and multiple other symptoms and I tell them “Try medical grade cannabis”. They look @ me like are you crazy? Then go on to explain how their spouse/significant other, members of their church and other people at work and in society might look down on them. So I tell them “Well here is your alternative; pay money to go see a regular RX doctor, or other supposed medical professional dressed in a white lab smock, who’s sole existence lies in the pockets of the ‘Big Pharmas’ and have them prescribe a synthetic medication with side effects that; tie a big knot in the back of your neck, bind up your bowels, reduces your sexual drive, causes nausea and really doesn’t cure but only masks the pain”. In addition to those side effects the drug itself may kill you (if you take more than prescribed) and IMHO end up becoming worse, if you figure in the addiction potential, than the actual pain or condition you are trying to cure. Plus, it’s only available at local drugstores and could end up being very expensive. Wouldn’t you want to try something that may stop your headaches, increase your appetite, boost your libido, and dis-associate your mind away from the pain, has no record of anyone ever actually overdosing directly and that you can grow yourself?

    No brainer for me. But at the time being I have to abstain from Rx-Cannabis because a company (Federally run) I’m interviewing for a job with does pre-employment and random drug screening (UA’s). It’s a little absurd since I live in a State where it’s legal..

    Totally different subject but basically the FDA and NIDA both need overhauling…….

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  159. ElZorillo on February 22, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    Right on Dave Y.!!!

    My only comment back at you is “What’s your health and well being worth relative to a job?” You know what’s good for you…and it sure sounds to me like working for that company would NOT be…

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  160. Lynda Rowan on February 22, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    I fully agree with your post this is the truth and i live it. I am up front with all in my branch and tell them i will not change because God gave it to me and it is natural and i have no side effects from it. I have been addicted to RX drugs and will not go there again. Yes there are some that are ok but only for a small amount of time. I wish to go to the temple but if this keeps me from it then i will not go. It is man that will keep me from Gods Temple not God

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  161. Dave Y. on February 23, 2014 at 3:38 AM

    ELZorillo
    The company I’m applying for is a military based shipyard and In answer to your question, my health means more to me than you can possibly imagine, but so does contributing to the household, and like my mom use to say “sometimes you just have to bite the bullet”. It’s a travesty that big companies and government entities advocate a ‘Drug Free Workplace’ and will fire or not hire someone who has smoked one joint a few days earlier based on a non-negative UA, yet someone who has binge drank the whole weekend and shows up for work totally hung over, or someone who pops pills like popcorn maybe even at work, and pulls the same non-negative UA but only gets a slap on the wrist, well that’s life. My medical authorization for Rx Cannabis makes chronic grade weed available to me, however, just because something is available doesn’t neccessarily make it ‘Right’, at least for that person. My medical condition is by no means as serious as someone with AIDS or terminal cancer, but if it were, but if I knew my days were numbered you can bet your sweet bippy I would be sitting on the bank of some lake or on an ocean beach in my Adirondack chair listening to a little Van Morrison, breathing a little campfire smoke, but breathing more cannabis smoke, while watching the end of my fishing pole versus laying in a hospital, confined to a bed, watching TV while staring down the end of a needle filled with morphine. Right now however, it’s ‘Delay Graitfication’ until I hear back on whether or not I got the job!

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  162. Sam Moser on March 21, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    The Holy Scriptures is very clear in the book of Genesis that God gave man all plants bearing seed as food for man and that includes Marijuana, Coca and Opium Poppy. However the Bible condemns “pharmakeia” which means “pharmacy” including the medicines in Galations where “pharmakeia” or “pharmacy” is translated as Witchcraft in the King James Bible. Pharmakeia meaning pharmacy is listed in Galations as one of the works of the flesh for which those practicing such will not enter into the Kingdom of God but yet almost no Christian denominations are condemning the sorceries of their medical practitioners and people calling themselves Christians are putting their trust in the witchdoctors the medical practitioners instead of putting their trust in the Almighty YEHOVAH God and His Son YESHUWA Mighty God who are God for their health and well being. God will heal anyone who fervently prays and asks for healing in prayer who does not also put their trust in the modern day witchdoctors the medical practitioners. In Revelations it says that the Whore Babylon the Great is deceiving the nations with “pharmakeia” or “pharmacy” and that all those practicing “pharmacy” or “pharmakeia” will be thrown into the lake of fire. The King James Version translates “pharmakeia” in Revelation as “sorcery” but “pharmakeia” means “pharmacy” and that is all the medicines including other things like chemical lotions and creams and makeup sold by pharmacies. Chemically altering Coca to make Cocaine is pharmakeia but Coca tea is cook. Smoking marijuana and cigarettes allows demons to enter the body through the deep breaths but juicing the leaves of Marijuana is good and a nice big glass of Marijuana juice is excellent. Chemically altering Opium Poppy to isolate Codeine and Morphine is also pharmakeia as is the chemically altered Heroine derived from Opium Poppy but consuming the sap of Opium Poppy Seed pods is good because Genesis says that God has given man all plants bearing seed as food. After the death of YESHUWA on the cross an apostasy crept into the Christian Church when State ran Christianity happened through the Roman Catholic Church. God’s plants given to man as food began to be labeled falsely as drugs and concoctions created through chemistry began to be accepted by people calling themselves Christians as pagans converted and the truth of the Greek word “pharmakeia” which means “pharmacy” was hidden from the people. Now almost all Christian Churches teach lies about God’s plants and medicine because they are apostate. The truth is that all plants bearing “seed” (The capacity to reproduce) were given to man as food in the book of Genesis but concoctions and substances created through chemistry is condemned in the Holy Scriptures as WITCHCRAFT and SORCERY the words used in substitute for PHARMAKEIA or PHARMACY.

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  163. peter b. on March 21, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Bob,

    I tried really hard to like what you had to say, the problem for me is your stream of conscious writing style. I bet that if you took time to edit your post it may allow others like me to better understand your belief system.

    There are several blanket statements used in your post. I suggest that you consider that not all of God’s children are a homegenious group of beings. What you have posted may feel true to you, but to tell all of God’s children that your specific interpretation of holy writ is the only correct one.

    I wish you a good day and hope that this feedback is a positive thing.

    -peter

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  164. ElZorillo on March 21, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Sam makes a number of interesting points; however, when you consider that the words of living prophets are “Holy Scripture” every bit as much as the Bible (except more accurate), many of them fall apart. Latter Day prophets have clearly stated that advances in medicine have come forth through the Light of Christ; and were the use of pharmaceutical products tantamount to the practice of witchcraft–or in any other way displeasing to Heavenly Father–then they (latter day prophets) would have taught us so.

    Sam, you are correct to say that Marijuana was given to benefit man, but to say that inhaling Marijuana smoke is a conduit for evil spirits to possess our souls…well, that’s just wrong; and it comes across as wacky…

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  165. Sam Moser on March 21, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Please name these “later day prophets” and where to find what they have written. And if it conflicts the writings of Galatians and Revelation that clearly states pharmakeia as wicked then I suggest your “latter day prophets” are actually apostate and “false prophets”. You can conclude that what I posted about deep inhalation or “drags” off a joint or cigarette as being a conduit for demons to enter the body as sounding “wacky” if you like. But I must remind you that YESHUWA’s own family accused him of having mental illness after he returned from fasting in the wilderness. Revelation has revealed to me that a fart is a demon thinking and a belch is a demon talking and a sneeze is a demon fleeing and a yawn in is a demon entering and a yawn out is a demon leaving and the belly growling is a demon angry. All these things that have been called biologically “normal” are actually abnormal and would not take place if it were not for the demons. Chemistry puts people under the power of demons and that is why pharmakeia is condemned in the Bible.

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  166. peter b. on March 21, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Bob you may need to see a psychiatrist. Your claims are erroneous and so far off-base I don’t even know where to start. I’m sure your beliefs would have been accepted by the witch burners in Salem, but back here in the real world your comments reflect nothing more than your true identity as a TROLL.

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  167. Sam Moser on March 21, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Andrew S., recommending someone see a psychiatrist is the same as sending someone to a witch. See my posts regarding pharmakeia. Also look up my article on the internet called “Psychiatry Kills Documented Proof Psychiatric Drugs Shorten Lifespan” by the name I used of “Shemuwel Antoine Moser”.

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  168. peter b. on March 21, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    I would like to post a bit of coincidental info regarding Mr. Sam Moser. Before I post this I want Sam to know that there will be rest when this journey is done, but hopefully you will find your own peace in this life. Follow this web address to learn more and to better understand Sam. http://www.masonicinfo.com/Moser.htm

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  169. peter b. on March 21, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    In my first response following Sam’s post I mistakenly identified Sam as “Bob” sorry for the confusion.

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  170. Sam Moser on March 21, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    The Freemason named Ed King who runs the “masonicinfo” site thinks he can bully me into silence by leading people to false conclusions about me or drive me to using a handle on the internet instead of using my name openly. I refuse to be bullied by the Freemasons and I suspect you yourself are a Freemason for posting this defamation link. I do not have to justify myself to you or anyone else. I am a slave of the Almighty Father YEHOVAH God and His Son YESHUWA Mighty God who are God. I am a true prodigal son that YEHOVAH is using as His slave so that someday he may call me His Son. Freemasonry is demonism and the Cyber Bully named Ed King the Freemason’s motivation for putting that defamation page on the internet regarding me that leads people to false conclusions about me is just angry that I expose Freemasonry as demonism. Freemasonry’s Knights Templar has a false Messiah now they call “Lord Ra-El” who says many lies like adultery is not having sex with someone who is not your mate but rather having a child “outside your bloodline” by another race. This so called “Lord Ra-El” shows just how Nazi race purity oriented Freemasonry is who destroyed my marriages to women from the Philippines. “Lord Ra-El” is a Freemason con game and a trick of Israel Government and even the USA Government have been in on this so called “Lord Ra-El” who says he is YESHUWA returned.

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  171. Andrew S on March 21, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    I have no idea what is going on in this conversation, so we’re going to close the post.

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