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TEEN ISSUES-----drugs and alcohol

DORTY Posted - 19 June 2000 16:07

With a drug such as marijuana... not dangerous. What exactly is the problem?

I understand this is a gateway drug... but I don't think that it necessarily leads to worse.

Besides, is there a Torah prohibition? I've heard that the kohanim used to use some form of "weed" in their service in the Bais Hamikdash... is this possible?

MODERATOR Posted - 29 June 2000 19:33

Rav Moshe ZTL prohibits marijuana under the any or all of following Halachos:

1) It harms the health – even if it is not deadly.

2) It hinders your ability to do Mitzvos – I assume he means when you are high or addicted.

3) It causes pain to your parents

4) It is prohibited to cultivate “taavos” (desires, drives, urges, needs – something like that), and the person pursuing behavior that may lead to addiction violates this.

-- Igros Moshe, YD III:35

Weed in the Bais HaMikdosh? Nah.

You can check out all the reports of health problems etc. caused by marijuana at

But I often find that greater than the damage of addiction, is the social damage and psychological changes that kids smoking weed endure. Because it is illegal and unaccepted – whether it should or shouldn’t be – the dealers as well as the users are often low and unsavory characters. So kids get involved with the wrong crowd.

They also look at themselves differently. Somehow, our society looks at people who use drugs, even weed, in a different “category" as those who don’t (again, irregardless of whether they should not), and the kids who use begin to see themselves as “different” than they were before, as opposed to merely performing a different act (i.e. smoking up).

They begin to identify with a different social group than they did before, and begin to relate to people and groups that they would not relate to previously. They begin to look at themselves differently, and because they hear so much negative talk about drug users, their self-image is lowered. Whereas previously the guy was simply “Alex”, now he is “Alex who smokes weed”. Once he locks himself into that self-image, he is at risk for more than just fried brain cells.

Spice boy Posted - 01 January 2001 16:31

Which is really worse for you - weed or alcohol?

MODERATOR Posted - 01 January 2001 16:55

I once heard a good answer to this question" "It depends how you want to die."

Even one instance of alcohol poisoning can kill you. And there have been kids who have choked to death on their own vomit after getting drunk, passing out and then throwing up in their sleep. Long term use of alcohol can cause or exacerbate liver damage, brain damage, heart disease, and cancers.

Smoking pot regularly can cause mouth, throat, and lung cancers, and can double your chances of getting head and neck cancer.

More people die from alcohol abuse each year than from all drug abuse - of which weed is a small percentage, but that statistic, though often quoted, does not say much about which is more dangerous. Since more people abuse alcohol than drugs (alcohol is legal), of course more people will die from it. We need to know what percentage of users and abusers died from weed or alcohol, and I have not found data on that.

It is kind of weird, though, that you can go out to a bar and legally get yourself drunk as a dog, but if you smoke a joint you break the law...

21 Posted - 03 January 2001 20:43

Earlier you posted the psak of R Moshe why marijuana is assur. The reasons he brought would also apply to alcohol, no?

MODERATOR Posted - 03 January 2001 22:38

Well, in moderation it's not harmful to your health, it may not give your parents pain, it will not hinder your doing Mitzvos, so looks like an issur would only apply if you drink excessively.

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