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What's wrong with smoking weed?

What’s wrong with smoking weed?

Although legal barriers holding back cannabis are dissolving before our eyes, many of us in the industry still face skepticism from others in our business and social circles. The perception still exists that recreational cannabis use is somehow immoral. The morality of recreational drug use is a very interesting topic in itself and one that many of us have inchoate views on. But what exactly are the different arguments against the morality of recreational drug use? And are they any good?

The links below analyze and criticize some of the major arguments against recreational drug use. They make excellent bedtime or bathroom reading! The second link is quite comprehensive, for nerds like myself. This is a great way to put some flesh on the bones of your perspective on recreational cannabis, and it can also prepare you to engage with anti-cannabis interlocutors:

Have you encountered any of these arguments in social or business contexts? What’s the best one you’ve heard? What’s the WORST? I would love to hear your perspectives on the issue.

Best regards,


Great post! I love researchgate and appreciate your thoughts on this. I’ll get reading as I’m now working the night shift. :upside_down_face:
I’m a nurse and previously worked at a hospital that also had a psychiatric addiction recovery unit. I would occasionally float to that unit. They cared for a full spectrum of mental health issues and opioid addiction. The thing that killed me when I worked there was the amount of judgement that healthcare workers had on people with addiction or drug abuse problems. I once asked a co-worker what evidence-based standards were used to help ensure people weren’t bouncing back to the hospital… her response with a snarky tone and head tilt
“ Well, if they aren’t dead that’s pretty good”. My jaw dropped and my fingers went numb. I was shocked!
The place people went to get treatment, help and support and this is the attitude their confronted with. No wonder they aren’t fully recovered when they aren’t supported.


Having had a long and educated argument with my doctor, the problem seems to be that Cannabis can have “step up” effect with other medications you are taking.
Ordinarily, a patient would say “Great, my meds work better with Cannabis.” But that’s the rub. If you take a sedative, opioid or anti anxiety medication, it may now work too well leading to the possibility of an accidental overdose.
So check for drug interactions with Cannabis and be aware.


I am a patient, but make no bones about using cannabis recreationally when I need to. I do not apologize for it, and happily point out how many people die from alcohol every year (88,000 annually) or tobacco (480,000). :sunglasses:


My doctor doesn’t like the smoke, he would prefer we all ate it or used it topically. He thinks vaping is better than smoking, but eating it has no negatives associated with it.

As for the synergy with other drugs, my family GP, who prescribes diets before pills, signed off on MMJ for my dad because he was using it to get off of narcotics, which he did do.


For the record, my MMJ doctor (not my Kaiser physician) uses a Pax 2 and my client,Seedsman Seeds, sent me a Pax 3 for Xmas that I love.
But vaping while very effective just doesn’t have the same relaxing effect of sitting down with a church warden for a half hour break to unwind.
Ultimately the FDA and the AMA will insist on standard dosing and labeling and cannabis will become just another pill we take at bedtime.


Hopefully, we will continue to have the right to grow or purchase the variety of cannabis that works for us.


Thanks Wil, A topic that truly strikes “close to home” -

As the tide began to turn in about 1997 in Cali and then in 2008 in my home state of Michigan, I imagined that soon the stigma, skepticism and prejudice would begin to dissolve and cannabis use would become “accepted” in more social circles. I imagined that cannabis use would become at least as acceptable as alcohol, perhaps as acceptable as caffiene.

However in 2018 that’s not really happening, while the circle of users has become more public (dispensaries, festivals, websites, social media, etc…) the percentage of users isn’t really moving that much. WHY?

IMHO it’s as simple as hundreds of years of western morality teachings, and decades (generations) of cannabis illegality.

The simple fact is that alcohol is a “Sacramental” part of Christian Theology. Of course true believers would rather call it cannibalism (Blood of Christ) than acknowledge the blessed use of alcohol during their Sunday service. (sorry for any offense)…Throughout modern European history the consumption and production of Wines, Ales, Meads and was generally overseen monks and priests within the Catholic Church. Thus cannabis was and may forever be seen as “immoral” by those Christian soldiers.

Then follow that with the past 100 years of increasing illegality, prejudice, war on drugs and the hypocrisy of a nation of hard drinking, pill popping moral crusaders and I now believe that the “immorality” is baked into many people’s perceptions. It will probably take another generation or two to begin to erode and understand the similarities and differences between various intoxicating substances.

Many of us hoped that the medical movement would work to destroy false health narratives. However, the warriors instead suggested rather than patients seeking relief we were all simply stoners looking to get high. As the medical use and benefits became inarguable they clamor for more pills like Epidiolex and others.

I remain hopeful, but not as enthusiastic as I was even 10 years ago.


Sounds like a bit of gallows humor. I imagine that sort of work, like working in law enforcement or emergency medicine, really requires some psychological self-soothing to deal with the heavy stuff. At the same time, there is clearly a great deal of stigmatization associated with recreational drug use and especially with addiction. The “disease model” of addiction, although widely accepted in the medical and psychological fields, definitely hasn’t fully permeated out into the culture-at-large. Anyone who uses drugs recreationally risks being perceived as weak-willed or having compromised agency and therefore less than fully human. As other members have pointed out, it is a cultural curiosity that this applies to cannabis and not more harmful substances like tobacco and alcohol.

Addendum: Actually one anti-drug argument focuses on the idea that at least certain forms of drug use compromise human rationality or agency. A number of great thinkers (Plato, Kant, et al.) have linked “the good” for humans to their rationality. Thus, you could reason that anything that compromises rationality is morally bad for humans. So there are a couple of ways to push back against an argument like this: (1) deny that the form of drug use in question actually compromises agency/rationality in a significant way, or (2) deny that compromising rationality is really morally bad. Personally, both of these strategies have a great deal of merit.


That’s an interesting point from your doctor. But next time you see him or her, try out what I would call “the grapefruit argument.” As you may already know, grapefruit has some potentially deadly interactions with common prescription and OTC drugs, but nobody thinks that it is immoral to eat grapefruit because of that!


And the number of people who die from cannabis every year…0!


I love that you’re smoking out of a church warden. Gandalf approves!


Great thoughts @Don, thanks! I see a lot of truth in the idea that progress happens not because people change their minds, but because the wrong-minded generations simply die off. Old habits and prejudices die hard! Still, it is worthwhile to consider the rational cases against recreational use and in favor of recreational use, since those are the kinds of considerations that guide the formation of new opinions. I assume most of the GNet community will agree that the tide is very much in favor of destigmatization, and for good reason.


I hate to employ the “Rights” debate technique of “Then what about…” but bear with me.

There is no more a moral issue in cannabis consumption than there is in masturbation. Both are harmless, pleasurable and humans come pre-programmed to enjoy the activity. No one else is involved or harmed, let alone the person partaking.

Cannabis was stigmatized in the 1930’s in a warped attempt to control Latino immigrants and black Americans. The “War on Drugs” became such a part of our government ethos that our Puritanical society made it a moral issue. It was all just deluded thinking and must be swept away.

Sell contaminated drugs or force them on an unwilling person and you’ve crossed both legal and moral lines.

But lighting up a joint that you legally bought or grew is a personal decision with no more moral implications than the color of your Jockey shorts.

That’s the difference between things that are wrong in and of themselves and things that are wrong only because the government made them illegal.

Charles R Pikcunas, Esq
Tsunami Tropicals Ltd

POB 502

Hawi, HI 96719 USA


No one dies from eating a grapefruit either. Lol.


One of the arguments I hear up here a lot is “what am I supposed to do about the smell coming from my neighbor’s yard into mine?!”

To that I always reply, “what have you done about the cigarette smoke?”

I actually find it entertaining when haters start spouting off “facts”. They think they’re so smart because they read a white paper from 50 years ago.

We heard a lot from our government about how Cannabis consumption in youth can cause psychosis, and yes there is a study that says that. Just like how there was a study that showed vaccinations were linked to mental issues.
The reality is that there is so much more evidence stating otherwise, and I can personally say as a consumer from 16 years old that my mental state only improved.

I think that the statements said about the 1930s propaganda turning it into a moral issue hits the nail on the head. As well as generations needing to pass of for social opinion to change.

In my time as a trucker, I was a young millennial in a world of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers. I cant even tell you the negative things that are said over the radio. From extreme racism, to misogyny to belittlement to the highest forms.
Not to put anybody down from those generations, but it is my belief that their being raised in a highly religious and conservative society is what has turned them to be so bitter.
They were raised to hate everything that wasn’t “normal”, whatever that is. Not to mention they don’t tend to understand that they can do their own research on a new invention called the internet. They just develop an opinion through rumors and news outlets.
My fiance and I have said for a while that once the older generations are gone and Cannabis is more widely accepted, this is going to be a much happier world.


I really don’t get the generational bashing…

Did the silent generation bash boomers? Did boomers bash Gen-X this much? I seem to recall Gen X being referred to as angsty, disaffected, lazy, etc. Pretty much how millennials are seen today even though we now are the generation that makes up the largest portion of the work force. I assume the parents of the boomers thought they were all lazy burnouts with all their free love and drug experimentation.

You’re in for it now Gen X and Boomers, we vote! J/k we will probably take care of you, just chill out a bit. :joy:

I plan to do my damndest to not bash on Gen Z. Each generation experiences the world in a different way and that shapes who they are. Who is at fault for the way our kids develop? The kids? I think not…

What is ‘normal’? I will tell you, ‘normal’, particular the idea that ‘normal’ is ‘good’, is a logical fallacy, it doesn’t exist.


Nothing. There is nothing wrong with smoking cannabis aside from the health effects of inhaling the combustion of various hydrocarbons. Smoke health risks aside, if it makes you relax and feel good, there are ancillary health benefits to that as well.

I’d like to hear other folks’ thoughts on this subject.


Take a look at this video. Speaks to the topic! Enjoy!

  1. Stigma kills. Like, literally.
  2. Anyone still on the booze and tobacco train, but adhering to the stigma of cannabis is validating Nixon and his war on drugs.

Gen Z is open to cannabis because they have grown up in this era. My niece will be 16 next month and is more accepting of pot than my 46-year old sister. They have lived in CA for almost 17 years.

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