Ask an Apostle: Is smoking marijuana a sin?

Teresa Coda answers your questions this week
Catholic Voices

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Q: It’s now legal to use marijuana recreationally in my state. Would it be a sin if I partook in this?

—Sin to smoke?

A: Understood broadly, sin is anything that alienates a person from God and their neighbors. It’s a breaking of relationship due to our thoughts, words, and deeds, with common examples including lying, stealing, and envying. Each of these actions hinders our ability to be in communion with our friends, family members, neighbors, and global community, as well as with the God of love.


Taken this way, whether the recreational use of marijuana is sinful really depends on the individual person partaking. Will using marijuana fracture your relationships with the people around you and the Spirit within you? Maybe, but maybe not. Like the consumption of alcohol, marijuana use is harmless for some people and deleterious for others. I’d suggest examining your conscience and surveying your history with substances of all sorts; then, decide.

About the author

Teresa Coda

Teresa Coda works in parish faith formation. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two young daughters.

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