"Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease"

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Baha'i Warrior
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"Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease"

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:34 am

Source: http://alzheimers.about.com/b/a/256687.htm.

    "Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

    Could THC Discovery Contribute to New Alzheimer's Medications? Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have found that the active ingredient in marijuana may help prevent Alzheimer's disease. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC as it is better known, apparently inhibits the formation of amyloid plaque. In plaques, the main protein component is called beta-amyloid, which is produced from a larger protein called beta-amyloid precursor protein. Ever since the discovery of these proteins researchers have been attempting to discover their role in the disease. This study has found that THC is much more effective at breaking down the plaque than some of the FDA approved medications currently available for treating Alzheimer's disease.

    Many people may have to think again about marijuana. The researchers say their findings show that there is a "previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which THC may directly affect the progression of Alzheimer's disease". More research will need to be done to see if a new treatment that involves the use of THC will halt or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

    Alzheimer's is a disease that affects about 4.5 million Americans. It is estimated that by 2050 that number of people with Alzheimer's could be as high as 16 million.

    Information Source: Lisa M. Eubanks, Claude J. Rogers, Tobin J. Dickerson, Albert E. Beuscher IV, George F. Koob, and Arthur J. Olson. (2006) A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana and Alzheimer's Disease Pathology, Journal Molecular Pharmaceutics Publication of the American Chemical Society."


Commentary:

Funny this article fails to mention the negative side effects that accompany the use of marijuana, among which include psychosis and amnesia! According to "Adverse effects of cannabis" in The Lancet, Vol 352 (source: http://www.ukcia.org/research/AdverseEffectsOfCannabis.pdf), "Large doses of THC produce confusion, amnesia, delusions, hallucinations, anxiety, and agitation." Okay, so THC inhibits the formation of amyloid plaque...but what good is that if that same chemical can cause amnesia? Isn't amnesia what you're ultimately trying to cure? Even if amyloid plaque formation is, for the sake of argument, the sole cause of Alzheimer's, there are many ways that amnesia can be caused, including injury and diet.

So the progressive memory loss associated with dementia, or senile dementia, would in fact be sped up due to cannabis use! This indefinitely, at least according to the journal article, would hasten the progression of the disease, not halt it (at least at large doses, at moderate doses it would do the same, just to a smaller extent. But considering the side effects, there still would likely be no curative effect.)

(Schizophrenia is also associated with cannabis use according to the same article. So I am very skeptical that such a hallucinant, which can cause delusions and schizophrenic symptoms, will "halt or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.")

This goes to show you why science and religion have to agree. For example, before science discovered how destructive tobacco is to the health, 'Abdu'l-Baha informed us of tobacco's deleterious effects 100 years prior! Good thing we have the Writings to refer to.

This topic is open to any comments... :)

—Warrior

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Postby senfreern » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:08 am

i personally don't think marijuana is a drug.. it's a herb!! and i think it should be legal lol.

anyways, but yeah, baha'u'llah was truly great! scientifically he may have not made any major predictions, but just what he did, and his unity and love for others.. something you might see now days, but persia in the 1800's.. i don't think so lol.. so it's amazing.
:)

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:34 pm

kjf512 wrote:i personally don't think marijuana is a drug.. it's a herb!! and i think it should be legal lol.

anyways, but yeah, baha'u'llah was truly great! scientifically he may have not made any major predictions, but just what he did, and his unity and love for others.. something you might see now days, but persia in the 1800's.. i don't think so lol.. so it's amazing.
:)


Hi kjf512,

Maybe you can state why you think marijuana should be legal, especially in light of what I posted.

Most people who want it legalized take use the drug themselves. Beyond that, some of them might refer to its "medicinal" usage, but not really know what its medicinal effects are beyond a Google search. Obviously, it isn't the only means of stimulating the apetite, or relieving nausea. And it's "beneficial" effects don't outweight its negative side effects, and thus it won't be legalized here (hopefully—of course, if it wasn't for politics this would have never been an issue that would have been given much consideration).

A good comparison is the argument made for drinking wine for the "antioxidants," when just a glass of grape juice has more such antioxidants—with the added benefit of not permanently destroying neural tissue. Whatever anyone does, whether good or bad, he will undoubtedly try to justify it.

I want to warn you kjf512—you being in high school—don't touch marijunana or alcohol at least until you turn 21. Parts of your brain aren't fully developed until then, and early alcohol and marijuana use can lead to slight to moderate mental retardation (depending on how much you take). Parts of the frontal cortex are the last to develop.

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Postby senfreern » Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:42 pm

thanks for telling me. :)

anyways, i believe it should be legal, because it would clear up our jail systems.. daily, thousands of pedophiles, rapists, and murders are just out and about, in parks, even at schools.. yet instead of seeing police all over them, you see "city passes multi million bond package to combat drug users" or "2 teens arrested for marijuana." So while the police are spending lots of their time looking for drug users, there are tons of pedophiles out there and such.

plus, although you mentioned some negative aspects of marijuana, there are also several positive sides of it too... better concentration, in a way an anti depression, and can help combat lots of diseases. and not all people who take it are dumb lol... the valedictorian for my school last year was a weed user.. and she turned out obviously smart!! lol.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Oct 28, 2006 2:46 pm

kjf512 wrote:there are also several positive sides of it too... better concentration, in a way an anti depression, and can help combat lots of diseases.


Maybe you could cite a journal article backing that up, as I have done to back up my position.

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Postby senfreern » Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:34 pm

of course..

http://www.rxmarihuana.com/pembroke.htm

also, http://www.rxmarijuana.com


most doctors agree that when you do it, it relaxes you, and therefore allows you to concentrate more. :)

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:20 pm

kjf512 wrote:most doctors agree that when you do it, it relaxes you, and therefore allows you to concentrate more. :)


lol. I don't know where you get your statistics from...



"Shared stories" don't weight that much, sorry. Same with Los Angeles Times articles or this guy's opinions. A M.D.s opinions are meaningless unless they are based on research.

So my offer still stands for you to find some journal articles backing up your position. I, of course, have mine.

—Warrior

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Postby brettz9 » Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:46 am

As far as concentration, marijuana is notorious for affecting short term memory, at least while using it. Improved "concentration" may refer to it admittedly calming people down. But for Baha'is, we are not in need of any kind of physical chemical enhancement toward spiritual development. And contrary to what people say, you can be quite addicted to marijuana (I for one have a friend who was hospitalized for such an addiction.)

To add to what BW says about marijuana's potential negative effects especially among younger people, there is some apparently very solid research proving not only a correlation but a causation among some users of marijuana for greater risk of developing schizophrenia. Likewise, alcohol has a particularly negative effect on developing brains (contrary to prior thought, adolescents it has recently been discovered that their brains are still not fully developed and as such are even more vulnerable).

The Baha'i Faith also strongly prohibits its use:
Regarding hashish you have pointed out that some Persians have become habituated to its use. Gracious God! This is the worst of all intoxicants, and its prohibition is explicitly revealed. Its use causeth the disintegration of thought and the complete torpor of the soul. How could anyone seek the fruit of the infernal tree, and by partaking of it, be led to exemplify the qualities of a monster? How could one use this forbidden drug, and thus deprive himself of the blessings of the All-Merciful?
Alcohol consumeth the mind and causeth man to commit acts of absurdity, but this opium, this foul fruit of the infernal tree, and this wicked hashish extinguish the mind, freeze the spirit, petrify the soul, waste the body and leave man frustrated and lost.

(cited in the notes of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, no. 170)


That all being said, legalization is a bit of another issue.

Here is what Shoghi Effendi had to say about prohibition of alcohol (prophetically perhaps):

You had asked in connection with the subject of prohibition. Of course in every country one must take into consideration the exact conditions as to whether by force of legislation people can be stopped from drinking, but as a principle the Bahá'í Teachings are quite against drinking, intoxicating liquors and from the Bahá'í point of view every thing that helps to stop drinking is welcomed.

(Messages to the Antipodes, 30 December 1925, at http://bahai-library.com/?file=shoghief ... ber%201925 )


and perhaps this quotation (through its lack of referring to marijuana):
O ye lovers of God! In this, the cycle of Almighty God, violence and force, constraint and oppression, are one and all condemned. It is, however, mandatory that the use of opium be prevented by any means whatsoever, that perchance the human race may be delivered from this most powerful of plagues. And otherwise, woe and misery to whoso falleth short of his duty to his Lord.

(cited in the notes of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, no. 170)


This therefore leaves open the possibility that governments may find it more effective not to intervene with force with all drugs (of course, even where it is legal, they may tolerate it to different degrees). This is far from endorsing legalization, mind you--the quotations might be seen as opposing it if at all possible, but it does, I would venture, leave open a slight possibility by stating that "in every country one must take into consideration the exact conditions as to whether by force of legislation people can be stopped from drinking."

best wishes,
Brett

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Oct 30, 2006 12:05 pm

Thanks again Brett for your input. You truly yourself are a Baha'i warrior, and you are very skilled in the use of spiritual weaponry (the Baha'i Writings). There is no stronger fortress than a fixed knowledge of the Baha'i texts, and of knowledge in general. This forum, in my opinion, would indeed be somewhat lacking without your more than insightful posts.

Take care.

—A fellow spiritual warrior

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Postby brettz9 » Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:56 am

Thanks Warrior, for your kind words, but "we are not worthy..."

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:55 am

Well, I wanted to thank you for the post Richard.

...And wanted to reply 'cause now I've hit 500 posts. And only 500 more to go... 8)

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Re: hashish, opium, and marijuana

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:08 am

mountianally wrote:Hello, I am new to the library and Baha'i communities in general, you could say I'm a 'seeker'...however, I did want to clear something up in the current discussion, hash and opium are NOT marijuana! Opium is a derivative of the poppy plant while marijuana and hash(ish) are derived from the cannibus plant. Marijuana is simply the budding flower of the cannibus plant and hash is a VERY refined verison, calling it marijuana would be the equivalent of calling opium the same thing as herion, sort of. I think the Alzhiemers study is quite interesting..my grandfather died from the disease, it's horrible and the side effects from Marijauna are NOTHING compared to it. Peace and MuchLove -Ally


Mountianally:

Welcome!

Sorry to hear about your grandfather. Yes, you are correct, hashish and marijuana are processed differently. But Baha'i law forbids alcohol and all illicit psychoactive substances/drugs.

Hashish's negative effects are much more potent than that of marijuana's, true. But that doesn't mean that marijuana likewise doesn't possess its own very negative side effects.

Apart from some of the negative effects which I've already referred to, marijuana brings about memory dysfunction and diminishes information processing abilities. And marijuana causes a decrease in self control. To cite a current psychopathology text:

"One study exploring past substance-use history in incarcerated murderers reported that among men who committed murder, marijuana was the most commonly used drug. One-third indicated that they used the drug before the homicide, and two-thirds were experiencing some effects of the drug at the time of the murder (Spunt et al., 1994)." --Abnormal Psychology, 13th ed., Butcher et al. p. 444.

Sounds pretty monstrous to me. A comparison to red wine would not be inappropriate—if there is something good in marijuana then they can isolate it. Red wine has antioxidants for instance but so does regular grape juice, and other sources—and no brain atrophy and other symptoms/side effects have ever been associated with "moderate" grade juice intake...

Welcome again to the forum.

—BW

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:58 pm

mountianally wrote:But there is somthing rather meditative about the act of smoking..Yaqui Indians smoked Jimson weed and Lobilia mixtures along with hallucinogenic mushrooms. I've tried these and they are really not my spiritual path...However, I thought Bahai were into tolerance and acknowledgement of other religons, so if the Rastas and Yaquis want to smoke their way to utopia, it's fine with me.


Baha'is are indeed tolerant of other faiths and groups. But if you look at world religions, usually the newer of the religions will have its own laws and void old ones. For example, the Koran teaches that women are inferior to men, and that husbands should beat disobedient wives. But the Baha'i Faith outlaws violence against women and states that women are equal to men. But that doesn't mean we as Baha'is don't "acknowledge" Islam and are intolerant of it. Spiritual laws are always changing, and as humanity becomes more mature, it needs more "mature" laws.

mountianally wrote:I don't really agree with the studies you posted about muderers and marijuana. I'm certain 'studies' have been done that prove just the opposite as well.


It's only correlational of course, at least that study. But there are many documented negative effects of smoking/using marijuana.

mountianally wrote:I just listen to my heart...I've been around ALOT of marijuana and it usually has a peaceful, almost lethargic affect. A broader view may prove those people also had something metally wrong with them..not simpily that marijauna inspired them to murder!


That "lethargic affect" comes about by a neurochemical imbalance being created in the brain. Just because it feels relaxing doesn't mean that it's not doing some serious damage.

mountianally wrote:I experiance an intense spiritual high skiing, jogging in the woods, even just walking outside sometimes. I think as long as you get there, it doesn't matter what route you take...even if it's "pumping iron"! Thanks again, Much Love -Ally


I can relate to that. In fact, personally I can say "pumping iron" is very addictive. Humans do have endogenous opiates, that is, the body does produce its own opiates (if this weren't the case, then we wouldn't have any binding sites for opiates in the CNS). And through healthy means, namely exercise, we can encourage our bodies to create more of these opiates. Runners will get what is called a "runner's high" for example. Also there are other benefits, like growth hormone and testosterone stimulation, and other benefits related to the heart, blood pressure, increased bone density, etc. But the difference is that through exercise, you are "getting high" naturally and off of something good—and there are no negative side effects—much unlike marijunana and other illicit psychoactive substances. So apart from recreational drug use being prohibited for spiritual reasons in the Baha'i Faith (and other world religions), we can readily see that it makes sense that we also not take such drugs for our physical well being as well.

Take care, and thanks for your input for this topic,

BW

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Postby dyesneancyDex » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:05 pm

what about for MS?

for my brother the only consistant relief for the symptoms is 'da ganga.

has the UHJ ruled on medical applications? or is the line in the Aqdas enough?

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:48 pm

someone wrote:what about for MS?

for my brother the only consistant relief for the symptoms is 'da ganga.

has the UHJ ruled on medical applications? or is the line in the Aqdas enough?


I believe it is allowed for medical uses, according to the UHJ. I can look for a source later.

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Re: "Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease"

Postby zreed9 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:47 pm

Most of the research that was done on marijuana was conducted by the US government during the early 1950's. More resent research done by a host of scientists around the world have found differences in the outcomes of their experiences than the ones the American government reported(whence most of the "knowledge" about marijuana is derived). Most of this seems to show that moderate adult users of the drug do not feel the disadvantages of psychosis or amnesia unless otherwise genetically predispositioned for it. Although long-term marijuana use can result in the deterioration of brain tissue and a smaller short term memory, usually these side effects do not cause serious harm, unless, as I said before, other health issues inflame the effects, though the disorders that could do that are ones like multiple sclerosis and genetics largely determines your receptability to that. Also, people with mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression run a significantly higher chance of creating an emotional dependency on marijuana, and teenage boys are equally more susceptable; not to say that everyone who smokes pot and is manic depressive or an eighteen year old male is going to develop a mental dependency on it.
From Baha'u'llah's writings one could loosely stretch that marijuana is acceptable. It is not habit forming, nor does it change most people's decision making process; also, you can still reason and are usually in control when you smoke marijuana. However, Baha'u'llah also told us to follow the interpretations of Abdul'Baha and Abdul'Baha told us to follow Shoghi Efendi. Both are on record saying that hashish is proscribed; marijuana is a lighter form of cannabis than hashish.
As I said, an individual Baha'i can stretch these laws and perhaps his concious can allow him to smoke; but it is evident by Baha'i teaching that a Baha'i should not smoke marijuana. Furthermore, as Baha'u'llah clearly says to not use substances that are habit forming, tobacco also should be proscribed, as nicotine can in some cases be as strong of an addiction as heroin.

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Re: "Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease"

Postby zreed9 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:53 pm

I would also say that the Aqdas is surely enough for the use of medical marijuana. The UHJ couldn't change the word of the Aqdas. And since the Aqdas makes it clear that alcohol can be used in medicinal circumstances, it follows logically that something not specifically proscribed can be too.
But, medicinal marijuana only relieves pain and suffering in MS patients and can in some cases lead to more acute cases of the disorder.

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Re: "Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease"

Postby brettz9 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:06 pm

One thing I hadn't noticed before which is interesting is that the letter preceding the quote in the other thread is that Baha'is could apparently be prescribed these drugs if by a qualified physician:

"In reply to your request of October 24, 1967 that we issue a statement concerning 'the use of marijuana, LSD and other psychedelic products', we have already informed the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States that Bahá'ís should not use hallucinogenic agents, including LSD, peyote and similar substances, except when prescribed for medical treatment. Neither should they become involved in experiments with such substances."


best wishes,
Brett

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Re: "Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease"

Postby clint » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:30 am

the OP may have his ONE study

but take a look at this - http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/03/2 ... rijuana-Up

dated-with-more-stats

as a bahai, dont you think you should look at everything in life with an open mind? perhaps do a little INDEPENDENT investigation.

as is with the nature of "drugs" convolution is the word, drugs are both things that can heal and sometimes even cure us of illness and disease, but drugs can also be this demonic plague seen by many as wrong/bad/evil, yet there is no distinction, it's just all "drugs"

the previous comment raises an interesting perspective, bahai's should not use "hallucinogenic agents" unless via prescription by a medical professional.

we can take a few things from this,
1. bahai's should do what authority tells them, but what about independent investigation? we're all human, even medical professionals, leaving such matters solely in their hands seems to be a tad naive, ignorant,
2. bahai's should not use psychedelic substances, but what about independent investigation?
3. under certain circumstances it is ok to use psychedelic substances

what we need to realise... is that psychedelic substances have existed for many thousands of years, and humans have used psychedelic substances to their benefit long before bahai or any other religion existed, long before politics began a propaganda war demonising these healing and beneficial substances.

when used appropriately, psychedelics ARE completely safe, they are non-toxic, non-addictive, and they are also profoundly beneficial. consider benefiting yourself with knowledge and taking a look at this, with an open mind, as a bahai - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entheogen

governments and media feed populations with propaganda and discourse relating to "drugs", they want you to think that "drugs" are bad, they do not want you to think for yourself, they do not want you to have an open mind. consider this, governments declare war on people of other countries, many wars still exist today, think of all the destruction to the land and think about all the suffering to humanity as a result of this... this is the same government telling you "drugs" are bad. consider the media, constantly promoting an unhealthy lifestyle of meaningless consumerism, influencing children from a young age on what to think, how to dress, what to buy... this is the same media that tells you "drugs" are bad.

as a bahai, dont you think you should look at everything with an open mind? shouldn't you actively question everything and think for yourself? is this not the path to liberation?

CLINT

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Re: "Marijuana May Prevent Alzheimer's Disease"

Postby brettz9 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:54 am

Hello and welcome Clint,

As far as the article, the first part is about the relationship to cancer. While BW may have brought this up, the Baha'i Writings do not assert (nor deny) any kind of link to it, so this is not very relevant I think. And Baha'is, indeed should not feel that our Faith calls them to make assertions that are not supported by our Writings or by science just because something is forbidden in our Faith (not saying BW was doing that, just saying).

Also to your point on the dual nature of "drugs", the Qur'an indicates that alcohol--another substance which is forbidden to Baha'is unless prescribed by a physician--even has advantages, though it indicates that these are less than the disadvantages and another later verse more explicitly prohibits it:

"They will ask thee concerning wine and games of chance. SAY: In both is great sin, and advantage also, to men; but their sin is greater than their advantage."

(Qur'an 2:215, Rodwell translation)


So, on adjudging the link to cancer, Baha'is interested in the topic can examine the scientific evidence (though again, a negative answer would not change the fact that it is prohibited to Baha'is).

The article then goes on to assert, "even if marijuana IS dangerous, prohibition makes marijuana more dangerous". On this point, I think the Baha'i Writings cannot be seen as being definitely in agreement or in disagreement (and the answer might also vary by country and by time).

As per http://bahai9.com/wiki/Prohibition_and_drug_wars , violence and force is reluctantly permitted for ridding the world of (non-medicinally-prescribed) opiates. That might perhaps be seen as indicating that a drug war on non-opiates might be unjustified. However, the other quotation on this page indicates that, the prohibition of alcohol might be something Baha'is would welcome--except with the critical caveat that it would depend--by country--on the "exact conditions as to whether by force of legislation people can be stopped from drinking". Since Baha'is do not get involved in politics, I think an assessment of this latter question would only be of relevance:

1) To individual Baha'is PRIVATELY wishing to determine whether a political candidate espousing or opposing legalization was following a reasonable agenda.
2) To the Universal House of Justice in the distant future which Baha'is believe, after a supremely voluntary and democratic process, will eventually be accepted by the majority of peoples as its legislative head.

Baha'u'llah indicates in the Most Holy Book of the Baha'i Faith:

"Gambling and the use of opium have been forbidden unto you. Eschew them both, O people, and be not of those who transgress. Beware of using any substance that induceth sluggishness and torpor in the human temple and inflicteth harm upon the body. We, verily, desire for you naught save what shall profit you, and to this bear witness all created things, had ye but ears to hear."

(Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 155)


The Notes to the Kitab-i-Aqdas were prepared under the supervision of the Universal House of Justice, the institution ordained by Baha'u'llah in the same book, and which His Son and designated Successor indicates will be "freed from all error", mentions that other derivatives of cannabis fall under this prohibition. So from a question of whether the Baha'i Writings accept it or not, there is really nothing further to discuss--they don't.

The article you mentioned (and your assertion that it is "completely safe") deals very little with research about "sluggishness and torpor in the human temple" or other "harm upon the body" (e.g., on memory). Another important consideration for the Baha'i Writings--which I think distinguishes smoking nicotine (which is "only" very strongly discouraged) from other drugs, is whether something impairs one's moral or intellectual judgment. Morality, and how we treat other people, is of preeminent importance to Baha'is, so avoiding anything which may impair our ability to do so, is a strong consideration. And just because drugs may have certain benefits like relaxation does not of course mean that there are other, less harmful ways, to obtain the same benefits.

As far as independent investigation of truth and an "open mind", if the already-mentioned quotations on prohibition were not enough, we can address a little more of how the Baha'i Writings actually interpret this general principle of independent investigation, and not how it is popularly (mis)understood.

An analogy is given in the Baha'i Writings of accepting the advice of a doctor. While not putting on full blinders (one must use one's judgment, of course, to determine whether the physician is competent enough in the first place, how much more so for deciding to entrust oneself to One making the claim to be a perfect Manifestation of God for all to obey), one recognizes that his learning is superior to one's own, so while it is natural to seek for additional opinions, to research oneself on the internet, etc., one cannot lightly dismiss a physician's prescription just because one does not like the taste of the medicine, or the trouble required to adhere to a regimen, etc. He or she is the competent one we sought for advice in the first place, so it makes no sense to dismiss their recommendations out of hand.

Baha'u'llah, in His work, the Seven Valleys, addressed to a mystic, indicates the flaw in relying solely on reason:

"For some hold to reason and deny whatever the reason comprehendeth not, and yet weak minds can never grasp the matters which we have related, but only the Supreme, Divine Intelligence can comprehend them:

How can feeble reason encompass the Qur'án,
Or the spider snare a phoenix in his web?"


'Abdu'l-Baha elaborates on this, indicating the fallibility of our senses, reason, intuition, and yes, interpretation of scripture (of which OUR understanding is also based on reason).

In other words, independent investigation does not allow for any person to judge things independently of God's own perfect Educator! What would be the purpose of the religion if each person were to discard its logic in favor of their own?

As far as restriction of drugs to usage where prescribed by a medical professional, it is true indeed that even medical professionals are only human. And when speaking of the general need to adhere to the advice of medical professionals, the Baha'i Writings do allow for exceptions or qualifications (e.g., recognizing that psychiatry was in its infancy) and offer advice for seeking a second opinion in the case of a surgery, etc..

But the fact remains that with such loaded and controversial issues as this, we are fortunate to be protected by a wiser Physician which is ahead of the times and has indicated unequivocally that it is normally forbidden. There are no mothers adhering to Baha'i law who jeopardize their children with addictions (yes, marijuana can be addictive; I know someone personally who faced this); there are no accidents or debasement of character, brought on by the clouding of judgment caused by drugs. A TRULY independent investigation will no doubt lead to the same conclusion as the Baha'i Writings.

As far as your statement that it is naive and ignorant to leave matters in doctor's hands (even though again one can seek additional opinions as a Baha'i), I would maintain that one could also say that it is naive and ignorant to leave one's fate in the hands of those seeking reckless abandon and unqualified justification for their actions. You can see the predisposition of no shortage of advocates of marijuana failing to acknowledge anything negative whatsoever about it--attacking anything contrary to their position with their own blind dogmatic fervor.

As far as your statement, "psychedelic substances have existed for many thousands of years, and humans have used psychedelic substances to their benefit long before bahai or any other religion existed," (assuming your point is true that they were used before any religion existed) this is of no relevance to the question of whether it is harmful or not. Polygamy and slavery existed for thousands of years, perhaps even also with some negligible benefits, but this cannot justify them to a rationally-minded person.

clint wrote:"long before politics began a propaganda war demonising these healing and beneficial substances..."

...governments and media feed populations with propaganda and discourse relating to "drugs", they want you to think that "drugs" are bad, they do not want you to think for yourself, they do not want you to have an open mind. consider this, governments declare war on people of other countries, many wars still exist today, think of all the destruction to the land and think about all the suffering to humanity as a result of this... this is the same government telling you "drugs" are bad. consider the media, constantly promoting an unhealthy lifestyle of meaningless consumerism, influencing children from a young age on what to think, how to dress, what to buy... this is the same media that tells you "drugs" are bad.


Propaganda is something which is not only employed by governments (who can hardly be portrayed as some black-and-white villainous monster out to get us and take away all our freedoms, even with its sometime admitted faults). It is also employed by those who wish to pull out all restraints on behavior and justify and enable their own self-and-other-destructive actions.

The media--at least in the U.S. where I'm from--is hardly giving an unqualified rejection of drugs. Nowadays, anti-authority and pleasure-seeking sentiments seem so strong that it is only acceptable to joke in favor of drugs. This propaganda, while not part of some sinister plot, is even more harmful, as the Baha'i Writings also indicate:

"Such a chaste and holy life, with its implications of modesty, purity, temperance, decency, and clean-mindedness, involves no less than the exercise of moderation in all that pertains to dress, language, amusements, and all artistic and literary avocations. It demands daily vigilance in the control of one's carnal desires and corrupt inclinations. It calls for the abandonment of a frivolous conduct, with its excessive attachment to trivial and often misdirected pleasures. It requires total abstinence from all alcoholic drinks, from opium, and from similar habit-forming drugs."

(Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice, p. 30)

"The Bahá'í standard is very high, more particularly when compared with the thoroughly rotten morals of the present world. But this standard of ours will produce healthier, happier, nobler people..."

(From a letter dated 19 October 1947 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)


As far as entheogens, the Universal House of Justice has indicated:

"Anyone involved in the use of peyote should be told that in the Bahá'í Faith spiritual stimulation comes from turning one's heart to Bahá'u'lláh and not through any physical means. They should therefore be encouraged to give up the use of peyote."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, November 9, 1963: Alaska Bahá'í News, May 1972, p. 4, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1185)

"Concerning the so-called "spiritual" virtues of the hallucinogens, ... spiritual stimulation should come from turning one's heart to Bahá'u'lláh, and not through physical means such as drugs and agents."

(From a letter dated 15 April 1965 written by the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, Chaste and Holy Life, A, no. 28)


As far as liberation, Baha'u'llah summarized our attitude toward the dialectic of liberation/liberty and humble submission:

Consider the pettiness of men's minds. They ask for that which injureth them, and cast away the thing that profiteth them. They are, indeed, of those that are far astray. We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance.

Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench. Thus warneth you He Who is the Reckoner, the All-Knowing. Know ye that the embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal. That which beseemeth man is submission unto such restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance, and guard him against the harm of the mischief-maker. Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station. It debaseth him to the level of extreme depravity and wickedness.

Regard men as a flock of sheep that need a shepherd for their protection. This, verily, is the truth, the certain truth. We approve of liberty in certain circumstances, and refuse to sanction it in others. We, verily, are the All-Knowing.

Say: True liberty consisteth in man's submission unto My commandments, little as ye know it. Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty. Happy is the man that hath apprehended the Purpose of God in whatever He hath revealed from the Heaven of His Will that pervadeth all created things. Say: The liberty that profiteth you is to be found nowhere except in complete servitude unto God, the Eternal Truth. Whoso hath tasted of its sweetness will refuse to barter it for all the dominion of earth and heaven.

(Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas, pars. 122-125)


Of course, it is up to each individual to decide this for themselves. But while you are free to question the legitimacy of the Baha'i Faith itself, there is no ambiguity in the Baha'i Teachings on this matter--they clearly oppose marijuana use, to the point of apparently even allowing an individual to face the strong action (strong in spiritual terms) of losing their administrative rights for flagrant usage (though I am basing this latter point only on the fact that fragrant alcohol usage can be subject to this sanction as can other "immorality").


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