Note: I'm not trying to promote marijuana. I strongly dislike marijuana and cigarettes and I would never use nor recommend either. I'm concerned about health and the awareness of the dangers of drugs.

While browsing questions on Mi Yodeya, I came across this question asking if it's allowed to smoke. The answers ranged from being pretty neutral to totally accepting it:

Igros Moshe wrote that [...] it is not forbidden because "Shomer Psaim Hashem", Hashem guards the fools.

In 1981, R' Moshe wrote that the danger of smoking is no more than the danger of eating unhealthy foods, about which the Rambam does not write that they are "forbidden", just unrecommended.

Binyomin Zilber takes a middle approach, and says that while it may be very unhealthy, yet it would not be intrinsically prohibited[...]

And many more backing themselves with the "Hashem guards the fool" passage.

the answers for this question asking if it's permitted to smoke marijuana took a completely different (and irrational) approach:

Igros Moshe [...] forbids it for several reasons:

1.It damages the body...
2.One gives himself extra cravings, worse than those for food and drink...
3.It is a lack of honoring one's parents, who are no doubt upset by the son's actions.
4.Kdoshim Tiyhe (be holy) is a positive commandment. According to the Ramban, this commandment means not to be "disgusting with the Torah's permission".

(Ironically, this is the same Igros Moshe who said that smoking is not forbidden.) Another answer said the following:

Reb Moshe answers NO you may not smoke marijuana. Here are the list of his reasons:[...]

(Ironically (again), this is the same Reb Moshe who said "the danger of smoking is no more than the danger of eating unhealthy foods" and that said that smoking isn't forbidden but just "unrecommended".)

Nowadays, it's known that the dangers posed by cigarettes is immensely higher than the dangers of marijuana. Cigarettes kill an estimated half a million people a year in the US alone, while marijuana kills zero.[a,b,c] I don't blame them, it's very possible that in those times cigarettes were thought to be way less dangerous than what they actually are, and the opposite with marijuana. So as Curiouser commented, is this position still the same even though we now know the facts? What is the current position in the orthodox community towards cigarettes and marijuana? Has it inverted, or has it remained the same?

  • 1
    @DoubleAA Even if all the answers would be against smoking, that wouldn't matter. It's very common to see orthodox people smoking multiple packs of cigarettes without being "halachically judged". But the attitude is completely different with marijuana.
    – Gabriel12
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 5:21
  • 1
    I'm just pointing out that your "ironic" comments about R Moshe are out of line. You probably just don't see people judging tobacco smokers bc they know there's nothing to do about it. I know someone who fake coughs a bunch whenever she walks by someone smoking to make them feel bad.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 15:48
  • 1
    Cigarettes cause cancer. The CBD and, to a lesser extent, THC in marijuana help cure certain types of cancer - the types with an ID-1 gene expression, such as breast cancer and some lung cancers. Just check out the PUBMED articles on the recent research(Google "PUBMED"+"cannabidiol"+"cancer"). Recreational use is one thing--saving lives is another.
    – Gary
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 17:52
  • 1
    Although this question is nicely researched, it is difficult to see what it adds to judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10609/…. Essentially they both ask if smoking marijuana is permitted.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 20:12
  • 1
    Yes there is a bias against pleasure seeking. Especially pleasure seeking associated with lowlifes. Just like drunkenness. The Rambam actually lists eating in a way of zolel visovei as a lav. Aruch Hashulchan brings it the beginning of Hilchos Seuda. Prishus and not indulging in items that are allowed to us is not something people want to hear, but something very important in Judaism. But even if our society is not scrupulous about not over indulging since it's hard to believe there is something wrong with it, at least we recognize overindulgence in pointless unhelpful items is wrong.
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 20:53


You must log in to answer this question.