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TOM - How might you answer the following question...
"If marijuana is prescribed to a person by a doctor for medicinal purposes, and they smoke it, is that considered breaking the word of wisdom?"

JOEL - Technically speaking of course the Word of Wisdom says nothing about illegal drugs or marijuana. But my gut feeling on this is that because of its federally illegal status and potentially addictive nature (See http://alcoholism.about.com/od/pot/a/pot_addiction.htm), personally I believe that it would violate the spirit of the Word of Wisdom. Other church members might argue that it does not, if prescribed by a doctor for medical purposes as you said. But we have been advised by church leaders to not take anything that we could become addicted to nor to use illegal drugs. And even though some states have their own laws that allow it, I would not use it because we have been told to live the laws of this land (D&C 58: 21), which includes federal laws that do not allow it.

The Church Handbook states:
"Members should not use any substance that contains illegal drugs. Nor should members use harmful or habit-forming substances except under the care of a competent physician".

Of course, there are some legal drugs that can be habit-forming that are not against the Word of Wisdom if prescribed by a doctor. It's the first sentence in that quote that tells us that we should not use it because of the federal laws aganst it.

Then there is of course the directive from God that we should "Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thes 5:22). Both members and non-members know Mormons are not supposed to smoke. An otherwise active member smoking pot is not going to look right in the eyes of other members or non-members who don't know it's "medical marijuana".
I would rather choose to use to use other legal medications instead and of course a good priesthood blessing.

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