Buddhist Views on Marijuana: Judgment & Bad Decisions


Zen Buddhist, Trevor Fenwick, talks about those who judge cannabis users and how alcohol, as an intoxicant, can be far more damaging.

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0:15 Awakening with Cannabis
We were talking earlier how Buddha, that word means awake. Is that true? Yeah.
That would make sense that an intoxicant would block a form of awakening. Yes, absolutely.

0:30 Awareness of Cannabis
Yeah. I can understand that. Again, I think this is one of those things where pot’s been put in this category that’s somewhat unfair, and now we get to shift the awareness and consciousness around it. Exactly.

0:42 Being a Real Buddhist
The thing is with any intoxicant, really, people get so judgy about … If I tell people I’m a Buddhist and then they find out that I also smoke marijuana, there’s a judgement, like “You’re not a real Buddhist because …” We don’t need to be doing that.

1:00 Individual Choices
First of all, we shouldn’t be judging other people on their choices because we don’t know where they are in their lives or what stage of the path they’re on.
We know nothing about their internal chemistry either.
Exactly.
And their ability to handle that or not.

1:15 Don’t Judge Others
Right, right. I’m proving it true as I’m going. I smoke marijuana now and it seems like it’s good to do. At some point maybe I’ll decide that it’s not good for me, but within Buddhism you generally … Actually, not generally. You never make judgements for other people.
I like it. You never know.

1:40 Cannabis Communicates to People
Yes. What about the spirit of the plant. I’ve heard it said that cannabis is an excellent communicator. It’s one of those things that comes through us in many different ways. Would Buddhism acknowledge the spirit of a plant or is that a little airy fairy for that path?

1:56 Buddhism is Practical
I wouldn’t say airy fairy, but Buddhism’s very practical, feet on the ground type thing. It wouldn’t deny it.
Right. At all.
It wouldn’t judge someone who wanted to believe that.

2:10 Plant Spirit
No, no, not at all. Some people connect that way.
I was in Peru recently. I did ayahuasca. I definitely felt the spirit of that plant. I can feel it with marijuana as well.

2:30 Does Cannabis make you Heedless?
In terms of an intoxicant, the definition of an intoxicant is something that causes heedlessness. What does that mean, exactly? Carelessness?
Carelessness or making bad decisions. I’ve been intoxicated on alcohol and I’ve made terrible decisions. Sleeping with the wrong people or …
Of course.

2:57 Don’t Eat the Whole Cake
These sorts of things. Alcohol can cause people to become violent. None of these things happen with people that smoke marijuana. My biggest regret from smoking marijuana may be like I ate that whole cake last night. It’s just not … It’s different.
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