: Feb 20, 2016

Is It Permissible To Use Medical Marijuana? – IlmSource

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What is the ruling on medical marijuana?

Ustadh Abu Eesa responds to this question in a simple yet academic paper that synthesizes the fiqhi principles and the pharmaceutical details needed to derive a ruling in this regard.

A gem of a paper – please read as it will benefit you in other areas as well (issue of narcotics/muskirat; addiction; when and why certain impermissible substances are halal, etc.).

The summary of it, for those who can’t read it, is that in certain cases of dire medical necessity, it is indeed permissible to use marijuana, but marijuana is never permissible as a recreational drug.

http://ilmsource.com/2016/02/16/is-it-permissible-to-use-medical-marijuana/

Is It Permissible To Use Medical Marijuana? – IlmSource

Introduction Marijuana, cannabis, ḥashīsh and hemp are well-known names of plants and derivatives that belong to the genus Cannabis. Cannabis is most popularly characterized by its narcotic, near-intoxicating effect which is caused by its main psychoactive constituent Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).…

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One Response to Is It Permissible To Use Medical Marijuana? – IlmSource

  1. M

    I appreciate that there is nuance in this ruling which acknowledges the more recent research into medical marijuana. It’s better than old school mullahs simply stating ‘haraam’ without proper justification and clarification of exception.

    However, I hope that this is only the initial assessment and more consideration is given to the practical reality of our era and that many Muslims are marijuana consumers. It’s understandable that no scholar wants to be the one that ‘gives the free license’ to recreational use, so everything is worded carefully with disclaimers of exceptional necessity.

    But what if readily available access in smaller micro-dosing style usage is what’s really required for the most practical benefit and least harm (alongside public education & awareness)? Consider coffee.. if there was similar legalese surrounding its impermissible use, then how many lives would we have unknowingly lost because tired and sleepy truck and car drivers couldn’t casually stop at a motorway service station for a hot or cold caffeinated drink? Some of us don’t drink coffee habitually and don’t even like it but recognise the practical benefit of self prescribed occasional use. Any kid that grew up in a British school will have a distinct memory of a teacher with a cup of black coffee at break time – we didn’t understand the appeal then, or perhaps now, only compassion that they need the ‘strong stuff’ to cope with the task of educating the next generation. Besides, wasn’t it the Yemeni Muslims that first brewed coffee beans to help stay awake at night through prolonged worship? The Devout and the Learned – two consumers of caffeine without stigma. Are we saying parallel users of marijuana in these two camps don’t or cannot exist?

    You’ll never hear about young Muslims not taking up the hijab or avoiding prayer because they like to drink coffee. Yet I know from personal experience that otherwise good intentioned Muslims have avoided the natural progression in their ritual practice of the faith because of the negative stigma that you can’t be smoking ganja and then going around like you’re a good Muslim, foregoing the good to avoid the perception of hypocrisy? Then I wonder what is worse, getting stoned and not missing your Salah or missing your prayers whether you get ‘high’ or not?

    I hope no one misconstrues anything I’ve said as any legal justification – I agree with the original author and article, even based on my own limited understanding I can see that the reasoning provided is sound. My intention is in the interest of an informed discussion, and in that regard I believe more consideration should be given to mental health effects of marijuana use in addition to any potential harm or benefit on the physiological level. Cannabis belongs to the same category as psilocybin mushrooms, and there is emerging research that it has been helpful for people suffering from depression, PTSD and addictions like alcoholism. Can we imagine a situation where a (ex)-heroin addict manages his abstinence through the aid of marijuana even if that develops into something of an addiction itself? Do we know anyone that went through traumatic childhood trauma and then turned to drink and further self-destructive behaviour as they got older and mentally processed their abuse? Those kind of people that are probably far removed from the stereotypical devout muslim in their actions but still have a little spark of faith buried somewhere under all the darkness surrounding their heart… my concern is for those people who might feel shut out of (fully) embracing Islam due to perceived restrictions on what they see as their life coping mechanisms. If people are stabilising themselves through marijuana use, I would say their treatment would be even more effective when combined with a balanced diet of spiritual healing through religious company/knowledge, than without it and being left to western self-help books and shrinks. We live in the age of ‘dressed but naked’, and gender fluidity is quickly spreading as new norms. The time when no one can escape the dust of usury/interest based monetary system (and debt slavery tool). Where we can mass imprison chickens and other animals to torturous conditions in their short lives but still call it halal because someone quickly read the takbir on their lips. We say ‘allow it’ because we can entertain the idea of 99p chicken and chips and still believe it’s really chicken.

    Marinol is a synthetic form of cannabis that is administered to chemotherapy patients – no legal troubles, yet in the U.S. many people are claiming you can observe the commercial pharmaceutical body stretching the long arm of the law to maintain the status quo. If we consider investigatory journalism where pharmaceutical companies are found to be very aggressive in their marketing of drugs to doctors and practices like small modifications to existing drugs where the patent is about to expire (paving the way for cheap generics) and pushing the ‘new flavoured’ version as the new ‘standard’, or other investment type hedge funds exploiting lesser known life saving drugs by purchasing their rights and inflating the price artificially by over a +1000% factor – considering the commercial conflict of interest, we should be careful to draw conclusions on the harms and benefits of medical marijuana in that context. ‘Rick Simpson Oil’ is a potent form of cannabis extract, named after the man who made this small black tar like liquid from large amounts of cannabis flower, applied it orally and topically, and allegedly treated his own cancer.

    My personal opinion and conspiracy theory is that wider adoption or research and development hasn’t taken place for compounds such as black seed oil, coconut oil (natural sunscreen apparently) and cannabis, because market conditions favour patent owned drugs. Now that more serious research has been conducted for honey, it is recommended for treatments dealing with wound care primarily and cough suppression in some instances. In the case of cannabis oil or ‘Charlottes Web’ (young girl with repeated epileptic seizures), the CW Hemp company that made the high CBD oil for her treatment protects its own investment by keeping their specially bred cannabis strain a secret (not selling seeds or cuttings). In contrast to that, companies like Monsanto sell genetically modified seeds to farmers and are aggressive in requiring them to repurchase new seeds each season (instead of just taking seeds and cuttings from an existing crop and replanting it). They have the biotechnology for the ‘terminator gene’, where they could modify the seeds so that any crops that produced further seeds would be sterile – it’s just the law that has prevented the commercialisation of this biotech.

    As Muslims, our own research into harm prevention should be prioritised, but that can only happen with an honest and unbiased look at current use levels among the Ummah. Our religion essentially teaches us to do ‘good’ and avoid ‘shameful deeds’ without specifying every potential deed, because the guidance is interlinked to our intrinsic nature and subjective interpretation (with some clear limits). If we think of cannabis like alcohol, then we must ask, does it foggy your mind and muddle your words? or if you miss prayer altogether, either case then it’s evidently harmful for that person’s religion.

    But we have to go beyond the brain and heart – cannabis has a notable effect on appetite and libido. The stomach and sexual organs are powerful determinants in a persons life and that’s where our Ulema should be focusing on in terms of how marijuana affects each individual, when seeking to implement harm reduction. In a world of media hyper sexuality and easy accessibility of pornography, the stakes are higher for potential corruption and giving into the materialistic system or the potential benefit of breaking out of the consumerism driven economy, waking up from the ‘commercial dream’ and living with humanity for our neighbours. I believe it was with the help of the pot smoking hippies that took to the streets to bring about an end to the US-Vietnam war. Now the governments seem to favour a docile people that are only moved by the excitement of chasing brands and products they saw on the screen and will rarely take to the streets to effectively protest anything – unless you cancel their Netflix of course, mess with their ISP subscription plans and many Americans will be ready to bear arms on the street, but never mind your healthcare and social welfare benefits whilst the war machinery guzzles on cash and the black liquid gold unabated. In not so many words, in an overly materialistic world, cannabis and psychedelic mushrooms represent the last remnants of spirituality for increasingly secularised people (including religious folk).

    3 May 2017 - Reply

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