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In the Name of God بسم الله

Medicinal Psychedelic Drugs and Marijuana

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SoRoUsH

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Salam, 

I have seen some scholars permitted the usage of marijuana and psychedelic drugs for medicinal purposes. However, they have prohibited their usage for non-medicinal purposes. This position contradicts the following saheeh narration.

عَلِيُّ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِي عُمَيْرٍ عَنْ عُمَرَ بْنِ أُذَيْنَةَ قَالَ كَتَبْتُ إِلَى أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع أَسْأَلُهُ عَنِ الرَّجُلِ يُبْعَثُ لَهُ الدَّوَاءُ مِنْ رِيحِ الْبَوَاسِيرِ فَيَشْرَبُهُ بِقَدْرِ أُسْكُرُّجَةٍ مِنْ نَبِيذٍ صُلْبٍ لَيْسَ يُرِيدُ بِهِ اللَّذَّةَ وَ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ بِهِ الدَّوَاءَ فَقَالَ لَا وَ لَا جُرْعَةً ثُمَّ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ لَمْ يَجْعَلْ فِي شَيْ‏ءٍ مِمَّا حَرَّمَ شِفَاءً وَ لَا دَوَاءً 

‘Umar ibn ‘Udhaynah  has said the following:

“I once wrote to abu ‘Abd Allah, ‘Alayhi al-Salam, and asked about a man to whom a medicine for curing hemorrhoid gases is sent to drink in an amount that in the form of hard al-Nabidh makes one drunk. He does not drink it for pleasure but as medicine.’ He (the Imam) said, ‘No, not even one sip of it is lawful.’ He (the Imam) then said, ‘Allah, most Majestic, most Glorious, has not placed any cure as medicine in what He has prohibited.’”

 

Either Allah has prohibited psychedelic drugs and marijuana or He hasn't. If he hasn't then why would scholars prohibit it? That would be a form of innovation. 

And if He has, then why would some scholars permit their usage for medicinal purposes? Not only there wouldn't be any medicinal advantage in anything forbidden, it goes directly against the narration of our imams (عليه السلام). 

 

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W.s 

I don't have much to say at the moment. There appears to be an ongoing debate on this matter. But I found the following which may add value to this discussion:
 

"While the prohibition of wine is an agreed matter based on the explicit Koranic forbiddance, references to hashish, cannabis and other hemp derivatives are absent from the sacred text. This void opens up the possibility of interpretation among legal scholars with results that are not always unanimous, as this article discusses...The lack of Koranic reference stimulated the mind of religious scholars in interpreting the status of cannabis. Given the void in the hermeneutical sources, scholars judged the validity (halal) or prohibition (haram) of cannabis use based analogy (qiyas). Wine (al-khamr) is the comparative element taken into account, but most scholars disagree on equating wine with cannabis. A widely accepted account (hadith-e hil) says, ‘Everything is allowed for you [halal lak] until you learn it is forbidden…’. Hence, cannabis does not carry a total prohibition among most Muslim scholars (Safian, 2013). Allameh Helli (1250–1325), a leading scholar, said, ‘for the poison that derives from the herbs [hashish-ha] and the plants, if it has benefits [manfe’at], its sale and trade is not an issue. If it does not have benefits, then it is not permitted’ (Rezapourshokuhi, 2002). In another source, the scholar asked from one of his students whether hashish is intoxicant and harmful and if it is forbidden, Helli responds, ‘What is known among the people is that hashish is intoxicant, so eating it is prohibited not because it is harmful to the body but because intoxicates...Despite the prohibition of hashish, it is not impure [najes] because impurity is specific to alcoholic spirits [musakkerat]’ (Rezapourshokuhi, 2002). Shahid al-Awwal, another prominent Shia scholar from Damascus, states that almost all scholars who have preceded his era or his contemporaries agreed ‘that plants known as hashish have been judged as prohibited’ (Rezapourshokuhi, 2002). Nonetheless social and medical remained unhindered by legal constriction, except for sporadic instances due to the rulers’ changing ideas about hashish (Matthee, 2005).

One interpretative category that may be particularly relevant in relation to cannabis use for medical reasons is that of ‘emergency’ (zarurat). Scholars may allow believers to use or to perform generally prohibited substances or acts if these are deemed necessary in situations of emergency, or absolute necessity (Schirazi, 1998). For instance, if a believer founds himself with great thirst in the desert and the only available drink is wine − a forbidden drink for Muslims – then he/she is allowed (indeed he/she is obliged) to drink wine in order to save his/her life. So, if cannabis is useful for the health of a person, especially under serious risk, it can be used even when considered prohibited. This approach is legitimated based on a Koranic verse (al-kul maytah) and an accepted tradition (hadith-e raf‘) which reiterate that forbidden acts are allowed in times of emergency, if they can be useful and save lives (Ghiabi, in press). The primacy of life over religious prohibition is thus generally sanctioned. In practice, however, the use of “emergency” in interpreting the law facilitates the approval of otherwise unacceptable behaviours. In light of these elements, the debate around cannabis in contemporary times has gone through a great dynamism, including with proposals of reform of the current prohibitionist regime..."

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6153265/

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36 minutes ago, Abbas. said:

scholars judged the validity (halal) or prohibition (haram) of cannabis use based analogy (qiyas).

What kind of qiyas was used? In our school (Shi'ism) qiyas, the way Sunnis (Shafi'is) use it, is forbidden.

53 minutes ago, Abbas. said:

Allameh Helli (1250–1325), a leading scholar, said, ‘for the poison that derives from the herbs [hashish-ha] and the plants, if it has benefits [manfe’at], its sale and trade is not an issue. If it does not have benefits, then it is not permitted’

What is this view based on? Plus, are we presuming psychedelic drugs and marijuana are poisons as opposed to intoxicants? This distinction is significant. 

57 minutes ago, Abbas. said:

all scholars who have preceded his era or his contemporaries agreed ‘that plants known as hashish have been judged as prohibited’ (Rezapourshokuhi, 2002).

Based on what?

1 hour ago, Abbas. said:

So, if cannabis is useful for the health of a person, especially under serious risk, it can be used even when considered prohibited.

This is a bad analogy. Being seriously sick isn't a sufficient justification for drinking wine. There's no medicine in what is forbidden. If cannabis was forbidden by Allah, then it means it has zero medicinal benefits, under any circumstances.

1 hour ago, Abbas. said:

that forbidden acts are allowed in times of emergency, if they can be useful and save lives (Ghiabi, in press).

They can't. Nothing that is forbidden by Allah has any benefits in it. So, this point of view is completely void of any value. 

This is a bad analogy, because a person dying of thirst, drinking wine, doesn't do it for medicinal purposes. 

And in cases of marijuana and psychedelics, they're only permitting it, because they assume it has medicinal values. 

This logic fails because:

1. If it has medicinal values, then it's not forbidden by Allah, and should not be forbidden by scholars. 

2. If it is forbidden by Allah, then it does not have any medicinal values. 

 

So:

1. If scholars view marijuana and psychedelics as intoxicants like wine/alcohol, then under no circumstances, whatsoever, should they allow it. 

2. If Marijuana and psychedelics are not intoxicants, then scholars have no right to forbid and prohibit, since Allah has not done so, and doing so would be a blatant innovation.

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