The Word of Wisdom is a law of health for the physical and spiritual benefit of God’s children. It includes instruction about what foods are good for us and those substances to avoid.

Over time, Church leaders have provided additional instruction on those things that are encouraged or forbidden by the Word of Wisdom, and have taught that substances that are destructive, habit-forming or addictive should be avoided.

Marijuana was not in use in the United States when the Word of Wisdom was received by revelation in 1833 (see Doctrine and Covenants 89), but Church leaders have clarified that recreational use of marijuana is against the Word of Wisdom.

The article “Vaping, Coffee, Tea, and Marijuana” in the August 2019 issue of the New Era magazine clarified that even though marijuana may be legal for medicinal or even recreational use many places, it is a habit-forming substance and should be avoided except under the care of a competent physician, and then used only as prescribed. Church leaders followed up with an official Statement on the Word of Wisdom.

The section “Medical Marijuana” in section 38.7.9 of the General Handbook reads as follows:

The Church opposes the use of marijuana for non-medical purposes. See 38.7.14.
However, marijuana may be used for medicinal purposes when the following conditions are met:

  • The use is determined to be medically necessary by a licensed physician or another legally approved medical provider.
  • The person follows the dosage and mode of administration from the physician or other authorized medical provider. The Church does not approve of vaping marijuana unless the medical provider has authorized it based on medical necessity.

The Church does not approve of smoking marijuana, including for medical purposes.

Also see the section “Word of Wisdom and Healthy Practices” in the Church’s General Handbook (section 38.7.14).


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