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Dalai Lama Reportedly Backs Medical Cannabis

Dalai Lama and Vicente Fox in Guanajuato
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Vicente Fox in Guanajuato (photo AFP)

Joint Opinions

Dalai Lama Reportedly Backs Medical Cannabis

Conduct a basic Google search for the Dalai Lama today and an abundance of articles will state that the spiritual leader has voiced his approval for medical marijuana during a recent visit to Mexico.

While it’s certainly true that His Holiness did visit with Vicente Fox, the former Mexican president who made broad moves this summer as an advocate for marijuana reform, the quote, which originally appeared in global news agency AFP’s story, seems suspect.

According to the AFP, and every other internet news source which has proliferated the news, the Dalai Lama was asked a question from one of 6,000 attendees during his remarks at the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum. The question itself, nor who asked it is not clear. The answer is also unclear.

The Dalai Lama is reported to have said “the exception” for smoking marijuana would be if it has pharmaceutical virtues.

“But otherwise if it’s just an issue of somebody [using the drug to have] a crazy mind, that’s not good.”

This much is true, the Dalai Lama visited Mexico and spoke on compassion, he donned a charo hat and even appeared on Fox’s television show on TV Azteca. He has admitted he has never smoked a cigarette, taken a drug or drank more than a finger’s dip in a bottle of wine. He’s even admitted despite his 8 million Twitter followers he has never used a computer let alone sent out his own Tweet.

As for his stance on medical marijuana in this life and the next, I’d say, it remains to be seen.

Let us know what you think in the comments below.



  1. Dr. Michele Noonan

    October 20, 2013 at 12:40 am

    I attended a speech the Dalai Lama gave at the Society For Neuroscience conference several years ago where he claimed animal sacrifice was acceptable for research that helps end human suffering. This was huge sigh of relief for many of us that struggled with the issue.

    The Dalai Lama is highly respected in the science community. Hopefully his approval of medical marijuana will lead other researchers to be more vocal about their support and lead to federal policy change.

  2. Skyler Cannabaceae

    October 18, 2013 at 5:42 am

    It seems clear from your article that the Dalai Lama joins the opinion of 20 states and D.C. (as well as a majority of Americans according to recent polls) that cannabis is acceptable for medical use. While I don’t follow him as a spiritual leader, as a medical cannabis patient and caregiver, I appreciate his support as a celebrity of sorts.

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