Should Christians Smoke Marijuana?

“When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” –Barack Obama

When you’re done reading this, please pass it to the left.  Thanks.

 

Marijuana.  The word instantly conjures up images of Jeff Spicoli falling out of a smoke-filled van in Fast Times At Ridgemont High or of Jeff Lebowski asking, “Mind if I do a J?” but I’ve got news for you. That’s not the average pot smoker.

You might be surprised to see regular people coming and going from dispensaries in seventeen states plus the District of Columbia and to find out that the sweet little old lady in your neighborhood may be your local Nancy Botwin (the pot dealing mom from Weeds).

Should Christians smoke marijuana?

I have no problem with it as long as your local laws are being followed.

Right now I’m pretty sure that a third of those reading this have immediately jumped down to the comments section to begin a poorly thought out diatribe on why I’m wrong.

I say “Poorly thought out” because if they stopped reading they didn’t get the full story.  Kudos to you for sticking around.

As with anything in life the “All things in moderation” clause should be invoked and common sense needs to prevail but if both are followed I’m totally OK with the consumption of marijuana.

I could take a verse out of the Bible and argue that God is OK with weed or I could point out that the Gateway Drug theory began in the 1930s and is very outdated but I’m not going to do either.  I’m simply going to tell you what I think and let you decide whether I make sense or if I sound like I’m smoking, well, you know.

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I’ll start off with the medical benefits.  Scoff if you want but there are legit medical conditions that are helped by cannabis.  I’m talking about more than glaucoma and insomnia, the “Go-to” conditions many medical marijuana patients claim to have.

Anxiety, MS, Crohn’s, migraines, nausea from chemotherapy, Alzheimer’s, ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease and certain types of seizure disorders are among a few of the diseases that can be successfully treated with marijuana.

We hand out pills, liquid medications and injected medicine for all sorts of illnesses and medical conditions.  Take out the social stigma and ask yourself this question.

How is marijuana any different?

People with anxiety can find it difficult to go out in public for even the most routine of events.  I know because I’m trying to overcome severe social anxiety and there are times when I’m afraid to go to the grocery store.

If a person can feel more relaxed with marijuana and can more comfortably integrate into society how is that a bad thing?

Let me be clear about what I mean by “consuming.”  There is a huge difference between someone smoking or eating a little bit in order to get some sort of benefit and someone who gets stoned.

If someone is using marijuana they shouldn’t drive, operate any type of equipment and should apply common sense needs to every situation.

It should also be noted that any marijuana use needs to be kept hidden from children and that under no circumstances should a medicated person be considered “adult supervision.”

The average person is under an enormous amount of stress and pressure and society thinks nothing of a couple glasses of wine with dinner or cocktails after work. Why then is it a big deal for someone to go home and spark up a bowl to help them relax and unwind?

Alcohol is legal, regulated and is something that is costly both financially and socially. How many dollars a year do you think insurance companies spend every year trying to cure liver disease brought on by the patients use and abuse of alcohol?  Hundreds of people die every year from alcohol overdose in the US each year but there has never been a death from marijuana overdose.

Alcohol is far more addictive than marijuana and studies by the University of Pittsburgh, University of Iowa, Web MD and others all show that alcohol is more destructive to a person than marijuana.

Why do I bring up alcohol? Many Christians believe that alcohol, in moderation, is acceptable. If alcohol is acceptable, why not marijuana?

There are, of course, limitations that need to be placed on where and when one consumes marijuana but assuming that the person in question isn’t operating anything more dangerous than a TV remote or smartphone what’s the problem?

People like Paul McCartney, Norman Mailer, and George Carlin have touted marijuana as a creative assistant and it’s widely accepted that William Shakespeare wrote some of his best stuff while smoking the finest herb in all the land.

Want proof? Fragments of twenty-four pipes, all containing marijuana residue, were found in his garden. It appears as if the bard decided to cut out ye olde middleman and grow it himself.

If it can be smoked or consumed in an appropriate manner and if it helps people then why is it wrong?

Lets quickly look at another statistic that society uses to measure whether or not something is acceptable—Crime.

Other than shoplifting Ding Dongs from 7-11 or loitering at Taco Bell what crimes are people committing when they’re stoned?

You don’t hear about people getting high and beating their wife or starting a physical altercation with someone after smoking a joint. The only fights people have when they’re under the influence of marijuana are what flavor of Doritos to get and how many toppings on their pizza.

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Everyone has an opinion on marijuana and it seems as if that opinion is changing as more and more states legalize the sale and distribution of marijuana.

Pat Robertson of the 700 Club endorses the use of marijuana by Christians for all reasons. The Presbyterian Church, Episcopal Church and the United Methodist will give you their blessing, but only for medical use.

Brett McCracken writes about pop culture for Christianity Today and had this to say in a June 2011 piece.
The difference between codeine and cannabis is that the latter has a very distinct, largely negative image in culture—an image that carries baggage and connotations Christians must consider if they are thinking of using marijuana, even for medical reasons.

As I read this, Brett says Christians shouldn’t smoke marijuana because it has a negative image in culture.  I find that really interesting and really hypocritical.

If I remember correctly didn’t Jesus have a negative image in culture?  Didn’t the early church?  Doesn’t the church today in many parts of the world?

Following this logic Christians need to be careful about spreading the gospel because many people in this country think that the church and Christianity in general come with a lot of baggage.

The Bible teaches that we should stand up for what we believe to be right and not let the world judge us. I’m pretty sure that Jesus wasn’t too worried about a negative image so why should baggage and connotations concern us?

I could go on about economic benefits of legalizing and regulating marijuana but this is about whether or not Christians should smoke marijuana.  You’ve heard what I have to say.  What do you think?

Let’s spark up a debate.

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About J.R. Reed

J.R is a full-time single dad attempting to raise a 14-year-old daughter without providing too many stories to relay to her future therapist. He is also the creator of the popular blog, Sex and the SIngle Dad. A former radio talk show host and color commentator, he’s also an off-the-hook cook, a bit of an argyle-loving dork and has a word in Urban Dictionary. J.R. has a serious guacamole addiction and a torta dealer named Danny.

Comments

  1. If Jesus is your model, why even bother mentioning local laws? Is it more or less sinful if Caesar/Obama permits it?

    • Yea, the bible doesn’t say anything about drugs. Preachers who want to use the bible to say drugs are bad have to use verses that say things like, Don’t do anything that could interfere with your faith, or relationship with god.

      But these verses could be used to ban anything.

      I think the really interesting question is why are most Christians so anti-drug? It’s not the bible, and answering this question might shine some light on where “Christian beliefs” really come from.

      • J.R. Reed says:

        Mike,

        To me this is one of those subjects where everyone has an opinion but many don’t want to share that opinion because they’re afraid of what others might think.

      • Billy the Goblin Boy says:

        I think the Bible talks about getting high.

    • J.R. Reed says:

      Good point, Justin.

    • Romans 13: 1-7 is the passage that commands obeying worldly authorities. If God put authorities in place, then it is God’s will that they have that authority. Therefore, rebelling against worldly authorities is rebelling against God’s will.

      There are, however, several precedents for civil disobedience in the Bible. A quick google search led me to http://www.gotquestions.org/civil-disobedience.html which outlines some of these. The general conclusion is that you don’t have to follow laws that directly contradict the will of God, but you do have to take the consequences of your actions if you cannot safely flee unjust rule. You can also work to establish new rulers within the rules of the preexisting laws.

      So, the answer to your question is that the Bible tells you to follow worldly laws. You shouldn’t do something that is not legal, but you can do it if it is sanctioned and there is no biblical precedent against it.

      I’m by no means a biblical scholar. How much weight to give the interpretation I found and how to apply it to your own life is up to you.

  2. I personaly think it should be legal.
    But I fall under the category that did this in the 70′s for fun and do it in the 21st century more for pain relief.
    Sucks,but better than a percocet that makes me get hives and feel awfully sick.
    Seriously hadn’t done it in over 25 years and then had rotator cuff and a torn labrum surgery.
    All the medication they gave me made me violently ill or hives or both.
    A friend who had medcinal mj for her breast cancer gave me a joint .
    One hit and viola. I was literally feeling no pain.

    Hell whether you do it for a buzz at home and you’re not driving (and you wouldn’t be caught speeding that is for sure) then I am so okay with it. i don’t believe for a minute it leads to other drugs. I am 55 and never touched another drug. And in the 70′s I really just never said NO. :-)

    and what the hell does religion have to do with this anyway?
    So an agnositic or aethist is okay to smoke but not all Christians? What about Jews and Buddhist?
    Don’t get that at all – who cares what a religious group thinks and why must we always bring that into every damn thing in America? now that’s a topic that fries my arse.

  3. If participation in Christian organizations is declining, it might be wise to suggest marijuana could help build and enhance one’s relationship with god. Many of the psychoactive effects of marijuana could produce feelings of deep connection to religious ceremony and communities, provided moderate consumption was accepted as part of the Christian experience.

    At the very least, an experience or two using marijuana might help Christians think about their opposition to other secular ideas/things/etc. from a different perspective.

  4. Jamie Parsons says:

    Pipes found in a garden where someone lived 400 years ago means Shakespeare’s plays were inspired by marijuana? God potheads go to some lengths to prove their idiotic theories. I guess it’s going to cure cancer and save the economy too right? People have received inspiration from LSD, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, psychotic episodes, torture, childhood abuse etc. why should a few songs be used as an argument for drug use?

    ‘If someone is using marijuana they should apply common sense to every situation’. Ideally, so should a drunk person. But perhaps they have something in their blood that might hinder common sense?

    “You don’t hear about people getting high and beating their wife or starting a physical altercation with someone after smoking a joint”
    Really? You’ve surveyed everyone who has ever smoked marijuana? My friend was killed by a teenager who was high and a regular marijuana user so I guess you are wrong. Do not make huge generalisations that you have no idea about and cannot back up.

    I love the argument about people not having a problem with alcohol despite the fact it’s dangerous. If anything that means alcohol SHOULD BE ILLEGAL not the other way round. Making something legal because ‘this thing is legal and it’s more dangerous’ is a ridiculous argument. And who says going home and drinking is seen as acceptable? If a parent went home and had a few drinks every night it could be a problem. Young people binge drinking is a HUGE problem in society, as is young people smoking marijuana. You clearly do not understand the very real physical and mental health problems that come with cannabis.

    And ^ this guy really? Marijuana should become part of Christian rituals?? For Christ’s sake people say some absolute crap. Why not use powerful hallucinogens instead? The question of whether or not Christians should smoke is the same as whether or not all people should smoke. It’s not going to give any bigger benefits or any worse problems to Christians than non-christians.

    We already give out far too many prescription drugs for tiny things. There is no way so many people should be using anti-depressants or sleeping pills or ADHD crap. If you want to overcome anxiety, the best way is to do it sober, to actually physically overcome it. With the use of drugs, your anxiety will be lessened for a time but it does nothing to cure it or help you overcome it completely once the effects wear off. It’s like trying to cure depression. You can’t. You have to overcome it yourself. Drugs are nothing but a distraction and a hinderence in this regard. Marijuana is actually linked to increase the likelihood of anxiety disorders. It’s like trying to cure depression with alcohol. One of the worst things you can do. The fact that you advocate it for anxiety is a reason why this is poorly thought out.

    And here’s an article that debunks many ridiculous pothead arguments:
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-pro-marijuana-arguments-that-arent-helping/

    • J.R. Reed says:

      Jamie,

      First off, thank you for calling me a pothead and saying that a theory I used was idiotic. You’ll excuse me if I don’t take the rest of your comments at face value since you did a poor job of establishing your credibility in that first sentence.

      Also, you come off as extremely judgmental and holier than thou. If you disagree with what I wrote tell me about it but leave out the attitude. It’s not becoming.

      I’m truly sorry that your friend was killed but to ask if I spoke with everyone is kind of lame. People who conduct any form of study wil NEVER be able to talk with everyone. Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments.

    • Dr. Capatelli, Christina, and Sarah says:

      Let me start off by stating that what happened to your friend was quite sad, but I would also like to further see the information about this person’s death, given that it has been studied in the medical field for well over 150 years that marijuana alone is not a societal detriment. At face value, one with any professional experience on the issue would immediately question what else was going on with the person who killed your friend.
      Secondly, did I read this correctly? Did I see ADHD crap? Are you serious with that insinuation? Are you a professional in the mental health field? And before you ask, I am a medical doctor with full credentials working in the mental/neurological health fields and frequently handle treatment of people with ADD/ADHD. Maybe your lack of education on the matter hasn’t afforded you to know this, but Tuomas Edison was ADD. So was Albert Einstein. So was SigmUnd Freud. And, to add insult to your intellectually injurious argument, Albert Einstein actually used marijuana to calm himself down in order to organize his over active brain. (yes, there is a LOT of proof to back up this statement. Just google it or visit a library). To insinuate there is no such thing as ADHD is to show your lack of intelligence and ability to properly prepare for an argument.
      One last note. This debunking link you sent everyone to… Did you thoroughly review this? If you did, you would know that these ‘factoids’ are merely based on opinion panels and not actual fact finding research.
      Research states that marijuana is much safer on the human body than manmade forms of pain therapy. There are less side effects and slim to no chance of becoming addicted. On the flip side, Vicodin and Valium are both legal narcotics that have caused countless people to become addicted and resort to a life of violent crime in order to satisfy the addiction. There are many, many cases stating this fact. See how easy it would be to find a marijuana case even remotely similar. Let me give you a clue- you won’t find one.
      There is only one place where we remotely agree. Alcohol is much more dangerous than people realize and it should be much more heavily regulated than it is.
      As a medical doctor with experience, I for one would rather have someone who smoked a joint behind the wheel of a car before a person who drank a glass of hard liquor. Before such blatant claims, you should truly consider the scenario yourself and then see where you fall.

      • Thanks Dr. Capatelli! I was rather shocked to read that comment as well.

        There was only one area I didn’t particularly agree with you on. I think that marijuana is potentially more addictive than most studies realize – it does have withdrawal symptoms when used heavily over an extended period of time and can cause physical addiction. Nausea, insomnia, headache, and mood swings were the ones that I had most severely, but all of them went away within a month of quitting. I also had extremely vivid dreams which lasted some time after that.

        I’m not trying to downplay your medical expertise or training. I just wanted to say that I think there is some bias in a lot of the information regarding how addictive and potentially cognitively damaging this substance is, and my belief for this isn’t based solely on personal experience.

        The December 10 and February 16, 2010 issues of “Neurology Today” feature studies that suggest caution in prescribing. One describes a correlation between starting age of use and both amount used later in life and decrease in cognitive function over time. The other suggests caution when prescribing due to some mixed findings in the research and a relative lack of empirical evidence regarding long term side effects and benefits of different compounds.

        P.S. My dad’s a neurologist. He forwarded these articles to me while I was still a MMJ patient. The knowledge in the field may have changed in the last few years, but his medical opinion has not. That makes me think that it’s still being debated within neurological circles.

    • Do your research Jamie. Hallucinogens were an intrinsic part of religious ceremonies for centuries. People really do say some absolute crap don’t they?

    • Jamie,

      Im truly sorry for your loss. I have been a born again believer since 1997, currently enrolled in a Christian University for my degree in Missionary. As with any substance weather man made, or natural. They all can be misused. Paul in his letter to Timothy encouraged him to drink a little wine for his stomach infirmities, however we are to “not be drunk, in excess, but be filled with the Holy Spirit. Is that a contradiction? Of course not, as long as its used in moderation, or for a medical purpose. I have 3 life threatening illnesses that require me to take some powerful medications. The side effects are to the point I had 2 different doctors tell me to “smoke a little at night” to help my appetite and ease the side affects of medication. So I do. While im on this, lets look at the word “Pharmacy”. In the Greek, the definition literally means “which craft.” People can turn a “God made” plant and turn it into a harmful substance. The coco plant for example, is completely harmless by itself. In south America tribes would chew on the leaves for energy as we would drink a cup of coffee. Cocaine is dangerous only because a scientist came up with a chemical to extract the active ingredient from the plant. So, my point is that I have absolutely NO problems with the use of marijuana for a medical purpose, as long as the state you live in allows it for that purpose. If not, then we are to abide by the laws of the land. Once again Jamie, Im sorry for your loss. I know a pastor who lost his son in an automobile wreck. So I just ask you, as I pray for you, to look at the big picture with an “open” mind. Am I a less of a Christian because 2 doctors told me to smoke? I don’t believe so. Luke was a Physician who wrote the gospel of Luke, and the book of Acts. God has blessed us with Doctors who have the knowledge to help people with illnesses. Im blessed for that, cause Im healthy today because of it. God bless you, in Jesus’ Name.

  5. Jamie Parsons says:

    Is there a reason why my comments aren’t working?

  6. I can’t remember the specific verse, but I believe marijuana is described in the Old Testament as one component of a ritual ointment. If you really would like me to, I can look up the verse. In other words, smoking marijuana isn’t already a part of Christian rituals, but potentially absorbing small amounts transdermally is.

    As far as debating its medical benefits, I was a MMJ patient for a few years and it helped me tremendously (I have frequent migraines that are unresponsive to other abortives, and preventive medication doesn’t work very well either). I spent years learning how to grow, and probably put 30 hours a week in during that time learning how to grow marijuana with maximum medical benefit.

    The problem isn’t that marijuana’s not effective, it’s that potency and cannabinoid ratios are unpredictable. If I remember right, there are 12 psychoactive chemicals in marijuana, of which THC is only one. To use your example, high-THC low-CBD/CBN content marijuana can cause panic attacks as a side effect and can increase anxiety, however low THC high CBD/CBN marijuana can treat it. Finally, a rare cannabinoid called CBCN is extremely effective in treating anxiety, much more so than any of the others, but it’s only available in strains that are not practical to grow commercially. It’s uncommonly found in Thai descended sativa strains adapted to an equatorial climate, which frequently grow 7+ feet tall indoors or 14+ outdoors and have a flowering cycle that can take more than half a year. They’re basically impossible to grow profitably, therefore the valuable and rare medical properties of those strains aren’t available to the general public.

    Unfortunately, most marijuana available in America right now isn’t regularly tested, but is grown to be high THC moderate CBD low CBN, because that’s generally the most PROFITABLE ratio to grow at. 70/30-50/50 cloudy/amber trichomes generally leads to a peak weight harvest for the amount of time involved. This schedule creates moderate amounts of CBD (which is most effective in treating pain), but it’s frequently harvested by smaller scale growers at an earlier time, which creates high THC marijuana (effective for eating difficulty).

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that, speaking as both a patient and a self-taught growing expert (and I AM an expert), marijuana has extreme potential when grown by someone who knows what they’re doing, knows exactly what the patient needs, and has some motivation other than profit margins to meet that patient’s need. That is NOT how the American MMJ system works. Profit margins determine what strains are available and how they are grown (which determines psychoactive chemical content), and they’re generally grown in ways that make them exponentially less healthy to use. It is possible to grow marijuana with extremely low carcinogen content, but it requires sacrificing sometimes as much as 20% of your final weight. More details on that are available if you want to know about it.

    The last concern is dosing patterns in the US. MMJ laws in the US are generally designed to allow terminally ill patients to have as much medicine as they need, and that is what is prescribed by doctors to ALL patients. That is NOT the amount that someone with anxiety needs – that condition generally requires very low amounts to effectively treat without causing side effects or worsening the condition. Giving someone a blank prescription for a drug with a high potential for addiction or abuse isn’t an accepted medical practice, but that’s what we do with marijuana.

    My personal views on recreational use really have nothing to do with this – what’s important to me is, in a sense, very compatible with the Christian message. Marijuana can be used to provide great medical benefit, if it is provided in the correct way and treatment plans are managed carefully. Unfortunately most people don’t have the time, energy or ability to provide those services for themselves the way I did. I look forward to the day that this medical treatment option is more fully researched and the service providers focus on service rather than profit margins, but unfortunately we are nowhere near that as it stands today.

    • Andrew you have a knowledgeable & sharp mind. You are pretty much on target. hemp was a commonly used ingredient in ointments and medicines at the time of Jesus.

      I would just like to briefly address the issues of medical cannabis & prohibition laws in the USA.

      Cannabis was listed in the US Pharmacopeia from 1985 until 1942, 5 years after prohibition began. It took Harry 5 years to get it removed because the AMA was opposed to cannabis prohibition. In fact Cannabis has been used as good, safe and effective medicine in every major culture since the beginning of recorded history. cannabis is one to the 50 basic herbs of chinese medicine. There are numerous scientific studies showing that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine.

      Cannabis prohibition has been a scam from day one. The scammers are riding a gravy train of at least 40 billion dollars per year of tax payers money. Prohibition was wrought from blatant racism, fraud and corruption & monopolistic business practices by Sec Of the Treasury Andrew Mellon and his soon to be unemployed alcohol prohibitionist nephew, Harry Anslinger. Andrew nepoticly set Harry up in a life long position as the head of the newly created Bureau of Narcotics. They did this when they realized alcohol prohibition was not going to last. They pandered to monopolistic business interests, The Duponts, the synthetic fiber, plastic and cotton industries, the Hearsts and paper pulp industry, the Rockafellers and the fossil fuel industry. They used blatant racism and fraud to obtain their goal of marijuana prohibition. How sleazy is that and who in their right mind would support or condone it?

  7. I have to get to work … that place where I work with 38 adolescents in a residential treatment facility. I’ll have to give my comments later. But in the mean time, why was this written to address Should “Christians” use? What, they’re different then the rest of the populations?

  8. Go ahead, legalize it. Have fun dealing with the addictions. Have fun dealing with the families that have to deal with the addicts. Oh wait, you won’t do that, you’ll wait for someone else while ya’ll sit around toking up. I’ve been doing it for almost 14 years now and I hear this crap every day of the week. So while ya’ll are having a good time, please allow us in the industry pick up the mess left behind.

    Ya’ll can do all the intellectualizing you want but in the past 14 years I have yet to see one benefit to using. So go ahead, have your fun.

    • Tom,

      Why all the snark and sarcasm? Like I said to Jamie, it really takes away from teh credibility of what you have to say.

      That being said, “Y’all” didn’t write this piece. I did. If you have something to say, say it to me. You make a big assumption in saying that I “Sit around and toke up.” Where exactly did I say that I smoke?

      I have a very hard time believing that the 38 kids in your treatment facility are there for an addiction to marijuana. You of all people should know that marijuana is typically a way of coping with the addiction and not the actual addiction.

      ” I’m simply going to tell you what I think and let you decide whether I make sense or if I sound like I’m smoking, well, you know,” isn’t implying intellectualism. It implies that I’m simply going to tell you what I think and let you decide whether I make sense or if I sound like I’m smoking, well, you know.

      I appreciate your comment but I really can’t put stock in any of it because of the extreme approach you took while delivering your thoughts.

    • Christina says:

      Tom,
      Not everyone who agrees with the legalization of pot actually use it.
      Just want to make that very clear. So, regardless of your impulsive assumptions, “y’all” aren’t going to be lighting up.
      Also, from reading your comment, it makes me fe as tho you believe everyone who reads your comment is below you in the education and experience vein. Uhhhh… Once again, you are too quick with your assumptions. I would love to see the records for your 38 youths who have been damaged solely by the use of marijuana. This is what you were insinuating. This sounds like a ridiculous claim. Please, tell me where this youth home is located. I am very interested in doing the research. I mean, a medical miracle! The first known case EVER of that many people who were scarred so badly from the use of pot.
      I can’t help but chuckle at your use of fallic logic. Well, there are many educated individuals out there who can read through these claims you’re making. Petitio principii- your argument is begging the question as to what information you have left out in order to prove your point.
      In other words- you cannot take pieces of the truth in order to validate your argument. And if the whole story cannot validate your claim, my suggestion is to state an opinion as an OPINION and leave the facts to those willing to research and find them.

    • Nearly 3/4′s of people in rehab centers are there because of court orders. prohibition causes far more harm than pos does. Prohibition actually kills people Pot does not.
      http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/drug-war-victim/
      How about he families and friends of those people. You think they need counciling & therapy for what the drug war has done to them ?
      I cant show any statistics on death from pot because pot has never killed anybody in all of recorded history. It is said that one would have to smoke over 1,500 joints in 15 minutes to die of thc overdose but they would die from carbon monoxide poisoning first. Just like the monkeys in the failed/flawed Heath/Tulane University study. They caused brain damage and death in monkeys by carbon monoxide poisoning and then claimed pot did it.

    • “Have fun dealing with the families that have to deal with the addicts.” I mean, seriously, not all people who smoke pot are addicted. That being said, there are PLENTY of alcohol addicts in this world–plenty of us know at least one. Plenty of us who just got out of college know 20. Where’s all the anti-alcohol sentiments?

  9. Tom, your argument is absurd. How would legalising pot make the situation any worse? In objective terms it follows logically that the law has failed and people will continue to use weed in any case. How is it that us pot heads are presenting rational and cogent arguments if we are so cognitively impaired, not to mention holding down jobs and generally being productive members of society? Your “reasoning” is ludicrous, hysterical and emotive and begs the question, how does making an addict a criminal improve the situation in any way shape or form?

  10. “You don’t hear about people getting high and beating their wife or starting a physical altercation with someone after smoking a joint” …. You’re right, I don’t hear a lot of that but what I do hear about re the criminal activities relating to the use of marijuana. What I do hear are guys not being able to deal with their lives and having to have to mask their feelings with illegal chemicals.

    I have no problem with “medical” marijuana but I do have issues with legalizing it for recreational use. You have to wonder about it’s use when so many people are willing to break the law to use the chemical. That within itself should be a red flag that something is wrong.

    Use or not, the bigger issue is to identify why people are using. But people aren’t interested in that aspect of marijuana use. It’s easier to simply legalize it for recreational use and forget the fact that there is a problem behind a persons use.

    With respect to the what Dr. Capatelli, Christina, and Sarah says, I agree with a lot of what’s said in their response. We have what’s called MISA (Mental Illness Substance Abuse) clients. Many of these guys have mental illnesses which were never diagnosed which means because of the illness, many have turned to illegal drugs so as to handle these issues. Guys with anxiety, the inability to handle day to day life would naturally turn to drugs to better deal with the anxiety.

    The problem with our MISA clients is that we have to determine if their drug use was caused by a mental illness or did that drug use cause the mental illness. There is an old saying, Whether the glass hits the rock or the rock hits the glass, the glass still gets broken. Either way for MISA clients, we need to deal with the real problem and that’s the use of illegal drugs.

    Having a full time psychiatrist on the unit allows the treatment team to concentrate on the clients individual needs and not a generic “he’s an addict or drug dependent” person.

  11. “Use or not, the bigger issue is to identify why people are using. But people aren’t interested in that aspect of marijuana use. It’s easier to simply legalize it for recreational use and forget the fact that there is a problem behind a persons use.”

    Tom, I think this is a really good argument–seriously. We’re so worried about the recreational use that we forget that some people use it as an outlet. to cope with external factors we should be taking closer looks at. But, some people like to play video games to cope with stress, some people like the gym, some people grab a drink, some people toke it up–why should the latter be treated so differently?

  12. Guest editor Nick Florest wants your stories of addiction. http://goodmenproject.com/?p=75852

  13. Hi my names Jedi and I’ve been following Jesus for 6.7 years and I’ve suffered from depression, anxiety, bipolar manic depression and ADHD, to boot the only time I felt more active, more at peace is when I was self medicating with marijuana.
    It’s illegal in my home state of Virginia for now, but being on marijuana medicinally has been the best medicine regimen to date for me personally but I’ve suffered due to the illegality of it here in Virginia and am seriously considering moving in Order to legally medicate with marijuana.

    When I smoke I don’t just feel a release in anxiety I feel energy released to be active, purposeful and meaningful, that no amount of cypress or Prozac can match. I want to clean everything and knock out goals and do my homework.

    I’d appreciate any help please as being a Christian I’m going against the grain and it’s hard to live Jesus and be so rejected by those who say they also love him but can’t seem to come to terms with its legitimate medical effect on me :/
    Sincerely
    Jedi

  14. There is absolutely nothing wrong with smoking. No one has every died from the effects of marijuana, unlike alcohol. Legalize marijuana in all 50 states. If we are free to drink alcohol until we a) get into a car and crash, b) get alcohol poisoning, or c) get into verbal or physical altercations, then why are we not allowed to smoke weed? Weed does nothing but relax the body and mind. If weed is used for medical purposes, then why is it not legal? I don’t see doctors prescribing alcohol for medical use…

    Legalize marijuana in all 50 states.

  15. There is a certain contrasting quality between judgments within the world view of the proponents of the war on cannabis and Christian theology.
    The “everything is toxic” philosophy embraced by the ONDCP toxicologists and controlling offices such as the FDA and DEA is the exact opposite of sound Christian theology [1,2], and the corollary truths built upon it are not Biblically founded, and can be proven to be Biblically incorrect. -And if it’s not Theologically true, if it’s not true in the Bible, than it isn’t true at all [3].
    No Bible believing Christian can accept any “toxicology” studies or reports from the ONDCP in good conscience, when they consider the axioms that were used to build their studies. Do Christians adhere to “scientific” theories about big bang and evolution? No, and we can also reject the observations of the ONDCP about cannabis on similar grounds when all things are considered in a clear systematic theology. One must “Test The Evidences” that come from outside Scripture.
    Scripture, tradition, and reason imply that all things are good, and that substance (such as foods and drinks) only becomes toxic in it’s misuse, that is, in the uses that are not in order with the purposes God created them [4]. The Scripture’s warnings against these philosophies are traditionally viewed as warnings about the Gnostics of the second century. It was a blending of Jewish, Greek, or Eastern philosophy with Christianity. These Gnostic errors are widespread, they appear century after century, and shows itself in many forms of religion, not merely in distorted forms of Christianity. In life application today, we can see that same Gnostic germ resurface in our society in the influence of modernism and postmodernism.
    The war against cannabis is a frightening illustration, in that it is successful in stifling Evangelism within the local Church, and not many Leaders recognize what’s going on, despite the fact that it devastates the lives of millions in perdition. This ascetic teaching is unnatural, contrary to the constitution of the world as that has been arranged by a holy and wise Creator, and it is also subversive of Christian liberty. Nothing can be esteemed common or unclean without throwing a reproach upon the Creator. [5] To further discover the long term consequences of these unnatural teachings, we can observe the characterizations and acts employed in the war on pot have a resemblance to the warnings in Scripture regarding the signs of false teachers (which are directly linked to signs of the coming Rapture of Christ’s church). The war on cannabis shares at least 2 key qualities as the Gnostics. In the presence of the negative implications of statements such as “there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, ” and, “everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances. “, the Christian should be reminded that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons [6]; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! [7]. The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60′s, is evidences of the “fleshly indulgence”, or antinomian development that results from these ascetic teachings. [8,9,10]

    To summarize; The Christian world view and the ONDCP world view can be sharply contrasted. In the ONDCP world view, the Truth is “everything is toxic” and application is “just say no”. In the Christian world view, the Truth is “God’s creation is good” and application is “be ye sober”. The Scripture provides us a sharper, more accurate understanding and response to the subjects of cannabis use in society than the secular drug use prevention community. And as Biblical passages are weighed and discovered as this more accurate Truth, it should bear witness that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is Truth. We should lend thought to this greater spiritual Truth for which the Bible is compiled as evidence of; That Christ made atonement covering and salvation for our souls. “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that he world through him might be saved. God publicly displayed him as the mercy seat accessible through faith, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but by grace are you saved through faith, and it’s not of yourselves, it is a gift from God. For whosoever believes in Him will not perish. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

  16. [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
    The Sufficiency of the Scripture
    #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
    This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
    Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
    In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

  17. cannabless.wordpress.com

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