“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and argue that God is OK with weed or I could point out that the Gateway Drug theory began in the 1930s and is very outdated but I’m not going to do either.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.
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.
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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