The Legalization of Marijuana: What Christians Should Know

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Comment policy: ESA represents a wide variety of understandings and practices surrounding our shared Christian faith. The purpose of the ESA blog is to facilitate loving conversation; please know that individual authors do not speak for ESA as a whole. Even if you don\'t see yourself or your experience reflected in something you read here, we invite you to experience it anyway, and see if God can meet you there. What can take away from considering this point of view? What might you add? The comments section below is where you can share the answers to those questions, if you feel so moved. Please express your thoughts in ways that are constructive, purposeful, and respectful. Give those you disagree with the benefit of the doubt, and assume they are neither idiots nor evil. Name-calling, sweeping condemnations, and any other comments that suggest you have forgotten that we are all children of God will be deleted. Thank you!

17 Responses

  1. Matthew Rohrbach says:

    Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭11-12‬ NIV)
    Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. (‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭29‬ NIV)

  2. Grace says:

    If you have chronic pain,illnesses and endure them for years and have tried every “legal” drug and your body will start shutting down because it takes your bodies organs to process them. I’ve looked death many times in the face and most rehabs and over doses are because people are addicted to pain killers which is pretty much a legal ,smaller dose of heroin, I think if youve tried every avenue and your doctors are saying it will help with side effects from treatments. I am completely for it only for medical reasons. Alcohol is legal but is also a “drug” Do you know how many people that are completely healthy that are out causing themselves or others harm due too much alcohol. Medical Marijuana is the least of our problems if its used for medical reasons only. Don’t write articles unless youve read ALL the research and have seen the suffering that goes on.

  3. josh says:

    is alcohol slang on the streets to minors by gangbangers? no… so why would this article suggest legalization of marijuana would lead to gangsters who target selling pot to minors to make a profit? that’s just one example of a careless or unfactual statement in this overly biased article…

  4. Bill says:

    I feel as though you may be a little unfair as to the effects of marijuana. You can’t compare the so-called “high” from smoke marijuana to being drunk. They’re completely different. I don’t even like calling it being “high” because if you’ve ever done any hard drugs you would immediately notice the difference. A person that hasn’t smoked before or hasn’t smoked in a while will have an extremely low tolerance and may feel overwhelmed at first; but that quickly fades after a few days. Whenever I smoke, I just feel relaxed. My thoughts aren’t any different than they would normally be, although I do notice feeling “slow” and needing to concentrate more. It can also be distracting. For some people, it can induce paranoia, but that goes along with their tolerance. Low-tolerance smokers will be more paranoid than high-tolerance smokers.

    I have a debilitating illness, and for many years I was addicted to opiates prescribed by doctors. It was literally the most hellish experience of my life. Nobody can understand addiction until it happens to them. Quitting simply isn’t an option. Mere attempts to quit will result in physical nerve pain, nervousness, cold sweats and inability to sleep. It’s unbearable. Also, my tolerance for opiates is so high, I can down entire handfuls of the most powerful opiate pills and barely feel anything. Tolerance to opiates is developed QUICKLY. The same goes for alcohol. This is what leads to alcoholism and prevents people from quitting. The withdrawals can even lead to death or shock.

    Marijuana is NOT addicting. When you stop cold turkey, there are NO withdrawals. It’s not a drug; it’s an herb. I don’t care what anyone says, until you’ve experienced all ends of the spectrum, it’s impossible to make these distinctions without hearing it from someone else. Many doctors agree with me; while some do not, I feel as though these doctors have an agenda: to sell pharmaceuticals. Marijuana puts a big dent into their purse.

  5. Boobird31 says:

    Very biased article. You seem to make NO comparisons to Lortab (now known as Narco), Vicodin, Oxycontin, Fentenyl, etc. which are MAN MADE and HIGHLY addictive even under a doctor’s care. It’s a fact that even the non-addictive patient will still need higher and higher doses of these meds over time because they’re DELIBERATELY DESIGNED this way. I have advanced lupus, have had chemo treatment 4 times, have had every one of these man made drugs and more with very sad results. The Fentenyl actually killed me. I was taken off the man made meds and have been on GOD MADE marijuana for NINE YEARS now. I STILL have my 183 IQ, I haven’t needed ONE SINGLE dose increase in that entire 9 years, whereas I needed dose increases within 7-9 months of initial doses of ALL the man made drugs. I have also always had medication left over with my marijuana prescription because after that “high” feeling wears off, the drug continues to treat my pain for HOURS because the FACT is that The marijuana kicks up the serotonin in your brain which is also your body’s NATURAL PAIN RECEPTORS. I noticed you “conveniently” left that FACT out of your one sided, obviously biased article. As a Christian, I thank GOD for the medicine HE provided this world on the week He created the earth. Marijuana has healed me and gotten me off my cane, has kept me out of a wheelchair, and got me out of bed and made me a momma again. It also has helped me tremendously with my life long chronic insomnia. Maybe as a Christian, you should have interviewed some actual patients instead of just using statistics provided by the proponent of the drug, cause not including ALL the facts makes you look like a liar and that hurts Christian credibility. Also, it’s ridiculous to compare this drug to alcohol cause they’re two completely different drugs. I don’t know ANYONE who only drinks a sip or two of alcohol. People drink to get drunk. Some people are using pot to heal themselves. There’s a big difference. I’m sick and tired of holier than thou Pharasees posing as Christians judging patients who desperately need this GOD GIVEN MEDICATION, and making them feel like God no longer loves them cause they’re taking a medication GOD PROVIDED for pain management.

    • Sarah King says:

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m praising God that you’ve found healing and relief from pain. — swk

    • Darren Bernat says:

      Thanks for your perspective, though I am sorry for your medical problems. I am a Christian and am fairly interested in this debate. Before I became a Christian, I consumed a fair amount of cannabis. In fact, cannabis was definitely my “drug of choice” and to this day, occasionally I still have moments where, if I were given the opportunity, I would probably use cannabis.

      I believe that the bible does not condemn alcohol provided one does not become intoxicated. My thoughts on cannabis used to be that it is morally wrong based on the fact that to use it, one would have to break the law and that a very little amount makes someone intoxicated. I think that theoretically, using cannabis for treatment of a disease would be considered permissible under biblical morality.

      Now that the end of cannabis prohibition is near, I am rethinking my past position on the morality of using cannabis recreationally. Curious of your thoughts.

      • Jeff Lucas says:

        I know a handful of Christians who are indifferent about cannabis prohibition. We started a group on Facebook called “Christian Cannabis Fellowship”. Most of us are Evangelical, we hold to a historical grammatical hermeneutic, and we hate it that we can’t have these conversations in Church without being demonized by our Brothers and Sisters of differing opinions. So join up if you like, there’s no doubt in my mind we’ve nailed this topic down to the jot and title. It might help you make better sense of it all.
        But in the meantime, if you feel it’s sinful or unpleasing to the Lord to consume cannabis, and you do it; you sin, regardless of whether the act is sinful or not. The reason? Because you did not follow the Lord from the bottom of your heart, you failed to keep the commands of God in the depths of your inner life. You harmed your conscience, or “stumbled” as the Apostle Paul coined it in Romans 14. It is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against the conscience.

  6. Isaac says:

    I understand the bias but if we’re to take care of our bodies as the temples of the Holy Spirit, avoiding McDonalds should be a higher priority. Everything we eat effects us, Ginger is a potent serotonin antagonist, accounting for its effects on motion sickness and use for stimulating digestion. Acutely elevated serotonin can modulate inflammation but eventually it suppresses the thyroid and inhibits mitochondrial respiration. I’m not quite so sure that marijuana raises serotonin chronically.

    • Isaac says:

      Recent studies can back up my claim that serotonin isn’t truly the “happy chemical” it’s made out to be. SSRI antidepressants are very, very poorly understood drugs, but I won’t get into that right now.

  7. Jeff Lucas says:

    [along with Chrysostom’s homilies on Colossians 2 and Romans 14, the Author would do well to research the Gnostic heresies of the 1st and second centuries. I’d recommend the ISBE to learn about that. ]

    John Chrysostom’s homily VII, on Colossians 2:16-23 is a must-read. I often overlook at how severe he is to the prohibitionist. He divides them even from the Legalist, and shows them to be entirely foreign to the Christian Church-
    ” And mark how he makes sport of them, “touch not, handle not, taste not,” as though they were cowards and keeping themselves clear of some great matters, “all which things are to perish with the using.” He has taken down the swollenness of the many, and added, “after the precepts and doctrines of men.” What sayest thou? Dost thou speak even of the Law? Henceforth it is but a doctrine of men, after the time is come. Or, because they adulterated it, or else, he alludes to the Gentile institutions. The doctrine, he says, is altogether of man.”

  8. Jeff Lucas says:

    -one more point to make; John Calvin’s annual salary included 250 gallons of wine. Was he a drunkard? I think not. What I think, is that people are letting the Government define drunkenness, instead of Scripture. The Bible mentions many ways of being drunk: with fury, with bitterness, with bloodthirstiness… Carrie Nation, for instance.

    IMO, what matters most is a clear conscience with God about it. And it’s sad to see so many Christians lording their prohibition over the Conscience of their brothers and sisters who are set at Liberty… and this is no small point, our conscience is very relevant to our diets. nearly half of the time Paul used the word “conscience” in his epistles, it was in reference to what we eat or drink.
    Pick up the TDNT and do a couple word studies for me. “Stumble” and “Conscience”. See what you think

  9. Mystic says:

    I am Christian, but what sickens me about our religion is the way some of us hide behind it. We did the same thing with gay marriage; anything that makes us uncomfortable or seems “bad” is automatically debated as a sin. This article made some very hypocritical points in regards to alcohol. If this article mentioned alcohol’s affects on the adolescent brain, the addiction and the deaths associated with alcohol, the article would be demonizing ALCOHOL instead. However, alcohol is a social norm, and therefore celebrated by the church with no hesitation. Marijuana is not what this article portrays it as; don’t confuse your personal beliefs with the beliefs of God.

  10. Steve says:

    Clogs receptors!!!??! News flash….the human body, not only the brain, was created specifically with cannabinoid receptor sites! Cannabis Sativa (you call marijuana) is the most useful plant YHWH (God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob) has graciously provided his ultimate creation, us! Very uninformed, biased, deceitful article with false facts from biased sources. A healthy child or teen is still growing / developing especially their communication pathways in the brain. Still developing healthy humans should allow themselves to fully mature so not to alter their natural development (memory, cognition, etc) so I personally do not allow my teen boys to ingest cannabis for that reason. And only that reason. If they were ill or had a disease that required pharmaceutical drugs, cannabis would be utilized first. In numerous cases, cannabis is found to alleviate negative health conditions light years beyond what any man-made drug could do. Cannabis is a wonderful tool when used by a true soldier of Christ but today’s uninformed, lukewarm “Christians” have no understanding of this. Many can claim Christ but the spirit must dwell within you and when it does you get a little gift called…discernment. 2 Corinthians 4:4.

  11. Jewel says:

    Terrible Article.. Do some real research if you’re going to inform people and not go on some anecdotal lecture on marijuana.

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