Christians, marijuana, and other drugs

This one could get me in trouble.

I like trouble… so here we go.

I’ve been thinking  lot about the legalization of marijuana.

While I have not completely arrived at a conclusion, I’d like to think out loud with you on this blog.

Let me tell you two things about me and Mary Jane (aka “marijuana”).

  • I do not partake and have not in over twenty years.
  • In the past, I have partaken greatly.

The following are my jumbled thoughts, some of which subject to change upon further thought and more information:

Drugs made in factory and sold over the counter are okay, but drugs grown in a field (or a special lab) are not? Have you read/heard the side effects of much of what we give to our kids and our sleep deprived, overweight, highly stressed selves?

I have yet to meet, though there may be some, a highly motivated individual who is smoking marijuana. BUUUUTTTT… I’ve also seen over-prescribed prescription meds drain initiative from kids and adults.

Marijuana as a pain killer? Maybe a legitimate point. People take prescription pain killers every day that are addictive in nature and which can lead to some really destructive behavior. I can’t imagine how marijuana would be any worse.

I’ve heard that it’s a “gateway drug”, and I can point to plenty of people as anecdotal evidence that it is. However, I smoked marijuana every day for several years… and never did anything more. (My bride says I may have roasted out some brain cells in the process). So I, for one, am evidence that smoking marijuana does not NECESSARILY lead to other drugs.

Now some more thoughts…

Marijuana as stress relief = not a good idea. Neither is alcohol or any other drug. God wants to be that for us (Ephesians 5:18, et. al.). He wants us to draw peace and joy from Him and the community of friends we surround ourselves with.

The arguments for marijuana that suggest we stand to gain tax dollars and lower incarceration rates… eh. They don’t hold a lot of weight with me. I don’t want to go into detail on these two here, but neither one of these is a game-changer for me… at this point.

Gonna get a little controversial here…

Christians who vehemently oppose the legalization of marijuana should ask themselves this…

Do I self-medicate with food? Is my lack of self control with chocolate milk and Little Debbie’s causing me to need prescription drugs that I take without a second thought while criticizing the cancer patient who is looking for pain relief that does not come from a pharmaceutical company?

Where in the Scriptures can I justify the claim that “smoking marijuana is wrong”?

How’s everybody doing out there? Good? Ya’ll mad? I’ll bet the pot smokers and prescription drug takers aren’t, but how are the rest of you? 😉

OK, let’s have some dialogue here! A couple of ground rules first though…

  • Be nice. If you are mean I’ll delete you. And I MEAN that. 😉
  • Be thoughtful.
  • Don’t tear other people down on my social media space.
  • Be willing to listen to what each person says.

I haven’t drawn any hard conclusions yet, but I think we need to think through this together.

Ready? Go!

11 thoughts on “Christians, marijuana, and other drugs

  1. Well stated Paul agree 100 % of what you stated

    As a libertarian Id like to comment on using pot socially In my opinion its not as bad as alcohol.

    But as a christian this is where I stand on the issue used socially

    Is smoking pot a sin? Although the Bible does not address marijuana directly, it does discuss other mind-altering drugs. Specifically, the Bible addresses the use of drugs in the book of Galatians:
    Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
    So, where are the drugs mentioned in this verse? Actually, the word translated “sorcery” is the Greek word pharmakeia,4 from which we get the English word “pharmacy.” The primary meaning is “the use or the administering of drugs” (usually associated with sorcery or idolatry). Since this verse comes from a list of things that, if practiced, would preclude one from heaven, this should be a reasonably strong suggestion that the Christian should not practice drug use. In addition, the book of Revelation lists drug use as one of the things for which the unrepentant will suffer the wrath of God.5
    The Bible has a lot to say about alcohol. In biblical times, there was no hard (distilled) liquor—just wine and beer (which was more diluted at that time than it is now). Even so, the Bible has much to say about people who used wine to get drunk. One was Lot, who got drunk and slept with his daughters.6 Others sold girls to get wine to get drunk.7 The Bible warns about the bad effects of drunkenness—seeing strange sights and being confused, saying stupid things, making poor decisions, vomiting, getting involved in fights, and losing one’s wealth.8 We are warned not to join with those people.9 The consequences of such behavior is judgment.10 Jesus Himself used two examples of those who will be drunk when God comes to judge the world.11 God’s judgment of such behavior does not paint a pretty picture. The New Testament condemns drunkenness12 and warns that those who engage in that behavior will not inherit the kingdom of God (i.e., heaven).13
    The Old Testament warns the priests not to go into God’s house drunk, or they will die.14 In the New Testament, those who serve in the body of Christ are not to be addicted to wine or any other sordid thing.15 Even those who do not directly serve in the church are warned not to be addicted to wine.16 Finally, the New Testament commands us to not get drunk, but be filled with the Spirit of God:
    Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
    Does marijuana get one intoxicated? Even proponents of marijuana usage encourage users never to drive a motor vehicle while using marijuana.17Why is this? Because when one use marijuana, one is legally intoxicated and incapable of clear thinking and reasonable reactions. Being intoxicated is clearly condemned in scripture. So, if one uses drugs or anything else to escape and get high, or is addicted to these substances, it is against the commands of scripture and inappropriate for Christian participation.

    1. Craig!

      Thanks for the thoughtful post. I’m in agreement with the “No-intoxication” part of what you say. As I’m thinking through this matter I simply want to be careful to look at myself first and not condemn others for what I am doing with a different substance (e.g. prescription meds, alcohol, food, etc.).

      The issue for Christians is twofold:
      1) we must obey the law (Romans 13). If it is illegal in your state, don’t do it… or move.
      2) we must be wary of replacing God with a substance to bring peace, joy, etc.

      1. Right on!! we (Christians) like to pick our drug of chose food is a good example and so is coffee…lol did I just say that churches serve that up put the pot ….pun intended believe me no condemnation here. I have enough things I need to improve on much less judge some one else

  2. I have never read nor do I recall any reference to drug use in the bible. In fact Jesus, by turning water into wine for celebratory purposes…. was prescribing a drug….in a way. This again is judgement of another and not even related to relgion. I don’t use pot, never have but I don’t condemn or judge those that do.

    1. Pat, for Christians, the key is always to be under the control of God… not a substance. That substance can be food, alcohol, or even a TV show. The point for Christians is that from stress relief to joy… we are to find our fulfillment in God.

      1. The Bible does not directly address any form of illicit drug use. There are no express prohibitions against cocaine, heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), or methamphetamines (Meth). There is no mention of marijuana, cannabis, peyote, magic mushrooms, or acid (LSD). Nothing is said about huffing, snorting, dropping, smoking, shooting, licking, or any other method of ingestion. This is not to say, however, that recreational drug use is permissible. On the contrary, there are several very clear biblical principles that place drug use well outside the realm of acceptable behavior.

        To begin with, Christians are under a universal mandate to respect and obey the laws of the land (Deuteronomy 17:2; Ecclesiastes 8:2-5; Matthew 22:21; 23:2-3; Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-17; 2 Peter 2:9-11). The ONLY instance in which we are allowed to disobey the laws of the land is when the laws violate any divine imperatives (Daniel 3 and 6; Acts 5:29). There are no other exceptions to this rule. Contrary to popular belief, simply disagreeing with a law does not constitute a license for breaking that law.

        Many have argued that marijuana does not warrant prohibition. They contend that smoking pot in defiance of the law is justifiable on these grounds and in light of (what they perceive to be) the hypocrisy of outlawing weed while allowing nicotine and alcohol consumption. Those who argue this point may be sincere in their conviction, but they are mistaken nonetheless. Heartfelt disdain for the law does not justify impunity towards it, as our Lord Himself made clear. While rebuking the Pharisees for turning the Law of Moses into an excessively oppressive yoke, Christ still required His disciples to submit to their unfairly harsh demands (Matthew 23:1-36, especially 1-4). Dutiful submission to authority and patient perseverance through unjust suffering and/or perceived unfairness (1 Peter 2:18-23) is God’s high standard for us – even if that means having to abstain from marijuana in compliance with “unfair” legislation.

        Not only are we to submit to authority for submission’s sake, born-again Christians are further constrained by a mandate to live above reproach for the sake of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 10:32; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 6:3; Titus 2:1-8; 2 Peter 3:14). Needless to say, criminality is highly reproachable.

        Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/sin-drugs.html#ixzz3crFsGwXh

  3. I like your thinking. Like most things in life it can be turned into evil when used wrongly. I eat when stressed which can cause other medical issues. The hovernment also will find a way to legalize if it can bring in money.

      1. Paul,
        I always enjoy you right in your face approach to issues of sin and the christain life. Miss you and the girls.

  4. I would agree that not all those who smoke marijuana will go on to harder drugs but I think what is meant by a “gateway drug” is that many who do become addicted to harder drugs started with it. Not everyone who smokes it does go on to worse levels but I would think that very few who do go those levels, started somewhere else. I strongly agree that God can do for us spiritually what marijuana does for many physically. I think that, like anything, it can become an escape mechanism that is not healthy spiritually or emotionally. Addictions in general I would think to be unhealthy. My fear, especially for Christians is that when we begin to remove restraint in any area, whether it be in too much barbecue or too much alcohol or too much marijuana the addiction can become controlling and when I am controlled by an addiction, I am not self-controlled under the authority of the Spirit. Just a thought…

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