You may think this is a wrong-headed notion but please hear me out. I am a Christian and have studied this idea for a number of years. First of all God intended for man to have free will. Without free will, love means nothing. Only when love is given freely without reservation is it of any benefit, not only to us, but also as love for God. If you could sum up the message in the New Testament, it would be to “Love God with all your heart and to love others as you love yourself”. There is no love in prohibiting marijuana. People who use it medicinally are denied relief and those who use it for other reasons face fines and incarceration, are denied employment and considered a danger to their own children. Marijuana prohibition was perpetuated with a series of lies and misinformation and that practice continues today, with our government hiding the truth about marijuana and refusing to acknowledge any benefits from the drug. Did you know the federal government owns patents on marijuana that describe in detail how marijuana is an effective drug to combat cancer and have known this for decades. They do not release this information because it doesn’t fit the agenda of protecting big business from competition or loss from marijuana and hemp. You may say that using marijuana is sin and separates us from God, but where are the scriptures to support that belief. Alcohol and marijuana are both used for roughly the same reasons, as a social catalyst, for recreation, for relaxation, as medication, for celebration and as a sacrament. Several references found throughout the Bible indicate that alcohol was used in celebration, for self medication, to ease pain and as a sacrament. The first recorded miracle by Jesus was turning water into wine at a wedding celebration. Clearly the bible says that drunkenness is a sin, but what about responsible use?
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
1 Corinthians 10:31
U.S. Government patent on marijuana http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507
Evidence is growing and statistics show that marijuana is a far safer alternative to alcohol. People want to feel better, that is the whole premise for self medication. We self medicate with over the counter medications for the most part now, but 100 years ago home remedies and patent medicines were the norm. Many of these patent medicines contained heroin, cocaine, opium, cannabis or alcohol and were readily available. Still today there is a large market for homeopathic medicines and herbs and hundreds of books written to help us find the correct dietary supplement to cure what ails us. There is little evidence that this type of self medication was harmful to society then or now. The highest estimate I have found of deaths caused by all illegal drug use per year was only 17,000 deaths. The deaths associated with alcohol are at 70,000+, not counting its association with traffic fatalities, murders and domestic violence. The deaths caused by prescription drug use, including med errors and misuse, are over 200,000 a year and tobacco kills 450,000 people a year. Overeating and lack of exercise kills 350,000 people a year. The book “Cause of Death”, lists 3 deaths cause by consumption of cannabis. Marijuana has been shown to be very promising in treating pain, spasms, wasting and even cancer. States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use have seen a 9% decrease in traffic fatalities. The fear campaign waged against hemp and marijuana was perpetuated with lies and the truth was hidden. The reported harm to individuals and to society from marijuana use, has been grossly overstated by our government and most of the harm associated with marijuana use, is a direct result of prohibition and not caused by marijuana. If God really wanted hemp and marijuana to be illegal, would he have needed to hide the truth to accomplish that mission?
Cause Of Death, edited by Jack Mingo, Erin Barrett and Lucy Autrey Wison
Marijuana, like anything else can be abused. Many of you have heard that marijuana decreases motivation and I have found that to be true when used excessively, but the same could be said for television or alcohol. Like alcohol, I believe marijuana’s use should be age appropriate and regulated by ID checks for purchase. Like alcohol use, maturity has a strong bearing on the degree of abuse. Children just aren’t that good at controlling their urges, but many adults share the same problem. Giving a source of never-ending chocolate to a child would be a bad choice as most children would eat nothing but chocolate, yet as adults purchasing our own food, we have that option, but we choose other more nutritious food for the most part. That is where maturity comes in and we all mature at different rates and to different degrees. Some people never learn to make good decisions, but as a society we let them make those choices for the most part, as long as they do no harm to others.
Education is a much better option to help others lead a better life than prohibition. Prohibition robs people of free will and creates unregulated markets and crime where none should exist. Prohibition is a perfect tool to control 3 year olds who lack the reasoning and skills necessary to be self-sufficient, but as we mature and develop our capacity for reasoning and become self-sufficient, prohibition becomes a burden and even hateful when used to deny employment, the right to raise our children or when we face incarceration and fines and property we worked and paid for is confiscated. Prohibition of marijuana makes criminals out of people for choosing a safer, less harmful drug than alcohol. With an estimated 20,000,000 Americans currently using marijuana, it is very likely someone you love uses marijuana. We shop with you and dine in restaurants with you. You see us picking up our kids at school and at games and sporting events and at the movies. We blend in because we’re just like the rest of society, working, paying our bills and trying to raise our children as best we can. All we really want is to live in peace with society, yet federal law prohibits this and Congress doles out tax money and military equipment for local law enforcement to conduct paramilitary raids on homes of people accused of selling marijuana.
I can’t say that God approves of marijuana. I simply do not know and as far as I have found in scripture, the Bible is silent on this issue. Certainly abuse of marijuana would be sinful, but so is abuse of alcohol and arguably, anything done to an excess. We all have obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to our families, and to society, but most importantly to God. The bible stresses that we are to love one another as ourselves. To support laws, such as the prohibition of marijuana, that are based on misinformation, and motivated by greed, racial intolerance and hatred, is in direct opposition to the message of Jesus Christ. Regardless of whether use of marijuana is sinful, prohibition is a hateful way to treat people and it denies people free will.
Marijuana’s use should be discouraged because it is a drug that has a strong likelihood of abuse, and I would say that any use of marijuana that keeps us from meeting our obligations and responsibilities, to ourselves, to society, to our family or to God as abuse and sinful. Indifference to injustice and the harm it causes others is sinful as well, and it does nothing to advance Christianity.