Question:

Hello,

I am a Christian, and I do not imbibe alcohol or any other drugs for recreational purposes. I have in the past (my youth) partaken in sinful inebriation, but have been sober for several years and have since been baptized.

My question is whether or not you think that Christians can safely support the use of medical marijuana. Given that God made all plants and animals free for man's use, would it be defensible for a Christian to support decriminalization of this substance, not for recreation, but as a dietary supplement or medicine? I've read on the American Cancer Institute's web site that there have been studies that have shown the benefits of certain chemicals present in marijuana for the inhibition of tumor growth for several kinds of cancer. I follow the law of the land as a Christian, and my main concern is God's reputation as I represent Him. Is it too radical in this political climate to take a stance for decriminalization of this particular drug? I don't think it's helping anyone at this point to make it more difficult for people to study, but I don't want to seem to others to be taking a worldly stance.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you.


Answer:

See: Legalizing Drugs

If science finds a use for marijuana, it will do so, but that doesn't mean marijuana should be legalized so that anyone can use it or that doctors can prescribe it without proven evidence that it works for the claimed problem. Right now we have the equivalent of the claim that heroin relieves pain so therefore it should be legalized so anyone with any medical condition can partake of it.

Yes, God made all plants and animals. Does that mean you think that keeping pet rattlesnakes should be unregulated? Should toadstools or poison ivy be consumed because God put them on this earth?

Marijuana is illegal because of its known harmful effects on the human body along with its addictive properties. See:

The fact remains that marijuana impairs the thinking of those who use it. Christians are told to live soberly -- with a sound mind and clear judgment. There are times because of medical needs that someone may temporarily need a drug to manage a disease which has side-effects that impairs the thinking process. But these drugs are rightly heavily regulated and controlled. To support the free access of dangerous chemicals is contrary to Christian principles. "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:11-12).

Thank you for your response. I read your links, and understand your argument better now. I agree with everything you've said on the subject in the past, although I do disagree with some of the statements you've included.

I never intended to insinuate that anyone with any medical condition should be able to use the drug. It's my understanding that it is extremely difficult even for doctors and pharmaceutical agencies to obtain the drug for study. This concerns me, because, while I have read all but two of your links (the testicular cancer link, and the marijuana impaired driving link -- both of which I'd read previous to your e-mail), I've also read from credible sources about studies that have been done which show the benefits of the drug -- particularly in the field of cancer research. Some of these applications had nothing to do with smoking or inebriation at all. Oils from the plant have been documented to isolate, contain, and eliminate skin cancer cells from external administration, never even entering the body in any meaningful capacity. I agree with all of your points (except the ones about rattlesnakes and toadstools and poison ivy -- which I believe to be irrational, designed to illicit an emotional response rather than a reasoning response). I think it was my error in the phrasing of my original question that lead to this misunderstanding.

Thank you again for your time.

The point of the rattlesnake, toadstool, and poison ivy arguments is to clearly demonstrate that "natural" is not equivalent of safe or good. While you dismiss the argument, you realize that it took one of your planks away.

The fact that studies are being done on marijuana extracts shows the concern that restricted drugs can't be studied is false. If useful drugs can be gained that outweighs the harmful side-effects, then great.

Still, none of these add up to what is being called "legalization of medical marijuana." The label doesn't match what is being done. And the recent general legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington demonstrates that the "medical marijuana" was never the target but only a step toward wide-spread usage.