In response to my article from last week, "Higher Ground," which asked the question "Where will Christians fall when the marijuana debate lights up?" I've received some excellent feedback via email. I wanted to share a few of the thoughtful responses and give other readers the opportunity to respond and weigh in on this necessarily controversial topic.

Here's a sampling of the email responses I received:

I enjoyed reading your article I just wanted to mention that the Bible does have scripture entries on cannabis not neccesarily on smoking it, but as a topical oil, and also as a food.

ALL DRUGS SHOULD BE LEGAL!  This is not an endorsement of them, it's a repudiation of the evils that prohibition has wrought!

I'm pleased to see the Christian press (finally) wake up to this subject, but respectfully suggest that you mis-framed the question.

The issue isn't whether pot is good or bad. That debate will go on forever. Rather, it is whether its prohibition should be repealed. Or, to put it another way, whether it's the Christian thing to arrest, prosecute and imprison people for pot. I assume you come down on the side of opposition to prohibition, but that could have been clearer in your piece.

I just read your article entitled "Higher Ground." In it, you state, "Scripture doesn't have an entry on cannabis-not even general statements on hallucinogens." I beg to differ. Allow me to refer you to Genesis 1:11-12. Also, Genesis 1:29. Cannabis, given to Man by God. Seems rather clear to me…Smoke yer Blessing.

Jonathan, I think you are on to something with this idea that legalization mostly solves society's drug problem.

I am a 50-something believer in MT.  I practice pain medicine.   MT is a "legal medical marijuana state" with one city (Missoula) which has tried to decriminalize cannabis.

At the outset, I am in favor of decriminalizing simple possession of cannabis, and, possibly, other historical psychotropics (opium).   Cannabis, of course, is an aging hipsters alternative recreational substance, often mixed with ethanol.

In the last 5 years,  US drug-taking has taken a sinister path towards misuse, diversion and "trouble" with prescription medications.  In MT,   hydrocodone and oxycodone are the leading cause of overdose death.   Urban NYC statistics don't come easily to me, but I suspect that the numbers might be surprising.   The inscrutable logic that Rx meds are safer leads many folks, even those with strong faith, to descend into a haze of polypharmacy. 

I would welcome a true discussion on the issue of psychotropics that seeks to discard the "drug war" mentality, and looks at the impact of overmedication on individuals in society.  This pandemic runs the spectrum from teenagers to the elderly. 
–Dr. W

I'd love to hear more of your thoughts. What do you think, should marijuana be legalized? Is there a particular angle to the discussion that is peculiar to Christians? Did I miss any of the arguments for/against?

About The Author

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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0 Responses to Weigh in on the Marijuana Debate!

  1. Stephanie says:

    The government, IMO, is not the Church nor a “moral police” therefore I don’t believe it should be responsible for things like this. Besides, putting a huge sin tax on legal marajuana might help the economy.

  2. Will K. says:

    From what I understand (from chats with various users & non-users) the THC levels in marijuana have been rising steadily since the 1970s, causing the drug to get to a physically-addicting level. That’s bad. I’m worried that this trend will keep going into a place it shouldn’t.

    I’m all for legalization and government contracts (licenses)for growing it as well. This way, we can monitor THC levels, Produce it at scale for it to be cheaper than the dealers, make it safer (no feces or rat poison, or crystal meth for that matter) and ultimately make it less taboo for rebellious teens.

    It’s that, or outlaw alcohol and tobacco.

    And I really like beer.

  3. Derby says:

    Legalization should not include heavy regulation and taxation. The reg/tax system on alcohol doesn’t make it safer or better-used. It merely acts as semi-prohibition and gives the state another way to be paternalist.

    We don’t need new regulations or licenses to keep feces and meth out of legal marijuana. And no new sin taxes – they just give the government an interest in an industry it doesn’t belong in. If we’re legalizing only to get lots of money, let’s just leave it illegal.

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