I say “Nada” to both. I’ll explain that in a bit here. First let me highlight pros and cons of both re. legislation and criminal issues regarding both. If you read this through, you’ll understand I’m going back-and-forth as I do believe there are pros as well as cons in this!
A friend of mine in Colorado has exchanged emails on the matter of pot legalization there. He’s sent me reports from all over the world on medical and social studies about this, and I’ve been reading up on them for several years now.
I have been thinking about writing on all this for months. So here we go!
I’ve been quite honest about my own addictions and dealt with most of them many years ago but still speak at recovery meetings, sometimes attend, enjoy reading and personally benefit from several groups doing 12 Step and related work and seeing the freedom and positive changes in my own and others via recovery services.
So here is my view in very brief:
IF you can argue (and you can, even in terms of what the Bible says) for moderate drinking (prior to drunkenness) you might also be able to argue for marijuana use, and I’m not talking medical pot either. So- at what point is one “buzzed but not impaired ” re. pot -as we might consider alcohol intake without being truly “drunk”? This is a major issue.
At the time I write this (October 2013) from my own studies online both pro and con, medical as well as scientific, it does seem that there are cancer patients and a few others with various illnesses who have had suffering relieved by use of some form of pot- often in a pill and often with some mixture of both of the main drugs derived from cannabis. Sometimes these and other drugs as well as holistic therapies were also used so it’s not a matter of 100 percent “weed” bringing the relief.
Proverbs tells us about a dying person being given alcohol to soothe their exit from this life. (Pro. 31.6) Then again the second part of the verse seems questionable in that I’ve known more depressed alcoholics than truly happy, joyous ones… so I wonder about this in the sense of a “command of God” for giving strong drink to someone who’s bummed out!
I’m on record for years saying that medicine is one thing, recreation another. I have no personal issue with medical marijuana IF it both works and if it is truly regulated in its use by qualified doctors.
Regarding alcohol: did U.S. prohibition work or did it only make way for more criminal activity and a black market? If one could legislate righteousness Jesus died in vain. You cannot, and He didn’t- thank God for Jesus!
At the same time let’s be honest about drug cartels, the fact that they make more from pot than any other sale… amazing and sick. So there is that benefit from tax (re. federal and state government regulation, oversight and financing) as well as a good sort of hit on some very evil people in the drug trade who would just as soon sell your little sister into sex slavery as sell you a load of pot. It’s all about which makes the most money.
When prohibition ended crime and criminals didn’t end. They migrated back into (or dreamed up new ways) of making illicit money from vice.
So let’s talk about what drunkenness has done for personal lives, marriages, children, road deaths and maiming and date-rape. Let’s also admit a good portion of the same thing does and will happen more re. legalization from excess of pot smoking or ingesting.
Can we not also face the fact that Americans and especially younger thrill-seekers don’t give a rip if it’s legal or not, nor the amounts deemed “safe” or “moderate”?
Would anyone like to argue with me about the fact that moderation is nearly a dinosaur in terms of American dna?
Then comes the concept of measurement of the substances and ingestion of elements (THC, etc.) in pot that makes one high.
Somebody (and several companies) will come up with technology for this but until then, what? How much is “too high to drive”? What sort of pot-measurement besides a blood test can tell a cop that you’re too loaded to get behind the wheel after a party? At present, no existo.
Does pot help cancer to not grow or is there evidence that it causes cancer? Jury’s still out on that for a while, but there is clear evidence that as in cigarette smoking, the pre-cancer stuff shows up with pot smoking nearly in near-exact form as those who develop cancer from cigs. By the way, studies indicate it won’t be before some 20 years pass that those smoking now are negatively affected in terms of major health issues related to pot use. Of course, alcohol abuse and sometimes pot use can bring that number down a bit.
In the end, if a Christian (or anyone, really) can justify one, they can likely justify the other.
On the basis of my personal moderation and addiction issues, the gateway drug that both were for me and plenty of my friends, health of myself and those of my friends still living, road, near-death and overdose issues related to these substances and those that followed my use of them, impairment to clear/sane thinking, application of the Bible to other areas of my life with regard to sexuality, “self vs. other people” choices and lifestyle. All of these contribute to my own position on both pot and alcohol use. Ain’t goin’ there, can’t go there, think the negatives far outweigh the benefits. Unless you’re perhaps dying.
At which time I’d rather pray than either drink or puff…
Neither God nor I am a fun cop, but what I do think to be true is that pleasure and the ability to get it wherever is pretty normal for any human. Acceptance by others is also a huge part of our decision-making. I think these and little else are the guts of why we eventually come to personal wreckage and at that point use these to self-medicate.
It’s likely true that relationship issues are more the cause and these two drugs more the symptoms re. the lives of most addicts… but you get my drift.
With God’s help and that of others I am free from drug, alcohol and smoking addictions… but still deal with food issues, sexual temptation, pride/insecurity issues among others. Sinless ain’t me!! I’m not arguing from a place of perfection or personal holiness, rather admitted weakness and knowing my personal ability to self-destruct as well as share such misery with those I influence!
Through the years I’ve learned genuine mercy doesn’t always come with a “Yes”, and that’s a really tough reality to swallow at times. I admit this. Then again, reality is likely what we seek to find a bit of relief from. Yes, even God’s view of reality.
To be blunt, such relief never relieved me, rather it added to my addictions and near death.
So, two main reasons I quit doing weed and all dope: The realization that I was financing truly wicked people who also used human trafficking, murder, slavery and some who rape people all in the course of their daily “business”. The knowledge I was not only trashing myself , others around me were following my example. My conscience (even before I followed Jesus) started ringing these truths loudly every time I wanted to party with drinking/drugging buddies.
Legalization may fix the first problem but not the second.
Will legalization “fix” marijuana, hashish (if not pot, why not concentrated form?) and the gateway drug nature of addiction? Did EITHER prohibition or legalization “fix” the wrecks caused by alcohol consumption? I frankly think the answer to all these questions is “No”.
By the way, 45 years ago I (and others) could find weed cured with opium and forms of heroin added. I suspect such will happen via cartels, they get the game far better than average peeps. If one unleaded pot works, think about the possibilities re. hash or “leaded” additives. Been there, done that.
Christians (or not(, it’s wake-up time. Knowledge isn’t wisdom and what’s acceptable can victimize you and those you love.
We don’t need witch-hunts, we need love, relationship and humility, not mere pleasure cruises.
So these are the reasons I’ve taken and by God’s grace, maintained sobriety for some 42 years.
I have enough struggles within my own addictive nature and really don’t wish to wrestle with even more temptation beyond what I already face in the natural course of life.
At the very least, as I heard an old preacher say, “Others may. I cannot”.
Some things to consider? Thanks for stopping by!