"We should be standing up for the greater good and marijuana is not the great good."

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Aaron Blumer's picture
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Susan R's picture
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I don't get it

Marijuana does have legitimate medical applications, just like other substances that people choose to abuse. People abuse alcohol, sleeping pills, diet pills, and cold medicine, which are all available at your local Kroger, Walmart, and Target. If there is a concern about the addictive properties or abuse of a substance, requiring a prescription from a doctor is how we control that substance. There are laws already in place to address substance abuse. I'm not going to go around holding signs and chanting or anything, but I simply do not get the hysteria surrounding allowing folks to benefit from the medicinal properties of marijuana. It is ONE of about 180 plants native to North America that are used for their medicinal effects.

Aaron Blumer's picture
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Complicated

It's a bit more complicated than it seems because anybody can start a weed farm in their basement. There was a really good article recently in the The Weekly Standard by Matt Labash, chronicling his visit to Michigan where "medical marijuana" was legalized a while back. What well meaning people didn't seem to factor in in MI was that there was already a community of weed users that simply stepped sideways into the new legalized form of their thing. It's fairly easy to get diagnosed and all you need is a "care giver" to get the stuff for you... and many are their own caregivers. So the Michigan way, at least, does not appear to have been well executed--if indeed there is any way to execute it well.

Personally, I'm with the crowd that says I don't see why we need this. There are lots of painkillers available already. I haven't seen much evidence that there is a kind of pain that none of these work on but that weed does work on.

Here's a link to the article, but you have to pay to read the whole thing... http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/gone-pot

Edit: actually, it looks like you can read the whole thing... Labash is very entertaining but the picture he paints is not attractive.

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Consistency

It's just not consistent IMO to target marijuana while other substances that can cause major damage when abused are perfectly legal and even available OTC, and while other classes of meds synthesized from plants, that have serious side effects and are considered addictive, such as opiates, are available with prescription. Of course I'm not advocating that legalization mean that people can start growing it on their own- just like other 'controlled substances', it should be controlled- but not illegal and unobtainable by those whom it would benefit.

IMO it's total hypocrisy that Schedule II drugs like Ritalin are regularly given to children to treat a condition for which there is no definitive test, is often diagnosed by teachers and social workers who are not qualified to make such a diagnoses, and is often prescribed based on such recommendations by family doctors who are also not qualified to prescribe it. And yet people get upset over making marijuana available to adults. (a Schedule II drug is one that has a high potential for abuse, can lead to serious psychological and physical side effects, and is addictive)

As for its efficacy- some meds work better for some people than others. When my husband got hurt at work, he tried several pain killers before settling on Percocet as the one that worked best. Vicodin didn't do anything for him, and Darvocet made him feel nauseous. I'm allergic to codeine... meds containing alcohol send me into atrial fibrillation... so the argument that 'we already have plenty of pain killers and anti-nausea meds so it isn't worth the hassle' doesn't take this into account, and it shouldn't.

Aaron Blumer's picture
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Eventually

I can imagine scenarios where 'pot' could eventually take its place among other controlled drugs as a medicine. But it will take some very persistent and determined effort to get there. The main reason is that other drugs do not have the illicit recreational subculture that weed does. So consistency would argue for handling "just like..." but they do not have the same starting point, so "just like" will not produce the same results. At the very least, it would we wise to handle it differently until some point down the road when that history is no longer much of a factor... but I can't personally envision that ever happening.

Pretty much agree with you about Ritalin. But I think it's an example of what I mean, sort of. Because of the drug's nature it needs special handling and more rigorous control--especially in the diagnosis stage. This is also a major problem where weed has been legalized because there is already a huge market for it. So folks get diagnosed for every little thing that might warrant weed as a "therapy."

A good analogy of the subculture factor might be to imagine what would happen if alcohol were illegalized except for medical use. There would be a very messy period during which figuring out what it's good for medically would be really vague. There would be a rush of many thousands to get diagnosed for depression or something similarly easily claimed.

So we already have a good bit of inconsistency in handling drugs--and alcohol is considerably more damaging than weed. Legalizing weed for medicinal purposes doesn't really move toward consistency much. But I would say if some solid science can establish what the drug is good for and more rigorously define what conditions warrant it as a medication, that wouldn't be so bad. Right now that's not the case.

Susan R's picture
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Recreational subculture

I agree with you, Aaron, that marijuana is unique in that respect. I was just thinking that I can grow foxglove and belladonna in my back yard, but when's the last time someone was arrested for using or abusing either substance?

However, alcohol is a legal substance that has addictive properties and causes serious impairment. It has limited medicinal properties that can be provided by other, safer means. But who wants to bring back Prohibition? Not I.

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erroneous conclusion

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Here's a link to the article, but you have to pay to read the whole thing... http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/gone-pot

Edit: actually, it looks like you can read the whole thing... Labash is very entertaining but the picture he paints is not attractive.

the Labash report is entertaining but obviously wrong on at least a couple of fronts, one serious.

he says America is not ready for legalization and nothing is in place in the regulatory sphere. i wonder, if monies need collecting, the government would be slow to improvise. the people of Michigan seem ready to improvise during this recession, or near recession.

the most significant falsehood though is where he appeals to official databases. he cites the police statistics that show past marijuana usage more than any other substance by crime perpetrators, and therefore implies marijuana usage fuels violent acts. this is patently false. it is well known that Cannabis is a oily substance whose by products bind to fat cells in the user and may stay in the body for months slowly dissipating without any mood enhancement. so we could have a junkie who smoked a joint a month ago but had his last heroin fix only a couple days ago, and when caught breaking into a place so he can buy more H, when tested, will show the pot and not the H (which clears out of his system in a couple of days). the Coke, Meth, and the other "hard" substances leave few traces but pot's evidence lingers due to its nature. Labash spreads false information.

Give to the wise and they will be wiser. Instruct the righteous and they will increase their learning. Proverbs 9:9

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Cannabis in Scripture

Col. 3:11 tells us of Christ indwelling believing Scythians.

Herodotus informs us that the Scythians used Cannabis recreationally, seemingly one of the first cultures to have smoked it or at least vaporized it. also, within the last 100 years Scythian tombs have been uncovered holding gold and other treasures among which were miniature "tents" with Cannabis residue inside (the Scythians would put Cannabis tops, seeds and all, upon burning coals within these "tents" and derive their euphoria while inhaling).

as far as Cannabis and "The Church" (Roman Catholicism), the Pope banned Cannabis hashish during the time when Napoleon's men started to bring it back after their conquest of Egypt. to this day the official position of "The Church" and those strictly devoted to it is prohibition.

in the U.S. two main thrusts instigated Marijuana's banning in 1937 after previous years where it was part of many formulations of "patent medicines". the chief propaganda against it was racially motivated by Hearst and his media empire which demonized this herb of the Mexican peasant. other demonizers in the New Orleans area pointed out that white women who wanted to experiment with "reefers" would resort to black men for their supply.

another convenience came from the federal government to retain all the "alcohol prohibitionist enforcers" after the repeal of the Volstead Act. Anslinger and his displaced enforcers would now disemble against marijuana.

Give to the wise and they will be wiser. Instruct the righteous and they will increase their learning. Proverbs 9:9

Aaron Blumer's picture
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Water under the bridge

First, I don't think the reference to Scythians in Scripture proves anything about cannabis, especially if the correlations Labash cites don't prove anything. We're talking about pretty iffy connections in both cases.

Maybe I'm forgetting, but I don't recall Labash making that point on the correlation alone. But is there really any doubt that there has long been a crime-prone weed-using subculture in the US? Since cannabis itself has been illegal, you have already have a willingness to commit crime on the part of its users.

The origins of its illegalization are kind of moot now. If we want to follow origins-arguments, I could point out that widespread use of the drug in the US arose as a direct result of the counter culture. Given that hippie culture is a much more recent factor, I think it carries more weight as "where this phenomenon came from" argument.
But either way, my own reluctance with legalization has to do with a subculture that exists today and seems to just come out of the closet when legalization occurs.

Normally, in the US, drugs are rigorously tested (though still sometimes not adequately) for both safety and efficacy for a particular set of symtoms. The FDA oversees the process and eventually approves the drug for particular uses which guide doctors in prescribing them--and set some limits on what they may prescribe them for.
Cannabis has not undergone this process. The initiative to legalize it for medicinal purposes has come from other sources.

But I do sympathize with the argument that complains that the medical community has not taken cannabis seriously enough. When it comes to pot legislation, I'd personally favor something that funds and pushes for some rigorous research so we can get a lot of the guesswork out of the whole equation--and give the electorate something much more solid to work with than anecdotes about how helpful one person or another has found the substance.

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respectfully differ

Hi Aaron, SI,

First, I don't think the reference to Scythians in Scripture proves anything about cannabis, especially if the correlations Labash cites don't prove anything. We're talking about pretty iffy connections in both cases.

Aaron, did you mean to say what you did? The word “especially” doesn’t fit if two arguments are separate and unrelated. Historicity and cultural contexts are vital in most hermeneutical considerations.

Maybe I'm forgetting, but I don't recall Labash making that point on the correlation alone. But is there really any doubt that there has long been a crime-prone weed-using subculture in the US? Since cannabis itself has been illegal, you have already have a willingness to commit crime on the part of its users.

Like the tipplers of booze during prohibition?

The origins of its illegalization are kind of moot now. If we want to follow origins-arguments, I could point out that widespread use of the drug in the US arose as a direct result of the counter culture. Given that hippie culture is a much more recent factor, I think it carries more weight as "where this phenomenon came from" argument.
But either way, my own reluctance with legalization has to do with a subculture that exists today and seems to just come out of the closet when legalization occurs.

Disagree on the mootness of illegalization. When we take a stand on an issue we need to make sure it is a good cause. We
should not stand up for “bad causes”.

Normally, in the US, drugs are rigorously tested (though still sometimes not adequately) for both safety and efficacy for a particular set of symptoms. The FDA oversees the process and eventually approves the drug for particular uses which guide doctors in prescribing them--and set some limits on what they may prescribe them for.
Cannabis has not undergone this process. The initiative to legalize it for medicinal purposes has come from other sources.

During one period of recent U.S. history the deaths caused by prescription medications were five times as much as deaths from all illicit substances combined. A former professor of mine who previously worked for some of these pharmaceutical companies could only say “many factors” need to be considered when looking at these statistics. Cannabis has never caused the death of anyone (Bruce Lee notwithstanding).

But I do sympathize with the argument that complains that the medical community has not taken cannabis seriously enough. When it comes to pot legislation, I'd personally favor something that funds and pushes for some rigorous research so we can get a lot of the guesswork out of the whole equation--and give the electorate something much more solid to work with than anecdotes about how helpful one person or another has found the substance.

The AMA initially defended Cannabis during early prohibition but later changed its stance. It has now reverted to its original position. Also, since its schedule I classification in the U.S., research by reputable companies into the drug’s efficacy has been squelched. President Nixon appointed a blue ribbon commission (Shafer) to recommend on Cannabis but when they said to decriminalize it, Nixon blanched.

Give to the wise and they will be wiser. Instruct the righteous and they will increase their learning. Proverbs 9:9

Aaron Blumer's picture
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Misunderstanding

I think you misunderstood my meaning on a couple of points.

Quote:
Aaron, did you mean to say what you did? The word “especially” doesn’t fit if two arguments are separate and unrelated. Historicity and cultural contexts are vital in most hermeneutical considerations.

Yes. My point was that if Labash's correlation of pot use to high rates of crime does not prove cannabis use leads to crime, then the mention of a Scythian in Scripture does not prove anything about cannabis. I explained the grounds for linking these: "we are talking about pretty iffy connections in both cases."
I would argue that Labash has a stronger leg to stand on there even though correlation is not causation. Col. 3:11 says nothing at all about Scythians or their habits apart from the fact that their identity as Scythians does not alter their relationship with Christ. It's impossible to make any point of any kind about cannabis from this text.

Quote:
Like the tipplers of booze during prohibition?
Yes. With one distinction. Many who used alcohol illegally during prohib. did so simply because they were in the habit of doing it before prohibition. Alcohol did not come into wide use as the result of a cultural movement, unlike the spread of cannabis use in the 60's and 70's. But yes, drinkers during prohib. were law-breakers nonetheless--something Scripture clearly forbids (Rom.13:1-7)

Quote:
Disagree on the mootness of illegalization. When we take a stand on an issue we need to make sure it is a good cause. We
should not stand up for “bad causes”.

I'm not saying that whether an illegalization is good or bad is a moot point. My reference to mootness there has to do with where the idea came from... which is why I said "The origins of its illegalization are kind of moot now."
I agree that we should not stand up for bad causes, of course. I'm suggesting that there is not a good reason to legalize it at this point (especially not by referendum) given factors I've already mentioned.

Quote:
During one period of recent U.S. history the deaths caused by prescription medications were five times as much as deaths from all illicit substances combined. A former professor of mine who previously worked for some of these pharmaceutical companies could only say “many factors” need to be considered when looking at these statistics. Cannabis has never caused the death of anyone (Bruce Lee notwithstanding).

This is a pretty weak argument. First, it would only be fair to compare the harm that comes to some from use of legal substances to the good that these substances bring to others. Second, we do not know that cannabis has never caused the death of anyone (!). Third, the statistic you're referring to is simply incredible. More deaths by legal use of legal medications than by abuse of alcohol? Doing the math is beyond me, but I suspect it's more probable that we'll discover the moon is made of green cheese after all.

Fourth, we're not talking about "one period of US history." We're talking about now.

Fifth, even if 100% of the legal medications were 100% fatal, this would not prove that any particular currently-illegal substance should be legalized. (I suppose it might argue that the normal testing process involved in getting a legal medication to market doesn't work, but the reality isn't anything like 100% (I've taken a couple meds once or twice and I'm still alive... they even worked for their intended purposes.))
I think it argues more for keeping cannabis illegal, since the legal stuff is so deadly! ;)

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Appropriate for this thread...

right?
[img ]http://media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/sbr110410dAPR20101104044549.jpg... ]

OK- so I'm having too much fun today.

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misunderstanding also

(Lost posts, I should do all these in Word)

This is a pretty weak argument. First, it would only be fair to compare the harm that comes to some from use of legal substances to the good that these substances bring to others. Second, we do not know that cannabis has never caused the death of anyone (!). Third, the statistic you're referring to is simply incredible. More deaths by legal use of legal medications than by abuse of alcohol? Doing the math is beyond me, but I suspect it's more probable that we'll discover the moon is made of green cheese after all.
Fourth, we're not talking about "one period of US history." We're talking about now.
Fifth, even if 100% of the legal medications were 100% fatal, this would not prove that any particular currently-illegal substance should be legalized. (I suppose it might argue that the normal testing process involved in getting a legal medication to market doesn't work, but the reality isn't anything like 100% (I've taken a couple meds once or twice and I'm still alive... they even worked for their intended purposes.))
I think it argues more for keeping cannabis illegal, since the legal stuff is so deadly!

I’m not going to retype my long response but did you note these words: “recent U.S. history” (I don’t have the facts on hand or the time table but they are from this generation-last 20 years). Also note the term “illicit”.

Last night I tuned into a portion of the Discovery History Channel’s “A Chronic History of Marijuana” where this same contention was used, and not refuted, by experts in the field (prescription drug harm).

I wrote 1 or 2 term papers about related issues and will stand by my figures that no lethal dose of Cannabis is known and not one recorded death from marijuana exists worldwide. I’m sorry that you did not realize this fact.
I believe your caricature is undeserved and should be withdrawn.

Give to the wise and they will be wiser. Instruct the righteous and they will increase their learning. Proverbs 9:9

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Scythians

As for those Scythians: all my ancestry comes from ancient Scythia, so, I have a natural curiosity about them. My research contends that Cannabis intoxication was integral to Scythian history and society. The scriptural reference to Scythians who came to Christ was interesting to me. Surely if Paul wanted to condemn marijuana, he could have put it here.
Your comparisons to Labash’s faulty logic is only declarative, an opinion, not a debate point. This is only what you think. I demonstrated the weakness of Labash’s assertion which you failed to address. Of course law enforcement has a vested interest in keeping Cannabis criminalized, it’s easy money. I mean if you were a policeman, which call would you rather respond to: a domestic violence call, or a report of pot use? Labash obviously didn't have his "filter" on when dealing with the data.
It is important to note what I did not say also when mentioning the Scythians and marijuana in connection with Scripture. I didn’t find any other implied reference anywhere else. This was a point by omission. You may not be aware of all the literature propounding that Jesus used Cannabis and was some kind of hippy. This is based on the usage of “Kaneh Bosem” and its faulty interpretation. I roundly reject this as blasphemous and only noted the oblique reference to Scythians as a possible connection of marijuana culture.

Give to the wise and they will be wiser. Instruct the righteous and they will increase their learning. Proverbs 9:9

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Apologies

Quote:
Last night I tuned into a portion of the Discovery History Channel’s “A Chronic History of Marijuana” where this same contention was used, and not refuted, by experts in the field (prescription drug harm).

I wrote 1 or 2 term papers about related issues and will stand by my figures that no lethal dose of Cannabis is known and not one recorded death from marijuana exists worldwide. I’m sorry that you did not realize this fact.
I believe your caricature is undeserved and should be withdrawn.


I did overlook the word "illicit" there. I think all my counterarguments are solid except for that one. And in it's place I'll offer another. Is it possible that illegal drugs have caused "less harm" because they are illegal and not as widely used?
But I think the fact that they are illegal results in a difficulty in tracking their use that makes statistics like these meaningless. It's comparing many thousands of legal meds used by millions of people to a handful of illegal substances used--at least in the US--only by those willing to commit crime. So comparing the two as an argument for what's safer is, frankly, ridiculous, Discovery Channel or not.

Scythians... again, nothing in their culture or history is referenced in the Colossians passage. Their being mentioned there is in no way relevant to the debate.

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Alex K. wrote: As for those

Alex K. wrote:
As for those Scythians: all my ancestry comes from ancient Scythia, so, I have a natural curiosity about them. My research contends that Cannabis intoxication was integral to Scythian history and society.
I contend you are exaggerating this pagan religiously ceremonial element of their history which, by the way, is not uniform with regard to all Scythian people. And in fact, if you use this standard you would be forced to make the same argument for other non-alcoholic intoxicants used by them that are well documented, some in even greater measure.
Alex K. wrote:
The scriptural reference to Scythians who came to Christ was interesting to me. Surely if Paul wanted to condemn marijuana, he could have put it here.
Your argument is based on the assumption that he should have place it there. What you are then demanding from Paul is that every single objectionable practice of their former ways before conversion be listed. That is both impractical and impossible, hence Paul does address the issue in a prescriptive manner in repeatedly telling us that our "former ways", "the way in which you used to live in the darkness of your mind", are not our identity or our view and values, rather we are to "put off the old man" and "put on the new man" who is renewed in knowledge through God's Word.

One who is devoted to defending the use of marijuana will no doubt argue that Paul, here, gives no specifics so no one can dogmatically say, thus and thus is in view. And this is the expected response because their devotion is to their argument of marijuana's validity and not the appeal of the passage in light of its treatment of our old ways before conversion. But we (Christians) are not taught lesser arguments, rather we are taught higher orders and higher considerations. So when the Scriptures deal with Scythian believers, it is quite clear that they heard the issue by Paul to put off these old ways and renew themselves in the knowledge of Christ. If you still want to argue that the use of marijuana, which was quite pagan and quite in the context of pagan religious ceremonies and practices, is not in view with regard to the Scythians and Paul's prescription to put away these kinds of former things, you certainly are welcome but my belief is that those you will be convincing are those already in allegiance.

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Support legalization

i support legalization of marijuana, but don't believe it should be used by believers on grounds of expediency as well as a fundamental assertion that we should be in control of our faculties. So I don't know if it is really a morality issue as much as a Christian "best practice" issue.

Practically regulation and taxation would be helpful for increased government revenue, as well as some alleviation of the burden on the criminal justice system. I am sure it is simply a matter of time before states fall like dominoes on this issue.

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Four advantages of legalization (in my mind)

Four advantages of legalization (in my mind)

  1. Potency of the drug would be regulated. I understand that http://articles.cnn.com/2009-05-14/health/marijuana.potency_1_average-th... ]Marijuana potency has increased substantially over time . The pro-marijuana group sees this as red herring: http://www.slate.com/id/2074151/ The Myth of Potent Pot (comment ... article is from 2002).
  2. In the drug war ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Drugs ]a war that we seem to have been in since Nixon ), billions appear to be focused on marijuana as the lesser drug issue over against larger issues (like meth, heroin, cocaine, etc). Economists speak of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle ]Pareto principle (or 80/20 rule). Resources (money, law enforcement efforts, judicial resources, jails, etc) are limited. Some view that focusing on the more potent drugs is a better use of resources. Take other drugs (alcohol and caffeine- and these are drugs!): our society approves of their moderate use. Prohibition was a disaster (in the mind of many) and the modern day marijuana ban is likewise wasteful!
  3. In contrast with billions wasted in the marijuana war, a regulated and taxed legal marijuana would both save billions and raise billions
  4. Legalization would seriously diminish the power of the Mexican drug cartels (just as the end of prohibition did for the mob)

    Consider that:

    • Cocaine use is actually legal in some countries (Note that do not advocate that in the US!). Some societies are able to self-regulate drug use (consider children who drink wine in France or Italy!). Point is that legal prohibition is not always the better way of regulating behavior. I think this is true about marijuana use
    • Marijuana was at one time legal in the US (as was cocaine (consider " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca-Cola#Coca_.E2.80.94_cocaine ]Coca Cola "!)

    By the way ... and this is completely silly in my view: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp ]Hemp also falls under the marijuana ban. And industrial hemp has great and varied beneficial use.

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Alex Guggenheim wrote: Alex

Alex Guggenheim wrote:
Alex K. wrote:
As for those Scythians: all my ancestry comes from ancient Scythia, so, I have a natural curiosity about them. My research contends that Cannabis intoxication was integral to Scythian history and society.
I contend you are exaggerating this pagan religiously ceremonial element of their history which, by the way, is not uniform with regard to all Scythian people. And in fact, if you use this standard you would be forced to make the same argument for other non-alcoholic intoxicants used by them that are well documented, some in even greater measure.
Alex K. wrote:
The scriptural reference to Scythians who came to Christ was interesting to me. Surely if Paul wanted to condemn marijuana, he could have put it here.
Your argument is based on the assumption that he should have place it there. What you are then demanding from Paul is that every single objectionable practice of their former ways before conversion be listed. That is both impractical and impossible, hence Paul does address the issue in a prescriptive manner in repeatedly telling us that our "former ways", "the way in which you used to live in the darkness of your mind", are not our identity or our view and values, rather we are to "put off the old man" and "put on the new man" who is renewed in knowledge through God's Word.

One who is devoted to defending the use of marijuana will no doubt argue that Paul, here, gives no specifics so no one can dogmatically say, thus and thus is in view. And this is the expected response because their devotion is to their argument of marijuana's validity and not the appeal of the passage in light of its treatment of our old ways before conversion. But we (Christians) are not taught lesser arguments, rather we are taught higher orders and higher considerations. So when the Scriptures deal with Scythian believers, it is quite clear that they heard the issue by Paul to put off these old ways and renew themselves in the knowledge of Christ. If you still want to argue that the use of marijuana, which was quite pagan and quite in the context of pagan religious ceremonies and practices, is not in view with regard to the Scythians and Paul's prescription to put away these kinds of former things, you certainly are welcome but my belief is that those you will be convincing are those already in allegiance.

Hi Alex,

of course i have not studied Scythian history extensively, nor all their practices. as bowhunter i was quite interested in their composite bow. i know they were a brutal people who drank wine fashioned out of goblets of their enemies' skulls. as to a religious usage of marijuana could you provide me with some references? i have come across none, but that is not to say there isn't any.

i really meant "could" in that God is very clear in His prohibitions, please don't misconstrue my words as to what i'm saying.

so as missionaries we are to preach against indigenous pot use in those countries which have it?

as tax payers we are spending over $13 billion contra Cannabis in the U.S. we are also arresting over 800,000 yearly for marijuana infractions. is it really worth it? obviously no.

Give to the wise and they will be wiser. Instruct the righteous and they will increase their learning. Proverbs 9:9

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My comments had nothing to do

My comments had nothing to do with public policy, btw. I believe its decriminalization and in fact, regulation and legalization, need to be explored seriously.

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Subculture

Jim, I hear your arguments and find several of them plausible... but there is still the subculture problem. There is probably a way to do it right, but they sure haven't gotten it right in Michigan.
I don't see why the medical efforts can't be conducted the way medicines are normally tested and approved.
But if the medical use is bogus and the real motivation is financial, those lobbying for it should just be up front about that. What's wrong with saying "This is one vice that is not worth the cost of fighting it?" Not all vices are worth the bother to try to reign in through legislation (take "cyber-bullying" for example)... though some clearly are.

Something has really gotten sick and twisted when the same regions are trying simultaneously to legalize weed and ban fast food. We live in strange times.

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Aaron Blumer wrote: Something

Aaron Blumer wrote:
Something has really gotten sick and twisted when the same regions are trying simultaneously to legalize weed and ban fast food. We live in strange times.

Only in California!

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Q: What do you call...

doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

A: Insanity California

[img ]http://media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/aria101105_cmyk20101103101511.j... ]

OK- I've had enough fun for this morning. I'm wondering though- which came first 1)the criminalization of marijuana use 2) the dopey subculture?

It seems to me that we've already got laws that address things like creating a public disturbance or operating a motor vehicle or machinery while under the influence of drugs/alcohol. Even your average cold medicine has warnings about driving while impaired. Of course, it doesn't stop anyone from chugging down the Nyquil and hopping their car... but impairment is impairment, regardless of what caused it. So it makes more sense to penalize folks for conduct caused by the misuse of drugs/alcohol than it does to try to criminalize what someone does in the privacy of their home.

I think part of the draw of a subculture is the forbidden aspect of it. Remove the 'ooh-aah' factor, and it's not so cool anymore.

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Tue, 9/22/09
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not really, Aaron

Aaron Blumer wrote:

I did overlook the word "illicit" there. I think all my counterarguments are solid except for that one. And in it's place I'll offer another. Is it possible that illegal drugs have caused "less harm" because they are illegal and not as widely used?
But I think the fact that they are illegal results in a difficulty in tracking their use that makes statistics like these meaningless. It's comparing many thousands of legal meds used by millions of people to a handful of illegal substances used--at least in the US--only by those willing to commit crime. So comparing the two as an argument for what's safer is, frankly, ridiculous, Discovery Channel or not.

would i still be fair if i did not immediately answer your points?

no, Aaron your counter arguments are not solid nor the additional question that you propose. these statistics are given by expert researchers and social workers who have earned their degrees studying these issues. you are merely "throwing ideas out there". sorry. this is not your field or have you ever studied this in depth is obvious to me. go ahead, prove me wrong.

anyway, this is a very significant policy issue for the church and Christians. i have much that could be said as how we got to this point in our nation's history (which, Aaron, you dismiss as irrelevant, and its not). however, i have an international trip i need to prepare for and, the Lord willing, i will come back early Dec. to return to "sharpening" and being "sharpened". i'm leaving the laptop at home and going less encumbered.

Aloha, Alex

Give to the wise and they will be wiser. Instruct the righteous and they will increase their learning. Proverbs 9:9