Do Christians need weed? A response to the Christian cannabis movement

"If you’re longing for something more, then perhaps the question for you is not Is it permissible and beneficial to smoke weed? Rather the question should be Is this longing (for contentment, peace, physical wellness, and more) only satisfied by Christ?" - Christian Post

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David R. Brumbelow's picture

Abstaining from the recreational use of dangerous drugs (alcohol, marijuana, opioids, etc.) is both safe and wise.  Drugs should only be used for strictly medicinal purposes, and even then, with great caution. 

(Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 22:3; Proverbs 23:29-35; Mark 12:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8; 1 Peter 5:8)

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

Notice here that the author is not really addressing using dope "for fun".  The central question she is addressing IS medicinal purposes, specifically her own anxiety.  So in that light, you could substitute the names of any number of psychiatric drugs and re-examine the logic.    

And in that light, we find ourselves precisely at the same point we find ourselves with SSRIs and depression; should a believer use drugs, or non-drug means, to address mental illness?   The place I come--after looking up some very basic things courtesy of the Mayo Clinic--is to note that first line treatment of a lot of conditions is not drugs, but rather psychotherapy.  In their view,psychiatric drugs are for the severe cases--and the testimony I hear is that very significantly, they are effectively the first line.  Many psychiatrists, notably the (admittedly controversial) Peter Breggin, decry this vehemently. 

It is also very instructive to note that the author specifically addresses the huge variability of results in mental health.  She found she could not tolerate marijuana after coming to Christ; she writes specifically of another man who has a very different response.  We might infer that the range of results with any drug is wide, and this is one area where you definitely don't say "take two Zoloft (or joints) and call me in the morning.".   This is, for what it's worth, almost a neat little summary of Breggin's "Toxic Psychiatry". 

So in that light, logic suggests that if we proscribe marijuana, we are also in effect proscribing things like antidepressants which are likely keeping a number of people in our churches alive and functional.  It is neither safe nor wise to do this, even if we believe a person would be better served by psychotherapy or other therapies.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Agreed. When will it all end? Why don't Christians just do marijuana while watching Game of Thrones, just for good measure!

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

Tyler, I've been told I'm allergic to dope.....and dumb TV shows.  Can I opt out?

OK, back to the subject, the author, and the person she's objecting to, both have used marijuana for mental health.  Now without answering whether it works or not, or whether it works for a large or small population, it brings to mind the fact that in our numbers in our churches are a significant number of people who are struggling with exactly this kind of thing.  Last night over ice cream, my wife and I were approached by a woman whose claim is that many people know about their trouble, but it's getting dropped, or that 

And that's not necessarily "the pastor's fault".  He's got a lot on his plate at your church and mine.  But with my friend from church--actually multiple friends and relatives in my case to be honest--they need a kind of interaction that quite frankly they're not likely to get with programs.  You know such people, too--the APA has some stunningly high numbers in terms of SSRI use.   

Maybe there's someone at your church--or who walked away from your church because they received no hope--you might be able to reach out to.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

The last sentence of the first paragraph of my previous comment ought to read

Last night over ice cream, my wife and I were approached by a woman whose claim is that many people know about their trouble, but it's getting dropped, or that it is being handled in an inappropriate way.  She mentioned that her marital and anxiety troubles were being addressed within the context of an anti-pornography program, whereas she has absolutely no indication her husband has a problem with this.  As such, it can actually be counterproductive.

 

Hopefully everybody else's church is doing this kind of thing entirely correctly, and then the following comments will clarify what we ought to do.  Whether that is the case or not....

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.