Church must respond to marijuana's destructive march

"The medical marijuana efforts passed in [Oregon and Alaska] because voters were told it would help relieve people's suffering. Fast forward to 2014, and they now have legal recreational marijuana." 

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dgszweda's picture

Link doesn't work.  With that said, I really don't see the big issue here.  Out of all of the things the church is responsible for, I would classify this at the bottom of the list, along with the church trying to tackle prohibition.

dcbii's picture


I agree.  What dangers there are here should be preached on in exactly the same way as "be not drunk with wine," not, "let's try to make it illegal again."

Dave Barnhart

Ed Vasicek's picture

I found the link by searching for the quotation.  Here she be, click HERE!



"The Midrash Detective"

Bert Perry's picture

I'm not quite sure about "current" statistics, but one set of statistics I saw about legalization in Colorado was that usage actually appears to have gone down, believe it or not.  So it strikes me first of all that, whatever the harms of marijuana, we do ourselves no favors if we ban it to no effect in terms of usage.

Second, I've got to question Mr. Duke's claims.  Is marijuana hard to use in small doses, as he claims?  Well, 38% of adults (80 million) have tried it, 25 million adults are current users, and only about five million are daily users.  In other words, 93% of those who try it do not become heavy users, and  70% do not become routine users at all.   This is not the profile of a drug that you use once and are hooked.

Regarding his claim that there are not medical benefits, there are numerous studies out there that belie his claims.  Put bluntly, chemo patients notoriously refuse to eat because chemo degrades the intestinal lining--which is renewed in a healthy adult about every 72 hours.  Pot gives them the munchies and helps them endure chemo, and ahem--their risk of cancer is already 100%, no?  There are also intriguing studies that indicate that marijuana helps a person recover from concussions.  Might explain why boxers and football players are renowned for their use of the stuff.  Back in the 1930s, the AMA actually opposed the ban of "demon weed" because many doctors were using it for medical purposes.  

Now I will grant that, given that THC does impair mental function, we probably don't want heavy equipment operators, pilots, and truck drivers working with a joint in their hand.  But really, if the church wants to maintain credibility, we've got to address marijuana from a Biblical point of view, and we've got to present the scientific data accurately.  It is my opinion that Duke fails miserably at both here.  It's not just about getting stoned, as he suggests, the ban has not worked to reduce its use, and there are medical benefits.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

There are medical benefits.  This is fact.  Marinol, an FDA prescribed drug is one such drug.  Because marijuana has been banned, no pharma company has really picked up further research.  But every single narcotic that is out there has shown medical benefits.  One of the key advantages is that the side effects for marijuana is significantly less than for something like oxycontin.  I know people that are taking marijuana in both the US and in other countries for medical reasons, and there is plenty of anecdotal information, especially in light of the side effects.  The fact that it impairs is no different from scores of other fully legal drugs.  The author doesn't have a good clue on this.  With that said, I am all for legalizing it for medical uses, that requires a prescription just as you would with oxycontin.  I would like to see the FDA regulate it much better.  I am not for the recreational use of the drug, but I am not going to fight this one.  Just don't think it is that important.

ssutter's picture

I'd agree... obviously what kind of response is the debate. -

BUT for years church leaders have gotten off the hook (or being lazy in argument) more or less saying "don't smoke weed... because it's illegal" - we need to have a better response then that I think. 


Bert Perry's picture

One thing that strikes me regarding "prescription only" is that the traditional category is supposed to exist for drugs where there are clear dangers if it's abused.  That brings back the question of "to what degree are the psychoactive characteristics of THC needing to be regulated," and I'm guessing we're going to get an answer on that from a few states soon.

And+ a bunch to Mr. Sutter's point that "we the church" need to do a better job addressing drug use of all kinds.  Given the huge size of federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations, "It's illegal" is simply going to infuriate anyone with a touch of libertarian tendencies--which is about 70% of young people, I think, if not more.  Call me weird (it's true), but part of me relishes the thought of interacting with someone who is smoking dope and trying to walk them through what the Bible really says about intoxication.  So much more meaningful than the blanket "don't."

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.