Should Christians stop fighting the legalization of marijuana (for recreational use)?

It seems (to me) inevitable that eventually all states will legalize marijuana.   Despite the consequences of legalizing weed, it is the American way (it seems) to legalize that which we cannot control, and marijuana is in that category.  Too many Americans are for it.

But should Christians therefore support its legalization, or merely surrender to the idea that the battle cannot be won?

Comments include how we should address this as a church. Our church constitution, for example, reads, "We embrace the conviction that illegal chemical use and drunkenness are sinful behaviors. We also hold that marijuana use (except for medical reasons) violates the principle of being controlled by a substance rather than the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)."

So please opine.  We may find some surprises in the process, for a number of Christians believe that marijuana use is no worse than moderate drinking (I am not among them).

BTW, we are talking strictly about the recreational use of marijuana.  Hemp makes good paper, and medical mariujana is a different issue, although you may comment on any of these.

Also BTW, in the comments below, when I use the term "legalistic," I am not using it in a proper theological way (salvation by works), but in a common Christian way, meaning adding rules that are stricter than or not implied by the Bible.

 

We must put effort into resisting the effort to legalize marijuana or make it illegal if its recreational use is legal.
5% (1 vote)
We should take a stand against it on a church-wide basis, legal or not, even if others call us legalistic.
57% (12 votes)
It is in society's best interest to make marijuana legal, and we should not become legalistic about it.
0% (0 votes)
My choice lies somewhere between the two choices immediately above.
14% (3 votes)
We have bigger fish to fry and the entire issue does not matter at all
5% (1 vote)
Other
19% (4 votes)
Total votes: 21
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There are 4 Comments

josh p's picture

I should have clicked "we should take a stand against it...." Voted other because I don't think the church should be involved politically in opposing its legalization but should clearly denounce its use. 

Bert Perry's picture

Cannabis is probably the easiest drug to interdict, since it requires a larger amount to get intoxicated, and because it has a pretty unmistakeable smell, and we're still at the point where I'd say that the legal bans simply aren't working and never have.  So in the church, we need to be a bit smarter--don't come out against it altogether, but point out that God does tell us that getting intoxicated is sin, and support research into what long term side effects might be.  

Regarding that, as far as I can tell, it's nowhere near as carcinogenic as tobacco, but there is some indication that it's linked to, if not causing, mental illness.  If we do find that it causes mental illness--a tall order since it took something like 40 years to prove cigarettes cause cancer--then we can simply say "you know, it makes you loopy goofy, smell like you ran over a skunk, oh, and by the way, it predisposes you to a category of illness that modern medicine has a horrible time dealing with called mental illness."

To be fair, I'm not sure whether the issue is that it causes mental illness, or whether those who already have it seem to like marijuana.  But we might do well to get some good answers.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ed Vasicek's picture

Bert, I apprecaite your comments.  Especially noteworthy are these:

 there is some indication that it's linked to, if not causing, mental illness.  If we do find that it causes mental illness--a tall order since it took something like 40 years to prove cigarettes cause cancer--then we can simply say "you know, it makes you loopy goofy, smell like you ran over a skunk, oh, and by the way, it predisposes you to a category of illness that modern medicine has a horrible time dealing with called mental illness."

Yes, it will take years for studies to confirm its consequences.  The problem is that we have anecdotal evidence about potheads and their seemingly heightened level of attention deficit and absorption with escape.  We can't prove anything by it, though.  So we are on the spot that way.

"The Midrash Detective"

Bert Perry's picture

Given that proving a connection is probably going to be difficult, it strikes me that there is at least one valid way of approaching those who decide to use it; to use it as an indication that someone may "be a good candidate for mental health care" and act accordingly.

Not that you go up to someone, necessarily, and tell him "you need to see a shrink", because that would go over like a lead balloon, but (as I note probably more often than I ought) one big category of mental health care is self-care, things like diet, exercise, and the like.  Or, we might suppose, ordinary brotherly love in the church....well, with a bit of restraint at the potluck!

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.