Return to Content
Read Our Devotional
Opportunities to be Published
The Home for Christian Writers! Matthew 6:33
ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BY COMMENTING
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
As A Member
Add to Favorites
Can Christians Smoke Weed If It’s Legal?
Free to Share
Author requests article critique
Does legalizing marijuana (weed/cannabis) entitle Christians to smoke? This question presupposes two notions: A. Weed/Marijuana is not to be smoked if it’s illegal in the country/state of your residence. B. Weed is prohibited in many countries because it is dangerous to human health.
Before we examine the pros and cons of smoking weed, let’s understand why weed is prohibited in many countries. Dr. Walt Larimore
- an award-winning medical journalist - highlights the problems caused by weed to human health:
Marijuana use can lead to problems after both acute and chronic use…A 2005 study of car accidents in France found that the chances of
drivers being responsible for a fatality
were more than three times higher if they had been using marijuana compared to those who had not.
Marijuana leaves people sedated and less coordinated
, making it unwise to drive or operate equipment while under its influence. Coordination problems may last up to 24 hours, long after the person no longer feels high.
Many people report euphoria and positive feelings from the high, but 40 to 60 percent report
. This has been the case with marijuana smoked for medical reasons…
About 10 percent of regular recreational users of marijuana
, according to the Royal College of Physicians’ report. When people stop using marijuana after chronic use, they can have
, with symptoms like restlessness, insomnia, nausea, and cramping.
Compared to other abused drugs, these can be mild and short-lived…
…Other negative effects have been reported. Students regularly using marijuana have
lower grades, more traffic accidents, higher use of alcohol and sex as coping mechanisms, and more psychiatric problems than nonusers.
These conclusions come from epidemiological studies that do not establish cause and effect, but have been cited as evidence of what is called “amotivation syndrome.”
there is growing evidence of a connection between marijuana use and psychosis
. Cannabis can precipitate psychosis and continued cannabis use in psychotic patients makes their illness worse…
The evidence is moving toward a consensus that
daily use of marijuana causes psychosis and precipitates schizophrenia
, especially if use begins before age 15. A study in New Zealand monitored marijuana use in people for 25 years and published its results in 2005. It found that daily marijuana users had a 1.6 to 1.8 times greater chance of developing psychosis even after all other known causes were taken into account…
Other concerns have been expressed that
marijuana may negatively impact the immune system
, increasing the risk of infection. This would be particularly problematic since the people for whom medical marijuana is most frequently recommended (AIDS and chemotherapy patients) are already at very high risk for infections. Research is not as yet clear about this connection.
The Natural Database rates
marijuana as “possibly unsafe” for adults and children, “unsafe” in pregnancy, and “likely unsafe” (orally or inhaled) for breast-feeding women.
Since the Bible does not explicitly condemn the usage of weed, we can expect both answers: ‘No, we cannot smoke weed’ or ‘yes, we can smoke weed.’ An article in
, entitled ‘Should Christians Smoke Medical Marijuana?’ offers both these answers:
No—It's a bad Witness:
…Christians should be cautious about using marijuana. Marijuana is associated with vice and unseemly activity. Christians are called to be above reproach, "without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation," shining "as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:15, ESV). We are told to "not be conformed to this world" (Rom. 12:2) and to "walk properly as in the daytime," avoiding sins of addiction such as drinking and partying (Rom. 13:13). In 1 Peter 2:11-12, Peter urges Christians to "abstain from the passions of the flesh" and to keep their conduct honorable, so unbelievers "may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation."
The issue is not the relative danger of marijuana itself; it is about witness. If Christians use marijuana as a medical aid, it should be done in a quiet, private manner, without flaunting. Christians must be mindful of pot's controversial and hazardous reputation in culture, and be sensitive to the perspectives of both other Christians and unbelieving observers. Christians should take note of the food offered to idols issue in 1 Corinthians 8-10 and strive to abstain from arguably innocuous activities that are nevertheless contested in culture. It is not worth offending or making someone stumble.
Yes, with care:
…Scripture raises important questions.
First, is it moral? This is the most important question. Does Scripture prohibit or command using marijuana for medical purposes? If something is illegal, unless Scripture commands us to do it, we do not. Where medical marijuana is legal, this is no longer an issue.
Second, are mind-altering drugs sinful? This one is a bit more slippery. Many prescription drugs—like psychiatric drugs—can be mind-altering, and so are legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. Christians have reasonable arguments on both sides. But I think we can agree that one's motivation is relevant. If someone puts their hope in mind-altering drugs, and these drugs become a way to turn away from the Lord, they are idolatrous and wrong. Even then, that does not mean that the person must stop taking the drugs. It means they must learn how to turn to the Lord in their troubles.
Third, is it wise to smoke medical marijuana? This overlaps with the morality question. There are times when something is morally permissible, yet unwise. If you struggle with a desire for alcohol, it is permissible but unwise to work in a place where alcohol is served. With medical marijuana, that question could be reframed as, "Is it helpful or dangerous?" Are there deleterious consequences to this treatment? The brief answer, and I suspect there would be many heads nodding at this, is that every medical treatment has possible harmful side effects. In an era of full disclosure, many prescription warnings end, "Oh, and you might die too." When you line up modern pain relievers, marijuana looks quite tame. It is riskier than Tylenol but safer than Vicodin. The dangers ebb when the marijuana user is terminally ill, and Scripture supports palliative care for the dying (Prov. 31:6-7).
Finally, is your conscience clear? Is it okay that people know you are taking medical marijuana? You do not have to announce it in front of the assembly, but you should not be ashamed if other people know. If your conscience bothers you, do not do it. For some people, the stumbling block might be that you smoke it. Put it in a pill form and use its technical name, and many consciences would probably be soothed.
Many innovations have unwanted side effects. For example, the Internet is a purveyor of pornography. Yes, more people will use marijuana for non-medical reasons. People who would not cross the barrier between legal and illegal might be more prone to try something that is legal though restricted.
How would I vote? Be wise and do not violate your conscience.
Dr. Walt Larimore’s advice regarding smoking weed is forthright, “…a consistent effort should be maintained to discourage all use of marijuana even if at some future time its illegal status is changed. The risks of using marijuana are great. Every year, about 100,000 people seek help in kicking the marijuana habit. The church could play a significant role here as only Jesus Christ can fill the void that marijuana abusers experience.”
Therefore, the use of weed should be discouraged even if it is legalized in the country/state of your residence. However, its consumption could be permitted if the usage is for medical purposes with strict medical oversight.
Dr. Walt Larimore, MD, DABFP, FAAFP, is an award-winning medical journalist, a best-selling author, and a nationally-recognized family physician. He co-authored a book with Donal O’Mathuna, Ph.D., entitled ‘Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely.’ This book is an evidence-based article on marijuana.
Websites last accessed on 28
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BELOW
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
AS A MEMBER
Reader Count & Comments
30 Dec 2018
Very well researched and representative of both views. We will be facing this decision shortly as many states want the $60M average expected additional tax money that comes with a "recreational use" yes vote. Thank you once again Rajkumar for your excellent work.
This article has been read
Read more articles by
or search for other articles by topic below.
Search for articles on: (e.g. creation; holiness etc.)
Read more by clicking on a link:
Main Site Articles
Most Read Articles
Highly Acclaimed Challenge Articles
New Release Christian Books for Free for a Simple Review
NEW - Surprise Me With an Article - Click here for a random URL
God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
LEARN & TRUST JESUS HERE
The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
FaithWriters offers Christian reading material for Christian readers. We offer Christian articles, Christian fiction, Christian non-fiction, Christian Bible studies, Christian poems, Christian articles for sale, free use Christian articles, Christian living articles, New Covenant Christian Bible Studies, Christian magazine articles and new Christian articles. We write for Jesus about God, the Bible, salvation, prayer and the word of God.
Link To Us
Become A Member