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Your faith and pot

November 1, 2017

Should Christians Avoid Business or Personal Connections with the Marijuana Industry?

By Randy Alcorn

Eternal Perspective Ministries 

Recently, a strong Christian friend, who owns a business here in my home state of Oregon, asked my opinion about his doing work that would either directly or indirectly facilitate the legal growing and selling of marijuana. I’m sharing my edited response to him because this is a subject that is relevant for many, and will only become increasingly so as more states legalize marijuana.

My personal counsel to him was to stay away from any business or personal connection with the marijuana business, whether direct or indirect. It’s important to clarify that I believe medical marijuana is sometimes beneficial, and I have counseled believers in serious pain to try it when other alternatives have not worked for them. The stigma of marijuana use shouldn’t prevent someone from a treatment they would otherwise have embraced.

Nearly all medications that relieve pain or adverse symptoms can reduce awareness and are potentially addictive, but can still be used wisely and moderately. (This 2011 article is somewhat dated, but contains some good insights on Christian views of medical marijuana, especially the final portion from Ed Welch.) Having said this, medical marijuana is not what this blog is about.

While some evangelicals see recreational cannabis as a gray area, I think its dangers to people, especially to young people, are very significant. People debate it, like they do everything, but I’m convinced it is harmful in and of itself, and that it can be and often is a gateway drug. (Just ask those whose loved ones have been drawn into hard drugs, and often you’ll find they started with smoking pot.)

The American College of Pediatricians reports:

Marijuana is addictive. While approximately 9 percent of users overall become addicted to marijuana, about 17 percent of those who start during adolescence and 25-50 percent of daily users become addicted. Thus, many of the nearly 6.5 percent of high school seniors who report smoking marijuana daily or almost daily are well on their way to addiction, if not already addicted. In fact, between 70-72% of 12-17 year olds who enter drug treatment programs, do so primarily because of marijuana addiction.

The fact that recreational use is legal now in Oregon doesn’t mean that much in a state that legalized abortion four years before Roe v. Wade and was also literally the first principality in human history to legalize physician assisted suicide (it wasn’t even legal in the Netherlands then). As if this weren’t enough for Oregon to be famous for, last month, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3391, making Oregon the only state in the U.S. without any laws that restrict or limit abortion, and one of only a handful of states that chooses to use taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions.

Of course, there are Christians who defend it and say it’s no different than alcohol. But while it’s possible to drink alcohol in moderation, i.e. to avoid intoxication, it’s virtually impossible with marijuana. I have read what users say, who claim four puffs is all it takes for intoxication, and some say one to three puffs will get them high. And who takes just a puff or two? Do people really take just one puff then stomp it out? That would be like getting intoxicated on one or two sips of wine, then pouring the rest down the drain. That’s just not going to happen.

Would I want my grandsons to try marijuana? No. Why? Because I love them and don’t want them to go where it leads. Even if it doesn’t become the gateway to other drugs (which it very well may), it would mess with their minds and bodies, dull their consciences, and impair their walk with Jesus and testimony for Him.

This is why I would stay away from furthering the marijuana business, as well as for the reason of seeking to be a good example to both believers and unbelievers. If someone asked you, “What businesses do you service?”, would you be embarrassed to say one of them is a cannabis retailer or a marijuana grower? That’s probably a clear sign you shouldn’t do it.

For business people who provide goods and services, I would ask these questions if you are considering doing business with legal cannabis retailers:

Would I be empowering or enabling their business, and thereby effectively participating in their negative influences?
Would I be legitimizing or endorsing the use of pot?
What message would I send to others, young or old, by my involvement?
Would I be, or appear to be, compromising convictions for the sake of money?
Would Jesus bless my work?
How would this fit with 1 Corinthians 10:31? “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”

  
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Discuss this article

Brian Kelly November 1, 2017

What we certainly don’t need are anymore people who feel justified in appointing themselves to be self-deputized morality police.

We are very capable of choosing for ourselves if we want to consume Marijuana, a far less dangerous choice over alcohol, and we definitely don’t need anyone dictating how we live our own lives.

We can’t just lock up everyone who does things you prohibitionists don’t personally approve of.

If I were you and worried so much about “saving all of us” adults from ourselves, well then, I’d begin with the deadliest drug. Which causes more broken homes, domestic violence, and traffic fatalities than all other drugs, combined. That most dangerous and deadly drug is alcohol.

Yet alcohol remains perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised, even glorified as an All American pastime.

Why doesn’t the much more prevalent, far more widely abused, use of alcohol concern you much more than marijuana which is a relatively benign drug when compared to all other ones?

Protesting the legality of booze should be your number one priority if you are truly so concerned about “saving us all” from ourselves.

Regarding “The Children”,

Let’s not use “The Children” as an excuse to prohibit and criminalize adult use of a natural plant far less dangerous than perfectly legal alcohol because nobody condones child use, and this is about allowing adults only to choose marijuana.

It’s our responsibility as parents by to educate our children on drug use. It’s not the government’s job to force Draconian Marijuana Laws upon every adult citizen under the guise of protecting “The Children”.

What message are we sending our children when it is easier for them to obtain marijuana now with it being illegal than it is for them to buy alcohol?

It doesn’t take the intellect of a genius to understand that stores card kids for I.D. Thugs and gang members do not. They also push the real hard drugs on children. Stores do not.

Marijuana legalization will make it harder for children to obtain it.

What message does it send our children when several Presidents of The United States themselves, alongside a long list of successful people openly admit regular pot use at one time or another in their lives?

While we tell our kids how it will ruin their futures, and then ensure so, by allowing our government to to jail our children and give them permanent criminal records when they get caught with a little Marijuana. Especially, if they are the wrong skin color or from the “wrong neighborhood”. Which in turn, ruins their chances of employment for life.

The Prohibition of Marijuana is the wrong message to send our children while we glorify, advertise and promote the much more dangerous use of alcohol like it’s an all American pastime.

The worst thing about marijuana and our children is what happens to them when they get caught up in the criminal justice system due to it’s prohibition.

Protect “The Children” and Our Neighborhoods Through The Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Nationwide!

Speaking about Morals and Sins, Prohibitionists often ask: “How do you know Marijuana is a Gift From God?”

This is how we know:

Genesis 1:29 – And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

Genesis 9:3 – Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Genesis 1:11 – And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Genesis 1:30 – And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Proverbs 15:17 – Better [is] a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

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