Is Marijuana Ever OK for Christians to Use?

Pastor J.D. talks about whether the legal use of marijuana is wise or helpful for Christians.

A glimpse inside this episode:

In the past, this was an easy enough question, because marijuana was illegal. It wasn’t a “gray area” for Christians. The drug was illegal, so it was off-limits to those who are “subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1). But as recreational marijuana becomes legal in more states, some Christians are having conversations about whether there could be an acceptable use.

  • While the Bible never mentions marijuana, it does prohibit intoxication. If one hit of marijuana makes you high, there’s no way to smoke it and obey the Bible’s commands against drunkenness. No drug should not move us to the point of losing control. But that’s much of the intrigue and mystique of marijuana.
  • Furthermore, marijuana has been demonstrated to have a lot of addictive qualities, more so than alcohol and nicotine, and Paul says: “Though all things are lawful, but I will not be ruled by them.”

So, on the whole, it’s just hard to see how this could ever be wise. And that’s the wisest question: Is it helpful?

  • I will add: marijuana use makes you demonstrably dumber. I mean, so does watching the Bachelor or 5–6 hours of golf. But it’s not a helpful variable in this equation.

One deeper issue: the effects of marijuana work against the kind of community we should seek in the body of Christ.

In Ephesians, Paul contrasts being drunk with wine vs. filled with the Spirit. That’s not an accidental comparison. Both are ways you deal with stress and problems. Wine (and we could add marijuana) dull your awareness of reality. The Spirit heightens your awareness of an alternate reality–the promises of the gospel and the sovereignty of God. And you speak those to one another in the church, in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

  • Some who speak from experience say that getting high “pulls you within yourself, causes you to become more disengaged, not only from people, but also from life in general.”
  • One says: “Before I was a Christian, I smoked marijuana to . . . disengage from both people and issues.”
  • One guy said: “By causing users to disengage from life, marijuana works against the love of neighbor Jesus commands. Christians seeking to honor God with their lives would do well to avoid it.
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