June 30, 2016
Christians need to work both against marijuana's abuse and work for its proper use.
I think this article is an excellent starting point. If I may suggest, we should not end in theology. As a Church, we have to remember that there are people who are thinking about this from a purely functional purpose. For example, the benefits of medical marijuana to people who has exhausted all other means of getting well. Where the Church, including myself, becomes too critical and theoretical, we no longer hold to our distinctive creation theology in that, we don't propose solutions. We aggravate the problem by denying people who literally need something. This last statement maybe misinterpreted in that I am an advocate for legalizing marijuana. To be honest, I don't understand medical marijuana, which is really where the controversy lies. My contribution to this article is that, we should not end in theology. If we are to critique anything, we should also be able to suggest alternatives and solutions.
Another perspective is to be careful that we engage the culture in their mindset. We have to understand that their worldview about medicine is different than ours. We have to be mindful of this difference and speak sensitively and wisely even if our worldview about medicine is different. Returning to the marijuana conversation, is the marijuana push on the same strand as having medicine as humanity's tool as current gods of lives; that is, humans control everything and will exhaust all means so as the decision of our lives including deaths rests on the person? If yes, we have to widen our theological articulation in that a meaningful life or death is paramount than simply longer, even healthier, lives. On the law creation side, what kinds of laws would we propose as Christians, when the law endangers many in order to solve a minority? (I wrote the last statement with the assumption that the users of legal marijuana is not a significant number when compared to the other kinds of users who are pushing for the legal changes.) More on a wider scale than simply on the marijuana topic, how do we stand with the minority and the oppressed when the laws are against them without endangering the greater good?
When I saw the headline, "Should legal marijuana be met with theology or fear?" I thought perhaps it would provide some solid theological answers from the scriptures that might be helpful in conversations with my teens and adult children. No dice.
I have worked forensic/drug and alcohol for over thirty years. Marijuana can be found on any corner of America and is dangerous as the additives are sometimes lethal.
Medically this is a game changer for people with cancer and chronic pain. Legal prescriptions and alcohol are the cause of millions of dollars in medical cost, rehabs and crime. The religious community accept this. I am not a marijuana user but properly managed this should be available medically to everyone. Just put quality agencies overseeing distribution. there will always be corruption but a lot less if we manage what is already coming across the borders every day.
In Reply to Paul in Seattle (comment #28550)
Perhaps Branson's previous article on marijuana, which is linked above and can be found <a href="https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/medical-marijuana-and-a-theology-of-pot">here</a>, will be more helpful to you. In it, Branson references 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 1 Corinthians 10:31.
As a Conservative Christian, raised in a conservative Christian home in the middle of the "Emerald Triangle" in Northern CA., my views on marijuana were formed early on as a "gateway drug", just for all those no-good hippies and a sure fire pathway to eternal damnation...lol. Fast forward a few decades to the present, where I have a disabled daughter that experiences anywhere from 10-100 seizures a DAY. Through the drug, KEPPRA, we were able to keep her seizures at bay, yet her development was stunted due to the KEPPRA, which although it kept the seizures away, it also kept her in a chemical stupor. 2 years ago, someone approached us about the use of medical marijuana (CBD's) to handle her seizures. We looked into it , went through the proper channels and she has been on the CBD's for a little over a year now. Over the past year, we have weaned her of half the KEPPRA that she was on a year ago. She is more alert, she is is more aware, she sees more things, notices more people and has come out of her stupor caused by the chemical drug. I am a conservative Christian PASTOR and stand behind the medicinal uses of Medical Marijuana. In fact, I really have no problem with the recreational use either. Sure there is a chance for it to be abused, yet look at all the fat Christians around the nation abusing the cheeseburger and chocolate bar...lol. Let folks use it recreationally and much of the "problems" may just go away when they are no longer taboo. :)
The connection between sex trafficking and marijuana is not tenuous.. There is plenty of evidence that there is a direct connection just like with alcohol and sex trafficking. Many young people try marujuane and windup in a sexual situation - buying or selling sex as well as sexual abuse.
Ideally, I think, marijuana should be neither legal nor illegal. It should not be a Schedule I drug, which means it shold be availabe as a prescription drug (along with many other drugs) and especially available to researchers.
But it probably should not also be totally uncontrolled, like aspirin. A good deal of research is needed (hence the need to remove it from the Schedule I list) before declaring it akin to aspirin.
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