If you grew up during the era of big wheels, horrid hair styles, and the Reagan administration, you probably grew up thinking that green plant you see above you was a really dangerous item. This is especially true if you grew up a Christian during that era.
I mean, it was the lowest level “drug” on the list of drugs, but it was the gateway drug. This gateway drug was to be especially feared, because it represented the slippery slope to every other drug or form of immorality. Even trying it once could result in you no longer wanting to wear your denim skirt. Try it twice and you might swap out Sandi Patty for Motley Crue. Three times? Well, by the third time you wouldn’t even want it anymore, because you’ll be in a dark ally buying an even harder drug with the money you got from pawning your wedding ring.
It was all a bunch of nonsense.
All these years later, it is still a bunch of nonsense.
The times are changing though. Some states have now legalized marijuana, with several more considering doing so this fall. I believe this is in part due to the nation growing in collective awareness that marijuana no longer need be feared, and that in fact, the war on drugs has actually destroyed more lives than it aimed to help.
Not everyone is happy about this change. Recently on Facebook, Franklin Graham stated the following:
“The percentage of adults using marijuana has almost doubled in the last three years of the Obama Administration. Recreational use has been legalized in four states and will be on the ballots in five more in November. But if Christians had voted, maybe this wouldn’t even be an issue. I pray that Christians by the millions who didn’t vote in the last election will turn out to vote this fall. Let’s vote against these laws that are harmful to youth, to our nation, and to our future.”
(You gotta love that dig at Obama as if he’s the reason more people use marijuana, but whatever.)
I think it’s time that Christians in America had a refresher course on a few things instead of just blindly swallowing the same old narrative they’ve been trying to scare us with. Unlike what Franklin Graham is urging Christians to do, I am urging Christians to adopt a biblical worldview when it comes to marijuana.
Marijuana is not some strange, synthetic compound cooked up in you neighbor’s basement. It’s not some new thing they invented in the 80’s that sounds good at first, but then destroys all the lives it touches. Marijuana is not something God sits on the throne grieving over.
Instead, marijuana is something that was created by Jesus himself, that God declared to be good, and that God granted us permission to consume.
Speaking of Jesus in the first chapter of John, he writes: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (v3). The Apostle Paul affirms this truth in the first chapter of Colossians: “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (v16).
Taking even the most conservative hermeneutic forces us to recognize that, as a plant naturally existing in creation, Jesus created marijuana. To deny this, one would have to deny that John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 are true when they claim that nothing exists in nature that was not created by Jesus. A liberal hermeneutic may get you around this, but a conservative, high-view of scripture, will not.
Furthermore, when we look to the Genesis narrative of creation, we know that everything God created God declared to be good (1:12). The opening chapter of the Bible goes on to address the use and consumption of these plants:
“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29
So, here’s where accepting the inspiration and authority of Scripture lands us: Jesus created marijuana, it was created with a good purpose in mind, God declared it to be good, and God gave us permission to consume it.
If you want to adopt a biblical worldview towards marijuana, it begins with affirming God created it for our good and our benefit.
Now, affirming this certainly isn’t free license to do whatever we want. We are called to reject gluttony (over-consumption). We are called to use wisdom. And in some cases, Paul says that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we actually should do it. There is a responsible middle-ground that exists between making something legal and regulated, and encouraging an irresponsible or gluttonous misuse or abuse of something.
However, this idea that marijuana is a dangerous drug that needs to be banned– this irrational fear of a plant God made– is totally unwarranted.
We see evidence all across the country that people are experiencing healing and comfort from the use of marijuana (and a host of other natural, plant based products)– and this makes complete sense. If God created it and declared it to be good, the proper and responsible use of plants– including marijuana– would certainly have good and positive results.
As Christians, I think we should be people who affirm that everything God made is in fact, good. Marijuana is on that list.
However, instead of embracing God’s creation, we have rejected it. We’ve been destroying lives, building a prison industry, making people rich by forcing you to buy their synthetic drugs that do what God’s plant does naturally, and preventing people from experiencing natural healing, over the offense of ingesting something God made for us and gave us permission to use.
Those days must end.
I am a devout Christian. I affirm the goodness of God. I affirm the goodness of God’s creation. I affirm the inspiration and authority of Scripture.
And I think marijuana should be legal.