Should pot be legalized for medical use?
July 2013 update--
This topic is very volatile. Most Bible believers have never faced the issue of cannabis and pain, so it is easy to find no legitimate use of it. I will make some observations, and then I will send you to other sites to browse. Some sites will offend you, and some will perhaps help deal with the issue better. Here is how I see it.
1. The chief cause for the Federal Government obstructing the use of marijuana for pain relief, and to control glaucoma, is Pfizer and all the other pharmaceutical companies who would lose billions if you could grow this powerful pain reliever in your back yard with a simple prescription and a $ 2.00 license from some Federal agency.
2. The next reason the Feds stand against legalizing marijuana for health reasons is that the conservative vote might abandon the present administration. Whoever made cannabis legal would lose the next election.
3. Control of marijuana is all mixed up with drug abuse. The vocabulary used by medical campaigners and by pot heads is interchanged, so thinking people simply react against it altogether.
4. Smoking kills millions of Americans every year, so people think that anything you have to smoke to consume must be bad. That logic is madness. If you smoke lettuce leaves, you would get almost no tars or nicotine. Cancer would cease to be an issue. Smoking tobacco causes untold sorrow, and there is NO justification for tobacco use. Any way you consume it, it rots away some part of your body, and it gets your kids while it gets you. It is evil. Why did God create tobacco? Simple answer: Tobacco is a fantastic pesticide. I have used it by boiling it in water and adding chili pepper. It kills many garden and household pests, and that is why God made it.
So, when "weed" is smoked, it has the onus of being cancer related, which it is not. That does not mean it is harmless, but the fact that it is smoked does not tell us anything. A spoon is used to consume chocolate pudding and to cook crack. So, eating pudding must be as dangerous as using crack, right?
5. Marijuana is often defended by strange birds. These people also have a very low view of Bible believing Christian thought. They often defend abortion and other causes promoted by Liberals and far left Democrats. William Buckley is the only man on the right that I know of who says marijuana use should be legalized. There are others, but I cannot name them here.
6. Prohibition of alcohol failed. This is because it is not the work of the Lord's Church to convince sinners to stop sinning. It is our task to preach Christ and him crucified, and those who believe the Gospel find the Holy Spirit working in them to change their life. Prohibition of alcohol in the 1930s made for MORE crime and affected consumption very little. Those who wanted it found it or made it. I realize many of you do-gooder types, who have substituted fixing Satan's world instead of preaching Christ, will be enraged with me.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
If the only issue were keeping America from sinking into pot mania and its related vices, I would let the devil's gang and you work it out and say nothing. But, we are not talking about something universally evil like tobacco. We are talking about, pardon me please, "a mixed bag" morally. Opium is used for much evil, but nothing stops diarrhea like paregoric, an opiate. Bella Donna is a nasty narcotic which is much abused, but it also is great stuff when you get a case of Montezuma's revenge from the greasy spoon restaurant. Bismuth and opium was a favorite of ours in Ethiopia and was produced by our mission pharmacy. It stops the runs dead. We came back to the USA in 1976 and went through customs in NYC. The nice man asked if we had anything to declare. I was exhausted and not thinking. I had fully planned to part with our bottle of B&O. Instead, I said, "No," and we became drug runners right there on the spot. Later, I had to think for a few minutes to sort out my thoughts. Was I a criminal? Officially, yes. Morally, no. I had a perfectly innocent bottle of pills that I used only for medical purposes.
7. I had a friend in Nogales, Arizona who told me his grandmother was dying of cancer and in great pain. He suggested to her that she might want to try smoking some pot. The fellow and others in the family had to talk a while to decide if they wanted to go buy pot for grandma. The moral issue of buying an illegal drug was troubling to them all, for they were very restrained and decent people. Well, grandma said flatly NO. She was not a smoker, and she did not use drugs. This fellow got some marijuana anyway and told grandma he had found a kind of herb tea which stopped pain. The old lady agreed to try it, and it worked. She got to be a regular drinker of this herb tea, never realizing she was using marijuana. The interesting thing was this-- there were no side effects in this lady's case, and she did not get "hooked" in the sense that she needed more and more to get the benefit. Other pain relieving drugs were driving her mad and not working.
My mother died in terrible pain from neuropathy in her legs. I always wondered how marijuana might have helped. The horrible thing was the side effects of the prescription drugs the doctors gave her. She saw all manner of terrifying manifestations courtesy of Squibb and Pfizer, but of course, they were legal hallucinations.
8. I believe God filled the creation with drugs. Fato, our Gala worker in Ethiopia, took me for a stroll in the bush one day, and I asked him to tell me what the uses were of all the plants we came upon. There were uses for many plants, and some had none. Fato bent over and picked about one inch off of a succulent by the path and popped it into his mouth. He said that one inch of that plant would stop any cough, but two inches would make your head funny and make you a bit crazy. That was another narcotic God made, and it worked. The medicine man (who was not the same man as the witch doctor in our area) had a full selection of drugs from nature. Some worked well, some did not work, and some worked well but had dreaded side effects.
I believe the world is full of medications that God made, and it is a very corrupt age when many of these have been demonized while man made drugs have been substituted which have horrible side effects. I have been the victim of man made drugs, and you have too, even if you don't know it. So, when marijuana is legislated clear outside of serious consideration we may well lose a legitimate drug God gave us. We simply need a moral and regulated distinction between the right and wrong use of that mysterious weed.
Marijuana has been used for centuries to make rope that rivals sisal for durability. Ship rope has been made of hemp (same plant) and many other uses abound around the world. The fact that some jerk in San Francisco got high on pot and jumped off the Golden Gate bridge has as little bearing on the medical use of cannabis as the fact that some inmate in a prison sharpened a spoon handle and killed a guard. No one who is sane would suggest that spoons are intrinsically evil because of that demented prisoner.
9. The economic issues of suppression of marijuana are monumental. Billions of dollars of tax money go to try to stop the river from flowing. If marijuana were controlled, like some other substances, instead of made priceless by illegality, the price of weed would drop, and the same people would use it who used it before. It is insane to assume that all of us would start sucking on a reefer if we could buy it legally and cheap. Insane. Tobacco smoking is dropping, and society has come to restrict smoking where it may offend others. There is no reason to believe that pot would be any different. America is not in nearly as much trouble from pot as it is from sexual lust and crooked civil leaders.
The biggest pot peddlers in much of the USA are law enforcement officials. Tennessee
has 89 counties. During the past 14 years, Tennessee has had 85 out of 89 counties
see their sheriff arrested for dope pushing. If
marijuana were legalized for medical use, and if it were enforced by the states
instead of the Feds, a lot of law enforcement men would learn to live on their
pay checks for a change.
11. A clear distinction between marijuana and other illegal drugs is not made. Marijuana is very hard to make into a devil of addiction. It just is not that pernicious, in fact, it is clear from observation that millions of Americans are far more addicted to tobacco and coffee (a drug) than marijuana. Does marijuana lead to using other illegal drugs? Yes, but WHY is not clear because marijuana has not been legalized like tobacco. It is socially locked in with crack and meth. Who would know how pot would fare if it stood alone and was used by law abiding people? This conclusion is a no show.
12. Marijuana should be seen as a drug with side effects. It is crass for anti-marijuana pundits to claim that marijuana has nasty side effects, which it does, when the same people promote aspartame which is a deadly drug to many who use it. Cumadin is warfarin, rat poison, and it does terrible things to millions of elderly people suckered into using it. I took Cardura at the instruction of a doctor (who got a kick back from Pfizer for giving it to me), and about three years later I got severe reactions, just as many web stories told. That marijuana, and legal medications, have side effects is both obvious and of no point in considering its use medically. Marijuana has many positive uses according to those who use it and get relief.
Also, let us make this clear-- marijuana, when used for only social "fun" and escape from the tension of life, pays back in killing initiative and blurring reality. This must be distinguished as way too costly in consequences than the alleged "fun" factor. Chemotherapy is not fun, and any fool who takes it for fun would be seen as a candidate for the nut house. The same must be made very clear about the medicinal use of marijuana.
13. The final word on many things is not known. God has revealed to us everything we need to know, and he has handed us everything we need. This includes the air we breath, the water we drink and use, the food we eat, the animals around us, the Word of God, our future, our past, our salvation in Jesus Christ, and our ongoing peace of mind. Our responsibility is to learn what he has for us and take it to us in a rational manner-- a manner that he likes. His Word is the key to this. We take air as we breath, and on the other extreme, we take our place in eternity future as we accept and confess our zeal and faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. We also have choices to meddle with the air, foul the water, ruin our health with bad eating, and go to hell for rejecting the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.
Now, why did God give us pot, cannabis, whatever you want to call it?
There was a reason, and we cannot claim to have the final word of the subject until we learn all we can about cannabis and what is good and what is bad about it. Set aside the weirdoes and odd people who mix the legitimate and the puerile use of marijuana, and let us consider a born again saint. He is suffering from some disease for which marijuana gives him great relief. Instead of rising up in indignation at the thought of a Bible believer puffing on a joint, consider the following:
Romans 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.
14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
So, what if God made marijuana for THAT brother of ours, and he figures that is why God made it for him? Is it possible for us to leave him alone to make his peace with God and find some measure of relief from his pain? Also, we may suggest that this man be wise enough to keep it to himself. The world, the champions of marijuana use, often take a confrontational posture. Their adversaries (usually law enforcement) equally take a confrontational posture. Thus, the forces for civil disobedience and the forces of brutal law enforcement meet on the street and go to war. The Bible believer has no place there, but he does have the liberty in Christ to meet with God on every issue in life. Perhaps I should be kind enough, in the light of the above passage, to mind my own business.
So, I believe that God made marijuana for the healing of man in some context. It has side effects, like aspirin which causes blindness over time, and marijuana can be used to mess up the mind, giving a short cut to mental peace.
Is there any parallel in the Word of God by which we can examine marijuana use? Here is a principle which your average Fundamental Bible believing pastor will NOT touch-- it messes with his "traditions of men."
Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Thus, there IS a use for strong drink, and there IS a use for wine. The text implies that these products are not for general use, but they ARE of some use in the will of God. Many of you would say that there is NO use for strong drink. Well, you are a liar. God said there IS a use for it. "Not as the world giveth give I unto you..." applies, but the knee jerk response to strong drink by many preachers is a violation of the Word of God.
I think we also need to note that the Pharisee principle is raging when a preacher bashes any use of weed, but he regularly runs over the speed limit on the Interstate, and he makes deductions on his Schedule C which he knows do not belong there.
There is a lot of liberty passed around when I sin, but when YOU sin, well, that is wicked. Hmmmm
Can we learn anything from this? I hope so. For you who have a jack boot reaction to the subject, go make yourself a cup of strong coffee, and you will feel better soon.
Caution: Some of these sites are weird in various ways. Some promote marijuana for
medical use while also promoting the weed for puerile purposes. You need to examine
these things and form a rational conclusion without letting rubbish clutter the process:
Phoenix.com on marijuana for medical use
Why the pleas of suffering people are the only evidence-- No one will do the research--
The Feds will not pay for it. If it worked, a whole bunch of Federal agents and law makers
would lose their pay offs.
This site proves that the debate is NOT over,
and you will see the mindless hard line of people who have no real empathy with those who suffer.
"If it were only Cheech and Chong admirers promoting medical use of marijuana, opponents might
have reason to be leery. But groups such as the Rhode Island Medical Society, the Rhode Island
Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Public Health
Association have endorsed the movement. When normally conservative states like Arizona, Alaska
and Montana adopt medical marijuana laws by wide margins, you know support is not limited to
spaced-out potheads." READ THE ARTICLE
Here is a William F. Buckley interview in which he defends his position that drugs be legalized.
We may not agree with all he says, but if drug control is doomed to be a lost battle, and if the
economics of drug control are warped, then the longer the battle rages, the more vicious will
be the back lash when the Feds try to call a truce. I fear that America will have one big block
party for months or years to celebrate. We do NOT need that. Prohibition is not control.
Here is a Black lady who beat 15 counts of marijuana growing and use. The jury concluded that
she was getting relief from sickle cell anemia, and they saw this as legitimate. The judge ordered
the LA Police to leave her alone. The DEA came next and harassed her. You may not care for some
of her notions, but in LA life goes on for her with much better prospects than for her Black friends
who use conventional remedies. There is an ugly side to this marijuana issue where White law
enforcers take no regard for the medicinal help marijuana gives to Black folks who are the exclusive
sufferers of sickle cell anemia. It surely would not have anything to do with race would it? Hmmmm