Guest / Limited Access /
Ministry After Mary Jane
Photo by Brennan Linsley / AP

On January 1, Colorado stores selling recreational marijuana opened their doors. Within a week, The Denver Post reported, nearly 100,000 people—about 30 percent of them from out of state—had bought the drug.

Until New Year's Day, marijuana dispensaries could sell only to customers with a doctor's recommendation and a state-issued medical marijuana card. Now, any Colorado resident 21 and over can purchase marijuana.

Many Coloradans celebrate the legalization as a landmark victory in the war on drugs. The courts won't be clogged with recreational users, and sales will generate an estimated $27.5 million per year for schools. With both a 25 percent state tax and 2.9 percent sales tax, state officials expect to yield a total of $67 million a year and total sales of nearly $580 million in revenues.

The buying spree may have slowed since its first week, but the church is thinking about how to respond to the new multimillion-dollar industry.

Jason Malec, founding pastor of New Denver Church and an American Bible Society executive, said it's too early to discern a cultural shift among Colorado Christians.

"No one has come to me saying, 'Because pot is legal at the state level, is it okay for us?' That probably will happen, but it's too new for us," he said. "Most Christians I know just shrug their shoulders. Rarely do I hear people talking about it."

But Jared Mackey, a pastor at the Next Level Church in Englewood, said the legalization has caught the attention of his church, which includes both recovering alcoholics and brewers. They are having deep discussion "about substance use and abuse" and "issues of the heart, rather than focusing merely ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueImagine All the People
Subscriber Access Only Imagine All the People
Trillia Newbell casts a vision for a reconciled, racially diverse church.
RecommendedShould Christians Smoke Medical Marijuana?
Subscriber Access Only Should Christians Smoke Medical Marijuana?
Observers weigh in on pot morality.
TrendingWhy Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
Why Max Lucado Broke His Political Silence for Trump
In the face of a candidate’s antics, ‘America’s Pastor’ speaks out.
Editor's PickLet's Kiss Dating Hello
Let's Kiss Dating Hello
A sociologist reveals her research about “ring by spring” culture on a Christian college campus.
Christianity Today
Ministry After Mary Jane
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.