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With the recreational use of marijuana now legal in Colorado and Washington (and the Obama administration disinclined to enforce federal laws against it), it's only a matter of time before it is completely legal coast to coast to toke up. This is ...

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David Randall

March 13, 2014  4:23pm

The article has a sound premise: what God has not forbidden, He has permitted, and all that is permitted is not good. I am not so sure that the details right. Is the surrounding culture the test? What if pot were used in celebration, the way the Jews celebrate with wine? Is it wrong to drink in Russia? This reasoning is used to forbid drinking in the US. Is the real question what are YOUR attitudes and motives? A person who has a problem with addiction should not drink, and someone who does not may drink (without encouraging others) with a clear conscience. The fact that God declared the world good has no bearing on this question. Being good may not mean good to ingest. Death angle mushrooms may be good, but not for food. There are three possibilities: pot is safe and good (doubt it), pot is poison (maybe), is it like alcohol, to be used with discretion (not yet determined). The conclusion to NOT smoke pot is sound, but maybe not for the reasons cited.

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colorado springs

March 13, 2014  4:18pm

Christians should be careful not to denigrate the use of cannabis in it's many forms, especially in the medical realm. Because of mass suppression of the plant, modern science has not had the opportunity to study it's beneficial effects until now. I for one believe it is likely that many more medical applications will be found than have already been well documented. The relief from pain, anxiety, seizures, etc., may be the tip of the iceberg. It's a gift from the Creator.

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David Randall

March 13, 2014  3:02pm

Re med use of pot: Studies done at multiple dosage levels, including a placebo, found that marijuana provided more pain relief than a placebo only at the highest dose level, and then was much less effective than standard neuropathic analgesics. Pot is not without side effects including fatigue, sedation, and difficulty concentrating. Pot may initially relieve the anxiety associated with pain, but prolonged used can increase anxiety. Long term use may result in alteration of mood and loss of cognitive function. A few people experience paranoia or psychosis. Marijuana reduces nausea associated with chemo, but has not been shown to be superior to available drugs. The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America has judged that "The harmful side effects of marijuana far outweigh its potential benefits." People desperate for relief are easy prey for the promoters, but pot is not the medical miracle claimed by pot lobby.

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Steve Cornell

March 13, 2014  2:19pm

I wonder if it might be best to use another adverb in the place of "absolutely" free. Perhaps "technically" free or "We at Christianity Today believe that use of marijuana (where legalized) belongs to the category of Christian freedom." I accept appropriate and effective uses of marijuana for medical purposes but the foolishness of legalization for general population ought to be self-evident. Our consumer driven culture will seize the opportunity to market marijuana with aggressive and deceptive advertisement. We will then spend unconscionable amounts of tax payer money to regulate usage and provide appropriate warnings from the Surgeon General. The decisions to legalize are incredulously shortsighted. Steve Cornell

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Joey Brown

March 13, 2014  1:12pm

Excellent article. This attitude should have been taken decades ago when this foolish drug war started. The government creates the very thing it is fighting with its prohibitions. Much money is to be made in the black market. The christian church needs no help from venal politicians. Vice is not conquered through legislation, but by the preaching of Jesus Christ.

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Pamela A St Mary

March 13, 2014  1:02pm

Christians should not hesitate to use marijuana for medicinal uses, nor should they be overly concerned about recreational use for those who are not addicted. Just as alcohol can have responsible, moderate use, so can marijuana. It's not about what we eat and drink. But if we eat and/or drink too much, we should look at that. It's most important to keep our eyes on Jesus and the Word of God.

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David Lloyd-Jones

March 13, 2014  12:58pm

Christians, too, will find their appreciation for music accentuated through the judicious inhalation of marijuana. Just another blessing... -dlj.

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Shane Peters

March 13, 2014  12:50pm

I think looking at this drug from a medical point of view is an entirely different thought then what this article is promoting. There are far more potent drugs Christians have taken in order to take care of their bodies with many more side effects.

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trisha freitag

March 13, 2014  12:38pm

How, then, do we look at the use of cannabis as a medical tool, primarily for pain control? Would you see that as permissible? For many of us the thought of being pain-free, especially after years of constant, chronic pain, is a wonderful thing. We wouldn't be using the drug as an escape, but as a therapeutic tool. I currently take a decent dose of Methadone daily for pain control because many of the current options don't work for me. I'd far rather be able to take something that doesn't have so many negative side effects and if there is the chance to be without pain, even just for a few hours at a time, it sounds awesome to me!! Understand that I have been in pain 24/7 for 8 1/2 years. I am NEVER pain free. In fact, I am never in low enough pain to be able to work. Because of the meds I take I am subject to dozing off at any time. I also have side effects like headaches, fatigue, and edema. If a joint helped me be pain free, I'd smoke it.

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Shane Peters

March 13, 2014  12:36pm

Horrible article. First, the physical effects of marijuana in teens is very damaging. Any teen that reads this article will assume since you falsely believe that Christian have the freedom to light up, this will have no harmful effects to them. Second, the effects it has on adults would seem very troubling to expressly say that you believe Christ would not mind lighting up if he is in the right "cultural" context. The effects that seem to be widely accepted are: distorted sense of time, paranoia, random thinking, short term memory loss, anxiety and depression. Just because the bible does not expressly say..."Thou Shalt Not.." does not mean that Christ gives us the freedom to participate in areas where our culture encourages (which should be a major RED FLAG when our culture encourages this lifestyle.)What are the results or fruits of my decision to light up? Am I being controlled by the Holy Spirit or am being controlled by the substance I am taking?

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Don Jones

March 13, 2014  12:02pm

Would not the principle of Ephesians 5:18 apply here as well? Don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit. Seems that the principle is not to allow anything that would hinder the work of the Spirit or cloud one's mind to the prompting of the Spirit. Arguing that the verse applies only to wine and not beer, or vodka, or marijuana, etc., would seem to be a problematic hermenuetic. Is it possible to use marijuana and not cloud the mind? I have no idea not having used in it. I suspect that another question ought also to be, "what is the purpose?" Is it to self medicate to deaden the pain of an empty life? Or is it to be used in a medicinal manner? Obviously, things that are legal may not be endorsed by God (ie., private intoxication - see Eph. 5:18).

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Stefan Stackhouse

March 13, 2014  11:51am

Marijuana is not new, it was known in ancient times. We are warned against "sorcery" in Gal 5:20; the Greek word that is translated is "pharmakeia", and yes, that is the same root from which we derive such words as "pharmacy" and "pharmaceutical". The practice of ancient "sorcerers" involved the use of psychotropic drugs, including both marijuana and opium. The alteration of mood and perception in their consumers was itself considered to be magical, and of course the sorcerer could find it much easier to pull off slight of hand tricks when the audience was stoned. None of this activity could remotely be considered either harmless or consistent with faithful Christian discipleship. I would furthermore suggest that those who dabble in such things are opening a door to the demonic. This is not just a lifestyle or personal consumption choice that we are talking about here, but rather something with far more serious spiritual consequences.

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Jason Scott Wilmes

March 06, 2014  1:01pm

Don't forget the scripture. The strength of sin is in the law. I like to say. The power of sin is in the law. Should Christians blindly obey all laws without looking at the motivation of lawmakers? Prohibition clearly did not work. I have read that 80 percent of people in prison is drug related. It should be about individual rights. I didn't see Jesus go to the Romans and try and outlaw wine. I could go on an on but will stop now.

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romeo pelle

March 04, 2014  9:52am

A Chance to Grow Great article on Christian freedom! However, I have one opposing view to Andy's statement, "The marijuana plant is a part of a world that was declared good by its Maker every step along the way." God's evaluation that Andy refers to is found in Genesis 1:31 and it was decreed BEFORE the Fall of the created order. It is my understanding that sin changed everything and distorted the entire creation, including the plant we call "marijuana." Genesis 3:17-18 portrays the consequences of the Fall, among which we explicitly note, "thorns and thistles" - categories of weeds, of which the "weed" is part of... Romeo Pelle, Pastor of Education, Bethesda Romanian Pentecostal Church, Troy, MI

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Glenn Shrom

March 01, 2014  10:14pm

I notice the politics are not the issue here, but Christian living. Even so, the idea of being free to use marijuana where legalized, should apply to Christians in other nations, not to Christians in Colorado as the column seems to imply. I believe as American Christians we are called to obey the laws of the USA, so long as they don't conflict with God's law. This column seems to imply that we should obey the laws of the land, unless they are not being enforced. Regarding I Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23, I am in complete agreement.

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DOUGLAS CARLSON

February 24, 2014  5:02pm

Our culture is in a state of decay in an ever increasing measure. The only answer is to be found in Jesus Christ. Some of my peers have suggested that we are ripe for a widespread revival. That would be great. What I think is that we are nearer than ever to the second coming of Christ with or without a widespread revival.

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Displaying 1–16 of 16 comments.

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