A theological dissertation for the medical use of marijuana
|Is using marijuana -- especially for medicinal purposes -- a sin against God? The Bible clearly states the specific nature of sins, "which are manifest": Idolatry, adultery, thievery, greed, envy, murder, etc. (1). Nowhere does the Bible specify that smoking anything is a sin.
The closest sin that may arguably apply to the effects of marijuana is drunkenness, which specifically refers to smashed-out-of-one's-gourd alcoholic intoxication, "wherein is excess" (2). The Bible does not forbid our drinking alcohol, but only our excessive inebriation. Why? Because alcoholic intoxication releases our inhibitions to commit such sins as sexual immorality, jealousy, hatred and wrath. Also, the Lord does not want us to be so smashed that we miss His coming, for "of that day and hour knoweth no man" (3).
However, the marijuana high differs from drunkenness. Alcohol intoxication adversely affects one's thinking ability and judgment and severely impairs one's motor control. Marijuana usage generally stimulates creativity, focuses one's attention and merely retards motor control. Pot smokers tend to enter a meditative, even spiritual state; drunkards never do. Potheads naturally demonstrate "the fruits of the Spirit: love, peace, joy, gentleness, temperance," etc. (4). Drunks, on the other hand, often become violent, easily enraged by jealousies and misunderstandings. Therefore, except for the aspect of excess, the sin of drunkenness -- and pot smokers rarelly smoke to oblivion -- does not truly apply to using marijuana.
Does not smoking pot defile (destroy or make unclean) one's body, which is the temple of God? (5) Our physical bodies serve solely as the vessels that contain the Holy Spirit within our hearts, minds and souls, which belong to Him. Jesus said, "Nothing outside a man can make him unclean by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts" (6) and all manner of sin. Therefore, nothing that we consume, as food or as medicine, defiles God's temple, regardless of how we consume it -- eating, drinking or inhaling -- for it is expelled with our bodie's physical waste (7). Those things that grieve the Spirit, "all these evil things come from within and defile the man" (8).
Yea, the Bible even supports the medical use of marijuana. In Genesis, God gives humankind "every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth" (9). In a Psalm, King David praises the Lord for "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man" (10). In Ezekial and Revelations (11), plant leaves serve as medicine. Indeed, the Lord blesses the "land that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed" (12).
According to Romans (13), "There is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean." Beyond excess, smoking pot is not sinful, especially when used for medicinal purposes. Yet for those people who truly believe that marijuana is the devil's weed -- for them only -- it is.
Biblical references are from the King James Version and the New International Version (NIV):
(1) Galatans 5:19, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and Mark 7:21-23
(2) Ephesians 5:18
(3) Matthew 24:36
(4) Galatians 5:22-23
(5) RE: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:15 and 19
(6) Mark 7:15 and 20-21 (NIV)
(7) RE: Mark 7:19
(8) Mark 7:23
(9) Genesis 1:29 and 9:3 (NIV)
(10) Psalm 104:14
(11) Ezekiel 47:12 and Revelations 22:2
(12) Hebrews 6:7b (NIV)
(13) Romans 14:14