Pass Me Another Joint: Christians and Wacky-Tobacky in Canada

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I want to jot down a few questions and considerations for the upcoming legalization of marijuana in Canada. I personally don’t get too wound up about it’s legalization, simply because the government can’t possibly have the final say on morality. That’s not their job.

I’m a little more surprised that the main argument against its use which I have heard from many Reformed Churches, has simply been that it is criminalized by the government and we have to obey the government. Yes, we have to honor those in authority over us. But are there other arguments that are circulating against the use of marijuana? I assume there are.

I have never smoked weed, and I don’t believe that I need to “at least try it” to be able to speak out against it’s use. That’s the kind of logic that ends up with a Canadian kid who has his tongue stuck to a frozen flag pole, simply because he has “never tried it”.

I recently listened to a defense of marijuana usage on the Tom Woods podcast (generally an interesting podcast show to listen to), and I totally disagreed with the conclusions of the guy being interviewed, despite some interesting arguments. It was largely a feelings based argument: it has improved so many people’s lives by making them feel happy (You can listen to his argument here).

I have inquired into this matter with a number of leaders including leaders in California and Idaho in the States and also leaders here in Ontario, Canada. I have come up with a couple observations which are out there for you to debate.

1) Marijuana seems to be closely connected to the party culture. It lifts the individual out of the troubles of life in the same way as 6 or 7 beers might do to a lightweight. Of course, there is always the moment where you have to step back into reality. Marijuana seems to be used as an escape from reality rather than an embrace of reality and a fight to have reality transformed by the power of the gospel.

2) There has not been a lot of scientific research done into the long term effects of marijuana. There are a lot of myths, but there are also a lot of murky waters. Don’t be the guinea pig.

3) I have talked to people who claim to have had demonic experiences while under the influence of marijuana, and I have talked to people who claim that it hardly affected them. It seems that smoking a joint of marijuana has a different effect than enjoying a single glass of wine or a single shot of whiskey.

4) Being filled with the power of marijuana is opposed to being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. This conclusion could be drawn through its many connections to the occult, or it could simply be drawn through the perceived effects it has on an individual.

I’m not necessarily a fan of wasting tax dollars on busting marijuana businesses, but I do believe that there is a better way to live life, and that is by living a life forgiven by Christ and producing the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The truly good life can only be produced by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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