Up In Smoke

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79 Responses

  1. EricL says:

    Here in California, smoking cigs is looked upon as a criminal act in most settings. Some places have even tried banning smoking within your own home or car. Frankly, I think its silly but I must admit that I enjoy not having to smell the stench while eating in a restaurant or shopping a store.

    And yet… they are a dozen proposals vying to get on the ballot to legalize marijuana. I guess the Loco Weed has a better PR company…

  2. Michael says:


    The very liberal city just south of me wants to ban smoking in the city limits…and voted overwhelmingly for the legalization of pot.

    Pot plants give off a very strong smell before harvest…the valley smelled like it had been attacked by a giant skunk…

  3. gomergirl says:

    I have to say that while I do not use it or even like it at all, I voted to legalize it in Oregon. I too believe that it deals a blow to drug cartels, and there are proving to be so many beneficial uses for it that we can not ignore. I think that it will prove to be more beneficial than many pharmaceuticals. I do think that smoking it is bad, purely for the health issues surrounding smoking (anything) and what it does to the body.
    As for the church, anyone who says that this is not ok, but takes any kind of pharmaceutical drug is a hypocrite (IMHO) . Marijuana is a plant. Period. And so, by extension, part of God’s creation. Humans have not done anything more to it than farmers have done throughout history with selective cultivation to any other plant. So I really see not problem. It seems less harmful than alcohol and other substances we ingest, so I don’t really see the issue. Although given the way some church bodies react to alcohol, there is no accounting for common sense. ( not that I have anything against those who abstain) like anything, it is the condition of your heart and attitude, not the thing itself that is sinful.
    We are also finally waking up to the fact that most pharmaceuticals cause more problems than cures. Drugs, vaccines ans treatments that do more harm than good… I opt for natural cures and prevention whenever I can and I think pot falls into that category
    That all said, I hate the smell that comes from my neighbor’s house. it is gross and I don’t understand how people can like it. But I support their right to have it.

  4. Michael says:


    Well said…we’re pretty much on the same page here.

  5. Ryan says:

    I’m interested in what pastors have to say on whether getting high is in the same category as drunkenness… Because _that_ is the issue from Scripture… Not whether it’s safe or can be used for medical purposes.

  6. Michael says:


    First, you would have to define the word “high”.
    What does it mean?
    If one is going to argue that marijuana induces a change in mental state, they also need to deal with the fact that coffee, chocolate, and Bill O’ Reilly change brain chemistry as well.

  7. Michael says:

    I’ve been at every stage of drunkenness in my life, from pleasantly warmed to alcohol poisoning and stops in between.

    I think that marijuana is a radically different experience with different cognitive impairments.

  8. richard says:

    and now even lsd is on the horizon of acceptability.


  9. Michael says:

    I think I’ll pass…

  10. Babylon's Dread says:

    My response is …

    This is just more mess to deal with and clean up.

    Job Security Dread

  11. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL – who listens to their pastor in the 21st century.
    At best folks will ask the church if only to confirm what they already want to do.

    Hey church what is your opinion of abortion, divorce, …?

  12. Michael says:

    I’m not sure what the messes are going to be.
    I do know that pot is the drug of choice for young people…we have to leave the skatepark daily when the cloud overwhelms us.
    My concern is that I have less ground to stand on in terms of teaching T to just say no…when many adults are saying yes legally.

  13. Michael says:


    You may have a valid point.
    The moral authority of the church may have diminished to the point where what pastors teach on such issues is irrelevant.

  14. Babylon's Dread says:

    Really? Here are the messes I have dealt with…

    1. Impaired driving
    2. Impaired life function — work
    3. Impaired sexual function — impotence is a great motivator
    4. Family breakdown because of the first three

    And MLD is correct the only people listening to pastors are those who WANT to.

    The rise of online gambling by fantasy sports is also run amuck…

    All of these things bring conflict … conflict brings pastoral usefulness

    High on Jesus Dread

  15. Michael says:


    I haven’t dealt with any of that so far…but I do have more than a few who are getting medical help for sundry afflictions now without being outside the law.

  16. Michael says:

    The fantasy sports gambling is going to end up being a larger problem.

    I’ve played it with the freebies they give out and can see where it could be an easy addiction.

  17. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The question isn’t who listens but which church voice is heard. Hey, there are branches of Lutheranism – one being twice the size of the LCMS who think abortion,and homosexuality are just fine. I am sure that they have no large objections to legalized drugs.

  18. SJ says:

    Mushrooms and peyote are a plant and and a part of creation too.
    When does the term pharmakeia come into play? Seriously not snarky?

  19. Babylon's Dread says:

    I have NO Issue with harnessing plant extracts for medicinal purposes.

    Cookie Monster Dread

  20. Michael says:


    Like I said, coffee, tea, chocolate, and your nightly rage injection from the news alter brain chemistry as well, to say nothing of alcohol and tobacco.

    The pharmakeia issue is worth consideration.

  21. SJ says:

    I guess the line must be drawn somewhere.
    Are you really chasing that buzz or a true mind altering state with smokes and coffee?
    Technically yes. I find it hard to function without my double espresso. A true addict…..

  22. filbertz says:

    Just because something is lawful doesn’t make it beneficial. Each must decide for him/herself what course to take. I have family members involved in pot cultivation etc. and view it as a legal pursuit (I’m in Oregon), but I don’t participate personally. I view it as I do alcohol or prescription drugs–legal, but user beware. I agree with BD that there will be messes, just as there are messes with nearly anything that can be overused or abused. I also recognize the impact on Mexican drug cartels–it removes them from the equation in states where it is legal.

  23. SJ says:

    On another front, I read recently they have developed a fast sobriety test for suspected marijuana DUI.

  24. j2theperson says:

    I’d like to see all drugs made legal but then stronger penalties inflicted for people who commit crimes while under the influence. Our society is already ridiculously over-medicalized, and people who choose not to undergo treatment or procedures recommended by a doctor can be penalized for such. We put a million additives in our food and make sugar as easily available as water. But, somehow I’m supposed to care that people smoke pot or shoot heroin or drop acid or whatever? I’m not convinced that the medicinal qualities or marijuana are as strong as often are claimed or could not be achieved in a way that does not get you high, and I don’t think doing recreational drugs is healthy and I doubt it’s something Jesus would be particularly pleased about. But criminalizing it just seems to weigh people down with needless burdens–fines, imprisonment, criminal records, etc…–that I also don’t think Jesus would be particularly pleased about.

  25. filbertz says:

    I will correct my post above–I use a lotion that contains THC on my knee that allows me to sleep without pain for 5-6 hours. It has not ruined my drug test nor made me crave a bowl. It is remarkable cream…

  26. OCDan says:


    I couldn’t agree more with your comment. How much money have we squandered away on a fruitless war on drugs, something like $40 trillion. Well, there went the national debt 2+ times.

    My only caveat is dealing drugs to anyone under 18, as well as, what you said about those who commit crimes while under the influence.

    My feelings are the same about driving under the influence of alcohol. If someone gets home safely, no dents or mailboxes hit, why does the state care? Why does anyone care? Now, if they hit something or someone, or, kill them, then you throw the book at them. Look, people are gonna do drugs and drive drunk, you only punish when the injure someone or something.

    As for using drugs, that is a personal choice and must be dealt with between them and God. I for one would never put away an 80 year old man who truly relieves pain just because he lights one up every night in order to go to bed. In fact, I would rather that than see him bankrupted by unscrupulous doctors and pharmacies.

  27. Kevin H says:

    The Bible clearly forbids drunkenness. The Bible clearly does not forbid the use of alcohol. It would seem that God does not want us drunk because we are then not of sober mind and our judgment is impaired and we are more prone to wrongful and immoral behavior. The tricky thing to define is at what point does one pass from just drinking to being drunk? From having just the smallest buzz to being completely wasted? At what point are we definitively in the wrong?

    The use of marijuana would seem to have some of the same questions. While maybe the impairment is not exactly the same as what happens with alcohol, at what point does the impairment become wrongful and sinful? I don’t know. I’ve never tried pot so I have no experience to draw from. I do drink alcohol and I know if I start to feel a buzz that I stop drinking at that point so I don’t risk becoming impaired of any significance.

    If there is an addiction to marijuana then I think it is definitely wrong to use in those cases. The use of anything under addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.) I believe is wrong as it is then an enslavement and I believe enslavement to anything but God is biblically wrong.

    As for medical marijuana, I am okay there. If it is being used to treat or bring relief from a legitimate medical condition, then I don’t have a problem with it being used like any other drug.

    As for it being legalized for recreational use, I lean against it. But it’s not something I am certain about.

  28. Michael says:


    I know people that are using creams and cannabis oil, (as well as tinctures) that are providing relief that big pharma couldn’t.

    Research is limited because big pharma isn’t going to produce research that shows you can be healed or helped by something you can grow in your backyard for free.

  29. filbertz says:

    that is true regarding research, but the other side of that is they are still afraid of the feds whose laws are still in effect regarding pot in 46 states. Banks are facing the same dilemma–how to handle the $ from state legalized businesses when the bank is multi-state. Most, if not all, will not take deposits from pot-related business.

  30. Michael says:


    Good points.
    The feds will allow the laundering of illicit drug money by the billions…but legal small businesses are a problem.

  31. Michael says:

    The “pharmakeia” debate.

    As I understand the term it involves a coupling of occult practices with drugs.

    I’m not for that. 🙂

  32. filbertz says:

    I follow your line of reasoning regarding impairment. Another thing that one should consider in that matter is that many states are now citing drivers if they have any alcohol in their systems, not just the legal limit of DUI like .08. They write tickets for under the influence even with .01.

  33. Kevin H says:


    I was thinking more along the lines of when God would consider us impaired. Because God’s concern with drunkenness would seem to be the impairment that happens to us. But what is the exact point God would consider us drunk or imparied? I don’t know. I wouldn’t think God uses the exact same science that we do to measure impairment and place it in a legal structure.

  34. Em says:

    hmmm… maybe now Kentucky will be able to go back to growing hemp – good Kentucky water retted hemp 🙂

    the only opinion that i have regarding smoking dope is the stupid factor… we have become dependent on some serious technology, the development and implementation of which demands a super-sharp and concerned-with-failure brain… there will be “unexplained errors and technological failures” in a lot of areas… gives fear of flying a serious new aspect… and who turned the lights out or let the blimp go?

    and i would like to hear more on the angle of altering brain chemistry – the “pharmakeia” concern, since i do believe in demons among us in the unseen world

  35. Bob Sweat says:

    After reading all these posts I think I’ll go have a triple shot cappuccino.

  36. Michael says:


    We may be able to replace some timber industry jobs if we use all the hemp plants possibilities…

  37. filbertz says:

    the hemp plant’s status is a sorry narrative of over-politicization & knee-jerk reactionation. (made up that last word… 😉 )

  38. Erunner says:

    I’ve come across a few articles concerning smoking pot and the harm it can do to a person with bipolar disorder. This is one.


    Here is another.


    Growing up the people I knew started drugs by smoking pot and many went on to harder drugs, some losing their lives. My brother was one of them. If people need pot to help them in medical situations I am okay with that. As I’m one that doesn’t drink at all due to personal convictions based on growing up with an alcoholic father I tend to feel the same about pot. As I’ve said before I’d hate to be the person that gave someone their first drink and then see that person go on to become an alcoholic. I’d hate to also be the person who offered someone their first joint only to see them go on to other drugs and ruin their life as well as others close to them.

  39. Michael says:


    There are other studies that show cannabis oil can be effective in treating some mental illnesses, including bi polar.

    It can’t have worse side effects than the ones given by prescription…

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am not concerned about the legislation over weed at all. If people want to drug out, even Christians, I don’t care.

    But this issue with Obama mandating that schools must let guys in the showers with my granddaughters – now that has my attention.

  41. Michael says:


    I’m right with you on that one.

  42. Erunner says:

    Michael, I understand there are studies to defend positions on most everything that come to different conclusions. As a result i will err on the side of caution.

    I am okay when it has been demonstrated that pot can be helpful to someone who is suffering.

    My concerns are for those people where pot does more harm than good. I may be in the minority but I still believe pot can be a gateway drug and when that is the case we will pay a cost as a society.

  43. Michael says:


    I those are valid concerns.

  44. Jim says:

    I really think the issue for Christians is to define NT admonitions re drunkenness. I personally so no to the buzz (of any kind).

    From my decade+ of drug use, I believe booze is a hard drug, and pot is a very soft drug.

  45. Ixtlan says:

    “I believe booze is a hard drug, and pot is a very soft drug.”


  46. Surfer51 says:

    No one here has brought up the topic of how being under the influence of the drug effects of pot can cancel out your awareness of the Holy Spirit and His voice. As does alcohol.

    Speaking as one who came to the Lord during the hippie “Jesus people” of the sixties I have been in on this discussion a time or two.

    This Scripture would be quoted:

    Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

    Then this would be the direction of the conversation:

    The word translated “sorcery” is the Greek word pharmakeia, from which we get the English word “pharmacy.”

    The primary meaning is “the use or the administering of drugs” (usually associated with sorcery or idolatry). The usage of drugs recreationally.

    Since this verse comes from a list of things that, if practiced, would preclude one from heaven, this should be a reasonably strong suggestion that the Christian should not practice drug use.

    Now in the present moment we know that pot does have medicinal value.

    My mother in law had to have chemotherapy and ate pot cookies to alleviate the symptoms that were negative from the chemo.

    Anyway it seems to me that when one is under the influence of pot it would minimize one’s ability to follow the Holy Spirit.

    Anyone on pot understands this well.

    While pot may be permissible –is it beneficial to a Christians walk with the Lord?

    As Em is fond of saying “Dunno.”

    For me personally, I like a clear mind free of drugs so that I can be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

    Why would i want to lessen my ability to hear my Master’s voice?

  47. Surfer – the same thing happens to me if I go back for 2nds at a Mexican buffet. I want to fall asleep and I don’t hear anyone.

    For some reason, I think if the Holy spirit needs to speak to you he does so no matter what your condition.

    I remember once when I had a lady in my class at a CC (whilI was jumping back and forth between there and a Lutheran church) and I suggested we should have kids brought into the church service (at the CC). She argued back that she was trying to get her 20 something daughter saved and did not want her distracted during the message by a crying baby, I said to her, “you don’t think that the Holy Spirit’s voice could come through over the cries of a baby?

    She looked at me funny and I don’t think I saw her in my class again.

    How did dopers get saved while they were doped up?

  48. Scott says:

    Smoking pot isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I’d rather enjoy a cold Corona. Besides if I smoked weed and was pulled in for a random, I’d lose my CDL, my livelihood and ability God has provided for me to provide for my family. That’s motivation enough for me to keep my head clear and lungs clean.

  49. filbertz says:

    Scott, that’s an important point to make–employers in Oregon and other pot-legal states can fire an employee for a failed drug test even though the pot is legal. The law does not allow employers to fire people for other legal mind-altering prescription medications as far as I know.

  50. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Marijuana, like alcohol is a mood and mind altering drug, therefore it puts people at risk of destroying their lives as well as their own. For instance, when driving, be it alcohol, marijuana, or some other mind-mood altering drug, one’s judgment is skewed, as well as one perception which means reality is that which is not.

    People are not well informed concerning the devastating effects that being high has upon their ability to be “mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually present” in terms of being present with others, particularly with their children. What happens is that a child’s realty is constantly negated, while also learning to take care of their parent emotional state in order to “get” along with them. In essence, the person using these types of substance become narcissistic towards their own mood and emotions, and controls are put into place within the household or other environments that serves the whims of that person need to get high, avoid discomfort, inconveniences, and to avoid taking responsibilities of those behaviors that are controlling and negligent of the feelings, thoughts, and consideration of others. A child grows up with a variety problems having to do with coping mechanisms and self identity, including the ability to handle frustration, anger, and to problem solve without manipulating the truth. They learn to be the mirror image of the parent that was “emotionally” unavailable to them and as adults they expect others to do the same. They have failed to thrive or to develop a strong “individuated” identity, or rather failed to adequately develop a stable sense of the inner self, overly identifying with that which from outside appearance, seems normal, but on the inside resides a deep abiding instability of who they are in and of themselves.

    High is high, no matter how medicinal one would like to use as justification and means to rationalize using mind and mood altering drugs.

  51. Scott says:

    Filbertz, exactly. Maybe you and I can start a cottage industry selling our clean urine in temperature controlled containers for stoners to use at their job drug screen. 😉

    There are actually contraptions that people strap around their legs that contain “clean” urine from someone else that they use during their private time in the bathroom for the test.

  52. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    ” The tricky thing to define is at what point does one pass from just drinking to being drunk? From having just the smallest buzz to being completely wasted? At what point are we definitively in the wrong?”

    “Buzz” is being drunk. One does not need to be “totally wasted” to be drunk.

    I have had 4 friends whose children grew up using alcohol and or Marijuana. I have had numerous friends who either took their own lives, died from alcohol related incidents, including falls, fights, domestic violence, PTSD, and depression. Alcohol is a depressant, by the way. The point is that when using these substances, the brain becomes condition while the wiring also gets rerouted in such a way that instead of having full access to the frontal cortex of the brain where a person no longer is able to filter the information coming in internally and externally, to make good sound decisions regarding any issue, but rather are making decisions primarily upon the mood and emotion being elicited as a result of overstimulation of the amygdala which is the “pleasure zone” or gateway for other posterior parts of the brain such as the hypothalamus. The person’s loses the ability to be patient, empathic, and thus, is highly impulsive, quick tempered, slow to respond, quick to react —– rather than to see things as they really are. Same type of physiological affects takes place in other types of addiction, such as gambling and sex.

    People get behind the wheel while using (even after 8 hours of drinking 1-2 drinks) put themselves and others at risk. Simply because the first thing to go is visual and perceptual acuity is seriously skewed. Secondly, because Judgment is also affected—much more than people realize. But then again, to think differently only drives home the reality of that people are poorly informed until they have lost a loved one themselves.

    More recently, a friend’s son was killed in Oregon with 2 other friends. They were traveling there to learned how to farm organically. The driver of their car decided to cross over a no pass to get around the car in front of them. A couple of years ago, another friend was stabbed with a short blade knife due to an altercation of name calling between 2 marines. A close relative with straight A’s decided to hang with a friend and traveled to Hollywood to “see” the sights, Months later, this young boy decided to take off with a girl that he met in Hollywood, drop out of school, and to leave the state. Short story, after leaving with her, he believing she was being raped, killed the guy who gave them a place to stay for a couple of weeks, but also supplied them with alcohol and drugs. At 19 years old, this boy became a man, having been found guilty for murdering this guy and has now served almost 20 or the 30 required before a chance at parole. Another friend’s son, with an IQ of Einstein, worked for Mobil, contracted HIV, later AIDS, began drinking, and trying out other drugs—but liked his marijuana, and indulge heavily into games for money on the Internet. Ended up committing suicide, by taking over 500 tables of morphine. Stole the scripts from the hospitals he visited, selling them to others to supplement his income, as he was no longer working. Went to the 12 step meetings, and spent endless hours on the phone talking with me and others.

    He believed he was alone and that nothing and no one could help him, nor did he want to suffer the discomfort of having to change and to learn how to live life without using mood and mind altering drugs and other activities to medicate himself. I miss him–you would have liked him. Yes, he did know about Jesus—it is my hope, he in those last hours reached out to Him.

    By the way, using coffee or even smoking may be addicting however, it does not altar the brain in the same manner that alcohol and other mood altering drugs. Although the cessation of smoking is known to be the most difficult habit to give up, other than affecting other systems in the body, one does not lose touch with reality. No comparison in terms of impaired judgment, empathy, and ability to drive, or even to develop a healthy intimate (non sexual) relationship with others.

  53. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    “They write tickets for under the influence even with .01.”

    Yes, it’s called: Wet and Reckless Driving.

  54. filbertz says:

    that’s not a cottage industry; it’s an outhouse industry. 😉


  55. Andrew says:

    Federally I think it is still illegal to possess and use pot. Morally I don’t have too much objection since as someone else wrote its taking money away from the cartels and its not too much different than prescription drugs. The big difference is the FDA regulates prescriptions that which hopefully makes them safer. Where are the clinical studies on pot use? Since no official studies have been done on its safety by the FDA and since its still illegal at the Fed level, just say NO to this gateway drug because it will get you in trouble in many cases. That’s my two cents.

  56. Cameron Stewart says:

    I happen to recall a couple extremely humorous situations with Weed about 30 years ago. That’s all I’m going to say..

  57. EADGBE says:

    I’ve been lurking here for many years without comment, but will liberate myself for a moment to weigh in on this one.

    I pastor a church in a mountain town in Colorado, where we made marijuana legal a couple of years ago. As most Christians, I did not support the legalization of pot in our state. It happened anyway.

    There is no doubt in my mind of its usefulness in the medical community, and it appears we’re just getting started in discovering some potential attributes. But the truth is, the overwhelming growth, production, and use of it is in the ‘recreational’ sense.

    People are allowed to grow it on their property, but only for personal use. I believe they limit the number of plants to six.

    After two years of legalization, here are my observations:

    • Usage of it is quite visible (and smell-able) in the community.
    • While commercial growing is illegal, most people growing it at their homes are also selling it to others.
    • On any residential street in our town, there are growers. Sometimes the plants are visible, and often they are behind a make shift barricade of cloth or fencing during growing season.
    • Most are growing far more than six plants.
    • Most growers employ two or more dogs to guard their crop. They bark. A lot.
    • Growing homes have much more traffic coming and going.
    • The smoking of marijuana is quite public and not deterred. It’s not unusual for people to be smoking joints downtown or at just about any town event. I never saw alcohol consumed in that manner in our town.
    • Concerts and town events in the park that were once a welcome place for families are now dominated by marijuana smoke.
    • I grew up in the first ‘hippy’ generation, and now as then, it has the most cult-like following of anything I’ve seen.
    • Clearly, it is a powerful idol.
    • The transient population has increased substantially.
    • There are pushes for greater production, commercial farming, storefronts, and more. They will eventually win all of those concessions as the older, more conservative populations die off.

    Along with several churches in our town, we have endeavored to reach out to this culture with a food pantry, and through building relationships. If success is measured in them coming to a relationship with Christ or coming to church, we have failed.

    Still, I continually encourage our church that our job is not to guard the status quo of our traditional community, but to do the work of the church in sharing and living the Gospel to whoever comes our way.

  58. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    RX’s is another category of drugs that involves abuse and addiction. Not uncommon for people to go online to find out symptoms of a mental illness, than report them to a doctor, of in the emergency room, to obtain mood and mind altering scripts to take, and/or sell to others. Common practice is to go from one hospital or doctor to another, then another. In many location, which is also increasing, the medical community, social services, and legal system have in place a tracking system to keep this from occurring.

    Just because it is prescribed, safe only means if it is taken as prescribed and if warranted. Meds for pain is particularly an huge issue—high numbers use to commit suicide or die due to abuse. How does a doctor know if the person is faking the pain?

    The user knows this. Many who are mandated clients for treatment for alcoholism switch to pain meds, using this ploy, then when drug tested, are not tapped for abuse or violating the court orders. But then again, the legal system and treatment programs are now catching on to this, so now are not permitting the use of pain or ADD or ADHD, while in treatment, unless they are in a program that administer or dole out the meds per doctor’s order. Still, if in an accident, one can be cited for DUI.

    Thank God for those who understands and care about people beyond those that believe they are entitled to place the lives of others at risk. But that is the way it is when people abuse or are dependent upon alcohol, drugs, and other addictive agents.

  59. filbertz says:

    regarding law enforcement in communities where pot is legally grown, there is still distrust and suspicion on both sides of the police/grower divide. Growers use dogs, guards, video surveillance, and more to protect their plants–largely because the police do not want to assist growers in protecting their property and growers don’t want police on their property. It will take conscientious effort to communicate and settle the differences so lawful growth will be law abiding and respectful to neighbors & community members at large.

  60. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Society can legalize anything they want using by using arguments that gives a plausible justification to entitled people to doing things that appeals to their fleshly desires. Seldom do we hear and if we do, it is quickly dismissed, and replace with counter-arguments, that lead people to believe they actually are in control while using mind-mood altering drugs. Ever rarer do we slow down and take into consideration that using any of these mind-mood altering drugs not only leads to the use of others, but are also a gateway to a myriad of behaviors that would not otherwise be indulged. Yes, every person who uses, their brain goes on hijacked: loss of control, removal of inhibitions, skewed perception, judgment, and narcissistic in the way they view others and how what they think and do does in fact impact the lives of others. For generations to come.

    As Christians, we are to:

    Ephesians 5:18

    “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; ”

    1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

    2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

    3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

    4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

    5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

    6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

    7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

    8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

    9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

    10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

    11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

    12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

    13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

    14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

    15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

    16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

    17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

    18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

  61. pstrmike says:

    I live in a state where weed is now legal. I expect to see some of what you have described in your post. Nothing better than living in a community with barking, aggressive guard dogs. Reminds me of why I left Southern Cal. Interestingly, there are communities who have said no to pot shops in their communities, and I think that some of foreseen such as you described above.

    “Still, I continually encourage our church that our job is not to guard the status quo of our traditional community, but to do the work of the church in sharing and living the Gospel to whoever comes our way.”

    That is a discussion worth having. How do we ministry to people in a changing society? Is it possible to serve people who’s values are so different in such a way that we hold to biblical truth without being perceived as vanguards of an archaic tradition?

  62. Em says:

    aren’t we already seen “as vanguards of an archaic tradition?”

    that might be a good thing – dunno

  63. Michael says:

    #58 and #62… gold.

    The temptation will be to try to harness political power to change it.
    That will be a mistake.

    We have to figure out how we deal with what is, not what we want.

  64. Em says:

    it hit me the other day, became clear as day… we (some of us Christians) think we are/were a Christian nation, but what we were (i was there) was a nation with a respect for the Christian Faith, an appreciation for what it meant to a society – even if that appreciation was centered on prosperity and exploitation, the engine that ran the nation knew instinctively that having a population that was guided by the principles of our Faith was a big asset.

    but there were the academics-so-called that wouldn’t rest until they had stomped us into the ground with their intellectual superiority… i hope they like what they achieve… a land of sand

  65. Surfer51 says:

    MLD @ 47

    You make a good point.

  66. Surfer51 says:

    I have known one Christian man who has smoked pot recreationally since the day I first met him in 1972.

    I have seen him in church with bloodshot eyes and obviously stoned on pot.

    I always wondered to my self how he could justify being stoned in church.

    John Piper, the renowned theologian and author, has been urging Christians to be sober-minded since 2014,

    “’Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?’ states the passage.

    And that has been ‘an immovable barrier between me and self-destruction,’ Piper shares.

    Christians need to ask, ‘Is this making Jesus look like the treasure He is?

    ’ Piper adds,‘I would ask this that about smoking, about drunkenness, about recreational marijuana, about sedentary indolence, about overeating, about banal TV watching, and lots of other things.’”

  67. damon says:

    I am tired. This is not going to be very well written. I apologize in advance but here are some observations:

    I too live in Colorado. Due to the nature of my job, I speak with dealers, “growers” (first ones to admit this is 99.9% of the time a functionally fictitious title), pimps (who often “take care” of their girls–and boys– by supplying them with various substances), prostitutes, and addicts (from alcohol, to MJ, heroin to meth, “bath salts” to coke and everything else you could imagine). After speaking with these people, overwhelmingly what I have heard is that legal MJ is bad, very bad. Some of these people are new believers, some nominal/backsliden, some “seekers” and some hardened atheists. I find it very interesting the overwhelming testimony of the “end user” is almost 180* different than what all the armchair sociologists are concluding.

    Is the use of MJ acceptable for a christian? No. You have no idea the amount of damage you do to others by legitimizing its use. I see it first hand, literally every day. FWIW, in my speaking with addicts, I was surprised to hear that for the majority, heroin (a big problem here) and meth are easier to quit than alcohol and MJ. The reason they think that such is contrary to popular “knowledge” is because virtually no one dies of MJ whereas meth and H (and cocaine) have countless “instant” victims. Since our culture is one that worships direct connections, MJ often gets an undeserved “pass.” Is MJ as instantly “bad” as other substances? The obvious answer is “no.” But “less instantly bad” does not equal “good/acceptable.”

    MMJ is another category all together. If it us administered under the care of a doctor, then maybe it is ok…but we are no where near that yet. The problem here (before it was legal for rec) was the number of “doc in a box” shops that would write a BS prescription for hangnail pain mitigation. At least for CO, to compare MMJ to Vicodin is not even an apples/oranges proposition.

    FWIW, I am libertarian in my politics and voted for legalization. However, it is clear now that we have neither the infrastructure nor the direct/instant punitive severity to deal with its widespread use/abuse and know now that such a vote was wrong. The fallout has been tremendous and will only grow worse….outside of a spiritual revival.

  68. EyesOpenedHeartBroken says:

    Genesis 1:12 & Genesis 1:29…. thoughts?

    On another note…. from reading Scripture I can’t help but think God’s favorite tree is a palm tree, of which the seed/nut/fruit is the coconut, which is in fact, another part of another plant/tree that God made in which every part of it has purpose and can be used. Interesting how He does that with stuff. But I digress…..

    Cannabis has so much purpose behind it. I’m sure we’ve perverted God’s purpose for it. That’s just what we do, pervert every single thing we touch. Nature of a fallen people I suppose.

    I just wish people who are so passionate about what they believe is wrong with it would realize that unless they are vegans growing their own food, filtering their own water, making their own toiletries, and never touching anything from our medical industry, they are also (good Christian soldier or not) in fact, ingesting far worse than what they are passionate about.

    I wish a Christian would be as passionate of criminalization of processed sugars, pharmaceutical drugs and other substances made poisonous by man.

    I just think we’re all going to die a lot quicker of the american food and medical industries that we are of anything God put on the earth. Just tend to trust Him a little more.

  69. Em says:

    EyesOpened’ may i quote my grandmother on this? like most children back then i’d get weed-pulling duty and i’d complain to her that God wasn’t very good in His plant choices – serious Christian that she was, she replied that weeds were a part of The Fall (not the season of) when we were booted out of His garden… maybe “weed” is aptly named? dunno

  70. EyesOpenedHeartBroken says:

    HA! Fair enough Em…. but may I point out the fact that it was man who called it weed and not God…..

    And I refer you back to my original point about man.

    It’s almost like the chicken and the egg idea isn’t it?

    Did cannabis corrupt us or did we corrupt it?

    Tune in next time….. when Jesus let’s us know….. 🙂

  71. EyesOpenedHeartBroken says:

    @58 EADGBE….. with all sincerity, as tone is not properly communicated via visual means of communication…..

    I ask about your comment “The transient population has increased substantially.”

    My question is this….. is that said with a negative connotation, feeling, or perhaps with the idea that transience is a bad thing?

    I ask because for me personally, two thoughts come to my mind (and yes, I am a part of the ever increasing transient population in Washington state)…..

    1) If what we are saying here is that a group of people relocating themselves to another place in the world because they felt something (fill in your adjective here) negative, and they thought that they could start over somewhere else with better results is a bad thing, then technically, shouldn’t everyone virtually everyone in America leave? Do you see what I’m saying? I’m really not being disrespectful, I just find it fascinating how we have these opinions now about things that our ancestors did….. leave where you are at in search of and hope for a better life.

    2) In His ministry and life, based on the definition of the word, is Jesus Christ Himself as the Son of God who walked this earth not the ultimate definition (at least until Part II) of transience?

    Please forgive me, I mean no disrespect or harm to anyone in anyway. Maybe I’m just blessed and God is allowing me to think outside the box or maybe I’m just cursed and completely crazy.

    I think America in general has taken words of the English language and otherwise manipulated them to invoke predetermined emotions. But again, I digress.

  72. Cookie says:

    Surprised to see any debate at all on a Christian site about the legitimacy of marijuana for a Christian. The bible is very clear that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Also, that nothing should become an idol in our life that would hinder our relationship with God. Further that we are to be sober minded. Also that we should not engage in behavior that would cause a brother to stumble. Can someone explain any circumstance when using marijuana would not violate these biblical commands.

    My husband smoked pot almost every day for 20 years. Pot introduced him to the drug culture in the 70s which led to him using cocaine, meth, LSD, angel dust, Qualudes, opium, and ultimately crack cocaine and heroin. He was saved 25 years ago and is clean and sober by the grace of God and is filled with the Holy Spirit. He has told me that even the desire to smoke weed results in immediate conviction by the Holy Spirit. He has told me that today weed is 10 X stronger than it was 25 years ago and there is NO WAY one can smoke today’s weed (even one hit off a joint) wihtout being significantly impaired.

    I wonder where our priorities are. If it is our desire to leave ALL and follow Jesus, as He commands throughout His ministry, why in the world would we consider using weed? Is it that important???? Jesus said to leave your father and your mother to follow Him. Isnt that more to leave than weed??? Jesus said lay down your idols to follow Him. Isnt weed your idol???

    Yes, the legalization of weed raises questions for the Christian. The Bible provides answers. Paul says all things may be allowable, but are they beneficial? The law says gay marriage is legal, does that make it acceptable to God?

    I challenge any Christian to explain to me how recreational use of marijuana is possibly justified for the Christian?

  73. filbertz says:

    debate and discussion is absolutely needed to root out entrenched viewpoints which have little value in the real world. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle. The rise of Prohibition began with the temperence movement, which valued moderation and morphed into anti-alcohol viewpoints…the rest was disaster–when booze was outlawed, society didn’t become more holy, but more lawless and violent & the rise of organized crime began. Outlawed marijuana never made society cleaner & more sober, but gave Mexican drug cartels billions of dollars that rained havoc on society and culture south of our border. It is a complex issue that warrants clear, factual, honest conversation. The biblical thoughts you voice don’t account for the liberty one has in Christ & the individual freedom one has to decide. One person’s prohibition doesn’t translate into another’s conviction. I believe for yourself and your husband that to smoke pot would be a violation of your convictions and conscience. I honor that and applaud you. But it is also reflective of your experiences and background which doesn’t translate to all others. For many, recreational pot would be tantamount to a glass of red wine or cold beer to unwind at the end of a long work day. By the way, I’m not a pot smoker, nor do I anticipate beginning.

  74. Cookie says:

    Filbertz- appreciate your thoughtful response. However, since you have never smoked pot you are among those misled into belieiving that “recreational pot would be tantamount to a glass of red wine or cold beer to unwind at the end of a long work day” Not even close. With today’s potent weed, pataking only slightly is enough to be totrally wasted- incapable of operating a vehicle, responsibly caring for a child- or making rational judgments. I’m not talking reefer madness here- I’m talking fact.

    Im not against legalization- in fact legalization will allow rational study and appropriate govt regulation of appropriate usage. Im referring to the Christian. Using pot is akin to drunkenness. The bible is clear on drunkenness. Uisng pot cannot be compared to one glass of wine or one beer.

  75. EyesOpenedHeartBroken says:

    Just curious then…. if the Christian considers the body a temple and therefore has the logic of not putting anything in their body that is not natural or helpful or of God is in fact the way to live, then how can they justify taking vaccines, drinking water with fluoride, eating processed foods, or taking prescription medications without understanding the truth behind the pharmaceutical industry and how the medicine they are taking is made? We have to look at the entire big overall picture. There are a lot of people trying to turn away from man made toxic substances (alcohol, designed drugs) that have been helping them cope with pain, anxiety, and even side effects of other drugs they are told to take; cannabis is providing for them a way out without the detriment to themselves that they experience while using the other stuff. And please don’t say that they just need Jesus. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus’ way of helping people cope is in a plant that could have changed our overall existence if greedy men didn’t want to control what it could do for society. But since it would have annihilated the way our modern medical industry exists and changed it in such a way that we would be healthy and the rich greedy owners would be healthy too, but they wouldn’t be so rich.

    Also, with regard to impairment while being high….. that is understandable as it does affect some people that way…. with there being over 7 billion people on the planet and all, we are bound to have different reactions….. especially if the above mentioned poisons are a constant intake in a person’s life.

    However, there is THC and CBD. Now CBD can be extracted as more of the medicinal part of the plant without the overall impairment, but remember different people react differently. It’s not as simple as it’s just weed now. Now it’s a science, whether or not we completely and utterly pervert that is yet to be seen.

    It would be so great if Christians could just speak to and treat others in such a way as to make others understand that while they don’t agree with other’s choices, that they don’t condemn them for it, and that is proven through their words, demeanor, and overall attitude. Christians really need to just stop picking on the outside visible tangible sins they see in everyone else, go sit down by yourself somewhere and realize how terribly sinful you all still are deep in the crevices of your judgmental hearts and attitudes, even while you don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or associate with those who do.

  76. filbertz says:

    I have close family members who smoke pot and, yes, today’s pot can be much more potent than in the past, but I have not seen them in a drunken-like state after smoking. Simply not my experience second-hand. Further, I would comment that the context of ‘the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit’ has to do with sexual contact with temple prostitutes. To connect the dots to other behaviors is dubious interpretation, in my opinion. I urge you to re-read the text. Finally, and I say this respectfully, but if I can’t judge because I haven’t smoked it firsthand, then you cannot speak to the ‘fact’ either.

  77. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Why do people use mind and mood altering substances? To get high. Along with this “high” is impairment, a false reality, impulsiveness, poor judgment, and reaction time. Does these substances provide pleasure, numb out physical and psychological pain, suffering, and provide a sense of well-being, or control, yes they do. However, like it not, it is a delusion based upon a faulty brain process that does not and cannot possibly enable the filtering of internal and external information coming in from the five senses in a manner that enables the person to see or to cope with reality as it really is. Much more, relationships suffer and lives that depend or even crosses the user’s path are affected. Marijuana is no different. People need to learn to deal with life as it is, not use it as their primary relationship, and expect everything and everyone else to cater. to accommodate, or to walk around them as if they are walking on eggshells, thus enabling their abuse and or dependency.

    Stop twisting God’s word to justify using these things and then attempt to build upon this by using such things as the drug cartel or taking a hard left turn meandering off into other territories that has nothing whatsoever to do with mood and mind altering substances and activities that changes the brain in such a matter that no matter what, it does affect one’s thought processes and behaviors in tasks, decision making, and relationships.

    High is high—–and it does take one of reality, giving a false sense of control while placing the lives of others at risk. This is the real issue—not if someone has a right to smoke and joke. And in this, the love of God is at best, a byword, as long as one has their dope to keep them in this false sense of security.

    Funny, how those who use become so dependent upon these things to help them to cope with such things as social phobia, insecurity, anger, frustration, anxiety, not knowing that the very thing they have come to rely upon is what has placed them in bondage, meaning they no longer are capable of coping without using, yet when going into recovery;, they learn they have been deceived and have self deceived themselves as they learn to use other coping mechanisms to deal with life on life terms (reality) and to build healthy productive lives along with healthy loving relationships with others close by and gain much higher appreciation and consciousness in terms of understanding how their thoughts, choices of behaviors have upon others.

    And if they choose to maintain the same type of what is called “stinkin thinking,” they have only gotten clean from the substance being in the body, but not sober, for all they have accomplish is not using—-eventually they will slip back into seeking out or even have already just switch their “drug of choice.” They are: dry “drunk” mentality.

    Yet scripture tells us to put those things away and to renew our minds, to put away the old man (or woman) and to be filled with Holy Spirit. Jesus tells us we must be born again. And in this our hearts are changed, no longer making excuse for that which causes harm to others, our selves, and dishonors God. Selah.

  78. EyesOpenedHeartBroken says:

    Uriah, you cannot possibly know why people do what they do, only God can.

    There are references to that in Scripture.

    Perhaps you too are deceived by your own judgmental attitude claiming to have understanding in areas in which you do not.

    You cannot know the heart, mind, experiences, and souls of the 7 billion+ people on the planet currently and their reasons as to why or why not they do what they do, more less the trillions of people who have lived and died throughout history.

    You also cannot possibly know the chemical results of any variable of substance and person throughout any point in time.

    You cannot judge how people should learn to “deal with life” as you put it.

    You cannot decide “what the real issue is” here. You are not the only one involved.

    It is just so very sad how the church cannot see how ugly they have become.

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