Marijuana and the Bible

3:56 pm drug abuse, lust, marijuana

What is happening in America?  At least 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes (these are restricted).  Two states (Washington and Colorado) have legalized marijuana for recreational use.  Other states are watching this experiment and will have to decide if they will legalize this drug or not.
The President of the United States minimized the use of marijuana comparing it to alcohol and cigarettes.  He said, “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.  I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol” (Huffington Post, 1/19/2014).  Please refer to the article that I wrote on this blog site titled, “Alcohol and Marijuana” to see the dangers of alcohol and that 88,000 Americans lose their lives each year to heavy drinking of alcohol.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, which contains the psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as other related compounds. This plant material can be smoked or concentrated into a resin called hashish or a sticky black liquid called hash oil (National Institutes of Health).
Facts About Marijuana
1.  Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States.
2.  The drug is being used more among young people (since 2007) and at the same time viewed as being less harmful.
3.  Marijuana is usually smoked (rolled in cigarette wrappers) called “joints” or in pipes called “bongs.”
4.  Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive usually sweet-and-sour odor.
5.  Marijuana can be mixed with tea or used in food products.
General Effects of Marijuana
1.  Short-term memory loss.  Slowness of learning.
2.  Impaired lung function (similar to that found in cigarettes).
3.  Extended use–causes cancer and other lung disease.
4.  Causes decreased sperm count and sperm mobility.
5.  Impairs immune response.
6.  Adverse effects on heart function.  Increase of heart rate–20-100 percent after smoking.
7.  Developmental effects in children and adolescents:  amotivational syndrome–energy loss, poor school performance leading to dropouts, harmed parental relationships, behavior disruptions and psychotic episodes.
Effects on the Brain
1.  THC acts on specific molecular targets on brain cells called cannabinoid receptors.  These in turn affect other neural receptors and play an important part in brain development and function.  Marijuana affects every part of the brain.
2.  THC affects the parts of the brain responsible for pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.
3.  THC produces altered perceptions and mood, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and disrupted learning and memory.
4.  THC also affects brain development.  Prolonged use can have permanent results.  A long-term study in New Zealand showed that heavy users lost an average of 8 points in IQ between the ages of 13 and 38.  (National Institute on Drug Abuse).
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Contrary to public myth, marijuana is addictive.  It can also lead to the use of more potent drugs like cocaine or heroin.  It is referred to as a “gateway” drug for this reason.
Is Marijuana Medicine?
Clinical evidence has not shown that the therapeutic benefits of the marijuana plant outweigh its health risks (NIDA).  There are many harmful ingredients in marijuana that have not been fully evaluated at this time.
Marijuana and the Bible
The Bible teaches that the body of a Christian belongs to God by virtue of redemption through Jesus Christ (I Cor. 6:19-20).  The body must be used for the glory of God and not for drug abuse or fornication.
Christians are not to pursue the lusts of the flesh, but rather the spiritual things of God.  Rom. 8:5-10; Col. 3:1-5.
Christians must not be brought under the power of any illicit drug that impairs judgment and compromises personal restraint against sin.  When a person is “high” there is a loss of self-control (temperance) II Pet. 1:6.
Marijuana is a means of seeking  pleasure through a mind-altering drug.  The pleasures of sin must be rejected.  Heb. 11:24-25 (The example of Moses).
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1-2).

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