4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

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4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Rivet » April 20th, 2017, 11:16 am

Since it is 4/20/17, I would like to have a mature discussion about marijuana from a Christian perspective. I want to talk about the actual medical/mental benefits, and the potential issues that arise from it (whether it be Biblical or in general), without regard for personal opinion. Discuss! :3
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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Kurushii Drive » April 20th, 2017, 7:54 pm

I don't really know a lot on this topic but what I do know is that many things in this world can be used for both good and evil things. Take grapes, for example. Grapes can be made into the world's best grape juice, and they can also be used to make alcoholic beverages (wine; not that that in itself is evil, but what some people do with it is).

That's really all I can say. What do you think, Rivet?

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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Rivet » April 21st, 2017, 7:52 am

In my personal opinion (even though I very clearly said it would be an objective discussion, but oh well, everything is subjective in this day and age)? I think roughly the same way. It can be bad or good, depending on how it is used. It's kinda on the same level as video games and other things of that ilk for me. If smoking marijuana is something that gets between you and Christ, then you shouldn't do it. If it makes others or yourself stumble, you should stop. If the Spirit tells you to stop, you should stop. But otherwise, there isn't much of a problem with smoking weed. There are few, if any, negative health effects (it's true that there are carcinogens in marijuana smoke, but they are less active carcinogens and on top of that, the very same thing giving carcinogens also fights cancer (which blows my mind). And I can't even begin to mention the effects it has in treating mental illnesses, alleviating pain that conventional painkillers could not, etc. It's really a bona fide super drug, because hemp has so many uses. But I suppose there is also one thing you would need to consider if you are smoking weed: why are you doing it? Are you doing it for a good reason like helping with anxiety or depression? Are you doing it because it helps you with some other medical condition? Or are you just doing it because everyone else is doing it? There are other factors involved too! Are you spending too much money on it? Are you smoking wayy too much of it and getting ridiculously stoned? Are you addicted to it? Is it causing you to get into the actual "bad drugs"?
In other words, I don't think it's a black and white thing. It all depends on the person. If, in the right hands (or lungs, or stomach, depending on the product), for the right reasons, then I don't see a problem with it. Most of the problems that arise with weed are almost always related to it being illegal, not because of the actual effects of marijuana. It doesn't cause nearly as many car crashes as alcohol (http://blog.caranddriver.com/marijuana- ... htsa-says/), there hasn't been a single case of someone being killed by "smoking too much" marijuana, and instead of causing people to act stupid and aggressive in some cases, it seems stoners tend to act the exact opposite. They talk more to each other under the influence, they're nicer to each other, they are less disruptive in social situations, they are able to retain a lot more of their consciousness and intelligence while under the influence, etc. Comparably, alcohol is way more dangerous as a drug (and we all know what the Bible says about alcohol), yet marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, up there with heroin. one classification up from cocaine. The list goes on, and if somebody were to bring up "then why is pot illegal in some states still? There has to be a good reason!" Well, I'm glad you asked, because it is a well known fact that one of the only reasons that it has been illegal is because way back in the early 90's, people from Mexico began immigrating to the US in droves to sell marijuana and find US jobs. The government ran a propaganda campaign claiming that Mexican men would smoke weed, and it would drive them insane, causing them to kill people. Ever since, the government just hasn't had the legislation or motivation to change that, up until people starting running studies of the plant, finding it had way more medicinal uses than they originally thought.
So, in conclusion, I think it all just depends on you.
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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Kurushii Drive » April 21st, 2017, 6:20 pm

Don't worry. My question "What do you think?" provoked your subjectivity, so I'll take it for the team Cx

Far too many stereotypes exist for different cultural/ethnical/racial groups related to these 'worldly delights.' Marijuana and alcohol are just a few of them, but let's not forget that indeed video games fall under the same description, too. Many suicides have resulted from game addictions (to WoW in particular, and primarily in South Korea—please note that I don't intend to typecast here; I'm just trying to say that each country has their own problems yet in the end all of them are the same problem), just as many deaths have resulted from drug addictions.

Games themselves aren't without their scientific benefits and disadvantages. For one, real-time action games and shooters are known to improve a person's fine-motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and even (yes, even) reaction time (though a minimal augmentation). Strategy games improve the brain's ability to reason and solve problems more quickly that involve 'critical thinking.' However, as we all know, for some games saturated with violence can distort the player's perception of what is reality and what isn't, thus causing them to become violent in real life. I haven't seen too much of this myself, though the stories of its occurring are authentic and damaging to our society.

So yes, your conclusion is accurate in my eyes; 'it depends on you.' God has given all different personas that make them unique; accordingly it is hard to make and regulate laws that accommodate for the immense varieties of character in this world. Really the only way to rule wisely is to rule according to God's wisdom—that is, the wisdom of the Bible. If our nation were to return to our foundations and live according to this Book, I have no doubts that we will be able to handle these issues more correctly.

Sorry if this isn't really on topic! :C I wanted to participate in this discussion when I had originally seen it but, knowing that I'm not familiar with the actual topic, I was afraid that my participating would steer it away from the original topic. Nevertheless I hope I have added fuel to this discussion's engine so that others will be encouraged to add on. Thanks for the post, Rivet.

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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby NeoJabez » April 21st, 2017, 6:36 pm

I'm really not going to say much here, other than that you should check your history...

The timing of marijuana being vilified has nothing to do with the 1990s at all. The laws and ill will towards marijuana really began between 1910 and the 1920s and 30s. The first real law against marijuana was made in 1937, and it was added to the Controlled Substances Act in like...(I want to say), 1976?

We have had an immigration problem since long before the 90s, and marijuana has been a hot button issue since the late 1930s, long before I was born, and I'm old enough to be your dad.
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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Rivet » April 23rd, 2017, 2:19 pm

Ah that was my bad, I just now realized that I said it was in the 90's. That would be REALLY off historically. But yes, you did add some fuel :P This is one of those subjects that a lot of Christians are uncomfortable discussing because of how they were raised.
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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Raphael » April 24th, 2017, 12:13 pm

Cannabis use is linked with increased chance of schizophrenia and pyschosis. A swedish military study found users who were intaking cannabis since age 18 had a 600% increased risk of developing schizophrenia 15 years later.

I've watched by brother's mental health deteriorate under the use of it. He thinks it helps him with depression, but from the outside I see him getting worse. It got to the point where he was in full blown paranoia, thinking people were out to kill him and he couldn't trust family.

Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's safe physically or spiritually either.
An addiction to prescription narcotics can also have the same effect, or worse.
A relative of my wife died of cancer, but before she did the pain killers they put her on caused her to go into a psychosis where she became paranoid and thought her family was trying to kill her.

I also watched my mom succumb to years of psychosis coming and going, before she died of an accidental drug interaction, because of the prescription pain killers she was given. The doctor who gave them ended up getting into legal trouble for irresponsible prescribing pain killers to many patients.

My dad started by growing and smoking marijuana when he was a teenager.
Later in life he moved on to alochol, then illegal street drugs, and then after giving up those moved on to whatever prescription drugs he could get his hands on. Until eventually he died from an accidential prescription drug interaction, but using things that weren't actually prescribed to him.

My dad is probably a good example of how marijauna is a gateway to worse things, but not for the reasons people usually cite - The real reason is because he had a spiritual and emotional void he was trying to fill with something natural. A problem he was trying to solve with something natural. Most people who turn to drugs are doing the same thing, even if they don't realize it.

Although I haven't done illegal drugs, and have never really drank alcohol aside from occasionally trying something, I've experienced the harm to my mental/emotional/spiritual health that prescription psychiatric drugs did before getting off of them and being healed by God. I didn't even realize I had developed an addiction to anti-anxiety prescription drugs, to the point where I couldn't stop taking it without horrendous withdrawls.

I can sum up the measure you should use, from a godly perspective, with regards to what you put in your body:
Anything that gives you a superficial and temporary change in feeling is dangerous emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It's easy to start turning to that to meet your needs, which will put you in bondage to it, open up doors to spiritual affliction, and remove you from being closer to God as the one who really meets your needs.

You have to ask the question: Why are you doing this? Why do you think you need this? Is this providing you with something you think you can't get from God? If you believe the later, you're believing a lie from satan. Former drug users will tell you that the joy and peace of abiding in the presence of God feels better than any combination of drugs they ever took. If you're turning to something legal like cannabis or alcohol because it makes you feel better, you're in a danger zone.

This applies to more things than people think. And I'm not just talking about alcohol and prescription drugs.
If you are addicted to sugar, you're in bondage to something. Sugar is found to be just as addicting as cocaine in the way it stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain. Sugar addiction can kill you outright by destroying vital functions of your body, or kill you slowly by degrading your quality of life and bringing on premature effects of aging. There are people who turn to sugar to deal with their emotional problems as much as someone else turns to alcohol, cannabis, prescription drugs, or street drugs. Sugar is not a natural product found in creation, but a highly processed extraction of plants. The same is true of almost any drug. Yet our entire culture is addicted to sugar. It's in everything. You can't get away from it. People are so use to living in the brain fog of a constant sugar injections, from the time they were a baby, that they don't even know what it's like to live without it.

That is not to make drugs sound less harmful, but said to make you realize sugar is more harmful than you realize. You take it for granted because it's so common and socially acceptable. It's even thought to be a good thing in our culture, something we give to kids as a reward. You never stop to ask God if it's something you should be consuming, probably shrug off any conviction that might have once appeared, and probably don't think you could stop even if you had to. Some Christians have been convicted about their need to give up sugar, but most wouldn't be able to hear or respond to that call even if they got it.

Which illustrates the next most important point:
It's not enough to say "well, I can do this unless the Holy Spirit tells me otherwise". That presumes you have a soft enough heart, a heart willing enough to die to yourself, to truly lay down something based on the gentle nudging of God on your conscious. To the point where you're not going to try to rationalize it or justify your behavior because you don't want to have to change.
Many, many people engage in all kinds of sins (such as premartial sex), on the basis that they feel ok with it, so they think God is ok with it. In most cases they just ignored the initial conviction they felt and hardened their heart to be comfortable in their sin.
So if we don't position ourselves with a heart that truly wants to do whatever God says more than doing what we want, but we really want to cling to our sin, then there's great potential for self deception as we tune out the Holy Spirit's gentle conviction, eventually hardening our heart against any conviction in that area.

This principle applies to everything we become comfortable with that really grieves God's heart, in terms of media, music, lifestyle, etc.
There are many Christians, and even Christian leaders, all over the world, who in some way have failed to discern or act upon the Holy Spirit's conviction because they've just become so culturally accustomed and comfortable with having something offensive to God (and harmful to themselves) in their life.

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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Rivet » April 24th, 2017, 12:56 pm

I agree that marijuana can be a gateway drug for some people, and I also agree that there are a lot of people that use it to fill something that is empty inside of them. That makes a lot of sense. However, I only believe that marijuana leads to worse things simply because of its state of being illegal in most places. People are introduced to the harder drugs not because of what marijuana itself does to them, but because of the people they get it through. Oftentimes those people are dealing with more drugs than just weed. If marijuana were legal everywhere, I feel like it would be a different story. I'm not saying that heavy marijuana use is perfectly hunky dory, I'm saying that (like everything else in this world) marijuana use in moderation is fine. Just like drinking in moderation is fine (which is crazy to me, because marijuana is exponentially safer than alcohol, and it's one of the things that makes me think even more so that marijuana is okay in moderation), sugar in moderation is fine, etc. There are some drugs that should never be taken, of course, and are impossible to take "in moderation" but I do not believe marijuana is one of those drugs (especially due to the trivial nature of its restriction by law, and due to the vast amounts of health benefits it provides). So, in short, yes, I agree that heavy, addictive use is wrong and you should never think that a drug can fix something in you that God cannot.

However, there is a difference between being addicted to something, and needing something simply because of a chemical imbalance in your brain, or nothing else works. Take anxiety medication, for example. Sometimes, yes, we do need medication to regulate our anxiety or depression. We are in a broken, fallen world, after all. Our bodies fail us, and so do our minds. Contrary to popular belief, when you are saved by Jesus, you aren't always just going to be healed of all your ailments. If someone is telling you that you don't need anxiety medication (or any medication, for that matter) because "Jesus will heal all of it", then they are wrong. God doesn't just heal magically with a "poof", He also heals through situations, or medications, or people, or words. He can heal in all sorts of ways, and sometimes you need medication in order to be on the road to healing. Medication, and drugs like marijuana (which are used in the same fashion medically, and is why people can get licenses for medical marijuana due to their own mental or nerve disorders) are simply supplements to help you gain the long term healing you need. BUT they should never be used as a crutch, because in time, Jesus does heal all, if you take the right initiative. It makes sense in correlation, since a lot of the New Testament is about initiative. You must take the initiative to accept Jesus's love, it doesn't happen on its own. You need to take the initiative to repent for your sins, forgiveness doesn't come on it's own. You must take initiative and do the things you need to do to be put on the road to healing, it doesn't happen on it's own. Using medication, or marijuana, or any drug that is meant for medical purposes is sometimes the way to setting yourself on that road to healing. If a schizophrenic person never took their medication, then they would never be able to be healed, because they'd never have the eyes to do so.

However, like I said, it depends on you. If you have no problem in your walk with Jesus, with or without marijuana, then good. I feel like a true Christian will be able to tell in their hearts whether a certain drug or medication is getting in the way of them and God. You've determined that marijuana and your anxiety medication had no place in your walk with Jesus, and that's how it is for you. And that is a very commendable decision.

I guess the real question that I have answered for myself is, "can a devout, God-loving Christian use marijuana for relaxation (for instance, while reading the Bible) or to treat their depression/anxiety while they work on it in other ways?" as opposed to "can anybody use marijuana (including people who have not accepted Jesus and have a void to fill)?" And, in my opinion, and in all my confidence Biblically (especially when a drug so dangerous and life-ruining as alcohol is permitted for moderated use in the Bible), it is "yes." I feel most of the problems with marijuana arise because of its legality and when people use it in place of something else, or in an addictive fashion.

P.S. also, premarital sex is a pretty interesting topic I'd like to discuss at some point on here, because I believe that tradition has some interesting Biblical discussions to be had.
Last edited by Rivet on April 24th, 2017, 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby Rivet » April 24th, 2017, 1:21 pm

Another thing that I find worth mentioning, is that being so set in your ways that you're okay with sin can also relate to Christians being so set in their traditions (that may or may not be Biblical or even matter) that they get so settled into it and don't want to open their minds to anything else. Now, I'm not saying that's how you are, but I feel like that's why medications and marijuana have developed such a bad rep.
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Re: 4/20: An objective, Biblical discussion about marijuana

Postby NeoJabez » April 24th, 2017, 1:35 pm

Perhaps you should take a long look at your belief structure and understand that following the LAW is not being 'set in your ways'.

Churches have traditions, religious denominations have traditions. A Christ Follower earnestly staying away from drugs, or any other borderline behavior is not being 'set in one's ways. It is more, I think, a matter of discernment on their part.

I find it a little worrisome you spend so much time trying to justify behaviors as if no one has ever tried to justify them before you. I've heard every argument you are using in this and other threads, and they usually come from people who are trying to tell themselves it's okay to continue in sins, when they shouldn't be told that.
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