Marijuana: Weeding out the Medical Facts

Marijuana: Weeding out the Medical Facts

The Forward 

“With the legalization of marijuana in Washington State I wrote a free ebook on the issue theologically and pastorally. I did not address the medical issues because that was beyond my scope of expertise. However, my doctor and friend Dr. John Catanzaro of Health and Wellness Institute was kind enough to research the medical aspects of marijuana usage and write them up. We genuinely hope this helps Christians make wise decisions and provide wise counsel especially parents and ministry leaders.”
-Mark Driscoll
Pastor Mars Hill Church

A Short Teaser

Some Christians are less skeptical of the current scientific evidence and say that Christians can use marijuana medicinally but not recreationally.

“There are biblical rationales for such a position,” Bosch writes. “The Presbyterian Church’s [USA] position on pot-smoking, which they adopted during a June 2006 General Assembly, notes that Matthew 25:35 calls for people to give aid to those who are suffering. Many Christians in favor of medicinal marijuana use this line of argument, saying that if it helps ease the pain of people dying from cancer, it’s a good thing.”

In fact, a variety of Christian denominations and groups have supported the medical use of marijuana: “The Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, and the Episcopal Church have all either issued resolutions or signed statements supporting the use of marijuana under the supervision of a doctor. The Episcopal Church’s 1982 resolution even delves into politics by saying that it urges the adoption by Congress and all states of statutes providing that the use of marijuana be permitted when deemed medically appropriate by duly licensed medical practitioners.”

While allowing for marijuana used medicinally, many in this camp are skeptical of its benefit for recreational usage. Bosch says, “Churches that support prescription cannabis don’t always endorse bong hits just for the fun of it. The United Methodist Church considers marijuana a gateway drug. At the Episcopal Church’s 1982 General Convention, a resolution was passed proclaim[ing] there are harmful effects which can be permanently disabling with the use of marijuana. The Presbyterian Church is less strict; it stated in 1971 and again in 2006 that marijuana is not properly classified and conclusive evidence is lacking that it produces physiological effects or automatically leads to the use of more serious, addictive drugs.’”

Should Christians use marijuana? I would advocate that the soundest Christian response to the moral question is Option C: that recreational is immoral, but medicinal use may be permissible. In other words, my answer is “no” for recreational usage, but again I am open to the possibility of medical benefits

in some cases, under a doctor’s supervision.

While allowing for marijuana used medicinally, many in this camp are skeptical of its benefit for recreational usage.

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