If you are a Christian who suffers from multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or severe pain, you might be wondering if it is okay to use medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is becoming increasingly legalized in the United States as the drug loses its taboo status around the world. And, now there are new discussions about whether or not it is okay for Christians to use it.
There is no definitive biblical answer to whether or not it is okay for Christians to use medical marijuana. However, the use of marijuana among Christians is highly debated.
There is a general acceptance for Christians to use antidepressants to treat depression, and these drugs alter brain chemicals. So, why would it not be okay for Christians to use marijuana if it is legal in their state for medical purposes? Medical marijuana is helpful for many conditions.
Dr. Roger Barrier, a retired senior teaching pastor from Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona says that it is okay for Christians to take medical marijuana to get relief of medical symptoms — as long as they live in a state where it is legal to do so. The retired pastor points out that the evidence has shown that medical cannabis can reduce chronic pain, improve the appetite of people with HIV and AIDS, and reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy.
Christians have no problem taking opioids or aspirin for pain. In fact, people have been using both for ages. Salicylic acid, which is the active ingredient in aspirin, has been used since Hippocrates time to cure pain headaches and fever. The powder comes from the leaves and bark of the willow tree. Similarly, marijuana is a naturally occurring plant. Plus, marijuana has a lot fewer risks and side effects than aspirin and opioids.
Dr. Barrier points out that there are risks with medical marijuana — just as there is with any drug. He suggests that Christians talk with their doctors to determine if the risks outweigh the benefits for them.
Dr. Barrier does say that if people are using marijuana for recreational or other purposes, then he does not condone its use. He calls this kind of use “spiritually dangerous.” Dr. Richard Poupard, with the Christian Research Institute, seems to agree with this. He says that smoking marijuana is against the biblical prohibition against intoxication. So, smoking the drug to get high is against the Bible.
Dr. Poupard also says that if marijuana is used to feel enlightened or to tap into one’s inner energy, then its use is wrong. This type of use is more consistent with Eastern religious thought, which is contrary to the message of Jesus Christ. He says that Christians must strive to find peace and meaning of life through the work of our Savior, rather than through the use of a drug or psychoactive chemical.
Overall, the current religious thought is moving towards the idea that using marijuana for medical reasons is okay. However, when it is used recreationally or for spiritual purposes, then this is against the Bible.
~ 1776 Christian