ATP: Marijuana-If Doctor Prescribed, Is It Right?
First, let me say “every green herb” is given to man for food and benefit. (Gen 1:30, Gen 9:3) Second, in the Old Testament “the thing” was holy (a particular day, the altar, the show bread, the perfuming oil, the Most Holy Place, the priestly garments, etc.). In the New Testament nothing in itself is holy or unholy it’s what we do with it that makes it holy or unholy. How clearly I recall a district superintendent overseeing our annual congregational meeting say: Nothing in itself is secular; it is either profane of sacred.
For example, the same “musical instrument” that can be used to bring praise to God can be used to lead people into acts of debauchery. The instrument in itself is neutral; what we do with that instrument makes its use holy or unholy, edifying or unedifying, beneficial or detrimental.
Having said that, let’s talk about marijuana. It is given to us by God as is every “herb.” However, there is a reason why it is called a “drug.” Here are the facts:
- It is mind altering.
- It is addictive.
- It is insatiable in its appetite.
- It is mastering in its desires.
- It fries the brain.
What does that mean? It means marijuana may act as a medicinal benefit; but what are the side effects? By that I mean, where does it take you?
My experience with those who take marijuana, for whatever the reason, is they eventually find themselves living for the next “joint.” They are controlled by a substance that always wants more. And, it becomes their master. Two very vivid memories come to mind: While in college I can remember a young, beautiful girl who always walked around art class as if in a fog, eyes glazed and speech slightly slow. Her beauty was ruined by her addiction. The term we used was “pot head.” Her altered state of mind, her body language, her speech, her eyes, they all testified that she smoked pot.
Second illustration. While we were pasturing in Pleasantville, NJ (I was the youth pastor), I cut hair on the side for extra money. One day while cutting the hair of one of our young married fathers, he confessed that he had been addicted to pot. This was his confession: “I lived for the next joint. I smoked pot at least three times a day.” Then he came under conviction and stopped cold turkey. He continued, “Bruce, there was another world out there I did not know existed. I was so driven by the need for the next ‘toke’, that I didn’t notice all the gifts God had given to me – the air, sun, flowers … and I’m embarrassed to say – my wife and children.”
We could go on with the dangers. i.e.: most “addicts” begin with something far less addictive, far less powerful then what takes them down. Usually, marijuana (or alcohol) is the starting point.
Personally, I would avoid anything that has the potential to become your master other than Christ. Scripture is clear -- we are to have but one LORD and master – Jesus Christ. Any “master” other than Christ is a LORD that does not belong in our lives.
I suggest finding a reputable doctor who practices “alternative medicine.” He/she may be able to recommend a non-addictive herb or vitamin that could give you the “benefit” you are looking for.
I would recommend still another possibility for “benefit.” Call the elders of the church together and asked them to pray for healing? Certainly, this is in keeping with His word. James 5:14
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