I have seen several videos and articles which challenge the Bible and Christianity in terms of marijuana use. Unfortunately these challenges are often met with unsure responses. Essentially many people believe that, because the Bible doesn’t make a direct reference to marijuana that there is no scriptural claim that its wrong.
Technically speak there is no direct reference to marijuana, there is likewise no direct reference to heroin or crack or most drugs for that matter. Although most people, especially those who advocate for marijuana, would never compare hard drugs to marijuana there is an argument that is also prevailent placing all drugs or mind altering substances on at least a minimal common ground.
I’m not trying to compare marijuana with other drugs based on a lack of understanding. I have had a life time of experience with drugs in my family, friends and just generally in the culture around me. I am well aware of the difference between marijuana and harder drugs. Likewise there is a difference between medical and recreational application.
The Bible itself even speaks on the one hand about not being a drunkard, and on the other hand about using wine medically. It is an understood point that no all substances have only negative uses. People sometimes think that the Bible restricts things across the board with no understanding or concern for thos who might benefit from them. That is an under-informed view point. Back to the example with the wine. The point the Bible makes is that while some may benefit from wine, which can help digestion, blood circulation, blood pressure and several other things that one drinking should have those benefits in mind when the drink the wine. The point for drinking shouldn’t be recreational intoxication.
thus the Bible doesn’t have to address every specific typ of drug individually to offer the same warning.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
This simple verse, in my opinion makes things clear. The warning isn’t just to try and control you or to try and deprive people of fun or experience. The warning is that if you choose to dull your mind in the middle of a battle then you are really doing yourself a horrible disservice.
A boxer wouldn’t get high before entering the ring. When someone is about to engage in battle they don’t normally want to dull their senses and slow their reaction time and inhibit their ability to understand and strategize. To do so would be foolish and more often than not would result in loss of the battle. Depending on that battle the actual cost of what you have lost can vary significantly.
Marijuana can be used as medicine and I can be effective in some treatments and if your doctor feels that your best chance is to try a marijuana based treatment plan the Bible doesn’t begrudge you that. You are not a sinner for taking a treatment no more so than you would if the doctor prescribed Tylenol or muscle cream or an allergy medicine. If however you just like to smoke pot for fun, the Bible doesn’t support that. And the reason is for your benefit, God doesn’t want you to be impaired in the middle of the fight and be deceived, side tracked, or derailed all because your mind wasn’t sharp.
The Bible doesn’t say the word marijuana but the Bible does speak to the situation. This is true in many places. Just because we don’t see a specific keyword in scripture doesn’t mean that the topic is not covered and it doesn’t mean that we can hide behind what we want to call ambiguity and indulge ourselves to our hearts content.
If you are speaking with a person, be they a believer or a non-believer and this topic comes up you can be sure to tell them that the Bible does speak about marijuana and it doesn’t tell us about how to view its use as a medicine and as a recreational substance. It isn’t a free for all just because the word marijuana isn’t used.