Can a Christian Smoke Pot? Exploring the Morality of Legal Drug Use

15 Jul

As the laws change, this is a discussion we Christians must have amongst ourselves.

I know individuals who look askance at marijuana but can and do medicate themselves into a near-stupor with a doctor’s permission. Legality is not morality, and all mind-altering drugs should be considered in the context of purpose, necessity, and effect.

So is it moral to smoke marijuana if one can maintain self-control? Can it merely “gladden the heart” without leading to something like drunkenness? Those are the key questions, and they’re not going away.

Welcome to the new normal.

I can’t remember where, but I read an opinion piece by another fellow Christian who seemed to think you can’t smoke any marijuana without becoming stoned, but that’s bullshit; just as you can have a drink and not get drunk, just enjoy a pleasant sense of relaxation, so too could one partake of only a small amount of marijuana, as opposed to a larger amount, and enjoy some effects without full-out intoxication. It’s no different from the difference between having a cup of coffee and having four cups of coffee: the cup of coffee will be pleasantly stimulating, but downing four cups of coffee may get your heart racing and give you nervous jitters – there’s a difference between getting mild stimulation and getting outright wired.

All drugs work this way; the basic principle of pharmacology is this: for every substance, there exists a dosage, a concentration / amount so small, as to have zero effect; but the flipside is, a large enough concentration / amount of any substance will kill you. Every substance works that way, including beneficial drugs without narcotic or psychotropic effects.

No reason to think there’s something magical, dangerously bad about certain ones, that any amount whatsoever of them is automatically going to have negative effects.


Posted by on July 15, 2014 in religion, spirituality, Theology


6 responses to “Can a Christian Smoke Pot? Exploring the Morality of Legal Drug Use

  1. dudleyschoolmusic

    July 15, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Completely agree. I would fall under the deprohibit + abstinence/rare-use camp. As someone who has abused, I have an anxious aversion to cannabis use. The thing is, being overly sensitive to THC is not what caused me suffering… It was ingesting a dose far greater then my system would tolerate that caused me to suffer without the positives. For sensitive systems, dosage is particularly important.

    It’s like the difference between chewing coco leaves for their natural and historically mild stimulant effect, and refining cocaine, bumping a gram and killing your heart or brain with an overdose. Thank goodness cannabis use is not lethal.

    This is another argument for legalization, demystification, and reliable (and legally safe for business use) tests for product THC content %.

  2. Will S.

    July 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    It’s true; if you decriminalize or legalize it, you can start doing quality control; the government can start regulating, and inspecting the crops, testing samples of factory-rolled joints, or other THC-containing products derived from marijuana, testing for potency, efficacy, and that such products contain the amount of THC, etc. that they say they do – same as we do for pharmaceuticals…

    I’ve long been in favour of decriminalization; see my old post:

  3. ray

    July 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    MJ is v bad stuff, and properly was discouraged by the dominant culture, when it still was dominant. Criminalization of drugs, tho, just leads to more problems and corrupt profiteering. There are better ways.

    The truest thing written about MJ was a song, ‘Along Comes Mary’ — not a positive tune, just an honest one. Cuz there’s a little bit o’ the Goddess in every bud.

  4. Will S.

    July 17, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Marijuana is little different from alcohol; alcohol can be terrible for some people, but the Bible doesn’t condemn its usage, only its abuse…

    Marijuana, like alcohol, has ruined some people’s lives; marijuana, like alcohol, is consumed by other people to little harmful effect.

    And since marijuana isn’t mentioned in Scripture, no reason to think that it’s automatically bad, in and of itself.


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