More Christians See the Light on Medical Marijuana
Christianity and cannabis are historically not fine bedfellows. The mere mention of marijuana in Christian company normally elicits some kind of negative response that stems from a long history of government opposition, warnings of its dangers, and “stoner” stereotypes. But this is rapidly changing as the truth about marijuana’s usefulness and safety spreads like wildfire across the world through the new media and invades Christian circles.
Even stalwart publications like Nat Geo and Time have jumped into the debate, both dedicating their recent issues to the science behind marijuana and telling the struggles of those who are finding that cannabis treats their symptoms better than any pharmaceutical drug. And it is this struggle of hurting people that is a pivotal factor in changing the minds of Christians about Cannabis.
Empathy for the Suffering
Watching human misery is difficult for anyone who has empathy. But watching children suffer from continual, uncontrollable seizures as their terrified parents hold them in their arms, praying for the violence and the misery to stop is heartbreaking. Many have tried every anti-seizure medication available – all powerful pharmaceuticals, most with terrible side effects, yet the seizures continue.
For some, it is only non-psychoactive CBD oil, extracted from specially-bred strains of cannabis which are low in THC (the element in marijuana that is psychoactive), that brings relief. And remarkably, there are no known negative side effects.
Unfortunately, CBD doesn’t work for everyone, and it’s not a cure. When the CBD oil is stopped, the seizures generally return. But for those whose seizures are reduced, sometimes even eliminated, life is suddenly and completely transformed. It is truly a miracle treatment for these families who are fortunate enough to live in a state where they can legally get the marijuana oil.
But for every patient that can get the oil, there are thousands of others who live in states where marijuana remains illegal in all forms. New laws are being drafted every week in an effort to make medical marijuana legally available to those who need it. But oftentimes, these laws never make it into the books, blocked even from a vote by well-meaning but misinformed legislative gatekeepers.
Some Christian Politicians Are Out Of Step
Tragically, it is often Christian lawmakers who stop the legislation in its tracks because they haven’t taken the time to properly investigate the issue, look at the scientific and massive anecdotal evidence that exists today, and discover the truth about the safety and efficacy of cannabis as medicine, not only for children with epilepsy, but a hundreds of other serious illnesses as well. Instead, they choose to stubbornly cling to their long-held but misinformed opinions that marijuana poses more of a danger than a benefit to the citizens of their state.
50% of young Christian adults favor the legalization of recreational marijuana, compared to only 20% of Christian seniors. Young Christian adults are twice as likely (52%) to deem marijuana use morally acceptable compared to their Christian seniors (25%). A majority of all ages support the legalization of medical marijuana.
These lawmakers who oppose marijuana will soon find themselves losing elections. Thanks to social media, more and more Christians, particularly those who are under age 60, are rapidly discovering the truth about the healing benefits of marijuana. They are surfing the Internet, looking at the scientific studies and actual testimonies which show that cannabis is safe and effective for the treatment of many major diseases. They are learning about the human endocannabinoid system and how cannabis works to bring balance to bodily systems that are malfunctioning and deliver symptomatic relief and healing.
According to a 2013 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, 50% of young Christian adults favor the legalization of recreational marijuana, compared to only 20% of Christian seniors. Young Christian adults are twice as likely (52%) to deem marijuana use morally acceptable compared to their Christian seniors (25%). A majority of all ages support the legalization of medical marijuana.
Note that this survey is more than 2 years old, and attitudes have significantly shifted in favor of marijuana legalization and acceptance since this poll was taken.
Many of these younger Christians are politically active, and they take a dim view of politicians who would needlessly deny relief to those who are suffering and desperately seeking the relief that medical marijuana can bring them. Looking through the lens of love and caring for one’s neighbor, this seems like a most un-Christian thing to do. Christian lawmakers would be wise to reconsider their opposition to marijuana legislation, particularly medical marijuana.
A Gift From God
In the midst of the fog of the war on cannabis, it’s easy to forget that we’re talking about a plant – a plant that God Himself made, which has served mankind as food, medicine, clothing and more since the beginning of recorded history. Only recently have we begun to understand the science behind the amazing medical benefits it provides. The only real evil being committed here is the government’s prohibition of access to a plant that serves as safe and effective medicine for seriously ill patients. Not to mention the destruction forced upon families who are torn apart by the arrest and imprisonment of their loved ones who choose to exercise their God-given right to use this valuable plant to safely relieve their pain and suffering instead of using dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.
It’s time to wake up and smell the cannabis. We’ve reached another tipping point in history, and marijuana prohibition is on borrowed time. Thankfully many Christians are changing their views and finding themselves on the side of medical marijuana and common sense legislative reform.
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
– Gen. 1:31
Article by Angus McBride