I read in a past issue of Christianity Today regarding Christian ministry in a post-legalized marijuana America (see Ministry After Mary Jane). It’s worth considering that this law could come to a state near you (if it has not already) and we need to be ready for this issue.
The way I see it, everything might be made legal (to borrow from Paul’s rift in his I Corinthians) but not everything is helpful. I want to ask people why this is a need of theirs. Why should they light up in order to tune out? It might help dull the chronic pain of many, yet most (as the article muses) use it to dull personal and emotional pain.
I wonder, is pot smoking the easy way out of this world?
There is pain in life, there is suffering that comes through the pervasive (and perverse) affects of sin.
Yes, we have freedom in Christ. This freedom then leads to the service of others with care and attention, rejecting the easy way out. Within the American context of recreational marijuana use, is the use of pot helpful?
Is pot consumption the easy way out of the broken world? Are our non-pot smoking activities means of excessive escapism?
Ethical decisions, as Andy Crouch writes, are not made in a vacuum, instead they are made within the context of culture and history. Crouch writes,
“But alcoholic drinks do not function the same way in every culture. If you are Jewish, you are part of a community with a low propensity to alcoholism. And you are blessed with a rich history into which is woven the gift of wine, one of the glories of human beings’ cultivation of the world over millennia. If you are Russian, you are part of a community with a devastating, tragic history of addiction to vodka. What is permitted for a Christian in both cases may be the same. But what is helpful may be radically different.”
The marijuana plant is good. It is part of a world that was declared good by God, even if it is used to “tune out” from the painful world.
For those who are in Christ, let me pose this question. Does pot smoking (like any other free activity) enhance and sharpen the image bearing nature of the Kingdom, or does it substitute for a life lived openly (and honestly) before both God and our neighbors?