Summary: With the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, the Christian must evaluate if using pot is an acceptable practice or a sin.

In those States where the use and sell of Marijuana is illegal, the answer is straightforward. The Christian must abide by the laws of secular government (Romans 13:1-2, 5) which means that the use and sell of Marijuana is clearly prohibited.

As our Nation moves closer to the legalization of recreational use and sell of Marijuana, we Christians must understand that there are other Scriptural principals which forbid us to be involved in the usage and sell of Marijuana. Allow me to provide those important principles:

1. Christians Cannot Serve Two Masters: God and Marijuana.

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus declared “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” Even though the pro-legalization lobby denies it, the truth is that marijuana is an addictive drug. What is addictive about marijuana is the 'high' it gives. The level of mood-lifting varies widely from person to person. But, the vast majority of users look forward to re-experiencing that feeling of euphoria. Thus, one of the risks of even casual usage is the ease into which it can become an addiction.

The movement from casual, recreational use to hard core use is often faster than expected. In fact, some are going to get hooked from the very first use. No one knows ahead of time their susceptibility. Research suggests that about 1 in 11 users becomes addicted to marijuana. This number increases to 1 in 6 among those who start as teens. Among people who use marijuana daily, the figure rises to between 1 in 4 to 1 in 2. Many casual users believe they can stop using pot anytime they choose to do so, but find themselves unable to do so for any significant period of time. What one needs to understand is that, over time, the amount of marijuana needed to achieve the 'high' grows. After awhile, the addict becomes so enslaved to marijuana that, in stead of using marijuana to obtain the 'high', they must have it just to feel 'normal'. The desire or need to re-use marijuana becomes a high priority and, for some, an obsession.

Every Christian needs to adopt the attitude of the Apostle Paul, who took the position: “Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). The Christian is to submit to one Master – God. To submit ourselves to the god marijuana (becoming addicted by seeking it's gratification of our mind and flesh) rather than to the Spirit of God brings only death – Romans 8:4-8, we are not to “walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” The best way to prevent addiction is never to begin using marijuana.

2. Our Source of Joy and Peace is to Be the Holy Spirit Rather Than Marijuana.

As we have noted, the initial use of marijuana can provide a sense of euphoria and even a measure of inward serenity. But, such a pleasurable experience is short-lived and ends with a feeling of emptiness or worse. (Regular users of pot eventually experience anxiety and, within six months, suffer from bouts of depression and manifestations of paranoia.) Only in God and His Kingdom can be found full and lasting joy and peace....a joy and peace that transcends all our earthly circumstances. Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is...righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” The fruit of the Spirit includes “love, joy, peace” (Galatians 5:22).

Any satisfaction that might be derived from marijuana or any other drug including alcohol is always inferior to that which comes from a close relationship with the Lord. The fact is that it is a sin to seek relief or escape from the stresses of life through any drug because we are commanded to find relief from only God: Philippians 4:6-7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” Seeking joy and peace from any source other than the Lord, is not only vain but an affront to the Lord. I am reminded of the Lord's sad words to the Jews, in Jeremiah 2:13, “My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Christians are guilty of forsaking God by building their own broken cistern of marijuana use.

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