What about Medical Marijuana?

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Author: 
Jim Leffel

Introduction

Recreational marijuana use has been decisively rejected by Christians because of its psychoactive properties and tendency to perpetuate a lethargic and selfish lifestyle.  But as cannabis is increasingly being legalized for medical use, a new discussion is emerging within the church about whether or under what conditions its use would be appropriate.  This essay presents an overview of the key issues and suggests some practical guidelines for potential cannabis users and leaders who will need to provide a biblical response to them.

The Scientific Dimension

Medical cannabis has been prescribed for AIDS and cancer patients suffering from nausea and poor appetite because of their treatments.  This has been viewed largely, though not exclusively, as a palliative care option, or for the duration of chemotherapy, not for ongoing symptom control or treatment.  Since long-term use is not in view and few options exist for patients in this sorrowful condition, the benefits seem to some to outweigh the dangers (see Proverb 31:6-7).  There is a plausible analogy between opiates and cannabis.  Both substances are commonly abused, but could play an appropriate, if limited, medical role. 

Though there may be a case for medical cannabis in conditions like terminal cancer or AIDS, marijuana seems to be prescribed (where legal) or advocated for a growing number of real or perceived maladies.  In a society with an increasingly permissive view of marijuana, it is likely that almost any justification for its use will be accepted.  In a culture ravaged by drug abuse and addiction, this raises obvious problems for the church. 

Let’s consider as a case study the debate over medical cannabis and Crohn’s and severe Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  Recent claims have been made about the effective properties of cannabis (THC) in Crohn’s and IBD patients.  These claims should be taken seriously both because of the wide range of positive anecdotal testimony and from a sense of compassion that suffering people are experiencing real help. 

Two commonly cited studies illustrate the case for medical marijuana.  The first is an Israeli study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology  (Naftali, et. al.: 2012).  This study of 21 patients with Crohn’s Disease found that “complete remission” was achieved by 5 out of 11 subjects who smoked cannabis over an eight week period.  On this surface of it, this is a significant result.  However, there are seriously limiting factors to the study.  Eight weeks is not long enough to claim “complete remission,” unless by “remission” is meant cessation of reported bowel flair ups during the time participants smoked cannabis.  There were no follow up studies to demonstrate the long-term results of cannabis use.  The authors themselves conclude, “[T]he primary end point of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved...”  The crucial point is that short-term relief of symptoms occurred, but not the stronger claim of actual remission of the disease. 

A second study by Karen Wright (Wright, K., et al.: 2008) indicates that chemicals found in cannabis could prove an effective treatment for Crohn’s Disease, not just symptom relief.  She was able to demonstrate that naturally occurring compounds in the human intestines, endocannabinoids, increase the permeability of the intestinal lining during Crohn’s-related inflammation.  These compounds are chemically related to cannabis.  In a laboratory experiment, Wright isolated cannabinoids from marijuana which helped epithelial cells from the intestines to form tighter bonds with each other, resulting in a membrane barrier for intestinal tissue.  No human subjects were involved.  These results correspond to other studies (Izzo, et al: 2012; Capasso et al.: 2008).  But significantly, Wright noted, “What is also encouraging is that while THC has psychoactive properties and is responsible for the ‘high’ people experience when using cannabis, cannabidiol, which has also proved effective in restoring membrane integrity, does not possess such properties.”  This and related studies could be very promising since it offers a chemical basis for why some compounds in cannabis could help treat Crohn’s Disease.  Medications extracted from cannabis would not produce the psychoactive effect that is so central to objections surrounding medical marijuana.  However, a safe and effective medication is still a long way off and more studies will be needed to confirm these potentially promising findings.   

But the clinical research is by no means uniform in favor of medical marijuana for Crohn’s.  A recent study (Storr, et al.: 2014), raises serious questions about the safety of marijuana for Crohn’s patients.  This eight month study of 322 patients from the University of Calgary concludes, “Cannabis use provides symptom relief in patients with inflammatory bowel disease but is associated with worse disease prognosis in patients with Crohn’s disease.  The study warns, “Cannabis use was associated with higher risk of surgery in patients with Crohn’s disease.  Patients using cannabis should be cautioned about potential harm, until clinical trials evaluate efficacy and safety.” 

The problem in the mostly self-prescribed world of medical marijuana is that there are no standards for drug safety or clinically established data on its efficacy.  The stringent scientific standards applied to FDA approval for new drugs have not been applied to cannabis.  However, compounds extracted from cannabis, such as dronabinol (Marinol) have been FDA approved and have a limited but clear medicinal value.  Perhaps in the future, cannabis research will lead to the production of medications to reverse the pattern of intestinal degeneration of Crohn’s Disease, but that is yet to be seen.  Until then there are many safe and proven medications available on the market today to alleviate the effects of chronic diseases such as Crohn’s.  These treatments should all be fully explored before considering something as risky as medical cannabis.  It is unfortunate that marijuana is being approved by public vote, not by expert evaluation, in the way all other medications become available.

But to the person whose life is significantly diminished by chronic IBD/Crohn’s and related diseases, the risks may seem minimal compared to the benefit of symptom relief.  For this reason, it is crucial that medical marijuana as a treatment option is viewed from the broader context of the potential dangers THC poses and the presence of alternatives to cannabis for these conditions.

The pervasive assumption seems to be that there is no real down side to smoking marijuana even for purely recreational purposes.  But a recent study (Gilman, et. al.: 2014), published in the Journal of Neuroscience, indicates significant brain abnormalities even with casual (weekly) marijuana smoking.  The team from Harvard Medical School, Northwestern University, and Massachusetts General Hospital found that cannabis creates disruption of neural organization in the a priori regions of the nucleus of the accumbens, hypothalamus, and amygdala—centers of the brain associated with emotion and motivation.  The researchers conclude, “This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences...  People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school.  Our data directly says that is not the case.” These findings provide more grounds for the National Institute on Drug Abuse warning:  “Research shows marijuana may cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. Heavy marijuana users generally report lower life satisfaction, poorer mental and physical health, more relationship problems, and less academic and career success compared to non-marijuana-using peers” (NIDA: 2014).

In addition to the numerous medications available to IBD/Crohn’s disease patients, every expert in gastroenterology is convinced that diet and exercise are critical to keeping symptoms at bay.  British Dietetic Association evidence-based guidelines for the dietary management of Crohn’s disease in adults’ states: “Crohn’s disease is a debilitating chronic inflammatory bowel disease.  Appropriate use of diet and nutritional therapy is integral to the overall management strategy of Crohn’s disease” (see Lee et. al.: 2013).  Self-prescribed and self-monitored marijuana use may actually be a barrier to long-term health by muting symptoms and removing the sense of urgency to develop and sustain a healthy lifestyle.  

The Pastoral Dimension

Like many issues facing contemporary society, marijuana use is never mentioned in the Bible.  For this reason, medical cannabis needs to be viewed from the perspective of principles relating to substance use and abuse.  Four important areas of biblical teaching relate. 

First, the Bible calls Christians to sobriety.  Since it is impossible to smoke marijuana without getting high, these passages have a direct application.  But why does sobriety matter?  1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 contrasts drunkenness and alertness.  Paul says, “let us be alert and sober... let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith, and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.”  Sobriety is essential to exercise faith, love, and hope.  Being high dulls us to the moment by moment call to faith.  Being high dulls us to the pressing call to love and an awareness of the true needs of others.  Being high obscures the tangible reality of hope in the returning Christ.  Put simply, drunkenness is a barrier to the Holy Spirit’s filling:  “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18). 

In a related text, Paul says, “but you, be sober in all things, endure hardship...” (2 Timothy 4:5).  Here, sobriety is viewed as a condition for endurance.  To be high or intoxicated creates lethargy.  To “fulfill your ministry,” demands the willingness to work through pain and discomfort.  Self-medicating, whether through alcohol abuse or cannabis, works against developing the kind of toughness required of the effective Christian worker.

A second, and clearly related principle, comes from the context of being in a spiritual battle.  Peter warns, “Be sober of spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).  Since marijuana is a psychoactive substance, the mind will be compromised in the spiritual war our enemy wages.  Dulled, deceived, and dissipated, without our full faculties, Satan finds an easy target.  Perhaps this is why Paul includes pharmakeon, sorcery, as of the flesh (Galatians 5:20).  Psychoactive drugs were used in pagan worship and this text directly juxtaposes it to walking by the Spirit. 

Third, New Testament teaching on Christians obeying secular government and its laws relates to marijuana: “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities... whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinances of God... it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience sake...” (Romans 13:1,2,5).  The scripture calls Christians to live within the law, except when laws directly conflict with the expressed will of God.  So, for instance, Peter and John defied the civil authorities in continuing to openly preach the good news (Acts 4:19).  Paul frames this obedience as a matter of conscience, a moral issue.  Certainly how Christians relate to the secular state is both for the good of social cohesion and for the greater priority of our witness to non-Christians. 

There are traps that medical marijuana smokers risk falling into.  For instance, most employers require a drug test as a condition of employment.  Cannabis smokers will fail that test.  So there could easily be significant financial loss associated with medical marijuana.  Further, because of the way THC stays in the body, it is possible to be arrested for the equivalent of drunk driving even a week after smoking.  Ohio law states that it is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.  A level of 2 nanograms per milliliter of the driver’s blood is sufficient to establish impaired driving.  Prosecutors will not need to present proof of impairment in the driver’s faculties.  This is very serious for anyone using medical marijuana because the average blood THC level for them is 10-20 nanograms.  The reality is that medical marijuana users, legally, should not even be driving (see Ohio code 4511.19 Operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs—OVI).  These are very serious risks indeed.  People thinking about using marijuana should talk to a lawyer about potential legal dangers.

Fourth, drunkenness is serious enough to call for church discipline (1 Corinthians 5:11).  That’s pretty sobering!  Users of medical marijuana seek primarily the symptom relief THC brings, but as a psychoactive substance, the dissipating effect is also present.  A way of living that includes getting high seems clearly, on the surface, to be sufficient to remove someone from fellowship.  Particularly in a church context where people are trying to make a break from drug addiction, cannabis users who could be treated with other medications present an unedifying, compromising example that can easily undermine the walk of their weaker brothers and sisters. 

Drawing Some Conclusions

Addressing medical marijuana use in the home church is complex and often laden with deep emotion.  Each situation will bring its own complexities. Being sensitive to people who are in pain pulls us toward compassion.  Reading the scripture with honesty and integrity pulls us toward concern for obedience to God’s revealed will and the life-giving principles expressed by it.  Consider the following areas in the process of counseling medical cannabis users and the home church.

What is being treated?  Is it a physician-diagnosed condition?  If so, what are the treatment options?  Medical marijuana would have to be the last resort for all the reasons explored in this paper.  That means home church leaders will need to do some research.  But the onus falls to the cannabis user to explain why this is the only effective option available to them.  Getting the opinion of a Christian physician specializing in the relevant area would be valuable and should be pursued. 

Get the advice of other Christians with the same diagnosis.  It’s easy to argue that those not afflicted with a medical problem can’t relate.  On a certain level this is true.  But there are many people at Xenos who have learned how to deal with chronic disease victoriously without smoking marijuana.  Home church leaders should insist that prospective medical cannabis users meet with these people and seek practical counsel on how to deal with their problem in a godly way.  Would-be medical marijuana smokers should be called on to diligently follow the example of mature Christians in this area.  There is legitimate concern that with the attitudes toward marijuana in our culture, and people will seek relief in something that is dangerous and works against their long-term health and spiritual life. 

Study the available research and biblical texts together.  Are you and the person considering medical cannabis clear on all of the related issues?  Do you agree on the appropriate course of action?  Since this is an area of potential church discipline, make sure to draw the leadership team of the home church and the sphere into the process early on.  If the person decides to pursue smoking marijuana, you will need to make it clear what that choice involves in terms of their standing in the home church. 

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References to Related Publications

Capasso, R. et al.: Cannabidiol, extracted from Cannabis sativa, selectively inhibits inflammatory hypermotility in mice (2008: British Journal of Pharmacology)

Criminal Defense Lawyer.com.  Outline of definitions for impaired driving and penalties.

Gilman, J.M, et al.: Cannabis use is quantitatively associated with nucleus accumbens and amygdala abnormalities in young adult recreational users (2014: J. Neurosci.)

Izzo, A. et al.: Central and peripheral cannabinoid modulation of gastrointestinal transit in physiological states during the diarrhea induced by croton oil (2000: British Journal of Pharmacology)

Lee, J. et al., British Dietetic Association evidence-based guidelines for the dietary management of Crohn’s disease (2013: J Hum Nutr Diet.)

Lomer, M.c. et al.: Current practice in relation to nutritional assessment and dietary management of enteral nutrition in adults with Crohn’s disease (2013: The British Dietetic Association)

Naftali, T., et al.: Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn’s disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study (2012: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology)

Storr, M, et al., Cannabis use provides symptom relief in patients with inflammatory bowel disease but is associated with worse disease prognosis in patients with Crohn’s Disease (2014: Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America)

O’Mathuna, D. et al.: Should Christians Smoke Medical Marijuana? (2011: Christianity Today)

O’Mathuna, D.,  Ethics of Marijuana Use (2014: Family Research Council)

Ravikoff. A. et al.: Marijuana use patterns among patients with inflammatory disease (2013: National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Wright KL (2008) Cannabinoid (CB)-2 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract: a regulatory system in states of inflammation.  Br. J. Pharmacol. 153(2), 263-7

 

Comments

I'm just going to ask anyone reading this to pray for me:

On the advice of my Dr. I have gotten my Medical Marijuana authorization card.

Marijuana WORKS, and that's the end of it. With no negative side effects! Just that alone! Do you understand how wonderful this is?

1. I don't want to get high all the time. And I understand that on this medication- especially smoking it- you're either sober or high; not much in between. NO, it isn't as clear cut or simple as taking an aspirin.

However, due to folks- apparently having no idea what it is to try to survive- feeling a burning need to tell me how sinful this plant is I have been in hell over this. Despite the fact that marijuana works, again with no harmful side effects, I just don't want to do anything wrong. We have an eternity to get over this. Can't I just be OK?! Seriously.

Mike

This is all so false! Pharmaceuticals are the addiction!
Cmon man! MMJ is helping people more than any other man made drug has ever done.

Mr Beast

I've had to take pain meds since I had spinal fusion in 2006. The side affects are many and awful. I tried marijuana and it helped, why do people not have second thoughts about pills if a Dr. gives it. But will condemn you to hell for trying to get relief?

Johnny Rowland

I am a saved Christian. I have a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. First off I would like to say I have explored many treatment options for this disease I have. I self medicated with alcohol for years to drink pain away. I used pain pills doctors prescribed and got chemically addicted to opiates. I have used man made TNF blockers that I cannot afford and are dangerous. I take NSAIDS but they are dangerous for my health also. Using cannabis can help put this disease in remission, relieve pain, stop inflammation. I suffer with this disease. My hope is in Christ and when I do pass away I know for certain I will go home. Its a hard topic to discuss. I prefer sober mind and spirit. Even those pain pills the doc puts me on take me away from sober mind and spirit. I use cannabis in moderation because I don't want a pill addiction. Please let us not judge.

Matt

The author clearly doesn't not live with a chronic Illness. Research shows that medical marajuanna is a lot less harmful than prescription medication.
Perhaps learning more about it would be helpful before damning a person for using it.

Elizabeth

First i ask that any comments against medicinal marijuana only be said by people with chronic diseases or pain. Who have been through pain pills and other harmful addictive drugs. Also your studies are wrong. I am a devout Christian.Who are any of you to judge this? This is between God and the person's intent using it. Are you a theif if you steal bread because you are hungry?Yes we can use the Word to exhort,examine,for sound doctrine. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. Are you exhorting with all long suffering. The Bible is not specific on the use of medicinal marijuana nor what to medicinally use it for. We have many diseases, anxieties, and ailments that this plant is known to manage and also cure. I was a pain patient that was in incredible amount of pain and got hooked on pain medicine. The doctor told me after 60 days of taking this I would become addicted to it. He was right and it carried over into five years of pure hell that God delivered me from with the use of cannabis for sickness of withdrawals and also pain management. Should I feel guilty by what your saying? God brought me into His will and conquered all things. How do you know where a person is in their maturity of Christ if they do it just to feel better. Marijuana is not addictive; I don't care what anyone says. I quit with no problem after long use. The ailment is not always known but the results that you feel better are known. I believe something that cures cancer and many other diseases and ailments should not be looked at as something bad but medicinal. Your walk with God does not include you to not be medicated with organic medicine that heals you and makes you feel better. Pharmaceuticals is what you should watch out for. Man made materials called synthetic will kill you. If it leads to other sins then quit it. I assure you this; marijuana doesn't make people sin. Lust when it is conceived becomes sin; then sin brings forth death. I believe it should be done in moderation for pain and anxiety or depression. I think there is a time for it and a time not for it but that is between you and God. Who knows how God is working with each and everyone of us. I know God does not tempt us with evil nor can he be tempted with evil. I know that Jesus is our only righteousness and to walk in the Spirit is to walk in the love God has given us. To show this love any chance we get. Smoking pot to feel better is not to walk in the flesh but to feel better from the ailments of the flesh and mind. If anything keeps you from putting God first; cast it out. God is the only judge. Smoking pot is not the same as drunkenness'. I have done both...one leads to all kinds of bad stuff and loss of control; the other leads to a bag of chips and happiness. This may not be for everyone. If it effects you like drinking then don't do it. Some it calms the pain,anxiety,nerves,depression, so that you can be normal. Many believe all the lies and stigmas that go with smoking pot. I knew something was wrong when alcohol was legal but they criminalized this plant. The government cant control it to make money so people are not getting cures they could have; nor are children. It is really a tragedy since everything good comes from God. Marijuana is related to zero deaths.

Paul

It will be interesting to see how the church is forced to change its position on this matter once the racist prohibitions on this plant are finally removed (look at your history, its racist!). Unfortunately, this will take time, as the Federal government (specifically the DEA) will be reluctant to give up the revenue stream that this prohibition has provided them. The states, however, are slowly gaining momentum in the effort to end this prohibition, and California will be the next domino that will fall.

For a good historical account of this plant, watch
www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwc9pBSsr7k

Once legalization occurs, the church must publicly acknowledge the fact that nowhere in the Bible has the use of this plant ever been prohibited, and perhaps even a reinterpretation of Exodus 30:22-24 might even be in order?

Today, the main issue that stands before us is the fact that currently, 'Caesar' still prohibits it, and on that basis, the church can make its strongest argument. But times are changing, and one day, just like slavery ended in the US, so too will this irrational prohibition.

Sure, smoking pot after church would cause some problems, but probably no more than problems caused by those who drink beer & wine after church meetings.

Does the abuse of cannabis merit serious church discipline? In today's legalistic church climate, sadly,yes.

But, when government prohibition ends, it is my hope that the church will reexamine this problem in a different light. Once Christians get past the rhetoric, they will be forced to acknowledge that alcohol and prescription narcotics are the real killers, and statistics already bear this out. Yet, we find in the church a much lower standard of church discipline exists for occasional alcohol abusers & those addicted to prescription meds. Again, this double standard exists because social drinking is so wide spread, while cannabis is still viewed as an evil (satanic) or psychotic drug.

In the future, once it is recognized that cannabis is not the evil killer drug it has been labeled as, the church must rethink its approach toward occasional abusers of this substance. Today, the church turns a blind eye toward 'legally prescribed' drug abusers, while purging the occasional cannabis users it views as evildoers worthy of excommunication (read xenos own essay on church discipline ). Sadly, this approach limits the church's ability to reach out to persons who currently have a more libertarian view on cannabis politics, and it also blinds believers who think that alcohol & prescription drug abuse is somehow less evil, only because its legal, & socially the norm.

Anonomous

What is medicine? For most of history, medicine has been plants. Even today most medicines come from plants. My opinion regarding medical cannabis is this; that people would educate themselves with the history of this plant before making a judgment. I am a Christian who is learning and growing every day. I use to believe everything I was taught about marijuana until a doctor suggested it would help me. I thought he was insane. I've lived with a sleep disorder since the day I was born. For half of my life I've lived with chronic pain and for the last 10 years or so I've lived with chronic pain 24 hours a day every day. I sleep less now than I ever have. There was a time I was taking more than 20 pills a day and felt like a walking zombie. I went off all medications out of frustration. They weren't helping and were making me sick. So after 6 months I finally got the nerve to try out the doctors suggestion. Within minutes the pain was gone and for the first time in my life I was able to sleep for 6 hours straight. I had been on the strongest sleeping pills you can get that didn't help, but cannabis did. Every single day a Christian somewhere in the world takes a narcotic medication. Everyone knows that narcotics alter the mind. So as respectfully as possible I ask each and every one of you to research the history of cannabis. Never in all of recored history has there ever been a case of lethal overdose. For thousands of years this plant has been used for food (eating raw cannabis does not get you high by the way), clothing, rope, paper, and medication and probaby other things as well. So stop. Think. Do research. Look for all the evidence you can find. Pray with sincerity, and then make up your mind. But whatever you believe, always have the eyes to see any other evidence that is brought before you. I use medical cannabis for chronic pain. I do so while alone, in my home, just before bed. I live with the pain during the day because I want to be clear headed. How many times have you or someone you loved taken a prescribed pain reliever such as darvocette or percocette only before bed? The statement about being sober should apply to every mind altering medication if you're going to apply it to cannabis. I don't believe that God wants his children to suffer in constant pain or seizures or ptsd just because of a cultural beleif about a plant. I believe the truth is more important to him and that Christians need to seek the truth about this plant and not just automatically accept what everyone tells them. Look back through history. Just to be clear, I am only talking about the medical use of cannabis, I am not talking about recreational use. Anything can be abused including money and power. So please, if you really feel the need to judge a person for the use of cannabis, then look at all the facts and history first. 

The author of this piece of agitprop regarding Cannabis (stop calling it "Marijuana"... it's a term invented by racists to make Cannabis sound foreign and it's anything but that anywhere on Yah's creation).

I laughed my head off as the author repeatedly referrenced "smoking marijuana" as a medical treatment. Anyone with any modicum of common sense realizes that combusting something and inhaling it is terrible for your health, which is why most medical cannabis patients choose to dose with oil or cook the cannabis into edible portions.

I honestly hesitate to label smokers as "medical users" because they're wasting something that I could be eating which has helped me hold down a job by controlling my tics and propensity to rage (I have a pretty lousy neurological disorder).

Eating cannabis is the only truly effective way to use it as a medicine. The bioavailability of it passing through your digestive system causes a negligible amount of cognitive impairment at best, and the half-life is longer. Smoking is pointless-- you'd just get cognitively impaired for two or three hours all while building up a rapid tolerance to the pain-releiving and anxilyotic propeties of cannabis (most people only get paranoid because it's still illegal in some places).

Supposedly, you can even make cannabis salve for topical injuries, but I have yet to try this.

 

I am not religious, so perhaps I am not credible. However, I am VERY spiritual. I do not follow any organized religions but I do believe in greater powers of the universe. I found God within the trees, within the sky, within the love from people around me and from the love I felt for them in return. I did not find God in a book. And you know what, my ability to practice faith, love, and hope was at its most powerful when I was high.

I have chrons disease should I get my colon cut out? Should I go on remicade which is kemo? Or should I use cannabis that is natural and actually puts me into remission? Not only that destroy my anxiety something to think about 

 

I am a 50 year old spirit filled believer, who lives to share my faith with those who are not fully experiencing God’s power in their lives (yet).  I have suffered from panic attacks my entire life.   I started taking an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) prescription under my physician’s care until I made a serious attempt to end my life.  Praise God that I failed!
I am not in leadership.  If I were;  then I would be transparent regarding the fact that I occasionally will use a small amount of M (not to become “high”), but enough to calm my overactive nerves so that I can relate deeper to the person that I am wanting to reach for Christ’s sake.  All things in moderation and (for me) M has helped me bring souls to Christ (which is really all that I care about).
I am not advocating for M.   I believe that God may have made the plant for some good things yet to be fully discovered.  It HAS blessed me and consequently blessed others without them knowing.  I would advocate for it OVER the abundantly prescribed SSRI’s (and SNRI’s, SMS’s, SARI’s, NRI’s, TCA’s and etc…).   Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion and may the Peace of Jesus guide your lives!

You are out of touch with regards to medical marijuana.  88% of Americans disagree with you.  

Truth by majority vote is not the way to understand this important issues.  Popular opinion is easily swayed, and sadly, too often is.  We need to engage the scientific data and the scriptures.  

So your combining knowledge from scripture and science? It should be scripture alone. The science that allowed opiates as a pain reliever put me through a literal hell with my permanent nerve damage. Marijuana was the very substance that helped me get through it and manage my pain. I am sorry but you don't know what your talking about unless you had to go through this. I love God as much as any other Christian and with moderation I stay vigilant...look on facebook for Paul Tomlinson. You will see the ministry God has blessed me with. I'm in Tennessee.

Medicinal marijuana...I said medicinal

It's anything but diffucult to contend that those not burdened with a medicanl issue can't relate. On a certain level this is valid. However ther are numerous individual at xenos who have figured out how to mange endless infection triumpahntly wouthout somaking pot. Home church pioneers ought to demand that imminent medicail cannabis clients meet with thse individual and look for viable direction on the best way to mange their issue in a virtuous manner. Medical Marijuana

Sobriety in essence could mEan no drugs (i.e. aspirin, sleeping pills, nyquil, any thing that changed the natural order ofvthought. I really do not think that was what Peter meant. Drunk- yes. I v would be very interested in hearing about how to manage endless infection and where you H Ave been successful.

Dear friend,

  • As believers, we have the "mind of Christ". (1 Corinthians 2:16) We have been gifted with an internal government, The Holy Spirit. (John 14:25) If anyone lacks wisdom, he "should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault."(James 1:5).  "Demanding" does not seem to me to stem from the heart of Christ, but of the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, who thought Jesus was an out of control blasphemer.  "Virtuous manners" stem from the inside.  Those with the Spirit, who walk according to the Spirit, will be able to discern Spiritual things. Godly virtues are Spiritual!   I agree we should always encourage one another to supplement our faith with everything that is true, good, noble, right, pure, lovely, and excellent. (Philippians 4:8, 2 Peter 1:5).  I do not think use of Cannabis is evil or wrong, anymore than use of wine is wrong.  Both come from plants, made by God.   When people abuse anything, whether, substances, words, rights, priviledges, trust, love, or people, God is grieved.  The Holy Spirit can be grieved. (Ephesians 4:30).  We, those who trust in Christ as Lord and Savior, are His Church. Jesus will keep His Church!  We should not worry and operate out of fear.  I appreciate the Church considering this matter in a prayerful, loving, and respectful way.  I remain watchful and alert.  There is a drug that most of us have in our medicine cabinets that is considered a safe pain killer, acetaminophen. It is the deadliest pain reliever on the U.S. market, resulting in thousands of deaths, and liver damage.  With this fact, is it a sin to continue using it?  I am meditating on 1 Contintians 10:29 NLT "It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?"  And, 1 Corinthians 10:23 "You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is good for you. You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is beneficial." 1 Corinthians 8:9 "But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble." And Romans 14:13 "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister." 

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