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Marijuana (1)


I am a new Christan (about six mo.) and have a question reguarding 
marijuana. Is it a sin to smoke marijuna? It is a natural plant god 
created. If used responsibly (not to excess) or where it does not 
interfear with spirtual quests, how does it differ from the drinking 
of a glass of wine. Alcohol causes much greater problems then 
marijuana ie. traffic deaths, domestic violence, ect. I realize 
marijuana is illegal, that is not the answer I am looking for. I want 
to know where in the bible it says marijuana use is a sin. I am 
talking specifially about marijuana, I am full agreement that other 
drugs are dangerious and I in know way talking about them. Marijuana 
when used appropriately has no adverse side effects, and achieves the 
same effets as a perscription antidepressent. How could that be a sin?

first response


First off I want to say welcome to the family of Christ!  I'm sure you have
lots and lots of other questions after becoming a Christian, so it is no
surprise to me that you ask this one as well.  I think it is healthy for you
to ask questions like this.  I've found that asking God the hard personal
questions is the best way to draw closer to Him.

If you are looking for a verse in the Bible that specifically mentions
anything about marijuana, as in "Thou shalt not smoke pot, thus sayith the
Lord!", you won't find it.  I don't even think you will find a word that
directly translates from Greek or Hebrew to the English equivalent of
marijuana, pot, or for that matter "dope" "weed", crack, cocaine, ecstasy,
Bud Light, Miller Light, but I could be wrong.  So, no one will be able to
give you a direct answer like you are looking for.  However, this particular
part of your comments below got me thinking:

> It is a natural plant god created. If used responsibly (not to excess) or
> where it does not  interfere with spiritual quests, how does it differ from
> the drinking of a glass of wine.

I can understand the concept of a spiritual journey, but I honestly can't
say that, as a Christian, I'm on a spiritual quest, in the slightest.
Becoming a Christian, in my experience, isn't another spiritual "thing" that
I've stumbled onto in my journey through life, like another piece of the
puzzle that will all get put together when my journey is finished.  In fact,
to be spiritually correct, my spiritual journey never started in the first
place.  I was lost, and now I'm found.  I wasn't wondering, taking a time
out, or just experimenting with other "ways" and then happened to get enough
pieces of the puzzle together which equaled Christianity as the "next step".
I was totally off track when following my own heart.  When Jesus walked with
the disciple He was not interested in training them for the remainder of
their spiritual journey, He was all about getting a deeper relationship with
them, showing them the Father, forgiving sins, and changing hearts.  Without
Jesus we are lost.  Period.  When we accept Him, we are found.  Read the
parable of the Prodigal Son for a good example of this (Luke 15:11-32).

Also note that Jesus didn't say he has a way to salvation, as if He was the
marker for the beginning of a new spiritual journey, Jesus clearly said He
IS the way to salvation:

[John 14:6-7] "Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you would have
known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him."

My spiritual quest started and ended with Jesus.  I have found the answer
(thank God!).  What is changing from now on is my heart, not my journey.

Here in lies the tricky part.  I've come to know that my heart (my motives)
is very crafty, deceptive, biased (toward me), self-centered and definitely
not set on the things of God.  I can hear the messages of Jesus, but
immediately I am looking for the loop holes. I think, "Oh this is all fine
and good, but it can't possibly be THAT serious..and THAT cut and dry.
Jesus doesn't really mean that exactly...there must be room for some
compromise...isn't there?!?"  This doesn't work when I say that I've
committed my life to following Jesus.

This also goes for your point above about using pot "not to excess".  By
ourselves we can't judge correctly what is or isn't ok, or what is or isn't
in excess (read Romans chapters 1-3 for this point).  Our motives will
always be skewed by sin.  We need the Holy Spirit and Jesus to point us to
the right way.  Jesus is concerned with the condition of our hearts towards
Him, not the statistics or pros and cons about pot use -vs- alcohol use or
abuse.  Did you notice that Jesus doesn't quote statistics, ever? That's
because he measures a persons heart on the inside, personally, one on one.
We are not lumped into categories like statistical cattle, He is concerned
with us and our salvation personally.

I am constantly amazed at what Jesus said regarding the importance of the
relationship between me and the Father and the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said
that it is the most important thing, out of anything, and above anything.
He used this parable describing the kingdom of heaven, which really hits
home for me:

[Mat 13:44-46] "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field,
which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that
he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and
sold all that he had and bought it."

The point here being that everything was put aside, in order to get the
field, which is an analogy for the Kingdom of God.  Jesus is pointing out
that we must be willing to put aside everything to follow Him.  It all has
to go, everything.  This is a total heart transplant.  There is no other
option.  Jesus is the only one qualified to do the surgery.  This goes for
all areas of my life.  Ugh! That's a tall order isn't it!

We are given the Bible, prayer, the Holy Spirit, and fellowship with other
believers as the "tools" for growing closer to God.  Pot won't get you any
more of Jesus than you already have.

I hope I'm not getting too "preachy" on you (maybe I'm too late for this?
;-) ), but I would like to challenge you on a few points regarding using
marijuana, specifically.

Because you bring up the question, I have to assume that you are using pot.
Don't worry I'm not going to judge you and say you are bad for this, that
wouldn't be fair of me since you and I are both equally forgiven for all of
our sins (I've got lots and lots).  However, if you do use pot this is
something that you will have to work through with Jesus, heart to heart.  If
you are serious about getting an answer to this question, then you have to
face the possibility that it isn't ok to smoke pot.  In which case that
means you will have to quit.

May I encourage you to talk to God honestly about marijuana.  Tell Him in
your prayers everything you understand and know about it and ask Him to
reveal to you what He thinks of it.  Be honest, be open, and ready to listen
to what God says, even if it isn't what you want to hear.  He will answer
you.  Also talk to your pastor, Christian friends, and read the Bible
looking for answers.  Remember, you won't find a verse says "don't smoke
pot", but you will find lots and lots of reference to our hearts and
motives, and putting God first.  This is something that won't come easily at
first.  Don't worry, God is patient with you and will be with you through
all the steps.

One last point (now I think I am going to far ;-)  ).  Your statements below
justifying pot use are not totally accurate and don't reflect a balanced and
informed perspective on marijuana use.  Some of what you have said is true,
but not all of it.  I would like to also encourage you to seek out some
unbiased truth about the use of pot.  Did you know that there are many many
people around the world that attend marijuana addiction recover groups?
This is ample evidence in it's self that there is more to pot use than may
be apparent on the surface.  You owe it to yourself to be fully informed.
Here are some links to more information about it, so that you can be more
informed, if you choose to:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) site has a good marijuana facts
page for teens and adults:

Although you will find all kinds of arguments for and against pot use, some
scientific and some non-scientific, remember that we, as Christians, do not
answer to research studies, we answer to God, personally.

There's lots more that we could talk about regarding this issue so feel free
to write me back if you want to talk more.  Perhaps others on the Paraclete
team will have some insights too.

God bless you!


[Luke 14:16-33] Jesus speaking: "But he said to him, A man once gave a great
banquet, and invited many; and at the time for the banquet he sent his
servant to say to those who had been invited, `Come; for all is now ready.'
But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, `I have
bought a field, and I must go out and see it; I pray you, have me excused.'
And another said, `I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine
them; I pray you, have me excused.'  And another said, `I have married a
wife, and therefore I cannot come.'  So the servant came and reported this
to his master. Then the householder in anger said to his servant, `Go out
quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and
maimed and blind and lame.  And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded
has been done, and still there is room.'  And the master said to the
servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in,
that my house may be filled.  For I tell you, none of those men who were
invited shall taste my banquet."  Now great multitudes accompanied him; and
he turned and said to them,  "If any one comes to me and does not hate his
own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes,
and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not bear his
own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.  For which of you,
desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost,
whether he has enough to complete it?  Otherwise, when he has laid a
foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.  Or what king,
going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take
counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against
him with twenty thousand?  And if not, while the other is yet a great way
off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.  So therefore, whoever of
you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple."

second response

We ought to always obeys the laws of the land, first of all. Next, 
marijuana is a mind-altering drug (the Greek word "pharmakeia" is 
usually translated "sorcery" and is one of the "works of the flesh" 
in Galatians 5)

There is nothing wrong in a little wine, while too much 
wine--drunkenness--brings loss of self-control. On the other hand, 
drugs in the mind-alterating class alter our perception of reality 
and can open us to the demonic.

There is good evidence that marijuana does do long-term damage to 
one's learning capacity and to the process of emotional maturation.

Using pot will often be a cause of stumbling for some of our 
Christian brothers. All in all there is not much to recommend this 
marginal drug in my opinion.

third response

  Is it a sin to smoke marijuna?

Hi, I was a toker for years, from my mid teens
(unfortunately) to my late '30's. I got saved in my early '30's.
I say unfortunately because it robbed me of a healthy emotional development
without the stunting affects of a drug in my brain a lot of the time.

You asked where in the bible it says "smoking marijuana" is a sin?
All the passages that refer to being intoxicated. I know from experience
that you can't smoke pot without getting stoned, intoxicated.

When I was first saved I was on fire for the Lord but I was also
still ensnared by my habits. Some I was able to cast off easily,
others I was more attached to and looked for reasons as to
why I couldn't continue in them.

The bottom line for me was that I wanted to be available for the Lord
*anytime* I could be used. Part of that was "being prepared
to give an answer to anyone who asked" (1 Peter 3:15) but the other part is
having my wits about me, being ready to "reason together" as talked about
in Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD.

Eventually, like drinking, you won't miss it. And it IS a myth that
Marijuana use is revealing things to you that God can't do better
and more reliably through His Word and Spirit.

I *know* the joy of smoking herb dooooode, but I also know the JOY of
communing with the Lord and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
To me, now, it's a no brainer, eventually it will be to you as well.

(you can replace the word "drunk" with the
word "stoned" in the following passages)
Acts 2:15
These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning!

1 Peter 4:3
For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose 
to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and 
detestable idolatry.

Ephesians 5:18
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be 
filled with the Spirit.

Luke 21:34
"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, 
drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you 
unexpectedly like a trap.

more at;

info on Rastafarianism;

*       Effects of Marijuana


Usually smoked as a cigarette or joint, or in a pipe or bong, 
marijuana has appeared in "blunts" in recent years. These are cigars 
that have been emptied of tobacco and re-filled with marijuana, 
sometimes in combination with another drug, such as crack. Some users 
also mix marijuana into foods or use it to brew tea.

The main active chemical in marijuana is THC 
(delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Short-term effects of marijuana use 
include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; 
difficulty in thinking and problem-solving; loss of coordination; and 
increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Health Hazards

Effects of Marijuana on the Brain. Researchers have found that THC 
changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted 
on by the hippocampus. This is a component of the brain's limbic 
system that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of 
sensory experiences with emotions and motivations. Investigations 
have shown that THC suppresses neurons in the information-processing 
system of the hippocampus. In addition, researchers have discovered 
that learned behaviors, which depend on the hippocampus, also 

Effects on the Lungs. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have 
many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. 
These individuals may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of 
chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds. Continuing to 
smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue 
injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke.

Regardless of the THC content, the amount of tar inhaled by marijuana 
smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five 
times greater than among tobacco smokers. This may be due to 
marijuana users inhaling more deeply and holding the smoke in the 

Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use on Learning and Social Behavior. A 
study of college students has shown that critical skills related to 
attention, memory, and learning are impaired among people who use 
marijuana heavily, even after discontinuing its use for at least 24 
hours. Researchers compared 65 "heavy users," who had smoked 
marijuana a median of 29 of the past 30 days, and 64 "light users," 
who had smoked a median of 1 of the past 30 days. After a closely 
monitored 19- to 24-hour period of abstinence from marijuana and 
other illicit drugs and alcohol, the undergraduates were given 
several standard tests measuring aspects of attention, memory, and 
learning. Compared to the light users, heavy marijuana users made 
more errors and had more difficulty sustaining attention, shifting 
attention to meet the demands of changes in the environment, and in 
registering, processing, and using information. The findings suggest 
that the greater impairment among heavy users is likely due to an 
alteration of brain activity produced by marijuana.

Longitudinal research on marijuana use among young people below 
college age indicates those who used have lower achievement than the 
non-users, more acceptance of deviant behavior, more delinquent 
behavior and aggression, greater rebelliousness, poorer relationships 
with parents, and more associations with delinquent and drug-using 

Information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.