What does the Bible say about marijuana?Posted by On

EDITOR’S NOTE: Read more about this issue here and here and here.

On Nov. 8, Missouri voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana possession and use. Christian proponents argue that marijuana should be decriminalized because it is naturally created by God and allows for freedom of conscience.

As Christians, how should we view the legalization of marijuana? Does the Bible speak to cannabis use? Though the literal words for marijuana aren’t in Scripture, the applicable principles are. Thinking biblically about marijuana begins by understanding three basic, biblical concepts.

1. Destructive effects of sin

While it’s true that all vegetation was originally good (Gen. 1:12; 29-31), the entrance of sin dramatically changed humanity’s relationship with all creation, including vegetation. Due to the Fall, plants now hurt humans both externally (thorns, poison ivy, etc.) and internally (poisonous mushrooms, mistletoe, etc.).

Because of sin, natural does not always equate to better. The reality of sin means that vegetation, once created for our benefit and enjoyment, can now lead to destruction and death. Therefore, after warning against idolatry, Paul implores Christians, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify” (1 Cor. 10:23). Just because ingesting a plant is both natural and now lawful doesn’t make it biblically good. To determine goodness, Christians must consider the effects of an action, not…

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