Why the Church Must Respond to the Destructive March of Marijuana

Barrett Duke
Barrett Duke

Marijuana supporters continue to succeed with their plan to legalize this dangerous drug across the country. Their strategy is now quite obvious. They begin by playing on the public’s compassion with medical marijuana, and then follow up with their true agenda: the widespread legalization of recreational marijuana.

A quick look at the 2014 vote results reveals this strategy very clearly. Oregon and Alaska, which both legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday, have had legal medical marijuana since 1998. The medical marijuana efforts passed in those states because voters were told it would help relieve people’s suffering. Fast forward to 2014, and they now have legal recreational marijuana.

Once a state legalizes medical marijuana, proponents know it’s just a matter of time until they can advance their real agenda. Apparently, it takes about 10 to 15 years to desensitize the public enough to the dangers of marijuana to achieve the next step toward full legalization. The other two states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana followed the same trajectory as Oregon and Alaska. Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and Washington State did so in 2000. Then, in 2012, the two states legalized marijuana for recreational use.

The town of South Portland in Maine followed this path on Tuesday as well, voting to legalize recreational use of the drug. Maine legalized the medical use of marijuana in 1999. The District of Columbia, which also legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday, is the outlier. The District legalized medical marijuana in 2010, but given the extreme liberal disposition of the majority of the District’s voters, the more rapid fall isn’t really surprising.

Tuesday’s marijuana votes proved medical marijuana’s status as the Trojan Horse of the marijuana legalization movement. No state has legalized recreational marijuana without first legalizing medical marijuana. The lesson for all the states is clear: once you legalize medical marijuana, it’s just a short matter of time before you will be contending with the pressure to legalize recreational marijuana as well.

Florida’s voters saved themselves from this fate on Tuesday when they rejected an effort to legalize medical marijuana. Given the clear connection between legalization of medical and recreational marijuana, it’s safe to say that Florida has bought itself more time before it must deal with the question of legalized recreational marijuana.

With so much at stake, the church must respond.

First, Christians must make sure they balance their compassion with discernment. While we want to do all we can to help people, we must see through what has become the obvious true goal of legalizers. Christians must not allow themselves to be used for an agenda that will result in thousands of destroyed lives. Marijuana is an addictive, mind-altering substance that is nearly impossible to use in moderate doses. It has been a gateway drug for millions of users. Making it more accessible will lead to more drug addiction and all the social costs associated with drug abuse.

Second, Christians must not allow themselves to be persuaded that smoking marijuana is an acceptable medical remedy. Using marijuana exposes a person to multiple toxic compounds and serious personal negative repercussions. Marijuana puts the user at higher risk for cancer, psychosis, strokes, respiratory damage, and heart attacks. It interferes with work and relationships.

Third, Christians must stay engaged in local debates and politics to help keep their communities as drug-free as possible. The path from medical marijuana to recreational marijuana does not have to be inevitable.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Barrett Duke

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