By Keith Clayton
In traveling around the country and meeting with people, I find a marked increase in the reported use of marijuana. Indeed, perusing the various periodicals and journals would seem to verify this very observation. In the August 7, 1978 issue of U.S. News and World Report, we find the following statistics offered by Dr. R. Dupont, Jr.:
43,000,000 Americans have tried marijuana
16,000,000 Americans are current users
9% of high school seniors are daily users (because it is available to adults, it is available to adolescents kec)
11 of 20 college people have tried it
2 of 20 college people use it daily
15% of all auto accidents are attributed to it
I have met people I know personally and they seem to feel that marijuana use is not so harmful as some other people feel. Rather it is really quite harmless and morally right. Their reasoning goes, “After all, I use it and I am not such a bad person”! “I am O.K.!” But I pose this question: Since when has God ever determined rightness and morality upon the basis of human actions and rationalizations? The answer is never; moreover, the Scriptures specifically state that “It is not within man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer. 10:23). God has provided the only guide to “life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3) in the instrument of the Bible. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It is the Creator and not the creature that determines right and wrong, just and unjust, morality and immorality, Heaven or Hell as a final abode of the spirit of man. Let us consider some Bible facts and principles that are pertinent to the subject.
The relationship of the righteous and the Christ has to be one of respect for the name of Christ. An attitude of not wanting to do anything that would bring shame to the great and glorious name of the Son of God, the King of kings. A good way to remember this is to understand the spiritual relationship between the Christian and Jesus. “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory” (Col. 3:2-4). The Christian and Christ are to be inseparable, and the Christian should not set his mind upon anything that Jesus would have no part of. This is further elaborated on in Matt. 5:16 where application is made, to the effect, that people of the world should find in Christians a light to lead them to truth and Jesus, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may -see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Therefore, in order for marijuana smoking to be acceptable in God’s eyes, it must do these two things: help keep Christians faithful and lead people to Christ. It does neither!
Marijuana use, according to Dr. R. DuPont, Jr., is a terribly deceptive practice. He further states (U.S. .News and World Report, August 7, 1978), “Only the tip of the iceberg has been seen regarding the ill effects in health, social activities, family living and work performance . . . . The first illegal drug that young people adopt is marijuana. Then there is a hierarchy leading to heroin . . . the thing is that when people stop using drugs, they usually go back down these steps in reverse sequence . . . . We already know enough to say marijuana poses a substantial risk. Anyone who takes the drug and thinks nothing has happened to his body has lost his mind.” As we can see, an expert, a member of the President’s Drug Abuse Commission explains that the possible effects of marijuana are nearly all negative in nature. Certainly, we cannot see Jesus engaging in these things nor can we see Jesus through the person who practices the consumption of marijuana.
Marijuana stands condemned (without considering the evil companions that travel with it) because of the significant health hazards it presents. Marijuana, according to a special report in Time Magazine (January 29, 1979, p. 26) outlined the adverse medical and health effects that are produced by using this drug.
“Immunity – Some studies have shown a marked reduction, in white blood cell response, the body’s prime defense against infection, in marijuana smokers.
Chromosomes – Human cell cultures from pot users have shown breaks in chromosomes carrying genetic information, or reduced numbers of chromosomes.
Many doctors believe, however, that some people can easily become psychologically dependent on the two drugs (marijuana and cocain-kec) and the effects they produce.”
Also we find more negative evidence from the April 1978 issue of the Science Digest. I. R. Rosengard, M.D. researched the after effects of a total of 37,000 occasions of marijuana use by many individuals. The physiological effects found are as follows:
1. Increase in heart rate.
2. Reddening of the eyes.
3. Extremely hard on bronchial system . . . like rubbing sand paper on lung tissue.
4. Mental and motor performance impaired, many cases severely.
One conclusion reached by this doctor was this. “Marijuana is highly dangerous if used before or during the use of an automobile (to others who do not use it alsokec). If it were legal and use of it became wide spread, accident rates would triple. It should never be legalized.” Moreover, in a CBS documentary titled, “Reading, Writing and Reefer,” research showed that one (1) marijuana “joint” is equivalent, in terms of respiratory system damage, to twenty-one (21) tobacco cigarettes. Additionally, there was a great deal of concern for the development of the adolescent who participated in the use of marijuana (aside from the terrible health effects). We can clearly see that marijuana is absolutely not productive, rather that it is absolutely a destructive element to add to an already morally decaying society.
Obviously, the Bible does not mention marijuana by name; however, there are God given principles which we call use to determine the acceptability of the use of this dru*. Those principles are in addition to the ones previously mentioned regarding the Christian-Christ-God’s words that have a very direct bearing on the subject at hand. Marijuana is damaging to the body, physically, mentally and spiritually – this can be readily established. Then we consider God’s will for our bodies and we discover, “Do you know that you are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” There is no way a Christian, a lover of God, can use marijuana as a pleasure (reality modifier) and not endanger the attainment of a home in Heaven – because he or she deliberately damages their bodies. The Bible gives us a strong statement of damnation and destruction against the sinner who condones such behavior. “Be ye not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to this own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8). If man gives in to unhealthy, sinful, sensual and fleshly desires (unscripturally), then he or she cannot be controlled by God’s word. Such a one cannot inherit the kingdom of God, according to the word of God (Gal. 5:19-21).
Let us listen to the words of Jesus in closing. Think of all the ill moral, mental and bodily effects of the use of marijuana (the fruits brought by its use) as we read the Savior’s words in Matthew 7:16-19. “Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” What kind of tree is the consumption of marijuana? Can the child of God, the Christian do anything except totally abstain and be pleasing to his or her Creator? “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from the appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:21-22).
- Why can we not justify the use of marijuana on the basis that “I use it and I am not such a bad person”?
- What two things must marijuana do in order to be acceptable in God’s eyes. Does it do either?
- Discuss some of the physiological effects of marijuana on the human body. What scriptures does this violate?
- Discuss Gal. 6:7-8 with reference to the use of marijuana.
- What kind of fruit-bearer would those who use marijuana be?
Truth Magazine XXIII: 21, pp. 343-344
May 24, 1979