Is is okay to smoke pot? And what about legalizing it in your state? A lot of Christians are having a hard time with these issues in the upcoming election. It used to be more black and white--pot is "bad"--but now recent medical evidence has shown that it can help some people. But most of us also personally know people whom it has harmed, through its addictive qualities. So what's the answer? Here, three prominent Christians weigh in.
Billy Graham: In a recent advice column, Graham was asked: "I admit I probably smoke pot a bit more than I should (it's legal in our state), but now my wife is getting after me because she says I'm addicted to it and turning into the equivalent of an alcoholic. Can harmless drugs like pot really do that to you?"
Graham's answer? "No drug is harmless, and experts I have consulted agree that almost any drug can become addictive—including marijuana. When that happens, a person becomes more and more dependent on it, and may find it almost impossible to break away from it on their own. Gradually it ruins their life and destroys their relationships." Graham went on to advise the man to be thankful to his wife for her concern and turn to God and other Christians for help.
Ben Carson: Ben Carson and Kirk Cameron were also recently asked about marijuana, as part of a live Facebook event to encourage Christians to vote, reports the Christian Post. Asked specifically about pot advocates pushing for legalization and the right Christian stance, Carson responded:
"First of all, many studies have shown that when you expose the developing brain to the active ingredients of marijuana, it can have a deleterious effect, particularly on IQ. The brain continues to develop until your late 20s, and we already have enough people with low IQs, so we really do not need to be encouraging the development of that, quite frankly."
"In terms of medical use, well, it does have some useful purposes for certain types of neurological disorders and pain syndromes, etc.," he continued. "However, it can be distilled into tablet form and used as a medicine very much like other active ingredients. A lot of the medications that we use today come from plants, but we process them to still them down to the active ingredients and make them into pills or capsules and utilize them in that way. And when used in that way, I think it can be useful. When used in a way that it can be abused and people can be exposed to it who really should not be exposed, it's abusive."
Kirk Cameron: Cameron answered from a different angle, talking more from the parent's perspective. "Particularly, we're hearing of some young people who are thinking, 'Well, why would I stay home and smoke pot — wondering whether or not I'm going to get busted, when I could just move to a place like Colorado and I can just grow it in my front yard?'
"That may be overstating it, but that is the attitude of some people today," he said. "I agree with Dr. Carson, I think that clearly there are things that we have gotten out of nature that have been very helpful for surgeries and for chronic pains, all kinds of things like that that are used responsibly. But clearly, that's the kind of thing that can be used irresponsibility to the point where it is a huge danger to the general population."
What do you think? Do you think marijuana should be legalized in your state, if not already, or do you think legalizing it would be more harmful than helpful?