Is Smoking Weed A Sin?
Can Christians smoke weed? No, and yes smoking pot is indeed a sin. These new generation of professing Christians does not care for God’s Word. They will make so many different excuses and twist words to justify sin. Before I became a Christian I was a pothead. It was my idol.
Although it is extremely rare, you can die from marijuana. Contrary to popular belief, cannabis can indeed trigger heart complications. I personally know someone who died while smoking a joint. It kills your lungs. It increased my anxiety.
This world is cannabis crazy. Medical marijuana is a complete joke. Weed is a gateway drug that is making many people broke. Even though people try to deny it, weed is addicting and many people have to go to rehab for it.
People are spending $20 dollars a gram for a few hours high. Is it really worth it? People are making extremely poor decisions and the devil is promoting this through worldly music. If you’re a teen you must not try to fit in with the bad crowd .
God’s ways are higher than our ways. I used to always make excuses and Satan was deceiving me, but God showed me and convicted me and I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. Stop making excuses ! You know it’s a sin! Repent and turn to Christ! Click this link to learn how to be saved.
Can you smoke weed, which is hurting your body for the glory of God? No!
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
What did Paul say? With marijuana you are yielding up control to an external force and releasing self-control.
1. 1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
We must obey the law federal and state.
2. Romans 13:1-4 All of you must yield to the government rulers. No one rules unless God has given him the power to rule, and no one rules now without that power from God. So those who are against the government are really against what God has commanded. And they will bring punishment on themselves. Those who do right do not have to fear the rulers; only those who do wrong fear them. Do you want to be unafraid of the rulers? Then do what is right, and they will praise you. The ruler is God’s servant to help you. But if you do wrong, then be afraid. He has the power to punish; he is God’s servant to punish those who do wrong.
1 Peter 2:13-14 For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority–whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
“God made weed to enjoy dude!”
He also made poison ivy go try it! He made the tree of knowledge, but commanded Adam not to eat from it.
Genesis 2:15-17 The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil , for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
Genesis 1:29-30 God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This food will be for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth—everything having the breath of life in it. I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
For food not for smoking, not to be in a bong, not to be put in a blunt, but for food.
After Adam sinned
We always forget this. Not everything was good after the fall.
Genesis 3:17-18 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you , and you will eat the plants of the field.”
How does God view weed smoking?
The Bible warns against intoxication and altering your mind. You might say that’s for alcohol, but intoxication is not only for alcohol. You can drink a glass of wine and you will be fine, but the purpose of smoking is to alter your mind. You smoke for the purpose of getting high.
Proverbs 23:31-35 Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. Afterward it bites like a snake , and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will speak perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, and like one who lies down on the top of the rigging. You will say, “They have struck me, but I am not harmed! They beat me, but I did not know it! When will I awake? I will look for another drink.”
The world promotes it
Worldly people like rapper Wiz Khalifa influences this filth to kids. That is a big red flag when the world promotes it. Just like the world promotes promiscuity, covetousness, and drunkenness.
Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
James 4:4 Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.
Drug use is forbidden. Sorcery – translated pharmakeia which means drug use.
Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery , hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I tell you about these things in advance as I told you before that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Smoking hurts your lungs and pot use has many hidden harmful effects.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
People die for it and get robbed over it.
Ecclesiastes 7:17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool; otherwise you might die before your time.
It is not spending money wisely.
Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money on what cannot nourish you and your wages on what does not satisfy you? Listen carefully to me: Eat what is good, and enjoy the best foods.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Idolatry in pot
I need this to relax, I need this to help my stress, to sleep, to eat. No, all you need is Christ. He is enough.
1 Corinthians 10:14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry .
Satan says, “it’s not a sin did God really say you can’t smoke it?” Sounds familiar!
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded ; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion , seeking someone to devour.
Ephesians 5:17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
Romans 14:23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Is weed harmful?
There are many people who will deny and gloss over the harmful effects of marijuana. You might even hear people say, “drinking and cigarettes are much worse for you.” Since when did two wrongs make a right? Studies conducted on college students have shown that weed use has affected memory, attention, and learning in a negative way. Studies have also shown that postal workers who have tested positive for marijuana had over 50% more accidents and a 75% increase in being absent from work. Not only does marijuana harm your health, but it also harms your career and your aspirations. Continuous weed use lowers your IQ, increases the likelihood of having chronic bronchitis, increases dropout rates, increases addiction, can create sexual problems, lessens your coordination, increases anxiety/depression, and increases your risk of having a heart attack.
- Does Weed Get You Closer To God? (Biblical Truths)
- Drinking And Smoking
- Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Workshop
- Turn From Sin
- Samaritan Ministries Vs Medi-Share
- Being Set Apart
- Is Selling Drugs A Sin?
- Loving Others
I think this is a good point. Although it could have been approached a little differently. There are a hundred reasons someone can give to smoke weed, just look at all the different ways you can get a medical card. But the truth is smoking is just vain, and most people who do smoke it do so to get high. I have used it to put me to sleep and it works real well, but sleep is a gift from God(Psalm 127:2). I believe cannabis is just like every other plant in Gods creation, it has its agricultural, medicinal, and industrial purposes. Smoking weed is an easy way to get it in your body, but eating it is even easier. To eat it does not destroy the plant and its precious oils. I agree that someone who genuinely wants to follow Christ should not smoke. It is bad for the lungs and can create lots of vanity if abused.
I 100% agree with you Luke. Although this article was really great, I too think it could have been approached differently. I had been really struggling with whether or not smoking weed is a sin or if it’s just something God doesn’t mind us doing. I have been doing it for the last couple of months but my gut is telling me that God does not like this. But I could not figure out why God does not like it. But this article pointed out some really GREAT verses that made me realize, base on scripture, I need to stop smoking. Smoking just for the fun of it is very different than smoking it for medicinal purposes. Proverbs chapter 23 is what stood out the most for me. Overall this was a very great article Fritz and it is the one article I will definitely save my favorites!
I also struggled with smoking, it does ease pain, but does affect my mind.All the scriptures pertaining to being sober, changed my view point to see how I had been fooled…remember satan has one purpose, to steal, kill, and destroy.
I understand your passion about canibus. I feel it should be used with caution but we must admit that that statistics show that alcohol kills more people than all other drugs combined. As for the high, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine after everyone in the wedding party was already drunk. Canibus is an herb given to us from the creator. Satan creates nothing. It has been used medicinally for centuries, as it should be. I personally do not use canibus, however I grew up in the sixties and all my friends used canibus and none of them are addicted to any drugs including canibus. Scientific research has not shown canibus to be addictive.
Be sure of the facts before judging another.
I appreciate your comment, but here is the issue. Please consider this. Two wrongs never make a right. You saying that one is worse doesn’t negate the other. Also, where in Scripture do you find Jesus turning water into wine while everyone is already drunk? Be careful when making such claims. There are many things that are here on this earth that we shouldn’t try. I highly doubt that God created marijuana for recreational use. We are to be sober minded. Marijuana for medical use is in my opinion a joke. Many practitioners who prescribe medical marijuana cards work for marijuana dispensaries. Most people do not need it and many practitioners are not qualified to prescribe medical issues that require marijuana. Are there some cases where it can be beneficial? Of course. However, smoking marijuana is very dangerous and it is addictive. I’ve experienced it firsthand and I’ve witnessed others become consumed by it. There is no denying that it is addictive.
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:10 NIV
Seems like the context here is pretty clear. Everyone has had a lot to drink, and before people are intoxicated, they can tell the difference between good wine and bad. Here they can’t tell because its too late in the wedding and everyone is already “had too much to drink”.
Also, I disagree with smoking weed completely, but getting your buzz on from wine seems different from what Paul was talking about with drunkenness, and I think that needs to be discussed.
John 2:10 is not referring to the guests being drunk. If it were, that would that mean that Jesus was indulging in the promotion of sinful activities. The Holy God of the universe would not do this. Let’s take a look at a different translation.
John 2:10 KJV “And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”
(Men have drunk well). Not to excess, but freely. They were not intoxicated. I love the commentary of Albert Barnes on John 2:10.”This word does not of necessity mean that they were intoxicated, though it is usually employed in that sense. It may mean when they have drunk sufficient, or to satiety; or have drunk so much as to produce hilarity, and to destroy the keenness of their taste, so that they could not readily distinguish the good from that which was worse.”
Also, I hope I am not misunderstanding you. There is nothing wrong with drinking wine as long as it does not lead to drunkenness. We should handle the consumption of alcohol with godly responsibility and holiness. Scripture warns against intoxication whether it is from alcohol or from marijuana.
In my experience of viewing people on medical marijuana, they are more out of their minds than people that smoke regular marijuana. I totally agree that it alters your mood but that is when someone laces it with other substances. In the bible it says that your body is God’s temple and we should cherish the bodies that he has provided to us. I don’t agree with people being under the influence of marijuana while you drive because your eyes and mind can play tricks on you while driving. I smoke marijuana to relax my mind sporadically but everyone has their own opinion. No one can judge anyone when it comes to what you should or should not do but you do not know what situations people go through in life. I do not want to cast any judgement towards anyone but if you have been smoking for a long time I’m pretty sure that going cold turkey can be hard for people to stop smoking. If you pray about the situation and ask God for help then he will give you the strength to completely stop smoking. It is one thing to not ask for help from God to guide you to stop smoking but letting God know that you want to be more like him and you are willing to dedicate yourself to allow him to help you then other people’s opinions do not matter. Have a wonderful night. God bless everyone.
Thank you for commenting and sharing. I do believe smoking marijuana is a sin, unless there is a true genuine medical need. Consider, does it go against God’s Word? Can I honestly say, that God is OK with this.
Thank-you so much for this Biblically backed teaching. I wish all churches would take this stance.
Pot addiction is destroying my marriage and family but my husband won’t stop because Mid Valley Fellowship in Silverton, OR where we used to attend as a family allows my husband to attend there, even play on their worship team, knowing that he is addicted to pot??
We can no longer attend there as a family because the leaders kicked me out for challenging their decision to allow my husband to play on their worship team and not discipline him for his continued pot use and abusiveness??
Please, be praying for my family. My husband needs to have a road to Damascus experience. He needs to want and receive true salvation and deliverance before it is too late.
Thank you for commenting and being open. I’m sorry about what is going on right now with your family and will be praying for y’all.
It is psychologically addictive more than physically addictive, but what is far more damaging is the demonic door that is opened when the person is using marijuana. I’m not just saying demonic influence but a physical presence. I have experienced this many years ago when I didn’t know any better and started smoking because my friends were doing it. This is a very real thing that could happen. And I must say it wasn’t just during the time I was actually “high” or feeling good but it was there the next day. Keep your mind and body clean, and keep Jesus in your heart, He is all we need.
Hi, so here’s my thoughts. You said that if we are against the government, that we are against God. That was the biggest red flag there. Any God fearing Christian knows if there’s one thing not to trust is the government. I would never compare anything on this earth to our Heavenly Father. Tell me, who decided to categorize this plant as a “drug”? I think that was the government. Who decided to call the effect that marijuana gives us “mind altering “ not sober”. The government again. Who decided to keep God out of public education, the answer is the same! Who decided to make it illegal to the point people kill and commit robbery for it. Take a guess! You know how many things it helps with? You can’t even count, but our government wouldn’t make any money if it were legal and no one could profit off of it monetarily but it’s benefits couldn’t even be measured. Your fight was kind of childish. When it starts getting too difficult and language gets iffy, then you know that it’s the devil deceiving The greatness our Lord has given us. Once doctors start throwing numbers out there with no real evidence for it , just the same old same ol about it’s use making people lazy. That’s all lies too! People who make it harder to believe it’s benefits and want to keep it from God’s children and making this topic an issue rather than the bigger issue of everyone’s own individual growth with our Savior and living Godly which is the only issue Christians need to be “fighting” about. Anytime This issue arises , God let’s me know right away what to stay away from and it only gives me more proof that this He is real and so is the lake of fire! So as soon as people start using the word of the Bible against God’s creations and giving me what the government has fed us a long time, i know who’s side they are really on and that’s not our Heavenly Father’s side, that the god of this earth you’re fighting for.
The purpose of marijuana is to alter your mind. It’s to get high. It’s difficult for me to look at a great number of Scriptures and not notice how marijuana for recreational use goes against God’s word.
Also, just because you don’t agree with the government does not mean you shouldn’t obey the laws. Especially, if the laws do not go against a direct command from the Lord.
Romans 13:1 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
Your comment about how you had many friends back in the 60s smoke marijuana and not become addicted. Today’s marijuana is nowhere near the same as the marijuana back in the 60s. It is 10 times more potent with THC. I have witnessed it’s addictive powers. More and more studies are coming out saying that it is addictive.
You are crazy. I am addicted like a junky. This article opened my eyes. You’re in denial. IDK if you are smoking parsley but this California kush is hard to kick.
I’ve been in denial as well but I’m aware I need to change my ways. Article pointed out verses that are solid proof that we are in the wrong.
I would like to say, I love to get high and listen to the word of God. I believe I feel a spiritual closeness, a deeper sense of inner peace and understanding, a calming submissiveness to understand and cherish the Word with him. So judge my heart, not my body, and love your neighbor. Peace be upon you.
Thank you for commenting. I understand that you like to get high, but please don’t disregard what you read in the article. Marijuana use is sinful. Christians should not be smoking it. You are feeling the effects of being high, but it’s not a spiritual closeness to God. It’s one thing to read God’s Word and it’s another thing to submit to it. I love you enough to tell you this. Please consider what His Word says regarding being brought unto another power.
Nah, you’re assumptions are a little too much, just a small amount is a very mild effect, you can’t even really call it intoxicated, it’s just an overall feeling of well being, happiness, ect. It does not drastically change your perception of things around you, the “chich and chong” squinty eye, uncontrollable laughter is a sterotype and is really only encountered during beginner usage. Regular usage builds a tolerance, so it’s effects become considerably milder if you’re using similar amounts, of course like any intoxicant you can get overload yourself and have too much and I think where it becomes sinful is when you are pursuing continuously a very strong high, most don’t, it’s just a relaxant, much like wine. A small toke is no different than a glass of wine or two. It’s all in your perspective.
Now onto worship of the Lord and Jesus while smoking marijuana, I have had powerful electrifying encounters with the Holy Spirit, both with and without marijuana, when I am reading or listening to the word of God, he often comes to me, no matter what, so I don’t think it’s a sin in the way I am using it. I do not worship marijuana, I buy it because it exists and I enjoy it. If it stopped existing, I would not be bothered as my life is so full of things, from my passions and hobbies, my job, my family, and most importantly my love for Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
Hope you are doing great brother Fritz!
Thank you for commenting. However, be honest. Did you read the article with an open mind? Or did you read it with a closed heart desiring to hold onto something that you love? Do you actually believe that every single point in this article was wrong or are you trying to find a way to move around them? It’s difficult for me to see from reading Scripture how marijuana is not sinful. Also, I would have to challenge you. If it is sinful, was that actually an encounter with the Holy Spirit or was it just you being high?
Hi I think it is ok to eat marijuana for medical usage but not to point you get high. It’s the same with wine as in small portions. It’s the same idea behind it as wine also alters mind just like marijuana.
The Bible teaches us to be sober minded.
It also says, “God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches in Glory”. Additionally, it says,”God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of sound mind.” And, the Bible teaches us,”None shall come to the Father but by Jesus Christ.” Anyone who teaches submission to things of the world leading to Godliness is a liar and the truth is not in Him. There is no way the things of the world will lead us to Godliness. If any man says when tempted, He is tempted by God, He is a liar and the truth is not in him. Know this that the trying of your faith leads to patience.
Don’t be fooled for God shall not be mocked. God’s word will not return unto Him void but will accomplish what He decided for it to accomplish. He doesn’t need anything of in or of this world to draw us to Him or to have us to better understand Him and His word. Whenever Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan, He [Jesus Christ, Emanuel, who is God with us] used the word of God [Scripture] to support temptations presented by the enemy to sin. The Bible teaches us to Submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Meaning we should seek Godliness through obedience to His word. No need to add anything to it. God’s grace is sufficient. Speak only the word in truth. In closing I say this scripture,”Study to show thyself approved unto God, a true workman, rightly (appropriately) dividing (utilizing) the word of truth.
Thank you Fritz. You presented this subject very well and backed it up with scripture. Pot is a sin and a gateway to further trouble! I know first hand and speak from experience. I praise the Lord for saving me and opening my eyes not only to this truth but to many other things including how Christians love to justify their sins so as to keep doing what they already know is wrong…they are only hurting themselves and more importantly not glorifying God with their lives, but rather are grieving/quenching the Holy Spirit. I can guarantee you that those who do justify their sins in any way, (I’ve done it myself), are being chastened by the Lord through some trial or tribulation in their life. However, sooner or later if that person is a true believer, they will humble themselves before the Lord through confession/repentance and start to walk in a manner worthy before Him. God loves us so much that He will never allow something like this to overcome and consume a Christian’s life. We are already over-comers and more than conquerors through Him who loves us. Also, the only type of ‘medical marijuana’ is the kind that has been refined and changed by removing the THC which allows for medicinal properties but removes the high. As I stated before, any Christian that says differently and continues in this worldly lifestyle is not only kidding themselves but hurting themselves and God through a hypocritical witness to this unbelieving world as well as to the body of Christ. Just think how it may confuse or stumble a more immature brother or sister in Christ through this behavior!
“God loves us so much that He will never allow something like this to overcome and consume a Christian’s life.”
Does this mean that my husband is not a true believer? Because he is and has been consumed/addicted to pot for over 4 years now. He has become abusive and his pot addiction is destroying our family.
I agree it is a sin. Sadly, Mid Valley Fellowship in Silverton, OR allows my husband to attend and even play on their worship team knowing full well that he is a pothead??
So… “pharmakeia”: We shouldn’t be taking OTC medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, etc. either? Does that mean we experience physical pain and infections and the like that we are to simply come closer to God in prayer and worship? Truly? If that’s the case, then my faith and relationship isn’t where it ought to be!
Pharmakeia is the use or the administering of drugs. The drugs that were used by pagans were mind altering drugs. Marijuana falls in this category. Also, there is a difference between medical and recreational use. There is nothing wrong with OTC medications used for their intended purposes.
Any substance used for mind altering purposes (as in recreational use) generally indicates it is alterating the natural functions within the body system. Same as for alcohol and nicotine and any other drugs. The purpose for why we ingest it is critical and using it/them for medicinal use is a different story. Medicines are all gained from what this earth supplies but medicines are all made to differing levels and for different reasons. There is no doubt that legalizing marijuana for any reason other than specially designed medicinal issues will result in abuse just as with alcohol, smoking, etc. It has been shown that marijuana and other drugs are a large part of crime and the health issues. ALL such things are sinning against God and therefore humanity. Mostly it is escapism from reality for one reason or another which is a real problem because problems cannot be solved like that . Neither is it judgemental to recognize the wrongs committed within society which indicate the problems we have are of spiritual nature being reflected in actions we take. We don’t put God first when under the influence of mind bending drugs.
Eating or smoking weed is just an excuse to get high
Of course smoking marijuana is a sin. I totally agree. It’s like most people want to give Jesus the minimum to still be called a Christian. That’s certainly not the message Jesus preached. A lot of people are going to be shocked on “that day”. Instead of hearing, “Well done good and faithful servant,” they will hear, “I never knew you.”
I too was at one time addicted to marijuana. Of course you can get addicted to it. It’s not physically additive like say heroin, but it definitely destroys life. I’ve seen it first hand. Jesus came to set us free from this kind of junk. Marijuana is totally on the devil’s kill-steal-destroy agenda.
Rick, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am struggling to quit weed and luckily I have a amazing God and spouse helping me through it but the problem with my smoking is I make bad decisions that are irresponsible, I almost lost my job . . . And I always want to sleep or eat. When I first started smoking I was reading God’s word but that slowly died only after a few times of smoking weed and I haven’t gone to church in forever and I dont go and see my family because I’m high . . All the things i use to stand for have fell away and that’s what weed does you dont care about anything and your job money and everything else will fall away too if you dont watch it. I like weed I wont deny it but it’s on the verge of destroying my life if I dont quit using it.
I completely agree , I idolized smoking weed. I was addicted to it for a really long time. BC I was going through a traumatic time and it was helping with my anxiety. I also felt like I was able to communicate with God. So as an atheist I saw nothing wrong with it and enjoyed it a lot but after being touched by the holy spirit I had been convicted and God showed me that I was twisting around scripture for my own liking to continue to live in sin. I really wasn’t ready to let go of it. But it is a sin and I had to. While high we are only giving the devil a chance to devour us because he likes to come at us whenever we are vulnerable. He wants us to think it’s fine so that he can kill steal and destroy our relationship with God. If you’re struggling with smoking weed I pray that Jesus will enlighten you the way he did for me. Amen.
I am a family practice doctor and have studied marijuana / THC fairly extensively.
I have looked at the top ten reasons that patients take marijuana for “medicinal reasons.” There are other non prescription remedies basically available for any health issue mentioned.
All non traumatic health issues can be addressed with other remedies and without the negative side effects. Trauma cannot be addressed in any way by marijuana / THC either?
THC is fat soluble and has a half-life of 30 days. Your brain is 60% fat due to the myelin wrapping around most of the nerves in the brain. It shuts down much of the brain. This is confirmed by functional brain scans.
Thank you Fritz Chery for writing and sharing this article with us.
I just wanted to thank you for this great article. I was struggling justifying if ingesting or smoking weed was sinful or not.
I used to smoke a lot in my early 20’s and just started back because of bad anxiety. However, after reading this and seeing how passionate you are in your view and your replies to others I believe I’m going to stop now.
I was wondering if you were going to address how he said we have been given every seed bearing plant as food so I’m very pleased that you did and the view you provided on that. Lately I have been doing the brownie approach but I see how that can still be viewed as intoxication which is sinful as you mentioned.
I really appreciate how you backed everything up with scripture. Just out of curiosity, what about the medication doctors prescribe for anxiety? How do you think God views that? Like most, I have been on Xanax a long time for that. I was just wondering your view on that end? I strive to please God as much as I can but I often fall short and was wondering if that is sinful as well?
Thanks again and God bless brother!
I really do appreciate your comment. Thank you for being open and I’m thrilled to hear how God has used this article in your life. I encourage you to keep on pursuing Christ. When it comes to anti-depressants or other mental health medicines, ultimately we should be praying and trusting in Christ. Nonetheless, we can praise the Lord because He has blessed us with doctors and medicine. Christians are able to take advantage of medicine prescribed by their doctors. However, we must be cautious when it comes to continual reliance upon anti-depressants as God is the true healer. Ultimately we should be praying, reading, and trusting in the Lord in hopes of coming off the anti-depressant medication. Thank you for stopping by and for being encouraging.
Amen! Through my experience God showed up and took away desires that I was bound too. I was a slave to them and Jesus came in and removed them. It’s about surrender and fully trusting Him in every area. Trust His word and believe that nothing is hard for The Lord.
Speaking from a purely medical standpoint Chris, smoking marijuana for anxiety only exacerbates the underlying problem, leading to severe rebound anxiety and eventually paranoia. In daily copious amounts, in predisposed individuals, it can cause psychosis, as well as leading to the manifestation of mental illness/es ( i.e. depression, GAD, Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc..). I’m no doctor, but I’ve done my due diligence in research, as well as learned first hand (the hidden side effects of marijuana). I smoked on and off daily for 10 years to self medicate my issues (100% mentally and physically addicted)…and due to stress and other extrinsic factors, I developed psychosis last summer from smoking about a 1/4 OZ a day to myself. I’ve since quit (10 months or so ago) and now have been diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder, which I had never shown signs of before previously. The stuff will definitely alter your brains chemistry. It’s really not worth it. Futhermore, Xanax is honestly worse in my opinion, albeit a legal treatment when prescribed, and if that pill isn’t the devil, I dont know what is. It’s a very potent double edged sword. Alcohol and benzodiazepines (xanax’s drug class) are some of the few drugs that you can die from due to withdrawals. Pray and stick to CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) man. I was here reading another article on scriptures pertaining to mental illness and wound up here on pure curiosity. I hope someone reads this and realizes it’s not as safe as harmless and helpful as it seems. Hope everyone is doing well during this difficult time. Take care and God bless
Thank you for this reply. I’ve been smoking for over 13 years now. Thought I can escape the daily stressors and also used to forget about the current situations of the world. I feel what you just expressed in your reply to be correct. I feel it has been altering my brain. I dont feel right. Cant explain it. I just decided to quit smoking marijuana today. My intuition told me to do this.
I have been smoking for 3 years and I am having a hard time with it. It is definitely a mind altering drug. I try and do my Bible study ever night and literally on the nights I would smoke, I would slack off. Say a little prayer and attempt to sleep. Without it I would turn on my gospel music, pray for understanding, sing a song or two, read my chapter and then study what I read. This usually takes two hours sometimes. I noticed in my daily life if I do smoke I am more isolated, dark, constantly having sexual masturbation urges, heavy anxiety and all around down in a way. I am what you would call a high functioning weed smoker, I managed stores, had my own business, drive and had the most intellectual conversations. It had it challenges at times because all highs aren’t always the same. I don’t know if I back pedal due to withdrawal or what, but I am trying. It doesnt feel right anymore, especially now that I am noticing the difference in myself and so into my bible study now. I purchased CBD oil 5000mg and that really isn’t mind altering, matter of fact you can use a drop after you smoke , and the high will go away. You feel up lifted and it does not alter the mind. My spirit led me to search if this was biblically wrong and I am pleased I found this site. The information was nice but it’s really the comments of others. I am seeing now that if I want to be a true believer in christ I need to turn from that sin, among others. I feel dirty almost because I was doing so good but gave in.
Hey! I just wanted to say thank you brother for this article!! It’s been just a huge blessing reading it. I am 100% against this stuff. Now I feel I can stand up against this issue even better. I have a friend who was smoking tobacco and I was desiring to back away from her. But then I thought instead of judging her let me pray for her that the Lord would convict her of smoking. And now she’s no longer smoking tobacco glory to God! But she’s still sadly smoking weed. But I know the Lord will continue opening her eyes.
Pray for me Maria. I’ve been a smoker of cigarettes as well as marijuana for over 13 years. Just decided to quit marijuana today. The cigarettes is difficult for me to stop. Pray for me.
I will pray for you, Maria. I am just making the same decision today. Please pray for me as well. I have been smoking pot for over 45 years. It is time to quit. I will keep you in my prayers. Please keep me in yours. God, be with you, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
I grew up in an all Christian family and I never believed in God but now I smoke every day and I’m more connected to God then I ever was. Yes weed does affect your body just like alcohol does and cigarettes. But I do think it’s better that I smoke everyday before work or school. I do everything well. I have a good job that I’m getting promoted in and I graduate in 3 days i don’t think weed increases anxiety. It decreases it if you are paranoid that you’ll die from a joint or whatever that’s what you think. Weed opens my mind to see things clearly.
I appreciate your comment and I’m thankful you believe in God now. However, you now believing in the existence of God does not have to do with smoking weed more. Marijuana can give you a euphoric feeling while you’re high. However, that does not mean that there is a connection with God. Once again, I’m thankful that you are doing well at school and work, but that does not mean that God is OK with marijuana use. I encourage you to really search God’s Word and be honest with yourself. How does it stand up against God’s Word?
Thank you for the clarity, I pray this is the last day I ever smoke in Jesus Christ name Amen!
I pray for you Jake. I just decided to quit smoking marijuana today. Jake, I woke up this morning and my intuition told me to stop. I feel that there are really hidden side effects of smoking pot. I can feel it. Pray me as well Jake because I’m a cigarette smoker as well.
As far as smoking weed and being or getting spiritually closer to God, that’s not going to happen. I’ve tried smoking and reading God’s Word and at times felt enlightened, however, it was/is a counterfeit enlightenment. No way to justify it at all. The Holy Spirit gets us closer to God and brings things to light, not weed. I’ve tried justifying it for 40 years. I would even be convicted enough to throw it out…then like a dog, I’d return to “my vomit”. It is an idol. It ruins the temple of God physically and mentally and Spiritually. It absolutely crowds out the Holy Spirit. A house divided can not stand. Sin is sin as far as God is concerned, but it alters your being and your reasoning and makes it easier to justify other sin. I tried to read the Word while “straight” then get high later. It didn’t work for me. When I’d be reading in the Word while “straight”, it was in the back of my mind…my jar of weed, in the back of the closet…my idol…me trying to justify getting high, making provisions for the flesh.
Exactly how I feel! Thank you for this reply. I’ll pray for us.
I would throw mine out too….and last 4 or 5 days and then call the guy up and get more. I did this like 5 or 6 times in a row. Spend 40 or 50, smoke a tiny bit…and then throw out the rest. The one thing I haven’t done is pray for help…and another is I knew better than to swear to GOD I was quitting…because its better to make no vow than to make a vow and not keep it. Ive done it for 40 yrs…and its not easy. The thing is…even before becoming a Christian 2 yrs ago I never said “lets get high”…or smoked it to get high….or for anxiety…frankly…I don’t know why I do…it has to be addictive if you do something for no reason. Thats how I tricked myself when I became a Christian…I would smoke and say…”well….my INTENT isn’t to get high…so…is it a sin?”
Im sitting here right now wrestling with calling the guy up…this isn’t easy.
Bro when I was reading this I felt like your words formed a reflection of myself and it was like it was me talking to myself the only thing that sounded different was when you said you’ve smoked medical weed lol
God warned me in so many ways about weed but my stubbornness made it an idol just like 1st samuel 16:23 and it cost a lot.
Thank you for this blog ,I pray God will bless you and give you more grace
In Jesus name
I know marijuana from my younger days. I rather smoke from a four finger plastic bag in a pipe than use papers. I had a ‘chamber dope’ pipe back in the 70s Era. The resin on the marijuana from the constant ‘smoking’ pot had given my brother Jim a buzz too. I had smoked with a few neighbors back in my time. I was raised a Roman Catholic but in 1983 became a ‘Born Again’ Christian. I struggled with the idea of quitting tobacco as in smoking cigarettes but never smoked more than ten cigarettes a day. I quit the marijuana in 1981 and tobacco in 1995 permanently. The truth is, I didn’t smoke cigarettes as in tobacco all of my life as my Dad passed away at age 64 from Stage 4 cancer. He was a heavy tobacco smoker; loved beers, drank wine at times but held down a mail carrier route for 33 years. Two years he had spent US Army 51 – 53. My Dad tried many times to quit or simply cutback on his cigarettes. He told me as a boy that he used to pick up cigarettes off of the street when he was 7 years old! I drank heavy in my teens and early twenties. I started up drinking heavy in the 21ST. Century. I have over nine years of sobriety from all BOOZE! I would QUIT during the year but holidays I had gotten drunk. What saved me? My faith in Jesus Christ. I read my Bible daily. I know beer is a brawler & wine a mocker. Booze can create violence & usually cops show up. The cops might not arrest an affectionate drunk unless he’s driving a vehicle; steps off the curb, tries to get overly friendly with the cops then get charged with public (swaying) drunkenness! My Dad got serious drunk when I was a kid but told the two cops at the beginning of the asphalt driveway on our property that the cops can’t touch him but Dad lost his footing on the curb & fell into their hands on the public street. Romans 13 is good to keep in MIND so long as our government DOESN’T violate our Bill of Rights under the US Constitution. Thank you for sharing the truth about drugs. I want to serve GOD not Satan!
I read what you had written above but noticed one typo… you had your chamber dope pipe but you preferred the pipe rather THAN (not that) papers. I preferred ZigZags as in papers. I like the canary yellow papers that I had believed to be known as wheat straw. I would get teased using the papers but did use the white ZigZag papers too. I saw a word on my smartphone that had shown a substitute word: wheatgrass. I read some of the comments but aren’t we as Christians suppose to be sensible and sober because we never know that hour will come and Jesus will return. I rather be sober and alert. I can’t ever imagine getting stoned or drunk again. Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings. Marijuana and tobacco can be difficult habits to break. I’ll pray for you if you’re struggling with bad habits.
This article is amazing. Thank you Fitz. I recently quit weed, I too made excuses and had a closed mind about my addiction, because in this WORLD today ‘legalising marijuana’ has really clouded many people’s vision.
As I’ve learned, everything in moderation, the issue with weed is when you become DEPENDENT on it, yes it’s not as bad as alcoholism however, being dependent on ANYTHING OTHER than GOD is the issue.
I convinced myself for years that i couldn’t sleep without weed, haha. Instead what I should’ve been saying is I’ll do anything to let me avoid a closer relationship with God. When the evenings used to come I would look forward to my bedtime spliff and chill, now I look forward to connecting with God – e.g. being on this website, if I was still getting high I would’ve been high, eating munchies, and watching a show. Instead I am here, worship music in the background and I look forward to a sound sleep.
May god bless you for this article and like we are taught in Proverbs; only fools lack understanding and wisdom. I am glad that I am no longer a fool.
Glory to God. Bless you.
Great article. I came to your article just by watching School Of Prophets on YouTube and the guy who runs the page said how smoking is a sin. When we inhale anything into the lungs that our breathe of life goes through, it’s a message to God. Knowing this information made me stop smoking completely. As on 8/25/20 I have given my life to God. I am 24 and like many young people , I got into the trend and the recreational use. I started having memory loss , health issues , and teeth decay. I hated the build up my teeth would get after smoking and that’s was rare for me bc my teeth was prefect before I started smoking. Weed has MANY disadvantages like any other drug and I hope more people wake up to this “common” sin the devil has deceived us with.
I grew up in a Christian family, I only smoked weed so I can go to sleep or when I have bad anxiety and (when I had depression). When I was depressed, I’d be starving myself so I smoked. I’m so used to eating.. even when Being sober, Weed makes me relaxed/happy , no longer have bad thoughts, no longer depressed. I know I’m not addicted to weed because I can’t go months/years without smoking. I really want to get know god but I don’t know how to.
Thank you for your honesty. I encourage you to consider, have you put your trust in Christ alone for salvation. Christ has made a way for you to be right with God. He removed the sin barrier that stood before you and God by taking your place on the cross. I encourage you to consider the love of God revealed through the cross of Christ and see how everything else is rubbish in comparison to the gospel. I would encourage you to find good Christian accountability and counselors in your area to help you to understand the gospel more, and also to help you with your struggle with marijuana. Will be praying as well.
HALLELUYAH! All Glory to God, I used to Take Tramadol of Different Doses and later I started smoking Weed and Cigarettes. It affected my Education, Work, Relationship, family… I also had a Case of Schizophrenia. It was God that brought me back from that state.. Funny thing was that … In that state I was preaching and Quoting the Bible Rightly but my Fam told me I wasn’t normal. I have gone back to Smoking Cigarette, Taking Weed and Using Tramadol. This Post made me realize it’s a sin but It’s Only God that Can Save me through his Holy Spirit.
Hi Fritz. I agree with everything you are saying. I started smoking weed when I was 11. I am now 57. I smoked pot last night. Always rationalizing it away. About 6 or 7 months ago, I began recommitting myself to the Lord, but continued to smoke. I was asking Him daily, “why can’t I connect with You like I once did?” This morning, I woke out of a sound sleep and began binding and rebuking the spirit of addiction, in the Name of Jesus. I look back and marijuana has been the source of so much grief in my life. I used to think it brought me closer to God, but, thankfully, through His Mercy and Grace, He has revealed this truth to me. It is why I started searching marijuana and sin and I saw your article. So, today, hopefully, prayerfully, I am going to try and refrain from marijuana use. I will literally have to take it one day at a time. Thank you for this Scripture-based article. Please pray for me, I want deliverance. It is funny (or sad), that, as I look back, contemplating the damage my marijuana use has caused in my life, I am asking myself why I did not see it sooner. Actually, I did. I always knew I had to quit at some point, but, kept on putting it off, even amidst this pandemic and everything else going on in the world. It has affected my relationship with others, with myself and, most importantly, with God. It has cost me huge sums of money, job performance, and self-esteem, even the way I esteem others. I now realize it is a sin, a very subtle liar. Thanks for your article. Please pray for me. God Bless you.
Thank you so much Fritz for such insights. Though weed comes from the soil, I really think it falls under “(any) fruit from the tree of knowledge”, clearly when we smoke; a certain level of reasoning deepens and we tend to use that as a scapegoat for us wanting to be God. Weed can really make you feel sad happy, completely altering our thoughts. I have to admit, from your article smoking is indeed a sin. And to a greater extent cigarettes are not nourishing at all.
Thank you once again, I really have to stop smoking.
I would definitely agree weed is a sin, I’ve been struggling for a long time to quit and I fall back when I get weak. I constantly ask Jesus to help me break my habit and I’ve made a lot of progress lately. As a born again Christian I can confidently say it’s a sin no matter which way you twist it. When I’m sober I want to be high but when I’m high I wish I was sober. I feel in my spirit that is displeases him and I repent constantly for my slip ups. I’ve been working as hard as I can to break this nasty habit for good because it has no place in a born again Christian life. Send some prayers my way please.
Can Christians smoke weed? No, and yes smoking pot is indeed a sin. These new generation of professing Christians does not care for God's Word. They will make
These Devout Christians Are Using The Bible To Argue That Pot Is God’s “Perfect Medicine”
The Deep South is the nation’s most religious region and the least open to legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use. To those who say marijuana is a sin, though, devout Christians are using the Bible to argue that it is God’s “perfect medicine.”
Posted on May 15, 2017, at 5:27 p.m. ET
Lydia Decker couldn’t miss the man in the motorized wheelchair as he whirred down the aisles of a West Texas grocery store. As someone with lung problems herself, she noticed his oxygen tank and wondered about his illness and his meds. They got talking, and Decker mentioned Genesis 1:29, the organization she heads that uses religion to preach the value of medical cannabis. This was one conversion that wasn’t going to happen.
“Oh, that trash!” Decker remembered the man saying as she tried to reason with him in the pharmacy aisle. The nurse with the man “politely” asked Decker, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to leave. She did, but not before handing the nurse a Genesis 1:29 business card, which features a map of Texas covered with a large cannabis leaf and the words “One Mission End Prohibition!”
“Do you know he almost ran over me with the cart?” Decker said, laughing. “My goodness, he flipped a U-ee in the aisle.”
Decker, 49, tells anyone in Texas who will listen why cannabis is, in fact, a permitted therapy for Christians — not a sin. She hopes her openness will help generate support for medical cannabis among state lawmakers, and in April she submitted passionate testimony in hopes of swaying them. She described being rushed to the ER, “gasping for air” on New Year’s Day in 2014, when her COPD was first diagnosed, and the blur of medications and treatments she’s endured since then. “I live 80 miles from a legal state line,” Decker wrote, referring to New Mexico, where medical cannabis is permitted. She questioned why such treatment should be off-limits to her, “just because I choose to live and work in Texas, where I was born?”
Genesis 1:29, which Decker formed in 2010, is named after a Bible verse that’s oft-repeated by Christians in favor of medical marijuana: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” To Decker, a nondenominational Christian who follows the Bible’s verses in a literal way, it means that cannabis is “meant to be eaten, whether in oil, whether in an edible,” she said.
Obviously, not everyone in Texas is receptive to Decker’s interpretation of the Bible — none of the laws covering medical or recreational cannabis were likely to pass before the legislative session ends in late May.
“People in the Bible Belt say, ‘You’re using the Bible to promote drugs,’” she said, drawing out the word “drugs” for emphasis. Decker disagrees. “We’re using the Bible to promote what God gave us. We say that God made the perfect medicine. Man is the one that made it illegal.”
The South is the last frontier for cannabis law reform. And it is no coincidence that it is also the most religious region in the country, according to Pew Research. It’s a place where interpretations of God’s word can be as powerful as law, and where preachers have long proclaimed the evils of marijuana. So as pot takes hold for medical use in more than half the country, and for recreational use in eight states and Washington, DC, both are nonstarters in much of the South. Only Arkansas, Florida, and West Virginia have full medical marijuana programs, and recreational use is not even on the horizon.
The president of the organization that represents the largest evangelical group in the US won’t budge on calling marijuana a sin.
“The scripture speaks against drunkenness, and marijuana is a mind-altering substance with the purpose of achieving, essentially, what the Bible would describe as drunkenness,” said Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
To get the votes they need, pro-legalization groups can’t just preach to nonbelievers; they also need to court people of faith, says Morgan Fox of Marijuana Policy Project, a lobbying group that is behind most of the cannabis laws in the country. Support from religious groups has become as key as support from law enforcement groups, addiction specialists, and parent groups. “I know that most of the major policy reform organizations are working on that right now — trying to build coalitions with faith-based groups,” Fox said.
After all, marijuana has never been more popular with young people — recent polls show the 18–34 crowd overwhelmingly in support of legalization. At the same time, young people’s church attendance is dropping. As much as pro-pot groups need religious support, religious leaders need to hold onto their flocks, and sometimes that means loosening opinions on controversial issues.
In Utah last year, the Church of Latter-day Saints weighed in on competing medical cannabis bills and made the unprecedented move of expressing support for one, albeit by backing the stricter of two pieces of legislation. And a group of Muslim undergraduate students at the University of South Florida, where medical marijuana was on the state ballot, tackled the question of whether cannabis use is haram last year during an event called “Contemporary Issues in Islam: A Discussion on Medical Marijuana.” Some faiths have expressed varying degrees of support for medical marijuana, including the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Unitarian churches. In New York, one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries had the cannabis blessed by a rabbi. And globally, to respect the traditional use of cannabis by Rastafarians, Jamaica legalized cannabis for religious use in 2015.
But to bring cannabis to the region of the US where states are deeply red and religious and where pot is both a social taboo and a ticket to jail, Decker and others are harnessing their devotion to their faiths to evangelize for it.
If the South seems hostile to change, at least when it comes to cannabis, it’s partly because of places like Dothan, Alabama. Leah Graves, 32, lives in Dothan, and grew up in a tiny town about 30 minutes away. Like her neighbors, Graves was a “hardcore” Baptist. It was “basically mainstream to be super religious, go to church all the time,” she said, pouring extra cranberry sauce onto her Cracker Barrel turkey special. “There was something wrong with you if you didn’t.” And you definitely didn’t smoke marijuana.
She has her work cut out for her as executive director of the Alabama chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), which pushes for both recreational and medical marijuana. There’s no voter initiative process in Alabama like the ones that put legalization on ballots in other states, so she’s been limited to managing Alabama NORML’s Facebook page and trying to rally support to sway legislators. But religion is getting in the way. Often, friends privately express support for Graves’ efforts on marijuana but then refuse to take a public stance because they fear being judged by fellow churchgoers.
“So many people are afraid to be ostracized. I don’t know what so-and-so is going to think so I won’t say anything. But meanwhile, so-and-so is tokin’ up and he’s not talking and they’re not talking,” Graves said.
Leah Graves before her pink hair days.
Graves stands out in this conservative corner of Alabama as much for her pro-pot attitude as for her shocking pink hair and the two necklaces she wears each day: One is a Star of David, representing her Messianic Jewish faith, and the other is a pendant of the chemical compound for THC. She uses the sparkling baubles as conversation starters to pull people out of what she calls a “cannabis closet” and to show them that one can be both religious and in favor of cannabis. Without exposure to and education about marijuana, she said, “reefer madness” will persist in the Heart of Dixie.
It’s possible that Graves is onto something when she says that more people support cannabis than admit it openly. Local news site al.com launched a project in February called “Marijuana in Alabama,” which included a dozen stories that dove into what cannabis means to Alabamians. The report resonated. A total of 14,000 comments were posted on the site, along with thousands of shares on social media platforms. Readers’ responses to polls were unexpected: A majority didn’t think marijuana was a gateway drug that could lead to future addiction, and favored legalization. And, perhaps most interesting, 89% answered “no” when asked if they thought smoking marijuana was a sin.
Still, religious opposition continues to influence drug policy throughout the region. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention spoke out against the nine legalization initiatives put before voters in November. “I think when it comes to marijuana I’m, of course, for criminal penalties for marijuana use and for continuing criminalization of marijuana,” Moore told BuzzFeed News, specifying, though, that he is not in favor of the “incoherent mass incarceration that we’ve had as a result of the drug war.”
The Catholic Church has also come out against legalization; in 2014, Pope Francis remarked that “drug addiction is an evil” and “attempts, however limited, to legalize so-called ‘recreational drugs,’ are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects.” The Catholic diocese in Arizona and Massachusetts came out against legalization in fall 2016.
While this “didn’t swing the pendulum in Massachusetts,” where legalization squeaked through in November, “it very well could have in Arizona,” where legalization failed, Fox said.
Georgia Rep. Allen Peake with Haleigh, who benefits from CBD oil.
A component of cannabis called cannabidiol, or CBD, might be the key to bringing cannabis to the South. Unlike traditional cannabis, it comes in oil form and doesn’t give the user a high, so moralistic arguments don’t apply. Laws permitting CBD have spread rapidly since 2014, even in the South. Almost every Bible Belt state has one of these CBD-only laws, which mostly apply to children who have seizures that can’t be controlled with traditional pharmaceuticals. Advocates who pushed the drug below the Mason Dixon argued that passing CBD laws to help sick kids was “compassionate” — perhaps something Jesus himself would’ve done.
Rep. Allen Peake, a self-described conservative Republican and devout Christian, is the man leading the charge in Georgia. His crusade started when a constituent pleaded with Peake to help her daughter, Haleigh, now 7, who had near-constant seizures. Peake’s granddaughter is around the same age as Haleigh, and the situation hit home as he questioned what he would do if his granddaughter was the sick one.
Peake said his faith “compelled” him to push for access to CBD oil. “People who have debilitating illnesses struggle on a daily basis with pain because of their medical condition,” he said. “Why would we not use every effort to help make their life a little better?”
When Peake says every effort, he means it. He has taken the unusual step of obtaining a medical cannabis card himself, to help obtain CBD oil for patients who can’t get it. On a particularly warm and sunny April afternoon, Peake opened a drawer in his Macon, Georgia, office and held one of the bottles of CBD oil destined for a young patient with seizures. A framed news article about Haleigh’s Hope Act — the legislation he spearheaded in 2015 to help patients like Haleigh — was hanging on the wall.
“I feel so strongly about this issue because I have seen the results and the changes in the lives of so many people,” he said.
Peake is up against vocal religious groups that have joined with law enforcement to oppose cannabis cultivation. In his efforts to get Haleigh’s Hope Act passed, those groups argued against allowing in-state growing of marijuana to produce the oil, saying it would put the state on a dangerous and “slippery slope” toward full legalization. So, when the act passed, it didn’t include a provision for growing cannabis to ensure a CBD supply. As a result, Georgia residents may possess and consume CBD, but they’re forced to violate federal law by bringing it in from other states — a legal conundrum that isn’t unique to Georgia. Many of the South’s half-baked CBD medical marijuana programs inadvertently encourage patients to break the law.
In May, Georgia added 16 medical conditions — including AIDS, autism, and Alzheimer’s — to the list of qualifying conditions for CBD. Peake insists that the laws still don’t go far enough. To get to a point where cultivation is permitted in Georgia, he’s going to have to be even more persuasive in the face of religious and moral opposition.
“In the faith-based organizations, it usually comes down to: Is there someone in that church or that organization who has been affected? And when there is someone who has been affected, either with a diagnosis or a medical condition, and has chosen to use cannabis as an option, there is a lot more sympathy and openness to this issue than those who have never been personally affected,” Peake said.
Sometimes, a personal connection is not enough. Faith Bodle, 64, of East Texas, talks about the T-shirt that got her membership to her Seventh-day Adventist church revoked. It says “Cannabis is medicine, make it legal.” Bodle is a retired truck driver who describes her life in periods of pain: She was born with scoliosis and one working lung, she was hit by a drunk driver decades ago, and in 2013 she was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, which causes pain in her face so severe that all she can do sometimes is scream. Still, she considers the diagnosis a “blessing” because it finally steered her toward cannabis.
“God knew what it would take to get me to step out of the box and try something that was off the grid,” said Bodle, who considers her body a temple of the Holy Spirit. “We should not be defiling that which belongs to God.”
The Deep South is the nation’s most religious region and the least open to legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use. To those who say marijuana is a sin, though, devout Christians are using