For many Christians, Marijuana may be a confusing subject. Is it a sin to use marijuana? We all know Jesus’ first miracle, turning water into wine at a wedding, but would Jesus approve of pot usage? We’ll objectively discuss Bible verses both for and against marijuana.
As weed becomes legal throughout the country, can it become de-stigmatized through Christian as well as secular communities? Could marijuana be as accepted as alcohol? Marijuana is a more peaceful substance than alcohol and doesn’t promote as much violence or hate as which according to The 2004 Global Burden of Disease project estimated that alcohol-attributable violence accounted for 248,000 deaths annually worldwide.1 Alcohol is the most commonly reported drug used by homicide offenders.2
In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus is asked what is the greatest law of the commandments. To which are Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” If drinking alcohol does not enable loving your neighbors so why does Amerian culture condone alcohol consumption but not pot?
Bible Verses for Marijuana
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis 1, God creates everything—the birds, fish, livestock, all creatures. Then in verse 29, God says, “Behold, I give you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit.” The key word in this verse is “every”. The Bible is specific that every plant on the earth is God-given and everything from God is good and has a purpose in God’s plan. There are no exceptions to which plant is not good. Marijuana flowers also yield small seeds. Some may argue the devil put the plant on the earth to tempt humans and create debauchery but we think the plant is peaceful and less harmful than alcohol. Just as it says in verse 31, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…”
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.
Genesis 9:3 re-iterates Genesis 1:29. We interpret “food” as anything that is consumed or used. Marijuana is certainly green sometimes purple-ish. The main takeaway of this verse is the marijuana plant is God-given.
Scripture Against Marijuana
In the scriptures for Marijuana, we talk about why we think God has given pot plants for consumption. Even though marijuana is God-given, it should be consumed with self-control. Marijuana is not harmless. Moderation should be practiced to avoid sinful acts. Here are some verses that oppose or are cautionary to marijuana.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
When we are intoxicated from alcohol, marijuana or other substances it opens up for the devil to tempt us to commit sinful behavior. As a result, practicing self-control is the key to avoiding sinful behavior. Being sober-minded is open to interpretation. It could mean complete abstinence or moderating consumption. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sober as sparing in the use of food and drink; not addicted to intoxicating drink; not drunk; or marked by temperance, moderation, or seriousness.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not get drunk with wine,” but we’re interpreting it as any intoxicant including pot. If you are high you may be involved with debauchery. What is debauchery? Debauchery in the Bible is defined as an unrestrained indulgence to a slew of activities including sexual immorality, crude talk, lust of the flesh, anger, gossip, and general lack of spirit-filled control.
As always when reading the Bible, scripture is somewhat open to interpretation and speaks to each person differently. You should pray to God for more clear answers.
1Rehm J, Room R, Monteiro M, Gmel G, Graham K, Rehn N, et al. Alcohol use. In: Ezzati M, Lopez AD, Rodgers A, Murray CJL, editors. Comparative quantification of health risks Global and regional burden of disease attributable to selected major risk factors. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2004. pp. 959–1108.
2Darke, S. (2010). The Toxicology of Homicide Offenders and Victims: A review. Drug and Alcohol Review,29(2):202-215.