CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Another Good Mind Gone to Pot

May 5, 2008

Every once in a while an idea comes along that is so silly and so preposterous, that one does not know whether to laugh or cry. It is, as George Orwell once remarked, a case of there being “some ideas so preposterous that only an intellectual could believe them”.

I refer to an item in an online newspaper today about Alex Wodak, the director of the alcohol and drug service at St Vincent’s Hospital. He has said that cannabis should be sold legally in post offices. He made the announcement – of all places – at the Mardi Grass festival in Nimbin yesterday.

One can be forgiven for thinking that the good doctor has obviously been smoking way too much of the stuff he wants made available in our post offices. Maybe he was munching on too many marijuana brownies while at the counterculture centre of Australia.

Does he really propose to legalise marijuana and have it sent through our postal system? Evidently so. He offered this rather weak rationale for the proposal: “The general principal is that it’s not sustainable that we continue to give criminals and corrupt police a monopoly to sell a drug that is soon going to be consumed by more people than tobacco”.

There are a few problems with such a remark. Tobacco users far outweigh marijuana users at the moment, even though the latter camp may be slowly catching up. But apply a bit of logic to this bizarre idea. Right now criminals and corrupt police have a monopoly on selling illegal firearms, heroin, and a whole range of proscribed items.

But by the logic of Dr Wodak, it would be the sensible thing to legalise the sale of submachine guns, and have them sold through the post offices. Or allow heroin to be freely sold, allowing addicts to pick up a batch at the nearest PO. While we are at it, maybe some child pornography and some African elephant tusks could also be conveniently made available this way.

After all, we want to take these things out of hands of the crims, don’t we? Just which planet is this guy living on? And he heads up a leading drug service? No wonder why our drug policies are so messed up, with guys like this calling the shots and advising our politicians. Puh-leeese.

But assuming for just a moment that this guy is half serious; what is he in fact proposing? Marijuana is very potent and very dangerous stuff. It is a far cry from the mild stuff us hippies in the 60s used to toke on. It is many times more powerful, and extremely dangerous. It is much stronger because of higher THC levels (the “high” producing element of cannabis). With increased potency comes increased health risks.

Because today’s marijuana may be as much as 15 times stronger than that smoked in the 1960s, it is much more dangerous. A recent report by the British Lung Foundation stated that marijuana was four times more likely to cause cancer than tobacco.

A multitude of studies have identified the dangers associated with cannabis use. Indeed, there are well over 10,000 scientific studies about marijuana and its effects. The findings reveal some alarming facts. Acute effects of cannabis use include: anxiety, panic, paranoia, cognitive impairment, psychomotor impairment, and increased risk of low birth rate babies. Chronic effects include: respiratory diseases, attention and memory loss or impairment, and cannabis dependence.

The Australian Medical Association has issued warnings on the health risks associated with smoking marijuana. Risks of cannabis use include memory loss, psychosis, impaired driving, hallucinations, asthma, and even lung cancer. Moreover, warned the AMA, one third to one half of detained patients admitted to psychiatric units in Australia are there because marijuana use has precipitated a relapse.

In the article Wodak is reported to have said that the legalised product would come in packets that “warn against its effects”. Hey, thanks for that. And when we sell the Uzis and other firearms, we will also have the appropriate warnings attached as well. How thoughtful. And when the child porn mags are freely available in the POs, we will fulfill our civic responsibilities by including a suitable warning.

There are plenty of good reasons why we should not legalise grass, in addition to the many severe health risks. Opening the door to legalised marijuana usage will simply act as the thin edge of the wedge.  Demands will soon be made for the legalisation of other drugs and for the cultivation of other drug crops in the home. Soon calls for the recreational use of various “hard” drugs will be heard as well.  This in fact is the ultimate aim of the pro-legalisation lobby, as is clearly set forth in their writings.

Wodak also brings up the issue of Prohibition in America to justify this lunacy. Please allow me a few inconvenient truths here: During this period, consumption of alcohol declined substantially, as did the cirrhosis death rate for men (cut by two-thirds between 1911 and 1929), and arrests for public drunkenness dropped 50 per cent between 1919 and 1922.

But drug legalisers like Wodak will argue that prohibition and/or get-tough approaches are not working. For all the laws and penalties, we still have drug users, they say. But this reasoning is seriously flawed. To say that we should legalise drug use because so many are violating the law is like saying since so many people are killing and raping, perhaps we should legalise these crimes as well. Such arguments from utility are facile. When America sought to racially integrate public schools in 1954, should it not have tried because so many people believed in school segregation? Morality, more than mere utilitarian considerations, should guide our legal system. Law, with its concern for the common good, should shape behaviour and compliance, not just reflect them.

At bottom, the drug problem is not so much a legal problem as a moral and cultural problem. To throw up our hands and give up our young people to the scourge of drugs is a sign of moral irresponsibility. As retired NSW District Court judge Kenneth Gee QC has said, “Legalisation is really a counsel of despair, almost irreversible once embarked upon. It should not be tried. It will not work.”

Perhaps Wodak was just having a great time with his dope-smoking friends yesterday. And he may be well intentioned. He probably thinks he is even being quite open-minded about all this. But the sad truth is, a lot of open minds around the country need to be closed for repairs. Our intelligentsia need to come back down to planet earth, and stop proposing inanities like this that will simply further decimate our already fragile society.

Legalising marijuana is simply a stupid idea, whether the idea comes from a Nimbin pot head or some medical “expert”. And bad ideas always lead to bad consequences.

www.theage.com.au/news/national/sell-dope-in-post-offices/2008/05/05/1209839545864.html

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20 Responses to Another Good Mind Gone to Pot

  • HI Bill,

    I have been studying this particular issue for a few years now and I am convinced that legalising cannabis is a far better option that keeping the prohibition going. Firstly let me address some of the flaws in your argument against legalisation.

    You equate legalising cannabis (by the way the word marijuana was deliberately introduced to the english language by those whose aim was to rid society of hemp because it was competing with their planet-destroying business activities, more on that later)to legalising machine guns, after all that will take machine guns out of the hands of organised crime and back into the hands of the government where it belongs? 😉 But lets face it, machine guns have one purpose and one purpose only, to kill people. The FACT of the matter is that after at least 5000 years of cannabis use there has not been one (with a possible ‘maybe’ a couple of years ago)direct death attributed to it’s use. Of course your analogy does have some merit, that being to teach us that when authoritarian governments use legislation to further their own agendas then organised crime will step in and meet the demand. Taking cannabis supply out of the hands of organised crime should be highly encouraged. If my kids decided they were going to try this stuff one day then I’d much rather have them be able to buy it at the smoke shop where it’s content has been regulated by the government as opposed to some shady dealer who is likely going to offer them harder drugs at the same time. Also if it’s legal, then it’s taxable, and governments love to tax everything they can.

    Secondly you go on to quote a whole range of negative things that cannabis allegedly causes. One has to wonder a) Are these reports accurate and b) as the quality of cannabis cannot be guaranteed because it is in the hands of organised crime, and spiking the product with more dangerous, unknown substances is common practice no expert can say with surety what actually caused the problems in the first place. Those concerns aside, of course there are those people who shouldn’t use cannabis, just as there are those who shouldn’t use alcohol , tobacco (far more dangerous and costly drugs), milk, wheat or whatever else your physiology is incompatible with. Education is the key here and just as education has lowered the rate of tobacco smoking it should also stop the abuse of cannabis.

    Further to that point there are just as many medical reports saying that cannabis does NOT cause lung cancer and in fact can slow the growth of some cancers. An elderly gent was charged in Canada recently for giving hemp oil, for free (no recreational or financial value in that) to terminal patients that the medical system had sent away to die, and they got better!

    Of course it’s not in the interests of those other great drug pushers, the pharmaceutical companies to have people find that out until they can figure out a way to make money out of it. In fact the American College of Physicians has just endorsed the use of cannabis for medical purposes. Over 124000 experts in internal medicine calling for further unbiased research and also noting “In some areas, the efficacy of medical marijuana has already been established, and it’s time for studies designed to determine the best dose and route of delivery.”

    But rather than debate the pros/cons of smoking anything the whole cancer issue can easily be laid to rest by simply using a vaporiser or adding the cannabis to food.

    Of course, all of this, too misses the point completely. The deliberate ‘reefer madness’ lies and propaganda over the last 80 years have done their job well and have been fully documented….

    And then there’s the cost to society of policing and imprisoning people who have committed no other crime than to have a smoke of cannabis. But then imprisoning otherwise innocent people is what bad legislation has always done. It just doesn’t make sense to continue the prohibition in the face of the huge benefits that society could gain from the reintroduction of hemp cultivation just to spite a few people who want to use it for recreational purposes.

    It’s also interesting to note that among those who wish to perpetuate prohibition we have greedy self-serving corporations, organised crime and social Christianity. 😉

    As you know, I have been a long term supporter of yours and will continue to be so. However I reserve the right to disagree when appropriate, as in this case.

    Paul Harry

  • Thanks Paul

    But you are reading too many pro-drug sites I am afraid (or smoking too many reefers, with all due respect!). Your commitment to the drug legalisation agenda (for whatever reason) has clouded your judgment here. You simply are in denial about the 10,000 plus studies on the overwhelming harm caused by cannabis. The evidence alone should settle the matter here, not some libertarian ideology.

    And as a parent, I reject your unhelpful false dilemma. I love my kids enough to do everything I can do dissuade them from both legal and illegal drugs. What a counsel of despair and surrender you are putting up to your own kids. Such defeatism is unwarranted.

    Sorry, but libertarian selfishness never cuts it as a rule of life. Instead, being concerned about the welfare of our children and the general community should be our focus, but too many people are just into their own wants and desires.

    And this is not just mere theory for me. Back in my non-Christian days I was a drug addict for three years. Too many of my friends died of drug overdoses. Thus I know firsthand the dangers of the drug scene, and I now reject 100 per cent any libertarian nonsense about somehow making drug use safer. The harm minimisation approach is a fraud, and I will fight it with all my strength. One might as well argue about making drink driving safer. Harm elimination is the only moral and sensible approach here.

    Also, if someone calls himself a believer – and I am not sure if you do – then there can never be a right to do what is wrong. Sorry again, but if you are looking for libertarian justification for your pro-drug agenda, this is not the website to find it in.

    I have written elsewhere about this issue for those who want more information: https://billmuehlenberg.com/1999/07/26/marijuana-decriminalisation-dispelling-the-myths/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • In my many years of working with drug addicted persons, I’ve come across enough of the likes of “highly qualified intellectuals” such as Alex Wodak. The problem we face, Bill, is that intelligence has nothing to do with wisdom. Intelligence tells a person in a position of power when to open his mouth to draw publicity to himself, if necessary even promoting a social evil. Wisdom tells that person to draw publicity to a social evil that must be curbed, at risk to his own popularity. Unfortunately wisdom is not a subject that is taught at medical school, or universities for that matter.
    Confucious said, “When the pupil is ready, the Teacher will appear.” For some people, including politicians, corporate leaders, religious leaders, and even directors of alcohol and drug services, their Teacher never appear in their entire lives. Why? Because a position of power carries tremendous influence, and power corrupts till you are blind to wisdom.
    With all due respect to Dr. Wodak, I do not think he is a bad person. Just that I think he needs to learn about the Power of powerlessness. Then his Teacher will appear, and he will understand that when we are in a position of power, we need to influence with honour.
    Eddie Sim

  • I would have said “only in America” … . Bill, how do you avoid getting depressed at all this woolly-headed, half-assed thinking that goes on? Its enough to make me want to emigrate, but where would one go?

    Steve Frost, Melbourne, Australia

  • Thanks Steve

    Yes this job is not for the faint-hearted! It is easy to get derpressed at all this madness going on. But of course believers have read the last chapter of the book, and know how it will all finish. And we are reminded to perservere, even as our Lord did. So we must keep going on.

    And it is a good question indeed where one might go to escape all this craziness. Unfortunately there may not be anywhere on planet earth, given human sinfulness. It just seems the moral freefall and human cesspool is much worse in the West at the moment.

    But we must keep plugging away. We owe it to the next generation to do all we can to be salt and light, and hold back the rising tide of evil. If we don’t do it, who will?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • He seems to be what I like to call an intellectual moron:
    http://www.amazon.com/Intellectual-Morons-Ideology-People-Stupid/dp/1400053552

    With the loss of Christianity as an ideology generally intelligent people will fall for any bunk to replace it. Look at people like Dawkins who would rather believe in aliens engineering humanity or infinite numbers of universe to solve the issues with evolution. Basically they would rather believe in anything else, including “magic”, than God.

    Which of course leads to stupid ideas.

    Michael Mifsud

  • Bill,

    As a sometimes drug educator in public schools, I have been warning teens for years about the effects of legalisation of illicit drugs. Alex Wodak is a long-term advocate of legalising.

    He seems to want in Australia what has happened in Holland where illicit drugs are not legal, but the drug laws are not applied to alleged “soft drugs” such as marijuana. Many are advocating that going soft on “soft illicit drugs” is beneficial. See “war on drugs: US vs Netherlands.”

    I am not of that view. Why should we be legalising or going soft on some drugs when we already know the deleterious consequences of cigarette smoking (the bong is inhaling in another fashion).

    Some of my material is on my homepage, “The Challenge of Truth”:
    The drug menace! What can we do about It?
    Marijuana is not a soft drug: Here’s the evidence
    Summary of the effects of marijuana
    How to talk to your child about alcohol & other drugs use
    One drug addict’s story: Set free!

    Thank you again for keeping your finger on the pulse on this dopey idea.

    Spencer Gear, Hervey Bay, Q.

  • Bill, I don’t know what to say!! We need to fight against this madness for sure so please….keep us informed. You are so right, we do owe it to our next generation……
    Marion Teh

  • Stephen – it’s funny I was just driving to work thinking almost exactly the same thing. Is it valid for us as Christians to rally around a certain location on earth? To secede, if you will, from a government that no longer even pretends to espouse the morals and values we hold dear?

    What about when our morals and values become ‘unlawful’ in the politically incorrect sense, and we find ourselves being hounded in our work, our schools and in our homes? Is there a point when we say ‘enough!’ and no longer permit them across the threshold of our homes (towns? cities?)

    It’s probably simply wishful thinking. But I do not despair – as Bill says, we know who holds the reigns on this world.

    Andrew Vanderven

  • Andrew, I sometimes think about the possibility of a safe haven, but I fear that it might prove to be a worse cure than the original disease. There’s none so intransigent as two Christians disagreeing with one another on a point of morality.

    When I consider all the persecution of Christians over the centuries, from the early church under Nero et al, to the more modern day church in Islamic countries, in communist countries … well, who are we to think that we should be so fortunate as to escape the fires of persecution?

    So perhaps we just have to grit our teeth and pursue the kingdom which is to come. Not that I particularly like such a painful personal solution, but I suspect that the narrow path that leads to righteousness might just take us that way one day.

    Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

    Stephen Frost, Melbourne, Australia

  • G’day Bill,

    This is the first time I have been to your site, but I have heard you speak a number of times before at various conferences and have great respect for your work, especially in regards to maintaining the traditional family unit. I have some questions in regards to Paul’s post, and your reply. I am very interested in the cannabis issue and have heard numerous amounts of information from both sides of the fence.

    What concerns me the most about your answer is that you refute Paul’s evidence (which is just as highly documented in his post as your own – that is, not at all) simply by saying that he has been “reading too many pro-drug sites,” that his, “commitment to the drug legalisation agenda has clouded his judgment,” and that he is simply “in denial”.

    I have one or two objections to such a refutation.

    Firstly, could it be possible that you have been reading too many anti-drug sites? Excuse my candor, I am not anti-prohibition by any means, simply someone searching for truth on the issue, and it occurs to me that your dismissal of Paul’s evidence can just as easily be turned upon your own.

    I have no doubt about your past experiences with drugs, but for the sake of the argument, let’s please speak about marijuana, and marijuana alone, instead of grouping it with drugs and all drugs – after all, it is only cannabis we are talking about legalizing here, not all drugs. I am 21 years old and have many friends who are recreational drug users, a few of whom I would consider addicts. I have smoked weed myself in the past, although am now a Christian and have made a decision against it based upon the law as it stands.

    To state that too many of your friends died from drug overdoses (and I really do not mean to trivialize the matter), does that mean to imply that they died from marijuana overdoses – if not, what does it have to do with the argument?

    I am interested as to what it is that makes marijuana – clean, untampered with cannabis, any worse than the hardest and most addictive prescription drug available from a doctor? In fact, I would love to know just how many prescription drugs are worse than marijuana. I would assume (as undocumented as this assumption is) that the number would be high.

    Is a prescription drug OK for us as Christians to take just because the government says so? If it is harmful, if it can be ODed upon, if it is addictive, surely these are the reasons we should not use marijuana – does the same apply for prescription drugs?

    So, in conclusion, I am anti-weed, I am a Christian, but above all else in this regard, I am looking for truth. And if the best the world can come up with is “you read too much anti-drug stuff” and “well you read too much anti-prohibition stuff” then where else can i turn?

    I did not read a great amount libertarian ideology in Paul’s post, it seemed he had facts that conflicted with yours, but facts nonetheless. You say let the facts do the talking, then let’s hear them?

    Kenneth Crowther

  • Thanks Kenneth

    As I said in my earlier reply, the link provided offers more evidence, if you seek to read on. But the evidence abounds, and many health organisations, governments, the UN, scientific and medical journals all carry the data. Here are just a few for starters:

    http://www.mobilisera.nu/upload/dok_cannabis.pdf http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/marijuana_myths_facts/myth1.pdf
    http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/why-should-we-care-about-cannabis.html
    http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/marijuana/Marijuana3.html#acute
    http://pushingback.com/blogs/pushing_back/archive/2007/11/01/37974.aspx
    http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/marijuana/index.html#healtheffects

    There is plenty more such info for those genuinely interested. And you seem to be confused here: marijuana is a product of Cannabis sativa, the hemp plant. THC is the major active chemical in it.

    You also need to be aware of a few things. Whether someone is simply pushing for marijuana legalisation, the pro-drug crowd clearly wants all drugs to be legalised. Thus we must not be naive about their libertarian drug policies and goals. They are actively working for all drugs to be made legal, or decriminalised.

    And as I argued in the linked article, marijuana is a gateway drug which leads to harder drugs. This is a near universal experience of marijuana users. It was certainly true of me and my friends, and is quite common. Very few grass users just stay on grass.

    And it still baffles me as to why any believer should seek to argue for the legalisation of illicit drugs. Why do believers want to go down that road? What biblical rationale is there for doing such things?

    We already have dangerous licit drugs, and do not need more dangerous illicit drugs added to the mix. Since cannabis use is shown to be even more dangerous than tobacco use, for example, that should be a strong part of why the believer should just say no, instead of buying into the legalisation crowd’s agenda.

    Finally, I fail to see the connection with prescription drugs. Medically beneficial drugs that have been proven to be safe – or nearly so – for genuine medical problems have little or nothing to do with marijuana use. Indeed as to so-called medical marijuana use, the following are just some of the medical organisations that have stated that marijuana has not been shown to be safe or effective as medicine: the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Multiple Sclerosis Association, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Andrew V Said:

    Stephen – it’s funny I was just driving to work thinking almost exactly the same thing. Is it valid for us as Christians to rally around a certain location on earth? To secede, if you will, from a government that no longer even pretends to espouse the morals and values we hold dear?

    No matter how tempting it is to abandon the jungle to the monkeys we can not, as Christians, in good conscious ever do this. We are fighting a war in occupied territory. As resistance fighters we must continue to fight knowing that our D-Day (and final victory) is on its way.

    There is also anecdotal evidence that drugs tend to open people up to spiritual incursions. Be wary of anything that takes control away from you – no matter how temporary or subtle it is. I believe you open yourself up spiritually to attack. There is a reason drug-use is so prevalent in religious ceremonies of all the shamanistic style religions.

    Michael Mifsud

  • Kenneth, like you I’ve smoked abit of dope myself when I was young, and like you, I didnt think it was any more harmful than the Camel cigarettes (40 a day) that I used to smoke. Now, after working with drug and alcohol addicted persons for 15+ years, I’ve seen enough of the damage marihuana did to the hundreds of young people I met to even quit smoking. Kids as young as ten totally bombed out on a mixture of pot, alcohol and tobacco, their brains screwed up by THC and they become very violent. Families break down because parents just doesnt know how to deal with the situation. When they’re “down” from the effect of the drug, they’d cry and ask you to help them kick the habit. I am 65 years old, and I dont read from anti-drug sites, my young friend. Talk is cheap too. If you’re still unconvenced, I’d suggest you volunteer to work with me on the streets for some time and see for yourself. You can find me making coffee and sausages for these young people at the Boronia Railway Station in Melbourne on Friday nights between 10 and 12.
    Eddie Sim

  • Hi just to comment on Paul’s response to this subject. As a mother and ex drug addict I would like to tell you that from personal experience and the facts of that experience, legalising marijuana is not a good idea. After being an addict for a good 10 of my 27 years with pot as my drug of choice and addiction, I know that in the times that I was unable to score whether the town was dry or whether I was broke that after the initial few days of going crazy angry and after the whole turmoil of withdrawal (and yes there is withdrawal symptoms when you’re a hardcore marijuana smoker), I would finally come down long enough, to care about life, myself and others.
    In August of 2006, I was able to come to my senses for long enough to stay straight and find Jesus who saved me from a decade of addiction. I know without that break from the drug, God would never have been able to draw me to Him. After being institutionalized twice for drug induced psychosis and indulging in a cocktail of illegal and prescribed drugs, I know that without that short time of coming down to reality, I would not be one year clean as I am now. And it all started with a little marijuana…
    … Imagine if dope had have been legal, Paul do you really think I would be where I am now, (just completing my 1st year as a degree student) and moving on to bigger and better things, I don’t think so. Can you imagine what kind of a mother to my two year old I would be if I was still an addict, or worse what may have become of my child? I thank God that the drug has never been legalised and as a parent I hope you can relate to some of that (without the statistics and whatnot).
    It’s bad enough that we have a world lost to money, greed and power that is evolving so quickly and evaporating into a materialist dimension that two year olds want nothing more than to play the computer and watch DVD’s, with all reason and purpose for living hidden so deep in time and history that one exists these days just because they have to. Why encourage this world and the next generation to seek their reason and purpose for living within the use of cannabis? Why deter our young ones from finding God and truth and joy in living? Why should we expose our children to a society that provides such quick deterioration to life when there is a much better way? Marijuana will eventually make one into something there not or worse something they don’t want to be… I’m glad that I stopped long enough to have an encounter with God and I just pray, especially for other users that the time will come when they get to break away from that sordid lifestyle and obtain what the Lord has restored unto me, eventually finding the everlasting truth of life.

    Anne Morrow

  • Thankyou Anne for giving us your testimony. A testimony from someone who’s been through it all is worth a thousand academic papers on the topic (and clearer for the rest of us to understand). It shows us the real issues involved for real people Praise God that He reached you, and that you can share your story with others. It sounds like He will use you to impact many.

    Regards,
    Mathew Markey

  • To Paul, I used to smoke alot of pot and then i became christian. It took about six months before i started to think in normal terms. It seeps into your every thought and this only becomes clear once your off it. Who cares where it came from or what its called, the point is it destroys.
    Daniel Kempton

  • I’m a pot smoking christian, if you do a search on that subject you’ll find many christians do smoke pot. I don’t think I would be considered a ‘liberal’ christian. I also smoke cigarettes.

    I think the hysteria directed at pot and also at smoking too is part of the cult of physical perfectionism you find in secularism. I’m far more interested in spiritual perfection. As for people with adverse experiences, there’s a lot worse from alcohol and people who go off the rails on the stuff will do so anyway, there’s probably an undiagnosed problem (nature or nurture) which needs to erupt anyway. I don’t presume that schizophrenia isn’t a spiritual experience.

    It amazes me how unwelcome I and other pot smokers and cigarette smokers would be in conventional church environments, yet a homosexual in their midst would be treated delicately and in some cases rapturously welcomed. It makes it difficult for me to support christians in politics too.

    It’s also interesting if you think of it in terms of why is the leftist media so anti marijuana (eg SMH where you get a lot of ‘reefer madness’ articles).

    Would the anti-pot christians here say that they were holier than me? Where is the bible prohibition?

  • Thanks coz

    I do require full names, but let me print your piece anyway, and reply to you in particular and others like you in general. And let me cut to the quick, because I am not interested in playing any games here. I am sick to death of carnality in the churches, and you are not alone in this regard my friend.

    The issue here is this: it is not about your stupid marijuana. You can substitute anything else here for that, and we still have the same core problem. The way I read it is this: right now Jesus Christ is not Lord of your life – you are. You are so interested in defending your selfish lifestyle choices that you have effectively have put pot as your god right now.

    You are more intent on justifying a selfish lifestyle of getting high than giving Jesus Christ 100 per cent of your life. Until you do my friend, stop kidding yourself. Jesus is either Lord of all or he is not Lord at all.

    And don’t tell me what other ‘Christians’ are doing. I don’t care if they too are living a life of sin and seeking to justify a me-centred life. You have only one person you are responsible for, and that is yourself. So stop looking to others, stop making cheap excuses, and start repenting of your selfishness and sin.

    Jesus did not come to die a horrible death on the cross so you can justify getting high all the time. He did not live a life of suffering, rejection and opposition so that people could go around flaunting cheap grace, thinking they are believers when they are still living lives straight out of the pit of hell.

    Jesus is worth all, since he gave us all. So forget this selfish nonsense about your right to get high, and get on your knees and get right with God. That is what you need right now.

    You asked for my advice, and I gave it. And this applies to everyone else who is pretending to be a Christian, when instead all we have is self still on the throne, with Jesus so very far away on the sidelines.

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21)

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • coz,

    You ask: “Would the anti-pot christians here say that they were holier than me? Where is the bible prohibition?” Romans 13:1 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” (ESV). It is illegal to smoke pot in Australia. Therefore you are disobeying the law of the land and you, thus, are violating the law of God. Why do you practise disobedience to the law of the land and to God?

    In addition, this is some of the scientific evidence of the dangers of marijuana use for you. This is not my opinion but is what the science demonstrates:

    1. Marijuana is a drug of addiction with a recognised withdrawal syndrome (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry 4th Edition, known as DSM-IV)

    2. One cigarette (joint) impairs the short term memory for at least 6 weeks. (Dr Richard Schwartz – Georgetown University)

    3. Twenty four hours after one joint of marijuana, experienced pilots performed severely impaired simulator landings. (Dr J Yesavage et al Stanford University)

    4. A 15 year research project revealed a 600% increase in the incidence of schizophrenia in conscripts who had used 50 joints or more in their lifetime. (Longitudinal study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden – 15 year study using 45570 army conscripts)

    5. Parallel study showed a 500% increase in the overall incidence of other major mental illness in conscripts who were users.

    6. Marijuana use has been scientifically linked to the dramatic increase in drug induced schizophrenoform illness and the associated increase in teenage suicide rates. (same study – Karolinska Institute)

    7. The so called “Amotivational syndrome” –

    * Apathy, poor judgement, lack of self care,
    * Decreased empathy (perception of others problems),
    * Impaired perception of past, present and future.
    * Difficulty with information processing.
    * Difficulty with sequential dialogue.(Goodman & Gilman – “The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics” 8th Ed. 1991)

    8. Four times the cancer causing potential of cigarettes. Cancers of the mouth and jaw usually seen in men (70’s) who had been smokers all their lives, have been found in young users. (PJ Donald, University of California)

    9. Depression of the immune system up to 40% at both humoral and cell immunity levels. (H Friedman et al., Florida University)

    10. Decreased fertility in males and females. Impotence in males. Defective menstrual cycles. (Hambree et al and Mendelsen et al. respectively)

    11. 1100% increase in the incidence of non-lymphoblastic leukaemia in the offspring of mothers who used while pregnant or just prior to conception. (Professor Neglia et al., University of Minnesota)

    12. Marijuana (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) accumulates in the fatty tissues and is still detectable 3 months after abstinence – longer depending on the amount used)

    13. DNA metabolism is inhibited thus interfering with cell function and replication. (B. Desoise et al, University of Illinois, Champagne)

    14. Marijuana prevents liver enzyme CP450 from breaking down antidepressant medication thus causing an accumulation of the antidepressant which can result in death. (Dr John Anderson, Neuro-scientist, Westmead, Sydney NSW)

    You say: “It amazes me how unwelcome I and other pot smokers and cigarette smokers would be in conventional church environments, yet a homosexual in their midst would be treated delicately and in some cases rapturously welcomed.” Not only are you advocating sin in your own life in violation of Romans 13, but you are supporting “convention church environments” that accept homosexual ungodliness (sin): “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

    You say that you are Christian. Have you been washed in the blood of Jesus, justified by Christ, and sanctified by Him? If you have, you won’t want to be pandering to the ungodliness of breaking the law of the land and using “conventional church environments” as examples of churches that support sinful activities.

    Spencer Gear

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