The Washington Post ran an article on Jan. 3, 2013 titled Three lessons for Colorado from Dutch cannabis policy. The author, Erik Voeten is an associate professor at Georgetown University. The three lessons Voeten offers based upon years of legal usage of marijuana in The Netherlands are:
1. Legalization does not necessarily mean increased usage.
2. Legalization in Colorado and Washington may not see immediate legalization in many other states.
3. Once marijuana is legalized, it will be very difficult to reverse the legal status.
From a spiritualist point of view, it is hard to see how God would be against marijuana. It is a natural plant that was created by God. Marijuana has been cultivated for centuries and has held a place in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Mind altering drugs have been part of religious ceremonies and spiritual initiations around the world. Christianity has generally not embraced the use of mind altering drugs to reach states of religious ecstasy.
The Spiritualist Declaration of Principles state that
“Physical and Spiritual Nature are the expression of God’s creation."
Unlike some Native American churches, spiritualism does not embrace the use of any drug in its religious and healing ceremonies. Within the Christian Spiritualist church, our Prayer for Spiritual Healing admonishes us to “do our part” to maintain and restore our health. If any food, drug or drink causes physical, emotional or spiritual harm, those on the Spirit Path should not be using them.
Strains of marijuana have been cultivated with minimal hallucinogen content and maximum benefit for stopping seizures in children. Medical marijuana helps those going through the rigors of chemotherapy from suffering the pyretic effects of those poisonous chemicals.
With regard to Voeten’s specific points, the US reaction to the legalization may be different than what was seen in The Netherlands.
- Many people that have not tried or regularly used marijuana due to the legal status may now feel free to consume marijuana, at least in Colorado and Washington. The illegality of marijuana has been a deterrent to many.
- When other states see the amount of money being generated from marijuana legalization, the legalization process may spread more rapidly to other states. Some of the poorer counties in Ohio have gained national recognition for the quality of the marijuana being grown there.
- Even when states legalize marijuana, the federal laws are in place to punish both growers and sellers. There is a lot of money and power tied to the “war on drugs” just as there is for the “war on terror.”
Churches are typically conservative when it comes to the use of drugs and alcohol. This position is justifiable for many of the drugs that are available. Marijuana has been shown to be the least destructive of the mind altering drugs, and it has the potential to be used to mitigate serious diseases and pharmaceutical side effects.
It is likely that God is on the side of those seeking to legalize marijuana.