I hesitated to write on this subject because I am the last person to condone any use of a substance for the purpose of altering a natural state of mind, but I can’t always pick which subject I am moved to write about, and the words force themselves to the surface, so here it is. The recent legalization of Marijuana in the state of Colorado has had, in my opinion, an exaggerated response from the people, either in outcry against it, or in a rush to obtain it.
First of all, although I have tried Marijuana in my past, I do not like it. I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like anything that alters my natural state of my mind. I do not like being drunk on alcohol, and I do not like being high on any drug. All inebriation makes me feel sick, and I don’t like feeling sick. In addition to disliking the feeling of it, I like to be in full control of my faculties at all times. I do not like acting impulsively, saying things I regret, forgetting things I know, feeling dumb, or feeling lazy and tired. Sure, I went through a phase of sowing my wild oats and getting drunk and high. I outgrew it really quickly for the above reasons.
However, I am not against having a drink occasionally or against others having an occasional smoke as long as they are not driving or operating machinery, working, or in charge of something potentially dangerous or important. I enjoy a glass of wine at my book club about once a month and have been known to partake of a Margarita when dining in a Mexican restaurant. I enjoy a Pina Colada on the beach when I take a tropical vacation. I like the taste of it. I do not continue to drink to the point where I feel it alter my mental or physical state. If I do, I no longer enjoy it.
That being said, I do not understand the rage, fear, and disgust of so many people in Colorado over the legalization of Marijuana, nor do I understand the desire to rush out and buy it in mass quantities (or at least the maximum quantity allowed under the law). I think this outcry against it must be rooted in a lack of knowledge regarding the substance of Cannabis as compared to alcohol. Anyone who has done significant research into the subject will attest to the fact that Marijuana is a much less dangerous drug than alcohol or cigarettes, both of which are legal. There are no known deaths related to overdosing on Marijuana, but alcohol poisoning is responsible for a great many deaths, and no one anymore argues that smoking cigarettes is anything but deadly. Marijuana is no more of a gateway drug than alcohol. People who find the need to escape the reality of their lives will use whatever means necessary to do so, regardless of the legality of it. We’ve seen this during the Prohibition era of our country. These people will also be the people who will desire an increasingly stronger and “better” experience as their tolerance increases and their addiction grows. Marijuana is not physically addictive, and therefore, will not cause people without this need to escape reality to try stronger and more harmful drugs.
Additionally, Marijuana does not make people under its influence angry or violent. It is not dangerous unless the user is driving or trying to perform a dangerous task. It can, however, create lazy, unmotivated, and dumb-downed versions of these people when abused. But hardly something for the rest of us to fear. And there are laws against driving under the influence of any inebriating substance already.
Furthermore, Cannabis has many uses other than altering a state of mind. Cannabis oil, much like many other God-created and natural essential oils whole-heartedly accepted by moral and Bible believing individuals, has been used to cure skin cancer and inhibit other cancers. Cannabis in many forms has been used to stop seizures, improve appetite in cancer, AIDS, and other patients, reduce pain, calm anxiety, and it acts as a natural sedative. Many times Cannabis is the only option that works and is by far healthier than the other medications available for these conditions. Cannabis can even be grown with minimal levels of THC (which is the element present in the Cannabis which creates the high), so that the use of the medication does not even result in inebriation. Prejudice against Marijuana has even caused the growth and use of hemp to be limited when it is a natural source of making paper, wood, and clothing among many other things that does not harm the environment or land on which it is grown.
I can’t help thinking that this hysterical and irrational outcry against Cannabis is unjustified and based on a lack of knowledge. The insane rush to buy and use Marijuana to get high will wane as the novelty of its legalization wears off, and regulations to control the use of this by the general public and the suffering individuals who can be helped with this product will emerge.
Not every thing natural is good, but Cannabis has many healthful and positive uses. God created it, and I can’t help thinking that He intended it to be used in a positive way, not to escape reality, but to be used medicinally and to provide things we need in every day life. Just because some people use it inappropriately does not make this natural herb evil. Jesus turned water into wine, but warned against being drunk with wine. I take that to mean that we are to be in control of ourselves, but that we are free to use any these substances as long as we use them in moderation, remaining sober.–Christina Knowles