How’s that folks. I haven’t blogged consistently in years, now I’ve got two posts in one week and this one is on a topic from left field, or some far off field.
My interest in the question is that I was interviewed by a young man today who is doing a senior project on the use of medicinal marijuana. He wanted my opinion because I am a pastor and a cancer patient, so he figured I could bring in two perspectives.
I am afraid that I was less than helpful to him because I have not been confronted with this in my ministry nor have I ever considered it or been offered it during my cancer treatment – its not legal in Maryland.
It occurred to me as I talked with the young man that the issue becomes very complicated very quickly. Almost any argument I could come up with against medical marijuana could be used against most any kind of painkiller. Things like addiction, being a gateway to other things, etc. are all true of the regular painkillers that are given.
One thing I brought up that I believe has merit is whether or not this is necessary given the many different painkillers already on the market. Can marijuana provide pain relief you can’t get from something else? Why bother trying to legalize something that is not necessary, unless there is some clear benefit over what is available now. Again, I realize that this kind of argument is not definitive, why market oxycontin when vicodin is available? Why turn to any kind of narcotic given their addictive nature?
The last question this young man asked me is “should Christians even be involved in this discussion?” He said that he has had some resistance to even talking about such things in Christian circles. I suppose that marijuana is a street drug that is illegal and has been shown to be harmful, so case closed, nothing more needs to be said.
My response is that Christians absolutely need to be talking about this – its one of those issues much like issues raised by technology and bioethics that, if there is no Christian voice raised, Christians may be soon facing a world that we are incapable of responding effectively to from an ethical standpoint.
So, a penny for your thoughts anyone? Does anyone know of any resources on this? BTW – I’m not interested for now in political arguments about this I’m strictly concerned with medicinal marijuana as a painkiller. I know that Ron Paul and the Libertarians advocate the legalization of marijuana for other reasons, but it would be more helpful at the moment to get feedback strictly on the medical pros and cons. Thanks for any help you can give.