Stoned federalism

The United States Constitution sets up a system of federalism, a union of states, each of which can have separate laws.  We are seeing some quirks of federalism today, as certain states legalize and commercialize what neighboring states treat as a serious crime.

Colorado is turning marijuana into a major industry and tourist attraction, while police from the states next door are filling their jails with people who have brought their purchases over the state line. [Read more...]

Where’s the opposition to legalized marijuana?

Our nation’s capital is gearing up to join Colorado and Washington state in legalizing marijuana.  Already about half of the states have legalized the drug for medicinal use.   Journalist Richard Leiby has noticed what would seem to be an odd fact:  Despite our supposed political polarization and our alleged culture wars, pro-marijuana initiatives are attracting virtually no organized opposition!

Why not?  Well, conservatives these days tend to lean libertarian.  Aging Baby Boomers of all persuasions, being Sixties veterans, don’t consider marijuana all that big a deal (though today’s genetically-engineered strains are far more potent than what they grew under ultra-violet lights in their basements).  Churches today don’t seem to care that much about minor personal vices since there are so many major ones.  Can you think of any other reasons?  What does this tell us about our culture today, and is it good or bad?  Read Mr. Leiby’s article, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more...]

Marijuana shops to open in Colorado

Colorado legalized the possession of recreational marijuana last year, but as of today, you can buy it openly in retail shops.  Regulations that go into effect today will, in effect, create a legal marijuana industry in the state.  How do you think that will go? [Read more...]

Drugged driving

There is drunk driving and then there is drugged driving.  This brings up yet more unintended consequences of legalizing “victimless crimes.”  Colorado has legalized marijuana.  But while there are laws defining drunk driving, there are no laws clearly defining drugged driving.   While the level of alcohol in the blood that impairs performance is easy to determine, the amount of THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) that would impair driving is much harder to pinpoint.
[Read more...]

Should Christians smoke (legal) marijuana?

The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington state.  So is there any reason why Christians in those states should not use marijuana?

Interestingly, one medical marijuana dispensary in California is run by evangelical Christians, who seem to be using their business as a ministry, witnessing to their customers and giving out Bibles, even as they join the effort for legalized pot:

A medical marijuana dispensary in California expresses evangelical Christian views and is known to hand out Bibles along with the controversial drug.

Canna Care of Sacramento, a family owned dispensary known for supplying medical marijuana and advocating for decriminalization, evangelizes and prays with its customers. Canna Care oversees group prayers in a typical day around 6:00 p.m. and has handed out an estimated 3,000 Bibles to those who come for their services.

Kris Hermes, spokesperson for the nationwide pro-marijuana legalization group Americans for Safe Access, told The Christian Post about its ties to Canna Care.

“Canna Care has been a supporter of Americans for Safe Access as have scores of dispensaries across the country,” said Hermes. “We have also worked with the operators of Canna Care on a number of political campaigns over the years, given their active involvement in advancing medical marijuana policy.”

Hermes also told CP about the building of bridges between ASA and faith communities in the United States in the effort to decriminalize the drug.

via Calif. Marijuana Dispensary Owned by Evangelical Christian Family.

Mark Driscoll, a cutting-edged Reformed pastor says that Christians should stay away from marijuana, making an interesting distinction between “sin” and what the Bible describes as “folly.”

I would add that moral issues are not necessarily just a matter of isolated  individual behavior.   Buying marijuana may well involve a person financially supporting the murderous drug cartels.  So let’s stipulate what is not presently common, the use of weed that is locally and legally produced.

Is there a Biblical difference between marijuana and alcohol?  Isn’t it true that alcohol, according to the Bible, can be used without intoxication, whereas intoxication is the whole point of smoking marijuana?

(Note:  I am not proposing that we debate whether drugs should be legalized.  I am asking whether, if they are legalized, Christians should nevertheless refrain from using them.)

Federalism and marijuana

Colorado and Washington state voted in a referendum to legalize marijuana.  Not just medical marijuana, recreational marijuana.  (Oregon defeated a similar measure.)  The problem is, the sale and possession of marijuana are still illegal according to federal law.  The states are trying to figure out what to do and how this would work.

What we have is a crisis of federalism.  Conservatives, who might normally oppose drug legalization, are in the position of championing states’ rights, while liberals, who might normally favor legalized drugs, are in the unusual position of opposing federal regulation.

At any rate, if the states can figure out how to implement that referendum, Colorado and Washington can expect all kinds of drug tourism.  That might not be a pleasant prospect.

 

See  Marijuana approval leaves states scrambling for answers – The Washington Post.


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