I’ve been asked many times if I would use “medical” marijuana for my chronic pain. As a former drug user in my teen years, I know about the effects of all kind of legal and illegal substances. In private conversations I’ve answered the question, but I’ve never spoken about it in public.
I happened to stumble across a Fox news program called “The Five” while recovering from my 4th major back surgery. I’ve rarely watched the show, but know the premise: 5 reporters sitting around a table discussing the latest of “news”. They were bantering about the use of marijuana. Everyone on this panel said ‘yes’ to it’s use. Eric Bolling even argued we should basically legalize everything including athletic steroids and stop all this nonsense about testing. I was very disappointed in Dana Perino. She was appalling, uneducated, and a cavalier brush off. She even included the promotion of the use of marijuana and the “wink-wink” mention of one of her relatives who sells it in Colorado.
Setting aside the sweeping comments let me simply say: smoking a small amount of marijuana makes one lose all inhibition, all judgment, and all self-control. You can varnish it anyway you like, but you are no longer in control. The idea of stoned is just that. One should not drive, operate machinery, or make any kind of decision. You are no longer in control. An external substance is controlling you.
As to the efficacy of pain management let me say this: prescribed and over-the-counter medications monitored closely by your physician are an effective way to manage most pain.
The emphasis here is “pain management” and “monitored by a physician.” Of course, people can abuse these drugs as well. Understand, I live with chronic pain 24/7. It never stops. There’s nothing I’d like more than to anesthetize my way into oblivion. But I’m no longer in control. Pain is raw, real, authentic, miserable, and no one wants it. Managing pain and getting stoned are very different things. People can abuse prescription medications and alcohol.
Colorado’s rush to legalize marijuana is a great mess. Law enforcement knows how to test someone’s alcohol level if they’re DUI. And we know that a person can drink a modest amount of alcohol and still be in control of their senses. But what do we do about a person who’s stoned? (Ironically states are arguing about the use of cell phones and texting being distracting and making it illegal to use a phone while driving citing the number of car wrecks, injuries and deaths. Wouldn’t it be delicious if CO bans the use of cell phones?)
In Biblical Context
Thus Scripture’s common sense to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” i.e., controlled by Him, not drunk. The idea is simple. Let God’s Spirit control you, not an external substance that you consume to a point where it is controlling you. In the Bible Paul’s instruction to Timothy is “not to sit long beside the wine” (a literal rendering), yet in another place he tells Timothy to “take a little wine for your stomach” (I wonder if that was pain management?). When drunk or stoned, a person who is normally reserved and civil, might become angry, loud, violent, or lose their sexual inhibitions. In other words those substances are controlling you; you are not in control of yourself much less God’s Spirit controlling you.
I read recently where Israelis have figured out a way to take the THC out of marijuana and yet utilize the pain management part of the drug. See Wired Magazines great article: Medical Marijuana Without the High.
In other words a medication would help with pain but not make you stoned. According to the article, that technology does not interest American marketers. That is most telling. Why? Because we – and folks like George Soros — want us to be stoned. We want to be in oblivion. We want to anesthetize ourselves. But the short term and long term effects are far greater than people want to admit. A fella named Karl Marx once wrote religion was the “opium for the masses.” I think we can now substitute our country’s thinking the legalization of marijuana and whatever else may come are now the literal “opiates for the masses.”
If you have the time read my friend Rob Schwarzwalder for another perspective. Check it out: Saying No to Marijuana