Cannabis & the Bible
The King James version has been used herein.
"The Lord said unto me, 'I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs.' "Isaiah 18:4-5
1) What is the Word of God concerning marijuana, or cannabis hemp ?
The hemp plant (scientific name: cannabis, slang name: marijuana) is but one of the many useful herbs "yielding seed after its kind" (Genesis 1:12, 29) blessed by God on the third day of creation for people to use in conjunction with our free will. The only place in the Bible where Cannabis was mentioned by name got switched into 'calamus' by the King James translators as part of a holy ointment (described in Exodus 30:23)
The Bible also predicted prohibition: "In the later times, some shall ╔ speak lies in hypocrisy commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth." (Paul: 1 Timothy 1-4) Nowhere in the Bible does it say people cannot grow, possess, use or even smoke cannabis or that hemp is bad. In fact, quite the contrary: "God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.To you it will be for meat.' And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:29-31)
2) How was the cannabis plant used by people during Biblical times?
Cannabis was widely used throughout the world since earliest times. 'Cana' got its name from the same root word as "cannabis," indicating that hemp was grown there. The Bible also describes a common way of preparing marijuana for medicinal use: "The Lord said ╔Afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches." (Isaiah 18:4-5)
Cannabis was traditionally used in 12 different ways: as clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine. And it was written, "On either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." (Rev. 22:1-2)
The leaves and flowers of cannabis are well known for their medicinal value, and the Thracians Scythians and Zoroastrians were just a few of the groups that were using cannabis socially during Jesus day.
3) What about cannabis today?
Hemp today has thousands of uses. Modern technology has devised many new uses for the helpful hemp plant&emdash;like biomass energy, construction materials, fuel oil, plastic and so on. It is used worldwide as medicine. It is among the best food crops on Earth, and is ecological, as well as a popular relaxant and a spiritual tool.
Unfortunately, during the 20th century, new anti-drug laws have been made by man to imprison, seize property, and even apply the death penalty for people caught growing cannabis in accordance with God's law.
4) What does the Bible say about drugs?
Alcohol is the only drug openly discussed in the Bible, so it must serve as our reference. Jesus began his public life by miraculously turning water into wine at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-10) when the wine ran out at the celebrator party. Wine is symbolically drunk during religious occasions such as Passover the Last Supper of Jesus and His disciples. It continues to be a traditional sacrament in today's standard church services. Yet the simple joys of God-given pleasures were also sung: "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth." (Psalm 104:14-15)
The Bible distinguishes between use and misuse: "Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts." (Proverbs 31:6-7) as well as "Woe unto them that ╔ follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!" (Isaiah 5:10)
5) What do the 10 Commandments say about people using marijuana?
In the 10 Commandments, God ordered that man shalt not hold cannabis or anything else as a 'false god,' 'not covet' it, 'not steal' it and 'not lie' about it (Ex. 20:1-17). Unfortunately, the US government has done nothing but lie about cannabis for most of this century. The result of all this is that these lies have been used to rationalize the arrest of more than 10 million Americans for marijuana; 695,201 in 1997 alone, and 87% of them for personal possession. This is a good example of why the Bible also warns that "If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked." (Prov. 29:12)
The Ten Commandments
1. No false Gods.
2. Worship no graven images.
3. Do not use God's name in vain.
4. Keep the Sabbath day holy; no work permitted.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. Do not kill.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, servants, or possessions.
6) How did Jesus speak ["Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."] of marijuana?
Although Jesus lived among a society with many cannabis smokers, He never chastised the practice and warned us not to criticize other people for their habits or for whatever they consume. "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; that which cometh out of the mouth defileth a man." (Mat. 15:11) The Apostle Paul wrote, "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Paul: Romans 14: 2,3,13,14,17)
7) What did Jesus say about the role of government?
He said to keep church and state separate. "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto God the things which be God's." (Luke 20:25) As we have already seen, it was God, not government, who gave man the seed bearing herbs to use and government, not God, who forbade us to use them. Jesus elaborated on this theme: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matt. 7:18-20)
Certainly the Drug War is just such a branch of government that has borne no good fruit, and should be cast into the fire.
8) Who did Jesus say has the right to judge others for their lifestyle choices?
Jesus reserved judgement for God alone. " 'Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged' " (Matthew 7:1-4). And " 'Let him who is without sin cast the first stone' " (John 8:7).
9) What did Jesus say about crime and punishment?
Jesus preached love and forgiveness. "Peter said, 'Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?' Jesus saith unto him, 'I say not unto thee until seven times: But until seventy times seven.' " (Mat. 18:21-22) Today's mandatory minimum penalties for marijuana conspiracy can exceed 25 years to life, with no hope of parole, for people who cultivate, exchange or otherwise enjoy this natural herb.
He also warned us about seizure and forfeiture laws. "Beware of the scribes which ╔devour widows' houses╔. The same shall receive greater damnation." (Luke 20:46-47) In fact, Jesus was a victim of property seizure: "The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part." (John. 19:33)
10) What, then, is the Judeo-Christian response to marijuana prohibition?
What would Jesus do? He told his followers to show tolerance, compassion and unselfishness in every effort to end the persecution of God's children. He told us to visit those in prison, and when it comes to the Drug War, remember His words, "Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:9) This is reinforced in older texts, in which was written, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me for I desired mercy and not sacrifice." (Hosea 4:6, 6:6) "The Lord hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Isaiah 61:1)
Prisons and drug wars do not save souls. It was God who created cannabis hemp and told mankind to use "every green herb" on Earth. "They persecute me wrongfully; help thou me." (Ps. 119:86) Jesus himself said, "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.
Nothing in either the Bible or the U.S. Constitution says politicians can
imprison those who follow their conscience and use cannabis in good faith.
Timothy I Chapter 4 Verses 1-6
4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,
and doctrines of devils;
4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats,
which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving
of them which believe and know the truth.
4:4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused,
if it be received with thanksgiving:
4:5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things,
thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine,
whereunto thou hast attained.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me for I desired mercy and not sacrifice." (Hosea 4:6, 6:6)
Summary analysis of the foregoing discussion
What does the Bible say about marijuana? The Bible says that God created hemp for people to use "as meat," (ie, to consume), that its seed oil is to be used as an ointment, and that cannabis is "to be received with thanks-giving of them which believe and know the truth." Paul also warned that some people would "speak lies in hypocrisy" and prohibit us from using it.
It also says that we "shall not bear false witness" about people who use cannabis, nor judge them because that judgement is reserved to the Lord. The Lord hates those who speak lies and sow discord among brethern. For those people harrassed and imprisoned for using cannabis rightfuly, Jesus offers these words of comfort, "Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness's sake: For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."
What would Jesus do regarding medical marijuana?
Despite common knowledge and widespread scientific support, the federal government has for nearly 30 years kept cannabis in schedule 1 as a deliberate way to deny patients access to medical marijuana. This includes people suffering from asthma, cancer, migraine headache, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, and provides relief for many other conditions. As a result, people at various locations across the USA have had to risk and suffer years in prison for providing medical marijuana to patients as an act of compassion and personal conscience. What would Jesus do? He chose to break the law in order to heal the sick.
"At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn, and his disciples were hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2) But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day 3) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was hungered, and they that were with him? ╔ 10) And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered, And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11) And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? 12) How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13) Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. 14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15) But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence, and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16) And charged them that they should not make him known." (Matthew 12: 1-2, 10-16)
Should people give blind obedience to government?
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2) Why do thy disciple transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread." 3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ╔ 7) Ye hypocrites! ╔ 12) Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13) But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:1-3, 7, 12-14)
Passages from the King James Bible that are relevant to the legal and moral status of Cannabis sativa, L.
And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12)
God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so." And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Gen. 1:29-31)
(No prohibition of cannabis or any other drug is made in the Ten Commandments: See Ex. 20:1-17)
(Cannabis is mentioned in Ex. 30:23 but King James mistranslated it as 'sweet calamus') : Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250 shekels, and of [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick ahd his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. (Exodus 30:22-29)
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)
The Lord said unto me, "I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. (Is. 18:4-5)
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)
(Jesus:) "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." (Matt. 15:11)
One believeth that he may eat all things. Another╔eateth herbs. Let us not, therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Paul: Romans 14: 2,3,13,14,17)
In the later times, some shall speak lies in hypocrisy ╔ commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. Every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-6)
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:1-2)
Other relevant quotes:
Intoxication:(Jesus:) He said unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto God the things which be God's." (Luke 20:25)
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Prov. 20:1)
"Then came Peter to him and said,"Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, "I say not unto thee until seven times:But until seventy times seven." (Matt.18:21-22)
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto those of heavy hearts. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. (Prov. 31:6-7)
(Jesus:) "If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand." (Mark 3:24)
"Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them! (Isaiah 5:10)
(Jesus:) He saith unto them, "Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him.... That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man." (Mark 7:18-20)
(Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana: See John 1-10. He also served wine at the Last Supper.)
Persecution:Thy commandments are faithful: They persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.
As troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests commit murder in the way by consent. (Hos. 6:9) (Ps. 119:86) (Jesus:) "Blessed are the peacemakers,for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness' sake: For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:9-10)
(Jesus:) "Beware the scribes which desire to walk in long robes and the highest seats in the synagogues and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers: They shall receive greater damnation." (Luke 20:46-47)
(Jesus:) 'Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40)
"The King shall answer and say unto them, Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part. (John 19:33)
Tolerance: Judgement & Punishment:
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." (Is. 61:1)
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood; An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief; A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethern." (Prov. 6:16-19)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you,that you will be no priest to Me for I desired mercy and not sacrifice.(Hosea 4:6, 6:6)
(Jesus:) "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matt.7:1-4)
(Jesus:) "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek, offer also the other, and him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also." (Luke 6:27-29)
(Jesus:) He beheld them and said, "What is this then that is written, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner'?" (Luke 20:17)
A wise man will hear, and will increase learning: and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. (Proverbs 1:5)
If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked. (Prov. 29:12)
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