Marijuana Is Not Bad — People Are

Question from a Site Viewer
My child (high school) says to me, “Abuse is due to the person. Anyone can abuse anything. Don’t blame a plant (marijuana) for doing something wrong. Marijuana is not bad.”

What can I tell him?

Tim’s Answer
I agree abstractly with your child’s statement. Anyone can abuse anything. However, that is not the issue with marijuana. The issue is not abuse, but rather the issue is what draws us closer to the Jesus of the Bible and what draws us away from Him. I do not think that someone who smokes marijuana will go to hell. I know many people who formerly smoked marijuana and who today are strong Christians. But none of them smoke today. They would tell your child that thinking that you can use marijuana and become a strong and vibrant follower of Jesus is deceptive thinking. Marijuana, as is the case with tobacco, alcohol, and many other drugs, will end up controlling a great number of the people who venture down that path. Wisdom would tell your child not to head down that path. Marijuana has nothing to offer a follower of Christ. It does not bring a better measure of life than what Christ offers. It does not bring greater self control. It does not bring more effective discipleship. It does not allow one to better deny oneself and take up one’s cross and follow Christ. It does not aid in intercession for others. It does not help us love God better or others better. It is totally a “me” thing, something to make me feel good. To say that marijuana is not bad is simply a convenient excuse to use it.

And while not everything that makes us feel better is bad (food, sleep, etc.), the problem with marijuana and other drugs is that they have a high correlation with negative effects on life without a corresponding benefit for use. The only benefit for most people is a feeling. The negative is the loss of memory, loss of thinking ability, distorted perception, difficulty with problem solving, loss of coordination, panic attacks, etc. These negative effects are often never addressed when the issue of marijuana is discussed. We are told that it is a benign drug. But the evidence all points to a different conclusion.

To smoke marijuana for the feeling it provides seems to me no different than drinking to get that feeling of intoxication. We know from Scripture that we are not to drink for that feeling (Ephesians 5:18). Is it then okay to seek marijuana for its similar effect? I do not see the difference. If being intoxicated with alcohol is wrong, then being high on marijuana is equally wrong for the believer.

In any event, the issue is not that using or not using marijuana makes us more or less holy. The issue is whether our hearts love God fully. If we truly love God and seek to do those things that please Him, then I am positive that He will guide us into His truth on these matters.

My encouragement to you is to continue to tell your child that marijuana use is not wise. Studies show that children whose parents were open with them about the dangers of marijuana are much less likely to use marijuana. But most of all, love Jesus yourself and encourage your children to love Jesus with all of their hearts. Challenge them to stand on their own and not give in to peer pressure, but rather to model the person of Christ before all their peers.

I pray that the Lord Jesus and His Spirit will guide you as you seek to train your children in the way of wisdom.

your servant,


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