By Hank Hanegraaff
America’s downward spiral is nothing short of staggering . . . Popularization of the pill in the sixties paved the way for the horror of Roe v. Wade in the seventies. Acceptance of same-sex sexuality in the twentieth century has mutated into legalization of same-sex marriage in the twenty-first. And, as I write, the legalization of medical marijuana in thirty-seven states has morphed into legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington, D.C. and eighteen states, including Alaska, California, Colorado, New York, Oregon, and Washington. Because of the inherent dangers in a drag on the magic puff, I’ve developed the acronym P-O-T as a memorable reminder to reject the reefer culture.
PSYCHOPHYSICAL PROBLEMS. A variety of well-documented psychophysical problems are part and parcel of partaking in the puff. Psychological problems include diminished cognitive function, memory impairment, panic attacks, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, sleep deprivation, and dependence. Physical maladies range from respiratory illness and cardiovascular disease to detectable alterations in the structure and chemistry of the brain.
OCCULT DANGERS. Just as there are psychophysical dangers associated with smoking grass, so, too, there are very real spiritual dangers. Psychoactive substances in pot pave a dangerous pathway into the dubious world of occult (“secret” or “hidden”) realities. In China, Taoist shamans employ cannabis to connect with ancestors in the spirit world. In India, devotees drink Bhang and smoke Ganja while making oblations to such deities as the Hindu god Shiva. Sufi Muslims use cannabis as a contrivance for various spiritual explorations. And in the West, Rastafarians use the “weed of wisdom” to indulge in spurious religious rituals. Even the Buddha is said to have partaken of the “elixir of life” on his pathway toward enlightenment. As such, he is often pictured clutching a canister of cannabis. While achieving higher states of consciousness, discovering “secret” truths, or becoming one with the cosmic consciousness of the universe may sound glamorous, the skeletal remains of such perilous spiritual diversions continue to multiply worldwide.
THC LIABILITIES. To put it plainly, when people are smoking or eating pot, there is simply no objective way for them to control dosages of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana. By and large, people simply partake until they achieve a high. The danger here is that, just as in a golf swing, feel is hardly real. A mere four inhalations of THC is all it takes to achieve an altered state of consciousness. Put another way, a dosage of as little as 7 mg of THC can be an unwelcome gateway to spiritual and psychophysical maladies that continue to spiral lives into viral dives.
While it is true that the Bible does not specifically deal with smoking pot, its prohibition against intoxication applies. We are called to be stewards of both the physical and metaphysical aspects of our humanity. To fail to do so is to sin against the very One who created us in the imago Dei.
Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 NKJV
For further study, see Elliot Miller, “What Should Christians Do as America Goes to Pot?” and Richard Poupard, “Medical Marijuana: Miracle Drug or Spiritual Poison?” in Christian Research Journal 37, 5 (2014).
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