A Man with a Flashlight

In the heartland, Christians for medical cannabis
April 22, 2007, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Drug Prohibition, Religion

Illinois considers a bill that would permit prescription cannabis use, which probably won’t pass. (If it does, Illinois would be the first Midwest state to do so.)

Just another day so far. But wait – more than forty religious leaders in the state are supporting the bill. To wit:

“It comes down to, what do we think God is up to?” said Pastor Bob Hillenbrand of First Presbyterian Church of Rockford. He said his own belief was in “a God of compassion, and therefore also of healing.”

Pastor Robert C. Morwell of Union United Methodist Church in Quincy said he had never used marijuana nor had any desire to. “But I think it’s a little silly to say we can prescribe morphine … and other drugs that are more addictive,” but not marijuana, he said.

Hey, makes sense to me.

This is part of a pattern. From the environment, to torture, to the war on drugs, Christians are starting to ask whether their faith really requires them to reject everything liberal. Thank God – if that isn’t blasphemy.

Let’s take a look at what the law’s opponents say.

“Who wouldn’t want to make a person in that condition [a hospice patient] feel better?” said Jeannie Lowe, also of the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol & Addiction Problems.

Lowe and other opponents say the wording of the legislation is so vague that, with a willing doctor, a patient could meet the standards for marijuana use for just about any illness.

I’m amazed, you might even say stunned. They don’t dispute that cannabis would help the terminally ill to live out their time with a little more dignity. Their argument is that someone might abuse this law, and smoke cannabis just to get high.

Forget that this probably won’t happen much – that phrase “with a willing doctor” will set the bar too high for most stoners. Forget how easy it is to get cannabis illegally (in most major cities you can call and have it delivered). Forget that we allow doctors to prescribe far more dangerous drugs like morphine and methadone, though they are, if anything, more likely to be mis-prescribed.

Even forgetting all of that, is this a compelling argument? Do you care whether a few stoners manage to get high with a prescription and have a little snicker at the government? Is preventing this worth denying medicine to dying people?

Just to be clear, I support full legalization of cannabis – I believe that the benefits of criminalizing a relatively benign intoxicant do not justify the financial and social costs. But even if we disagree on that, what is the argument against allowing it to patients?

2 Comments so far
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Politicians are 10 years behind the times, when it comes to hemp use. People have been fighting for along time against pot and hemp prohibition with some movement going on now. Still too slow for those caught up in the jail system. Our freedoms have been trampled on by folks who know nothing about how beautiful cannabis can be for someones life. Keep up the good work.

Comment by Eco Green

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