A theology professor discussed the moral implications of recreational marijuana use.
The Christian Post recently published an interview with Todd Miles, professor of theology at Western Seminary and author of "Cannabis and the Christian: What the Bible Says About Marijuana."
Miles said on the "Edifi With Billy Hallowell" podcast that, although the Bible does not specifically mention marijuana, it does provide a wealth of "wisdom" and advice that may assist Christians in dealing with the issue.
"We have all the divine words that we need in order to live faithfully," he said. "There's plenty to inform the question of recreational and even medicinal marijuana use."
As states throughout the United States continue to legalize marijuana, Miles said he hopes to encourage Christians to "think intentionally" about the tricky subject, especially when dealing with the frequently underestimated risks of the substance.
"Mental health officials know that there is a strong link between earlier onset of mental illness, schizophrenia ... and marijuana use," he added. "And we ought not to be saying otherwise."
One of the numerous issues relating with marijuana is the necessity to distinguish between medicine and recreational usage, because the latter is frequently promoted and marketed without appropriate context and information.
Miles, on the other hand, believes that one of the most common misunderstandings and mistruths about marijuana is that it is "not addictive." Despite the fact that the medication is not as "habit-forming" as other drugs, he disagreed with the sentiment and pointed out some of the extra consequences that must be taken into consideration.
"Demonstrably, getting high on cannabis ... impairs cognitive abilities, it impairs physical abilities and it impairs moral judgment," he said, adding that these effects are "unhelpful."
Miles then referred to the Bible commandment against intoxication, which in its totality mirrors the events that take place when a person participates in recreational cannabis use.
Regarding those who think that "recreational marijuana" may provide "relief from anxiety" and other ailments, Miles emphasized that this kind of usage should be distinguished from medical marijuana.
"At that point, it seems you're self-medicating and we've moved into a category of medicinal marijuana, not recreational," he explained, encouraging people to distinguish between the two types.
Miles said he hopes that people would examine these topics more deeply and that the effect of marijuana on the person is possible. He stated,
"Just because the law says something is right doesn't necessarily mean it is."
Todd Miles' book, "Cannabis and the Christian," is said to provide readers with Biblical wisdom applicable to the issue of recreational cannabis, its association with medical use, a framework for thinking through other moral considerations not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, and faith to respond appropriately to difficult issues based on the Word of God.
Miles said that in the past, Christians could readily answer the issue of whether or not cannabis usage was acceptable by referring to governmental restrictions. He said that one might simply say, "it's against the law."
"Today, that answer is no longer possible," he said. "Christians are now forced to do what they should have been doing all along: Think like disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and bring to bear the wisdom of the sufficient Word of God."
Listen to Todd Miles talk to Billy Hallowell about the topic below: