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March 16, 2023
Legalization of Cannabis: How Should Christians Respond? | POD 006

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The cannabis debate is raging, with some countries legalizing it and others banning recreational use. In this episode of theFormed.life Podcast, Dr. Todd Miles joins us to discuss the legalization of cannabis and how Christians should respond. We explore a biblical framework, the different elements in cannabis, and some wisdom questions that can help us make informed decisions. Todd is a pastor and author with a beautiful Christian perspective on this topic... | READ MORE BELOW

Hosts & Guests

Todd Miles – Guest,
Professor of Theology at Western Seminary

Paul Brandes – Co-Host

Bill Gorman – Co-Host

Show Notes

 

The cannabis debate is raging, with some countries legalizing it and others banning recreational use. In this episode of theFormed.life Podcast, Dr. Todd Miles joins us to discuss the legalization of cannabis and how Christians should respond. We explore a biblical framework, the different elements in cannabis, and some wisdom questions that can help us make informed decisions. Todd is a pastor and author with a beautiful Christian perspective on this topic

Is recreational marijuana a sin? What are the risks and benefits of cannabis use? How should Christians respond to the legalization of cannabis? This is an important topic, and we want to ensure we offer a biblical perspective. Whether you’re a Christian or not, this episode is a must-listen! We hope you enjoy the conversation and find it helpful as you continue to think about your response to cannabis.

Dr. Todd Miles is author of Cannabis and the Christian: What the Bible Says about Marijuana, and a Professor of Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He also serves as an elder at his local church.

The health risks of cannabis are not discussed at length in this conversation; however, in his book, Dr. Miles points out the increasing risks that are often overlooked or minimized. In fact, he cites a study showing that “while marijuana use is on the rise, perception of the risk is on the decline” (pg.33). We’ve included a short summary of some of those risks here, and Dr. Miles has a whole chapter on these risks in the book, so check it out there. Of note, marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States, due in large part to the health risks. 

 

Health Risks Associated with Cannabis Use (from the book)

Four main categories of risks:
  • Addiction: While it is true that marijuana has been shown to be less addictive than nicotine and alcohol, less addictive doesn’t mean not addictive. Of particular concern, studies show that 17% of adolescent users develop an addiction.
  • Lung and heart issues: Both the American Heart Association and American Lung Association warn against smoking or vaping any substance, including cannabis, because of “potential harm to the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.” (pg. 38)
  • Teen use interferes with brain development: He writes, “THC has been proven to interfere with brain development [in teens], and the losses created by that interference cannot be restored… The evidence is overwhelming, and there is no credible disagreement with that conclusion” (pg. 40).
  • Psychosis and mental illness: Since the late 1980s, “study after study has been performed showing that marijuana use increases the risk for psychosis in general and schizophrenia in particular” (pg. 45)

RESOURCES:

Cannabis and the Christian – by Todd Miles (book on Amazon)

More information about health risks can be found here:
https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects/index.html

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2 Comments

  1. Mary Pritt

    I think the health risks SHOULD have been directly discussed during the podcast and done so within. the first 15 minutes. I am disappointed that they were not. Most teens, young adults, and I imagine even older adults will watch a video or listen to a podcast, but will not read a headline let alone a series of health risks referenced somewhere beneath the “main event” pod cast in “Show Notes.” I’d love to know your reasoning for omitting such critical information and having limited time to discuss the topic of how Christians should respond to legalization of cannabis is insufficient. In preparing for the pod cast, I believe the producers could’ve asked the author to please make sure and work those very important mental and physical health risks into the conversation. Your program was very informative. Unfortuately, in my opinion, it was not informative enough.

    Reply
  2. Jeannie Lucas

    Hi Mary, thank you so much for your comment and sharing your point of view on the podcast’s structure. The intent of this episode was to highlight a biblical framework for addressing issues (such as cannabis) that are not directly addressed in the Scriptures. We are so grateful to Dr. Miles for providing this thoughtful approach here and in his book.

    While the topic was “our response as Christians,” we agree that it is also important to note the health risks associated with marijuana use. It is common to put essential and notable resource links in the show notes, so we wanted to spell these out and make sure they were available in that way. Thanks again for your thoughts on how to structure our content.

    Reply

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