Is Recreational Marijuana Use a Sin?

Joe Carter | January 6, 2014


Last November, citizens of Colorado voted on Amendment 64, an amendment to their state's constitution that would allow the "personal use and regulation of marijuana" for adults 21 and over, as well as commercial cultivation, manufacture, and sale, effectively regulating cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol. The first stores selling marijuana for recreational use officially opened on January 1, 2014.

While the new legislation applies only to Colorado (Washington state passed a similar measure, though marijuana is still illegal in all other states and at the federal level), Americans across the nation are beginning to examine questions related to the use of marijuana. For Christians, one of the most pertinent questions is whether the recreational use of marijuana is sinful.

Although many Christians consider the answer to the question to be rather straightforward, it can be helpful to examine the reasoning process that allows us to determine how biblical principles can be applied to this issue.

What does the Bible say about marijuana?

Like abortion, nuclear weapons, and many other modern controversies, the Bible does not specifically mention marijuana. However, some defenders of marijuana do appeal to the Bible—indeed, to the very first chapter—to make their case:

And…


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