The Prison of Pot

It was 11:30 one night when my dogs started barking. A group of five boys was walking up the driveway.

They called out to me, and I recognized them. I called the dogs, and the boys walked up to the house. They often came to play basketball or eat a meal. My mind raced to explain why they would be out so late.

As they came into the light of my porch, I saw their red eyes. Some were giggling. One of them asked, “Do you have any watermelon?”

The distinctive smell of marijuana hung about them. The oldest of them was thirteen. The youngest was eight. I gave them a ride back to one of their houses and lamented their easy access to pot.

On Oct. 6th, President Biden announced a pardon of all Federal offenses of simple possession of marijuana. His pardon freed no one.

Legalization of recreational marijuana is on the ballot this November in five states, including North Dakota. In nineteen other states, it has already been legalized for personal use, imprisoning millions, not in traditional prisons, but in prisons of addiction.

I have spoken to many Christians who used to live in the prison of pot addiction but have now been freed by Christ. All of them are thankful for freedom.

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 55 million American adults currently use marijuana, more than the number of Americans who smoke cigarettes. Andrew Jacobs, reporting for the New York Times, claims that “marijuana and hallucinogen use among young adults reached an all-time record last year.”

One child I know began smoking pot at age three because his older siblings thought it was funny. Others who experimented with marijuana before the age of 10 did so because friends encouraged it or because they saw that their parents coped with stress by getting high. The door to the prison was open, and they walked right through.

Though popular opinion (76%) assumes that using marijuana involves less harmful side effects than drinking alcohol, some researchers and journalists, such as Alex Berenson claim that “marijuana drives a surprising amount of psychosis and violent crime.”

Even those possibilities pale in comparison with the fact that marijuana imprisons people in addiction. Every Christian I have spoken to about former marijuana use has emphasized its role as a gateway drug in their lives. Most of them oppose legalization.

Why vote to give people a freedom which will only imprison them? Liberty exists so that we can choose virtue. Putting our stamp of approval on destructive behaviors only causes continuing harm to our neighbors.

I love my neighbors. I want them to find the same freedom I have found submitting obediently to Jesus Christ. He offers the only pardon that has the power to free all of us from our addictive behaviors and the prisons we build for ourselves.

Once free, then we can work with Him for the freedom of our loved ones.

Are you experiencing the pain of addiction in your life or in the life of a loved one? Find support at a local Celebrate Recovery Group near you

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