Well into the fray we go. I just read an excellent free e-book by Mark Driscoll about the legalization of pot for recreational use in his home state of Washington. I think it’s an excellent treatment on the subject and worthy of the 10 minutes it’ll take you to read it. Download the free pdf here:
Not to add to much to the material in the above e-book, but I’ll just go on record as saying I am concerned that much of the supposed “medical” use of pot is an excuse to use it recreationally. I say this because I come from a family with a long and storied history of drug use and have seen up close and personal how supposed medical use has blossomed into full blown recreational addiction. I have seen first-hand how it’s led to more severe forms of drug use and this also greatly concerns me. I have never tried pot, though it would have been as easy to get from members of my own family over the course of my life as Twinkies once were, but I have seen it’s effects. While I will acknowledge there is likely a legitimate need by some to smoke pot for medicinal reasons, my biggest concern is the “excuse factor”. I have recently known people who in my estimation appeared to have other options, but seem to simply use the medical thing as a way to dive back in to old habits and patterns of getting high. In other words, it doesn’t seem a coincidence to me that most of the people I’ve known who use “medical marijuana” used to get high recreationally. Likewise, I have seen some people I know have a legitimate need for medical pot and I wouldn’t for a moment judge them for it if they have no other options.
USE and THE CHURCH
Would this mean the church would be ok with people using medical marijuana working in children’s or youth ministry? My answer to that question may offend you, but absolutely not. Our policy is to not allow anyone who may be getting high to work with children or youth. The liabilities are too great and for the record, we’d take the exact same stance with people who we know are dealing with alcoholism and may be using alcohol while working with kids. We just can’t take the chance that a volunteer may lack sound judgment while working with our children. In case you think that stance unfair or harsh, consider that in the State of Michigan, there are restrictions for people who legally use medical marijuana. For instance, you may not even apply for a Concealed Pistol License in the State of Michigan if you possess a medical marijuana card. The reason is because the State is unwilling to take the risk of allowing people who may get high to carry concealed firearms. In a similar vein, Refuge Community Church needs to honor our commitment to parents to provide as safe of an environment for their children as we possibly can. To that end, we have also always performed background checks on those wishing to serve in the children’s and youth ministries. This is done with consent of the applicant. So understand that while we may agree with the medical use of marijuana in cases where there are no other options, we are forced to somewhat limit volunteerism in ministries involving our kids. The good news is that for such individuals there are many other ways to be involved in the ministries of the church and our hearts are open to these folks. It’s not a “judging” thing. It’s important to understand that fact. It’s not about the morality of medical marijuana use any more than we’d condemn people with alcoholism. Keep in mind that we sometimes limit volunteerism in the local church due to things like spiritual immaturity, lack of biblical knowledge, or newness to the faith. It depends largely on the ministry position being applied for. I’ll write about that more later. Anyway, read the book. I found it fascinating and quite enlightening.