Narcotics and the Bible
All quotes herein are from the New International Version of the Bible. It should be noted before I continue that I have never taken illicit drugs in my life. Nor would I take them if the laws were revoked. I rarely even drink alcohol, and in moderation when I do. Personally, I avoid things which affect the operation of my mind. I do not want to open up the possibility of losing my will-power and doing something I would later regret. Further, as far as relaxing, I need no drugs whether legal or illicit to do so. The peace of God rests in my soul and more than compensates for whatever life has thrown my way. Also, my views on drugs are more extensive than what is said herein, but this is to be a short exposition on what the Bible says about drugs. So what does the Bible say?
Speaking of Jesus, the Apostle Paul says,
'He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all
creation. For by him all things were
created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible...'
If we believe that God created everything, then we must believe that he created Hemp, Opium Poppies, and Coca plants.
'Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing
plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it,
according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land
produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds.
And God saw that it was good.'
Hemp, Opium Poppies, and Coca are all "seed-bearing plants". And God says that they are good.
'The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon
the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by
demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose
consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid
people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods,
which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who
believe and know the truth. For everything
God created is good, and nothing
is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it
is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.' (emphasis mine)
1 Timothy 4:1-5
The Apostle Paul, talking to an early church leader, teaches that everything that God created is good (and as above, God created everything including Hemp), and is not to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. Further, he states that those who order people to abstain from certain foods are "hypocritical liars".
Now, of course, the question is: what about uses other than for food? The smoking of hemp blossoms (pot) cannot be considered food. Yet, hemp was certainly known during all of the period during which the books of the Bible were being written and nowhere does the scripture forbid the smoking of it. Insofar as the effects of smoking pot are similar to the effects of alcohol, we could apply the various verses about alcohol to smoking pot. It is not forbidden, but rather one is not to overindulge (good common sense anyway). What of the extraction of Opium and Cocaine from plants? Again, it is not a food, but their use is not restricted in the Bible. However, considering the significant difference between such drugs and Pot, we cannot really draw any parallels with alcohol. With the exception of drugs which cause damage to the body, it would appear that the Bible is silent which gives (at least) tacit approval of their use.
"Submit yourselves for the LORD's sake to every authority
instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme
authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those
who do wrong and to commend those who do right."
1 Peter 2:13-14
However, though we are not commanded by God to not take any of these substances (as drugs or food) and we are told to obey the rulers of our land. We may feel a responsibility to revoke those laws but we are not to break them while they are in effect.
"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded
and self-controlled so that you can pray."
1 Peter 4:7
'"Everything is permissible for me" - but not
everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"
- but I will not be mastered by anything.'
1 Corinthians 6:12
As I said before, I would not take any of these drugs, even if they were legal because I want to be clear-minded at all times, and in complete control of my actions. Although it is permissible for me to do so, it is not beneficial to be under the control (even partially) of some substance. But here I must point out the difference between eating hemp and smoking it. Eating it casues mild effects whereas smoking it causes more pronounced effects. And then there is the difference between smoking a little and smoking a lot (such as the difference between drinking a little and being drunk). Likewise, there is a difference between chewing coca leaves and extracting cocaine in a concentrated pure form. Chewing the leaves causes mild (and even beneficial) effects whereas taking cocaine can be lethal.