Let’s face it: pot will always be a controversial topic, especially when it’s relevant to religion and spirituality. One of the most popular questions I always hear is if you can smoke pot and still be a Christian. While I usually stay reserved when this question is brought up, I think it’s finally time I voice my opinion. So, here I go:
I’m not going to beat around the bush any longer: I smoke pot. Yes, I know it’s totally surprising that someone my age smokes pot in 2017. But in the Christian community, this is probably a shocking revelation. This also means that a lot of Christian people I know who are aware that I smoke pot often debate whether or not I’m sinning when I smoke pot. In the most simplistic terms, I don’t think I’m sinning. But, let’s explore this a little bit more.
I first smoked pot when I was a teenager. You know how it goes. You hang out with some older kids, want to impress them, and you’re smoking a blunt before you know it. But, there was more to it than that. Okay, that’s kind of a lie. Yes, I was with older kids I wanted to impress. But, I also didn’t feel peer pressured. In fact, I even quickly prayed to God about smoking pot before I smoked for the first time.
That’s right: I prayed before I smoked pot for the first time. What did I pray about? Basically everything. I closed my eyes for a few seconds, and spoke to him in my head. I asked for him to show me a sign if I was about to commit a sin I couldn’t repent for, or if I would regret this decision later. And guess what? He showed nothing but support and love. The rest of my time in high school, I only smoked when I was with friends or at parties. I didn’t start smoking pot by myself until I was half way finished with college. And the reason I started smoking pot by myself might surprise you.
When I was a junior in college, I started becoming anxious about everything and anything. Suddenly, I was afraid to raise my hand during class, let alone present a paper or project. I wasn’t myself. So, I went to my university’s nurse who referred me to a local doctor. After an initial consultation with a local doctor, he prescribed me medicine that was supposed to calm me down. Unfortunately, the medicine did more than calm me down. Suddenly, I wasn’t eating as much, I was always tired, and I felt less like myself than I did when I tried battling my anxiety by myself. I told one of my closest friends this, and he advised me to start smoking more often. Desperate for any solution, I took his advice.
I was amazed at what a little pot could do. Suddenly, I was more energized than ever, and I found myself participating in class again like nothing ever happened. I even flushed my anxiety medicine down the drain. Instead, I simply smoked a few puffs of pot in the morning and evening, and I felt better than ever.
This brings me to my journey with pot and religion. Eventually, I confessed to my priest that I was smoking pot every day. Unsurprisingly, he initially claimed I was sinning and that I had to stop immediately or my relationship with God would suffer. According to my priest, I should have a healthy enough relationship with God for Him to fill my emptiness and rid me of my anxiety. And while I understood and agreed with this, I only agreed with it to a degree. Yes, I should have a healthy and loving relationship with God. And I do believe that God has helped me, and will continue to help me battle anxiety, but I also believe that God provided me with pot as a way to help me. After all, pot is completely natural, and research has shown that it is beneficial for many conditions, like anxiety. And, there is nothing in the Bible that states pot is forbidden.
So, that brings me to my conclusion. How has my relationship with pot affected my relationship with God? That answer is simple: it’s strengthened it. Smoking pot has allowed me to realize that God guides you through experiences that are vital to your life and journey. I believe He introduced me to pot for a reason. And I never feel closer to Him than when I’m smoking.