Can Christians Use Marijuana in Good Conscience?
At the time of writing this thesis, twenty-three states (and the District of Columbia) had already legalized marijuana for medical use. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia also legalized recreational marijuana use. The marijuana movement has come quite a way in just the past decade, let alone the time when many of our Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) pastors entered the ministry. Many Americans are convinced that public support will continue to grow until marijuana is legal – both medicinally and recreationally – everywhere in the United States of America. Inevitably, the question will surface more and more, “Pastor, can Christians use marijuana in good conscience?” This thesis will answer that question, regarding both medicinal and recreational use. It will frame the discussion for WELS pastors using the most recent science, most current laws, and timeless scriptural principles. After examining the science of marijuana, the political situation, and most importantly, scriptural principles, it can be concluded: 1) Yes, a Christian can use medicinal marijuana in good conscience within limited circumstances that are both beneficial and God-pleasing, and 2) While recreational use is technically an adiaphoron and pastors thus must be careful about saying too much, Christians would have to hurdle many political, societal, and scriptural questions before using it with a clear conscience.