Pastor says Pot at Walgreen’s – NOW!

Via on Oct 28, 2010

Did anyone notice this news story?  EVERY police officer in a town in Mexico has just quit for fear of their lives.  Something is wrong – and that something is U.S. drug policy (and, yes, with a goodly number of U.S. citizens and their tragic demand for drugs – who crave and seek them despite the many lives being senselessly taken).

In light of this new development, I am reposting an article that I posted on here a few months ago.  I’ve modified it slightly to make clear my preference that medical marijuana be sold in pharmacies (as I expected when I voted to allow medical marijuana to be allowed in Colorado).

Peace.

The original story: Christian Pastor Says Legalize Drugs?

The Revised one:

Christian Pastor Says Legalize Drugs?

This one does.

Personally, I’m not in favor of drug use.  I think it’s poor stewardship of one’s body and prevents people from embracing reality, but enough is enough! My moral opinion isn’t worth 28,000 murders (and rising), way too many people behind bars, and a massive waste of taxpayers dollars.  The United States now has 1 out of every 31 of our adult citizens either behind bars, or on parole or probation and the lion’s share of them are in the system due to drug related offenses.   Mexico is looking at legalizing drugs as the most sane and effective way to respond to their problems.  This will be even more effective if the U.S. joins them and shares this approach.

Legalize, or at least de-criminalize, drugs now!

Can I get an Amen?!

Note:  this should not be spun as “United Methodist pastor favors drug use.”   What I’m saying is that the status quo ain’t working and the war on drugs has been lost and it’s partly because of people trying to legislate morality.  You’d have thought we would have learned our lesson during the failed (and similarly violent) Prohibition Era.

It makes much more sense to legalize drugs, regulate them, tax them, and help the people with their problems that are causing them to resort to drug use rather than making them into criminals.  Granted,  anything that can be used as a date rape drug shouldn’t be legalized or even decriminalized.  And there may be good reasons to put limits on crystal meth because of how dangerous it is.  But folks wouldn’t likely use crystal meth if other drugs were legally available.  I say regulate them, tax them and use the money for drug use prevention and addiction programs.  Indeed, for years, advocates of legalized pot have said, “It’ll bring in new taxes” as part of their rhetoric to help sway the public to their side.  It’s time to take them on their word and tax and regulate pot just like we do cigarettes and alcohol.

In particular, it is hypocritical for our government to allow alcohol but not to allow marijuana use.  Both are mind altering substances and marijuana is in no way worse than alcohol.  While smoking pot can lead to lung cancer and it doesn’t exactly help brain cells, as I understand it, more human organs are damaged, and more severely, by alcohol than marijuana.  In fact, it’d be far better for our society if more folks smoked pot than consumed alcohol.  There would be far fewer motor vehicle accidents and deaths and far fewer domestic acts of violence.  This would also mean lower insurance costs and less costs to taxpayers for police, emergency,  ER services, and court processes.  This ought to be a no-brainer for economic conservatives.

Moreover, legalizing drugs would single-handedly reduce crime and violent death rates in both Mexico and in the US, and dramatically reduce the amount of governmental corruption.   Heck, it would cease the major source of funding for the Taliban and terrorism.

Alas, my guess is that our nation’s prison industry would lobby against decriminalization however.  They have a vested interest in keeping as many of us behind bars as possible. sigh.

But I will not be resigned to things the way they are.  The collective power of the people trumps those of the prison industry.  All we have to do is to face the facts, embrace common sense, and work together to change the laws.

Who’s with me?

abstainently yours (well, aside from an occasional glass of beer or wine),

Roger

p.s. I am in favor of the medicinal use of marijuana and have met several people who are benefiting greatly from such use. (though I know many more who feign a medical problem and simply use it recreationaly, and/or to try to escape from and numb their problems in life).  I also think that as long as such drugs are only allowed to be sold in a medicinal capacity, it’d be better if said drugs were sold from behind the counter of established pharmacies and drug stores (natural or commercial).  The town I live in has become pocked with many, rather seedy looking, “medical” pot emporiums which clearly glorify hippy drug culture and recreational use – and are hardly the sorts of places one would expect to purchase medicine.

pps.  it’d be awfully nice if folks would visit this other blog that I posted yesterday.  I think it’s better than this one.. certainly deeper.  Peace. Halloween – a time for Me and My Shadow http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/10/halloween—a-time-for-me-amp-my-shadow/

===

Elephant: Roger is the author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

About Roger Wolsey

Roger Wolsey is a free-spirited GenX-er who thinks and feels a lot about God and Jesus. He’s a progressive Christian who identifies with people who consider themselves as being “spiritual but not religious.” He came of age during the “Minneapolis sound” era and enjoyed seeing The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Husker Du, The Wallets, Trip Shakespeare, Prince, and Soul Asylum in concert—leading to strong musical influences to his theology. He earned his Masters of Divinity degree at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO. Roger is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and he currently serves as the director of the Wesley Foundation campus ministry at C.U. in Boulder, CO. He was married for ten years, divorced in 2005 and now co-parents a delightful 10-year old son. Roger loves live music, hosting house concerts, rock-climbing, yoga, centering prayer, trail-running with his dog Kingdom, dancing, camping, riding his motorcycle, blogging, and playing his trumpet in ska bands and music projects. He's recently written a book Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity

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22 Responses to “Pastor says Pot at Walgreen’s – NOW!”

  1. Cynthia says:

    This is even more timely as we are being reminded by a new report that the prison industry is turning into a for-profit machine, including in Arizona. Too many low-level drug offenders have been impacted by mandatory sentencing. This must change! Thanks for posting and taking the risk of saying something that might be "radical" for someone in your position!

  2. elephantjournal says:

    amen
    we have the desperate poor suckered into gambling on lotto and at casinos -places where legalized ''sin'' is raking in the big money -lets get the states in on regulating and profiting from america's ancient . indigenous crop

  3. eliu says:

    A great point of view Roger!

  4. Agreeing with Roger. Though it is sad when our collective desire to obfuscate our minds and seek unconsciousness tramples lives and brings death to so many. Imagine a world in which our passion for enlightenment and/or salvation was as strong as our passion to obliterate our minds? How does one turn this state of affairs around?

  5. BrotherRog says:

    an update: it seems there are some negative health affects from pot use, but on the whole, less dangerous than alcohol: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41464598/ns/health-me

  6. [...] Rep. Cindy Acree tried to ban the MMJ edibles industry. Not edibles themselves—she encourages you to make your own. (Especially if [...]

  7. Roger Wolsey says:

    this just in: more and more governments are considering decriminalizing pot!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/01/drug-war

  8. Roger Wolsey says:

    This just in! 10 years ago Portugal decriminalized many drugs, here are the results! http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeq

  9. Roger Wolsey says:

    ANOTHER Mexican town where all of the police officers quit due to the violence! http://news.yahoo.com/mexico-towns-police-force-q

  10. [...] his point about marijuana, see this article in Elephant that I posted last [...]

  11. Roger Wolsey says:

    Representative Cohen sends letter to US Drug Czar asking for marijuana to be reclassified as a Schedule V substance. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/09/13/rep-steve-c

  12. Leeoakfire says:

    Cannabis, even smoking it, does not cause cancer. It is time to put this myth to bed. Dr. Tashkin performed the original research which the government uses to push this idea. However, he went back to his studies a few years later and overruled his own original research. With his new research he clearly states — and has empirically proven — that cannabis does not cause cancer. Please read the research and up date your article again. Otherwise, thank you for your words. http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/news/20060523/po
    http://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/news/20070417/ma

    • rogerwolsey says:

      I am swayed by what you have to say. That said, it is the case that merely breathing in the fumes of burned paper (you know the stuff that wraps around a joint) is carcinogenic and I gotta believe that inhaling smoke of any sort isn't exactly ideal for our lungs. That said, I agree that the amount of harm to the human body from smoking pot is far less than drinking alcohol.

  13. Rev. Russ Jones says:

    Hey, you "Born Again Christians" who still think the government speaks for God! I dare you to do a search under the heading, "Cannabis in the Bible". Go on, do it! What have you got to lose?

  14. Vito Tums says:

    Rog,

    Interesting post, though I found the editorializing bit about the seedy nature of cannabis dispensaries to be inconsistent with the non-judgmental tone of your post.

    In fact the post has a very logical appeal. I agree with many of your points but I believe that like vineyards, we should grow cannabis like Franklin did, on our own land, and not get it from a drug store.

    Cannabis was made illegal as part of a corporate device, implemented through the government, to manipulate the textile market.

    If we allow government to completely control its distribution, then we give up our power to decide. God gave us the plant and governing it is a personal choice. It always has been.

    • rogerwolsey says:

      Vito, Fair enough. I agree that if you are lucky enough to own your own land, you should be free to grow your own on it. That said, only a tiny minority of Americans own land. (And, I admit that not all MMD's are "seedy-looking" – just most ; ).

  15. Michael Revercomb says:

    Matthew 15:11 It is not what a man puts into his mouth but what comes out of it which deiles him.

    Also, cannabis kills less brain cells than alcohol and has shown to have cancer fighting properties not cancer causing ones.

    But kudos to this spiritual and community leader for vocally showing his distatste with the status quo

  16. MaineGeezer says:

    For further discussion of the social devastation caused by drug prohibition and its utter failure to control drug use, watch the videos on the website of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, http://www.leap.cc
    Those people are or have been on the front lines of the drug war. They know what they are talking about.

  17. rogerwolsey says:

    It's good to see that I'm not alone! There's now a movement of fellow clergy who share this perspective.
    see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/15/god-smok

  18. BrotherRog says:

    Thank you for commenting! As I noted in my article, I do feel that in many ways, recreational MJ use is preferable to recreational alcohol use. It just isn't my cup of tea. That said, God gave us grapes and barely, hops and rye too. As Ben Franklin put it, "Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy."

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