Marijuana & the Bible
I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall
be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear
the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)
"The Lord said unto me, 'I will take my rest and I will
consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs.'
" -- Isaiah 18:4-5
1) What is the Word of God concerning marijuana, or
cannabis hemp ?
The hemp plant (scientific name: cannabis, slang name:
marijuana) is but one of the many useful herbs "yielding
seed after its kind" (Genesis 1:12, 29) blessed by God on
the third day of creation for people to use in conjunction
with our free will. The only place in the Bible where
Cannabis was mentioned by name got switched into 'calamus'
by the King James translators as part of a holy ointment
(described in Exodus 30:23).
The Bible also predicted prohibition: "In the later
times, some shall
speak lies in hypocrisy
commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to
be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know
the truth." (Paul: 1 Timothy 1-4) Nowhere in the Bible does
it say people cannot grow, possess, use or even smoke
cannabis or that hemp is bad. In fact, quite the contrary:
"God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed
which is upon the face of all the earth.
To you it will
be for meat.'
And God saw everything that he had
made, and, behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:29-31)
2) How was the cannabis plant used by people during
Cannabis was widely used throughout the world since
earliest times. 'Cana' got its name from the same root word
as "cannabis," indicating that hemp was grown there. The
Bible also describes a common way of preparing marijuana for
medicinal use: "The Lord said
Afore harvest, when the
bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the flower,
he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away
and cut down the branches." (Isaiah 18:4-5)
Cannabis was traditionally used in 12 different ways: as
clothing, paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant,
incense, food, and in ceremony, relaxation and medicine. And
it was written, "On either side of the river, was there the
tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding
her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for
the healing of the nations." (Rev. 22:1-2)
The leaves and flowers of cannabis are well known for
their medicinal value, and the Thracians Scythians and
Zoroastrians were just a few of the groups that were using
cannabis socially during Jesus day.
3) What about cannabis today?
Hemp today has thousands of uses. Modern technology has
devised many new uses for the helpful hemp plant -- like
biomass energy, construction materials, fuel oil, plastic
and so on. It is used worldwide as medicine. It is among the
best food crops on Earth, and is ecological, as well as a
popular relaxant and a spiritual tool.
Unfortunately, during the 20th century, new anti-drug
laws have been made by man to imprison, seize property, and
even apply the death penalty for people caught growing
cannabis in accordance with God's law.
4) What does the Bible say about drugs?
Alcohol is the only drug openly discussed in the Bible,
so it must serve as our reference. Jesus began his public
life by miraculously turning water into wine at the Wedding
at Cana (John 2:1-10) when the wine ran out at the
celebratory party. Wine is symbolically drunk during
religious occasions such as Passover -- the Last Supper
of Jesus and His disciples. It continues to be a traditional
sacrament in today's standard church services. Yet the
simple joys of God-given pleasures were also sung: "He
causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the
service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the
earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to
make his face to shineth." (Psalm 104:14-15)
The Bible distinguishes between use and misuse: "Give
strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and wine unto
those that be of heavy hearts." (Proverbs 31:6-7) as well as
"Woe unto them that
follow strong drink; that
continue until night, till wine inflame them!" (Isaiah
5) What do the 10 Commandments say about people using
In the 10 Commandments, God ordered that man shalt not
hold cannabis or anything else as a 'false god,' 'not covet'
it, 'not steal' it and 'not lie' about it (Ex. 20:1-17).
Unfortunately, the US government has done nothing but lie
about cannabis for most of this century. The result of all
this is that these lies have been used to rationalize the
arrest of more than 10 million Americans for marijuana;
695,201 in 1997 alone, and 87% of them for personal
possession. This is a good example of why the Bible also
warns that "If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are
wicked." (Prov. 29:12)
The Ten Commandments:
1. No false Gods.
2. Worship no graven images.
3. Do not use God's name in vain.
4. Keep the Sabbath day holy; no work permitted.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. Do not kill.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, servants, or
How did Jesus speak of marijuana?
Although Jesus lived among a society with many cannabis
smokers, He never chastised the practice and warned us not
to criticize other people for their habits or for whatever
they consume. "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth
a man; that which cometh out of the mouth defileth a man."
(Mat. 15:11) The Apostle Paul wrote, "I know, and am
persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean
of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean,
to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is not meat and
drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy
Ghost." (Paul: Romans 14: 2,3,13,14,17)
7) What did Jesus say about the role of government?
He said to keep church and state separate. "Render
therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto
God the things which be God's." (Luke 20:25) As we have
already seen, it was God, not government, who gave man the
seed bearing herbs to use and government, not God, who
forbade us to use them. Jesus elaborated on this theme: "A
good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the
fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." Matt.
Certainly the Drug War is just such a branch of
government that has borne no good fruit, and should be cast
into the fire.
8) Who did Jesus say has the right to judge others for
their lifestyle choices?
Jesus reserved judgement for God alone. " 'Judge not,
that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye
shall be judged' " (Matthew 7:1-4). And " 'Let him who is
without sin cast the first stone' " (John 8:7).
9) What did Jesus say about crime and punishment?
Jesus preached love and forgiveness. "Peter said, 'Lord,
how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
Till seven times?' Jesus saith unto him, 'I say not unto
thee until seven times: But until seventy times seven.' "
(Mat. 18:21-22) Today's mandatory minimum penalties for
marijuana conspiracy can exceed 25 years to life, with no
hope of parole, for people who cultivate, exchange or
otherwise enjoy this natural herb.
He also warned us about seizure and forfeiture laws.
"Beware of the scribes which
. The same shall receive greater damnation."
(Luke 20:46-47) In fact, Jesus was a victim of property
seizure: "The soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took
His garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part."
10) What, then, is the Judeo-Christian response to
What would Jesus do? He told his followers to show
tolerance, compassion and unselfishness in every effort to
end the persecution of God's children. He told us to visit
those in prison, and when it comes to the Drug War, remember
His words, "Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:9) This
is reinforced in older texts, in which was written, "My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have
rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you will be
no priest to Me
for I desired mercy and not
sacrifice." (Hosea 4:6, 6:6) "The Lord
hath sent me to
bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the
captives and the opening of the prison to them that are
bound." (Isaiah 61:1)
Prisons and drug wars do not save souls. It was God who
created cannabis hemp and told mankind to use "every green
herb" on Earth. "They persecute me wrongfully; help thou
me." (Ps. 119:86) Jesus himself said, "Whatever you do to
the least of my brothers, that you do unto me
Nothing in either the Bible or the U.S. Constitution says
politicians can imprison those who follow their conscience
and use cannabis in good faith. "Every creature of God is
good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with
. If thou put the brethren in remembrance
of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus
Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good
doctrine." (Paul: 1 Timothy 4;1-6) "My people are destroyed
for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge,
I will also reject you, that you will be no priest to
for I desired mercy and not sacrifice." (Hosea 4:6,
Summary analysis of the foregoing discussion
What does the Bible say about marijuana? The Bible says
that God created hemp for people to use "as meat," (ie, to
consume), that its seed oil is to be used as an ointment,
and that cannabis is "to be received with thanks-giving of
them which believe and know the truth." Paul also warned
that some people would "speak lies in hypocrisy" and
prohibit us from using it.
It also says that we "shall not bear false witness" about
people who use cannabis, nor judge them because that
judgement is reserved to the Lord. The Lord hates those who
speak lies and sow discord among brethern. For those people
harrassed and imprisoned for using cannabis rightfuly, Jesus
offers these words of comfort, "Blessed are those persecuted
for righteousness's sake: For theirs is the Kingdom of
What would Jesus do regarding
Despite common knowledge and widespread scientific
support, the federal government has for nearly 30 years kept
cannabis in schedule 1 as a deliberate way to deny patients
access to medical marijuana. This includes people suffering
from asthma, cancer, migraine headache, chronic pain,
spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, and provides relief for
many other conditions. As a result, people at various
locations across the USA have had to risk and suffer years
in prison for providing medical marijuana to patients as an
act of compassion and personal conscience. What would Jesus
do? He chose to break the law in order to heal the sick.
"At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the
corn, and his disciples were hungered, and began to pluck
the ears of corn, and to eat. 2) But when the Pharisees saw
it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which
is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day 3) But he said unto
them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was hungered,
and they that were with him?
10) And, behold, there
was a man which had his hand withered, And they asked him,
saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they
might accuse him. 11) And he said unto them, What man shall
there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it
fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on
it and lift it out? 12) How much then is a man better than a
sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath
days. 13) Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine
hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole,
like as the other. 14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held
a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15) But
when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence, and
great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; 16)
And charged them that they should not make him known."
(Matthew 12: 1-2, 10-16)
Should people give blind obedience to government?
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of
Jerusalem, saying, 2) Why do thy disciple transgress the
tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when
they eat bread." 3) But he answered and said unto them, Why
do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your
7) Ye hypocrites!
12) Then came his
disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the
Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13)
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly
Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14) Let them
alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, And if the blind
lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew
15:1-3, 7, 12-14)
Passages from the King James Bible
that are relevant
to the legal and moral status of Cannabis sativa, L.
And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed
after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was
in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every
tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you
it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and
to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth
upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every
green herb for meat: and it was so." And God saw everything
that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the
evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Gen.
(No prohibition of cannabis or any other drug is made in
the Ten Commandments: See Ex. 20:1-17)
(Cannabis is mentioned in Ex. 30:23 but King James
mistranslated it as 'sweet calamus') :
Moreover, the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Take thou
also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred
shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even 250
shekels, and of [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24
And of cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the
sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make
it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment compound after the
art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26
And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation
therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table
and all his vessels, and the candlestick ahd his vessels,
and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt
offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.
29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy:
whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. (Exodus
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for
the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the
earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to
make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)
The Lord said unto me, "I will take my rest and I will
consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs,
and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore
the harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is
ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with
pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches. (Is.
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they
shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither
bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)
(Jesus:) "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a
man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a
man." (Matt. 15:11)
One believeth that he may eat all things.
Let us not, therefore
judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no
man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his
brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus,
that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that
esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For
the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness
and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Paul: Romans 14:
In the later times, some shall
speak lies in
commanding to abstain from meats which God
hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which
believe and know the truth. Every creature of God is good,
and nothing to be refused if it be received with
thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God and
prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these
things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine.
(Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-6)
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as
crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the
Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side
of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve
manner of fruits, and yielding her fruit every month; and
the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Other relevant quotes:
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Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and
whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Prov.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to
perish and wine unto those of heavy hearts. Let him
drink and forget his poverty, and remember his
misery no more. (Prov. 31:6-7)
"Woe unto them that rise up early in the
morning, that they may follow strong drink; that
continue until night, till wine inflame them!
(Jesus' first miracle was turning water into
wine at the wedding at Cana: See John 1-10. He also
served wine at the Last Supper.)
(Jesus:) He said unto them, "Render therefore
unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto
God the things which be God's." (Luke 20:25)
"Then came Peter to him and said, "Lord, how oft
shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, "I say not
unto thee until seven times: But until seventy
times seven." (Matt. 18:21-22)
(Jesus:) "If a kingdom be divided against
itself, that kingdom cannot stand." (Mark 3:24)
(Jesus:) He saith unto them, "Are ye so without
understanding also? Do ye not perceive that
whatsoever thing from without entereth into the
man, it cannot defile him.... That which cometh out
of the man, that defileth the man." (Mark
As troops of robbers wait for a man, so the
company of priests commit murder in the way by
consent. (Hos. 6:9)
(Jesus:) "Beware the scribes which desire to
walk in long robes and
the highest seats in
the synagogues and the chief rooms at feasts; Which
devour widows' houses, and for a show make long
prayers: They shall receive greater damnation."
Then the soldiers, when they had crucified
Jesus, took His garments, and made four parts, to
every soldier a part. (John 19:33)
Thy commandments are faithful: They persecute me
wrongfully; help thou me. (Ps. 119:86)
(Jesus:) "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they
shall be called the children of God. Blessed are
those persecuted for righteousness' sake: For
theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew
(Jesus:) "The King shall answer and say unto
them, 'Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of the least of these my brethern,
ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40)
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven
are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying
tongue and hands that shed innocent blood; An heart
that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be
swift in running to mischief; A false witness that
speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among
brethern." (Prov. 6:16-19)
(Jesus:) "But I say unto you which hear, Love
your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless
them that curse you and pray for them which
despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth
thee on the one cheek, offer also the other, and
him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take
thy coat also." (Luke 6:27-29)
A wise man will hear, and will increase
learning: and a man of understanding shall attain
unto wise counsels. (Proverbs 1:5)
If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are
wicked. (Prov. 29:12)
Judgement & Punishment:
The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because
the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings
unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the
broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives
and the opening of the prison to them that are
bound." (Is. 61:1)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge, I will also
reject you, that you will be no priest to
for I desired mercy and not sacrifice.
(Hosea 4:6, 6:6)
(Jesus:) "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For
with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged:
And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured
to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that
is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the
beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matt. 7:1-4)
(Jesus:) He beheld them and said, "What is this
then that is written, 'The stone which the builders
rejected, the same is become the head of the
corner'?" (Luke 20:17)