Now that marijuana is increasingly becoming legalized (or at least decriminalized) in parts of the US and around the world, the subject of its morality is becoming more pertinent. For guidance, a lot of us are wondering, “what does the bible say about weed?” For others, we’re simply curious to know what the Bible says about our green friend. So, is weed a sin or a virtue?
Is Weed a Sin?
If you consider yourself a Christian, you might be keen to know if it’s sinful to partake in cannabis consumption. And, even if you’re not religious, you might just be curious about what sacred texts have to say on the matter.
Unfortunately, it’s not crystal clear whether weed is a sin or not. But certain Bible verses can be construed as being for or against smoking weed.
Below are some quotes from the Bible which seemingly allude to the debate. Based on the information available, you can make your own mind up as to whether lighting up is truly a sin or a virtue.
Weed is a Virtue
Green plant, you say?
And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food…I have given every green plant for food” (Genesis 1:29)
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Genesis 9:3)
God created all plants for human consumption, and this presumably includes the cannabis plant. Just like cocoa beans and the coffea plant, we can indulge in the marijuana leaf and enjoy the desirable effects.
Weed for Medicinal Purposes
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress. (Proverbs 31:6)
According to this statement, medicinal marijuana seems to be permissible as long as “bitter distress” can refer to anxiety or painful arthritis.
On either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:2)
The tree is not specified, but it does indeed seem to suggest that the leaves of certain trees can be therapeutic and healing.
For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. (Hebrews 6:7)
The cultivation of cannabis certainly proves useful for those who consume it.
Weed for Good Relations
And I will provide for them renowned plantations so that they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, and no longer suffer the reproach of the nations. (Ezekiel 34:29)
Weed can definitely be pacifying and appease “the reproach of the nations”. The only contradiction here is the ensuing munchies which sadly do consume one with hunger in the land.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
This could be construed as encouraging us to “test” and “transform” our outlook and perspective so that we might grow into more spiritual people. If smoking weed helps you achieve this, then it must have some virtue.
Weed for Love
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. (Proverbs 15:17)
Weed is a-ok as long as it’s smoked with love. NB: Do not share your joint with a fat ox. (Excuse my French).
Weed is a Sin
A Sober Mind
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (Peter 5:8)
As for you, always be sober-minded. (2 Timothy 4:5)
This appeal to sobriety crops up a lot in the bible. Intoxication, it seems, is sinful, and that probably includes getting high too.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
Here he might be saying that wine is off-limits but hard spirits are totally fine.
Just kidding, but certainly the intoxication the bible refers to is explicitly related to alcohol consumption. Given that weed has a totally different effect (and usually doesn’t lead to too much debauchery) it might be alright.
The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor. (Proverbs 21:25)
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing. (Proverbs 13:4)
If “sluggard” bares resemblance to “stoner”, then we might have a problem here. However, the perception around daily cannabis consumers is changing radically. It now has a much more positive connotation as marijuana is becoming legalized state by state, and globally.
Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat. (Proverbs 23:20)
This is as much a warning against omnivores as it is stoners. Basically, moderation and control is key to reap the benefits of marijuana without going down the rabbit hole.
The sin of Drunkenness
Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. (Proverbs 23:31)
Perverse uttering tends to occur more commonly when drunk, but if you are partial to disobliging discourse when high then beware of the adder.
If we can learn anything here in definite terms, it’s that drunkenness is not very pious. So if you’re trying to lead a sinless life, you’re better off avoiding wine.
So, what does the Bible say about weed?
As far as can be gathered from the above bible verses, the consumption of weed is in itself not sinful. Rather, sin arises from intoxication and debauched behaviour. As long as you behave yourself, you probably don’t need to worry.
However, if you’re genuinely concerned that weed might be a sin, then it’s best to avoid it as there’s really no concrete evidence either way.
It’s your choice
In any case, the one thing we can all do to be more virtuous is not judge others, whether they smoke weed or abstain from it:
Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. (Romans 14:1-23)
So really, what does the Bible say about smoking weed? The Bible seems to indicate that if it’s used as medicine, nourishment or moderate merriment, it’s a-ok. That said, if used for good, we hardly consider weed a sin. If you’re interested in how weed can be used to achieve a more positive outlook, check out Marijuana for Anxiety and Depression.