Biblical support of cannabis questioned

By Samuel W. Carroll

While I appreciate Stan White looking to the Bible to support the legalization of cannabis (March 27, “Pass cannabis law”), I am afraid his argument does not hold water. To follow his line of reasoning: since the seed-bearing plant Deadly Nightshade was called good and given to humans for food (Gen. 1:29), we should partake thereof with thanksgiving. This could have dire consequences.

He is entirely correct that God blessed all seed-bearing plants and called them good. In an ideal world, it would naturally follow to use all such plants and give thanks. However, we do not live in an ideal world. What he overlooked occurs only two chapters later: Adam’s fall. According to the Bible, the whole earth is fallen as a result. See Genesis 3:17 and following, “Cursed is the ground because of you …”

Sadly, the goodness of the earth has been marred by our sin. No longer are all plants good to eat (or to smoke). We must make informed judgments about them. But since I know little about cannabis, I will leave that discussion to wiser heads than mine.

Samuel W. Carroll

graduate student

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