Shane Idleman | February 17, 2017
(barbwire.com) – Wednesday’s headline read, “Council votes 3-1 to Allow Medical Cultivation” after rejecting the counsel of the faith based community.
With the legalization of marijuana, comes new problems such as how taxpayers will pay for increased law enforcement. But, no problem according to hopefuls, large cultivation centers will create tax money to fund law enforcement. But we are missing a few keys points:
1. Cultivation centers aren’t all about helping those in need – they will be magnets for crime. Most recognize the value of medicinal M.J. However, I have not met one person who cannot acquire pain relief because there is a limited supply, but I have talked to countless others who are hopeless and addicted because it’s readily available. Building mega cultivation plants will produce millions of cannabis plants – where are all the people in need of this? We seem to have an abundance, not a lack. We will reap the whirlwind – what a man sows, he will reap.
I have lost young adults in my congregation to heroin overdoses that began with the availability of M.J. at a young age. I have comforted a wife whose husband put a 9mm to his head and pulled the trigger, encouraged a blind woman who is missing most of her frontal skull from a suicide attempt, wept with a paraplegic who was physically abused by his addicted father, sympathized with a man whose addicted wife left him and their children after her third affair, and on and on it goes.
For many, the M.J. mindset opens the door for further abuse. One Colorado headline recently read, “Opiate Abuse is Skyrocketing” all because of cultivation centers in their communities. They are reaping the whirlwind.
The Greek word “pharmakia” is where our English word “pharmacy” originated. In the Bible, it’s often associated with witchcraft, the occult, and sorcery. Have we stopped to think about the spiritual ramifications of increasing M.J. production?
2. Cultivation centers will hurt more than help. Proponents say, “We need the tax revenue to offset the negative effects of legalizing marijuana. Where else can we get the money?” The same place it comes from when a single mom prays, “Lord, help. I won’t be able to make it.” Or when a loving father prays, “God, please give me wisdom – I just lost my job.” In God We Trust are not just four words on a wall – they should spark deep conviction and a reliance on God. “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under” (Ronald Reagan).
Providing wisdom and opening financial doors is nothing new for God. Often, He uses challenging situations to draw us to Him. I would encourage cities to look to Him for strength, rather than cultivation centers or our headlines may read, “Opiate Abuse and Crime Skyrocketing.”
Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. What kind of example are we leaving for our children? The problem is not that we have raised our standard and missed it, it’s that we have lowered it and hit it.
Why are proponents not talking about the escalating child neglect that is taking place because of M.J. use? God help us! Our children our looking for leadership, our families are looking for hope, and our citizens our looking for character.
We must change our course. The following story reminds us of an important lesson: “Darkness and dense fog forced the captain to maneuver anxiously through uncertain waters. The eerie silence was shattered as he faced his greatest fear. Through the thick fog, a faint light signaled disaster. He was on a collision course; another light was fast approaching.
In a desperate attempt to avert calamity, the captain signaled: “COLLISION INEVITABLE. TURN TWENTY DEGREES STARBOARD!” To the captain’s amazement, the light signaled back: “COLLISION CONFIRMED…CHANGE YOUR COURSE IMMEDIATELY!”
Now near panic, the captain signaled: “HIGHEST RANKING OFFICER IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY—ALTER COURSE IMMEDIATELY!” The oncoming light did not move, but signaled: “ALTER YOUR COURSE IMMEDIATELY!”
Infuriated that this small vessel would challenge his authority and endanger both ship and crew, the captain gave a last alert: “FINAL WARNING: ALTER COURSE. WILL OPEN FIRE. I AM A BATTLESHIP!”
The final signal was chilling: “CAPTAIN, WITH ALL DUE RESPECT, ALTER YOUR COURSE. I AM A LIGHTHOUSE!”
I’ve heard this story numerous times, yet I’m always reminded that truth, like a lighthouse, stands solid, immovable, and unyielding as a guiding light.
3. We are not pointing people to the true source of healing. The most difficult challenge for me attending a recent six hour City Council meeting, was witnessing the tragic results of people dying spiritually without being offered true hope. Xanax, Oxycontin, and Vicodin will never replace repentance, renewal, and restoration through Jesus Christ. We are reaping the whirlwind of not putting God first. If you find yourself trapped in addiction, misery, and depression, there is hope. God’s continually calls us back to Him. If you return with all of your heart (repent), He will return to you. That’s a gift of the greatest value, a promise that will never fail. He is our only Hope.