One of the most commonly cited pro-cannabis passages comes from the Bible’s opening page
By Tristin HopperMarch 7, 2019 Comments
It’s unlikely that cannabis smoke will ever waft through the nave of the average church, but smoking ganja is wholeheartedly endorsed by at least one religion: Rastafarianism.
The Rastafari movement, which began in Jamaica 90 years ago as a melding of Christianity and mysticism, not only use cannabis in religious ceremonies but claim its use is supported by the Bible itself. So, are there really a bunch of Bible passages sanctioning pot that everyone else is glossing over?
There is no explicit mention of hemp in the Bible, and there is definitely nothing about drying the leaves of cannabis Sativa plants and smoking them. In the Middle East during Biblical times, smoking of any kind – be it tobacco or cannabis – was still centuries in the future.
However, one of the most commonly cited pro-cannabis passages comes from the Bible’s opening page. As God creates the heavens and the earth, he pauses to take satisfaction in the earth’s plants, which would presumably include cannabis.
“The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good,” reads the King James Bible.
Later, after God has created Adam and Eve, one of the first things he tells them is that they’re free to eat any herb they want.
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you, it shall be for meat.”
Another passage comes from Ezekiel 34:28, in which Ezekiel is citing the word of God in prophesizing a future filled with peace and prosperity.
“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,” reads the King James edition.
Most other English translations of the Bible claim that the King James version got it wrong, however, and that God wasn’t referring to a particular plant, but of fertile land in general. Instead of a “plant of renown,” the New American Standard Bible makes reference to a “renowned planting place.” The New Living translation cites a “land famous for its crops.”
The counter-argument to all this is that while the Bible may be fine with herbs, it doesn’t mean that it’s fine with any and all uses of that herb.
For instance, scripture also has plenty of passages denouncing over consumption of drugs. Specifically, the most popular drug that people in Biblical times would have known: Alcohol.
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,” says the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:18.
Meanwhile, Jesus himself seems to strike a middle ground. While speaking to his apostles in the Book of Matthew, he says that people aren’t defined by the substances they put into their body, but should still be held accountable for whatever those substances might do to them.
“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”