Marijuana – Should it be Legalized? - Gal. 5:19-21
A.)  The biblical reasons marijuana should not be legalized.
1. Marijuana is a drug that is used generally for pleasure or enchantment. Gal. 5:19-21
- The word sorcery or witchcraft is the Greek word Pharmakeia = The use of drugs for pleasure or enchantment = It is a desire & work of the flesh.  
- Marijuana is a hallucinogenic drug.  The active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high is THC (tetra-hydro-cannabinol) - THC is a brain altering drug.
- Peyote, Mescaline, and Marijuana and many other hallucinogenic drugs have been used in religious practices by American Indians, shamans, and witchdoctors around the world throughout history on every continent.
http://www.zoklet.net/totse/en/drugs/psychedelics/peyote.html
http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/MESCSHAM.HTM
2. The use of drugs is one of the signs of the last days.
- These are the things which will only increase until Christ returns.  Rev. 9:20-21
- It was also one of the causes for the destruction of the nation Israel. Is. 47:9
B.) The common sense reasons marijuana should not be legalized.
1. Consider the physiological & medical destruction marijuana causes.
- Other names: Pot, grass, weed, Mary Jane, Aunt Mary, skunk, boom, gangster, ganja.
- THC releases dopamine, a naturally produced chemical that stimulates a feeling of euphoria; as dopamine supplies are exhausted, people using marijuana show withdrawal symptoms. In 1999, the National Institute on Drug Abuse categorized more than two million people as dependent on marijuana. Such findings contradict those who argue that marijuana is not addictive.
- Other medical problems: Studies show those who use marijuana destroys short term memory because it destroys brain cells in the hippocampus, a brain area responsible for memory formation, loss of motivation, those who smoke have lung disease issues, those who are prone to depression, who are bipolar, or other mental issues; only makes things worse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/researchreports/marijuana/marijuana3.html
- Marijuana users who have taken high doses of the drug may experience acute toxic psychosis, which includes hallucinations & delusions.
- Marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke.
- Second hand smoke issues for children who have parents that smoke cigarettes is a proven health concern today in millions of homes. What will be the damage when their parents are smoking pot?
- THC impairs the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases and cancer.
- Some heavy users of marijuana show signs of withdrawal when they do not use the drug. They develop symptoms such as restlessness, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, weight loss, and shaky hands. http://www.nida.nih.gov/marijbroch/marijparentstxt.html
- Here is the list of physical problems with Marijuana use according to the American Counsel for Drug Education:  Impaired perception •  Diminished short-term memory •  Loss of concentration and coordination •  Impaired judgment •  Increased risk of accidents •  Loss of motivation •  Diminished inhibitions •  Increased heart rate •  Anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia •  Hallucinations •  Damage to the respiratory, reproductive, and immune systems •  Increased risk of cancer •  Psychological dependency. http://www.acde.org/common/Marijana.htm
2. Consider the public safety issues.
- Do you want someone hallucinating or having delusions out on the road driving to add to the drunk drivers?  
- Marijuana inhibits reaction time, attention, and overall ability to handle complex tasks.
- In 2007 - 41,059 people died in traffic accidents in the US – 15,387 or 37% of those deaths were alcohol related.
- How many more are we going to add to that number if pot is legalized?
- In 2008 according to the Dept. of Justice statistics, over 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html
- According to the National Highway and Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 2007 National Roadside Survey, more than 16 percent of weekend, nighttime drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter medication. More than 11% tested positive for illicit drugs. This is when it is illegal. http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/driving.html
- According to the studies done by The National Institute on Drug abuse, 6 to 11 percent of fatal accident victims test positive for THC.  This is when this drug is illegal. http://www.drugabuse.gov/researchreports/marijuana/marijuana3.html
- According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health done by The National Institute of Drug abuse, an estimated 10 million people age 12 and older reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the year prior to being surveyed. http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/driving.html
3. Consider the costs to society as a whole.
- It costs you the tax payer more money to police a legal drug than an illegal drug.
- Look at the result of legalizing the use of alcohol.  Consider the costs for arrests for DUI, the accidents, deaths, the court costs, the hospital stays, the alcohol treatments facilities, loss of jobs, loss of productivity, the costs to insurance companies who then raise your rates, the family breakups, and resulting counseling costs,.
4. Consider the “gateway” effect to other drugs.
- The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found adolescents who smoke pot 85 times more likely to use cocaine than their non–pot smoking peers. And 60 percent of youngsters who use marijuana before they turn 15 later go on to use cocaine. http://www.acde.org/common/Marijana.htm
- Most people start with pot and then start using other drugs to get a new or greater high.
- Why is this true?  Because drug users will associate with other drug users where the peer pressure is powerful to influence you.
- Long term studies show that very few people get into hard drugs without first trying pot.
- http://www.nida.nih.gov/marijbroch/marijparentstxt.html
5. Consider the foolish reasoning of legalization.
- The idea that if enough people break a law – the law should be abolished is foolish and idiotic. Would we legalize murder or rape just because more people are doing it today?
6. Consider the freedom of choice argument.
- People say - it’s my free choice to do what I want with my own body.
- But, that’s not true.  If it harms you, your family, society; why would we want to do that?
7. Consider the effect legalization upon our children.
- If kids can get a hold of pot today, it will be much easier for them to get it if legalized.
- The implied message we as adults send our kids.  Whatever gets you high use it!
One of the main arguments for legalization:
People say, we can’t deny people marijuana who have verifiable medical issues.
My response is this: I am not in favor of the medical use of this drug for these reasons.
1. I spoke with my doctor – he said there are plenty of non-hallucinogenic drugs that can do the very same thing. He prescribes Zofran weekly for nausea and appetite stimulation to his patients.
2. Synthetic THC, Dronabinol, has been used by doctors for cancer patients for nausea and as an appetite stimulant without the side effects of pot.
3. The Washington Post wrote an article in 2008 about what are called OP nerve agents that don’t destroy memory.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/27/AR2008042701037.html
4. [07/24/2001; Reuters Health] NEW YORK (Reuters Health)The natural brain chemical Anandamide that doctors are testing now.
C.)  Why does someone need drugs or alcohol?
1. There is an inner emptiness in every life.
- Solomon tried everything to fill this emptiness and nothing could.  Ecc. 2:3-11
- We all try and fill the emptiness inside the wrong way or with the wrong thing.
2. Jesus satisfies the emptiness. He meets the underlying need.  John 4:14    John 6:35
- Jesus is the life!  He gives a peace that passes understanding. He can set you free from any addiction you have & give you the life you are looking for.

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Have you ever wondered if God loves you?
How can you know for sure?
Will you take a few minutes to read this page, so I can explain what the Bible teaches about God's love?

The Bible tells us that "God is love." This is His character and nature. Because He is love, He desires to reach out and communicate this love and establish a personal relationship with you.

Be assured that His love for you is more than just words in some book that say "I love you." He has proven His love for you by demonstrating it before the eyes of all men.

Read more here...

Have you ever wondered if God loves you?
How can you know for sure?

Will you take a few minutes to read this page, so I can explain what the Bible teaches about God's love?

The Bible tells us that "God is love." This is His character and nature. Because He is love, He desires to reach out and communicate this love and establish a personal relationship with you.

Be assured that His love for you is more than just words in some book that say "I love you." He has proven His love for you by demonstrating it before the eyes of all men.

Read more here...

Have you ever wondered if God loves you?
How can you know for sure? Will you take a few minutes to read this page, so I can explain what the Bible teaches about God's love?

The Bible tells us that "God is love." This is His character and nature. Because He is love, He desires to reach out and communicate this love and establish a personal relationship with you.

Be assured that His love for you is more than just words in some book that say "I love you." He has proven His love for you by demonstrating it before the eyes of all men.

Read more here...

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Then, look up the Scriptures and fill in the answers. To help locate the references, use the table of contents in your Bible. All the references are in the New Testament.

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