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Mark Driscoll: Should Christians Smoke Pot or Not?

I grew up in a home where my then-Catholic parents warned my four siblings and me about drug use.

I had many friends who ranged from recreational drug users to addicts. I saw drugs used in front of me numerous times. I even buried one friend who overdosed as a teen.

However, by God’s grace, I have never touched any drug of any kind, including marijuana. I have never even taken a puff of a cigarette, though I did try one Cuban cigar over a decade ago while in the Bahamas.

That’s the sum total of my entire life’s smoking experience.

Simply put, my view of recreational marijuana use is not motivated by guilt from my past or present, nor do I have any desire to partake in the future.

I have never smoked weed, I will never smoke weed, and I will strongly urge our five children to never smoke weed.

As a pastor, I would never encourage anyone to smoke weed recreationally. (Medicinal use is another matter, which we’ll deal with later in this article.)

Pot as self-medication

Frankly, I think that our entire Western culture is addicted to self-medication with food, alcohol, pot and other drugs, sex, prescriptions, etc. My doctor is a naturopath, and I am one who prefers to avoid prescriptions for anything, except as a last resort.

Furthermore, as a pastor I have noticed that people tend to stop maturing when they start self-medicating.

Everyone has very tough seasons in life, but by persevering through them we have an opportunity to mature and grow as people. Those who self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol (as well as other things) often thwart maturity as they escape the tough seasons of life rather than face them.

This explains why some people can be biologically much older than they are emotionally and spiritually.

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markdriscoll@churchleaders.com'
Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.