The world didn't end last Wednesday. Many Christians believed it would, or something, though thankfully Obama's re-election reminded them that God is still on the throne — though why born-again Christians wouldn't remember that all the time is beyond me. Regardless, not everything that happened on Election Day was negative.
Sure, Obama got re-elected instead of his ideological twin. And yeah, Michele Bachmann and Allen West got re-elected. However, Washington State and Colorado both passed monumental, if not perfect, bills that really put a stick in the eye of the federal government.
They legalized marijuana. And not for glaucoma or spinal injuries; for recreational use.
And this born-again, King James Bible believing, Independent, Fundamental Baptist is excited about it.
I don't like alcohol. I don't like tobacco. I don't like marijuana. I don't like drugs. And, I've never used any of those substances. I believe they damage my body, which I believe belongs to God. I believe using those substances dishonors my Creator and my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
However, the key difference is that like Lysander Spooner said, vices are not crimes. Today, under a human government, there is no mandate from God to legislate morality. Notwithstanding the mindless drones that repeat their "Romans 13" mantra every time someone questions the validity of a law or government fiat, God simply has not empowered mankind, including Christians, to enforce rules on moral foibles like consumption, marital statuses, sexual activities, or other such things, through the violence inherent in the state apparatus.
Bearing that in mind, it has become increasingly clear that the federal government no longer represents the people that it purports to serve, and it has long since overstepped every Constitutional boundary that once kept it in check (for about three years, remarkably). So, from a standard federalist position, marijuana never should have been illegal to begin with. Even the government knew years back that it did not have the Constitutional authority to outlaw substances, and enacted a Constitutional amendment to create prohibition. Today's prohibition is all done by unconstitutional fiat, however, with no moral or legal defense.
I oppose the human recreational consumption of marijuana just like I oppose the recreational consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or any other mind-altering substance. Medical uses are different; marijuana is useful (and much safer than pharmaceuticals) for pain management, and there is indication that cannabis oil has anti-cancer properties that need to be investigated. Further, hemp could completely replace our dependence on forestry for paper products, as well as reduce our need for cotton. It's a highly useful plant, and clearly falls under the mandate of Genesis 1:30.
However, even though I oppose unwise uses of mind-altering substances, I also oppose the attempt of a fallen, corrupt man to legislate his version of morality. That failed on Geneva, and it resulted in the persecution of Baptists and Quakers in Massachusetts Bay, not to mention any number of other places where a theocratic government was enacted. Morality is an issue between an individual and God. You cannot legislate marital fidelity any more than you can force someone to become a Christian. Those things are matters of the heart, and any believer should know that a law doesn't change the heart: it only creates more criminals that never committed a crime.
If Christians want to see a change in society, it must come through their testimony and their efforts to spread the Gospel. It will not, and cannot, come through legislation. Plus, if you allow a government to outlaw marijuana today, and adultery tomorrow, eventually someone will turn that power on YOU and outlaw YOUR lifestyle.
Laws should protect people from each other; they cannot logically protect people from themselves.
This article originally appeard at JamesLStreet.com.