Today I need your patience as we explore together the reasons Christians need to take a stand against Issue 3, an issue that will appear on the Ohio ballot in November. If passed, Issue 3 will legalize marijuana in Ohio both for medical use and recreational use. If passed the legalization of marijuana will bring great harm to our state.
There are many individuals across the State crying out against the passage of Issue 3. One of them is the President of Ohio Christian University Dr. Mark Smith. I have posted a link to a short YouTube video presentation from Dr. Smith on my website if you would like to hear his brief remarks. Dr. Smith currently serves on the Ohio State Board of Education and while he cannot speak for the whole Board he was instrumental in leading that group to vote overwhelmingly against the passage of Issue 3 in our state. He is challenging Pastors across Ohio to speak out. I appreciate that. I would also encourage Pastors to speak out against the passage of this issue. Also, I have posted several other links on my home page that will connect you to articles I simply do not have time to talk about in this message. I encourage you to check them out. In fact, I am asking you to take a stand against the legalization of marijuana in our State. I hope you will vote against this disastrous idea.
If you doubt the far reaching effects the passage of this issue will have on our State all you need do is look at the State of Colorado. Here is a brief snap shot of what is happening right now in Colorado as a result of the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state:
DENVER (CBS4) – The results of a new study about the impact of Colorado’s marijuana legalization is raising troubling questions for parents. The study cites a significant increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths, hospital visits and school suspensions.
The parents CBS4’s Melissa Garcia spoke with say they’re concerned about their children seeing messages promoting pot all over town. Activists say it’s the way pot is marketed and sold that has started to create some serious problems.
"I never dreamed in a million years that this would happen to my son," said parent Kendal, who didn’t want to use his last name.
Kendal came home one evening to find his 13-year-old son unconscious from what he says was a marijuana overdose.
He was gray. His heart wasn’t beating and he wasn’t breathing," he said.
Kendal used CPR to resuscitate him and later talked to his son’s high school peer and supplier.
"I had heard from kids that there was 60 percent of this particular high school using drugs, and she shook her head and said, ‘That’s way low,'" Kendal said.
"Kendal’s story breaks my heart, but I’ve got to tell you we have heard that from hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of parents throughout the state," said Diane Carlson, Smart Colorado co-founder.
Carlson says Colorado’s child and teen use of marijuana has become an epidemic.
"Kids have no idea how dangerous or harmful Colorado’s pot is," she said.
According to a report released this month by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Colorado saw a 29 percent increase in emergency room visits, and a 38 percent increase in hospitalizations during retail marijuana’s first year.
The study states that over 11 percent of Colorado’s 12 to 17 year-olds use pot — 56 percent higher than the national average. It also cites a 40 percent increase in drug-related suspensions and expulsions — the vast majority from marijuana.
Carlson says the culprit is its commercialization.
"Marijuana might have been legalized in our state; it did not have to mean massive commercialization and promotion of marijuana use," she said.
This short news article doesn’t even tell the half of what is happening in the State of Colorado. I have posted on the home page of my website a PDF of an extensive 170 page resource produced by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area detailing the impact of legalization upon Colorado. I believe you will be shocked, but certainly Colorado is now serving as a laboratory from which
we can see very clearly what to expect if we follow suit. In light of the very real devastation taking place in Colorado, Ohioans need to crush Issue 3 at the polls.
Here is a quick look at several slides with information taken from the 170 page report I just referenced: (slide show) . . .
I certainly pray that Ohioans will not open wide the legal door to this social evil.
I wish I had time to talk with you at length as to why Christians must take a stand against this evil, but I’m only going to share a few more thoughts and I will be done. However, if you will follow the links posted on my home page they will take you to an article by John Piper and also to Focus on the Family’s series on the subject. The points made in those articles are concise and will help you develop the right kind of mindset related to this issue.
Now let’s finish today with a look at Scripture. Please open your Bible to Romans 13:11-14 . . .
I would like to point out to you that the prohibition against drunkenness or intoxication certainly includes other mind altering drugs. In the case of marijuana users smoke the weed until they are intoxicated. Otherwise there is no point to messing with it. Intoxication is not the will of God period. Furthermore, we must not play with sin. Listen to this passage from Proverbs that certainly can apply to intoxication by and addiction to marijuana:
29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. (Prov. 23:29-32)
Marijuana works the same destruction caused by strong drink. I came across these words yesterday from a Pastor who 20 years ago was lost and addicted to drugs. In part of his testimony he said:
I started with marijuana and later as my addiction grew, a couple of things happened, one was that my inhibitions towards drugs in general went down because I thought that if pot was good then some of the other drugs that my so called friends were using had to be good too. So I tried them without nearly the trepidation that I had about marijuana when I first came in contact with it. To be honest the first few times that I saw my friends smoking pot I was scared of it. How I wish that I had been just a little more afraid of it! The second thing that happened was that marijuana just didn't get me high enough anymore. It was still my drug of choice but it wasn't the same to me later in my addiction as it was at the beginning of it. Therefore I moved on to stronger drugs like speed, cocaine, and crack. And at this time Satan was really having a field day with me and my life. I was in severe bondage and it all started with smoking a little pot. Now the legalization crowd wants us all to believe that smoking pot is harmless and benign. That’s like saying that playing with a rattle snake is harmless because not everyone who handles one gets bit. If you play with a poisonous snake long enough you’re going to get bit. Period!
I close with the tragic stories of several individuals who paid the ultimate price. This is information is from the 170 page report I mentioned earlier:
Marijuana Intoxication Blamed for More Deaths, Injuries: Denver CBS TV4 Investigative reporter Brian Maass, in May of 2015, did a report on marijuana intoxication and deaths. One case cited was an 18-year-old former outstanding soccer player (Daniel Juarez) who was smoking marijuana with a friend and subsequently told the friend he did not want anymore because he was too high. According to witnesses, he began acting irrationally, running wild, stripping off his clothes and went into an apartment. He then got a knife and stabbed himself 20 times, one of which pierced his heart. The autopsy report showed 38.2 nanograms of THC in his blood at the time of death. The level set for impaired driving by the state of Colorado is 5 nanograms.
A second case cited was a University of Wyoming 19-year-old student (Levy Pongi) who was visiting Denver. Apparently he and his friends were ingesting marijuana edibles when the student began acting irrationally by upending furniture, tipping over lamps then rushing out on the hotel balcony and jumping to his death. This student had 7.2 nanograms of THC in his blood at time of death.
A third case cited was a wife (Kristine Kirk) who called 911 to report her husband (Richard Kirk) was acting erratically after eating marijuana edibles. While she was on the phone, her husband shot and killed her in front of their three children. The husband’s lawyer claimed he was not responsible for his actions due to "involuntary" intoxication.
A fourth case cited was a 17-year-old Boulder high school student (Brant Clark) who committed suicide. According to his mother he had consumed a large amount of marijuana at a party and then suffered major psychotic episodes requiring emergency care at two hospitals over a three-day period. Three days later he took his own life leaving behind a note that said, "Sorry for what I have done. I wasn’t thinking the night I smoked myself out." This case occurred in 2007 prior to the commercialization of medical marijuana.
A fifth case cited was an individual (Tron Doshe) who was returning home from a Colorado Rockies game and had lost his keys. He attempted to climb the outside of the apartment building to reach his balcony when he fell to his death. This death was ruled an accident. The autopsy report showed that this individual had 27.3 nanograms of marijuana in his system, 5 times over Colorado’s legal limit and no other drugs were found in his system.
The last case cited was a college student (Luke Goodman) who was on a skiing vacation with his family in Keystone, ingested marijuana edibles and subsequently shot himself to death. The autopsy report showed that he had 3.1 nanograms of THC in his system but that family members said he acted extremely irrational after ingesting the edibles.
Where are these dear souls today? And what of your eternity? Are you ready