This post is an answer to a question that regularly comes up when the question of alcohol consumption is discussed. Today, it was Tim Challies’ Christians and Alcohol that inspired the question: What is the difference between alcoholic beverages and cannabis? I see it as follows:
- Beer and wine are food. Even a shot of whisky (or brandy, etc.) contains about 70 calories. Cannabis is not food (spare me your enhanced brownie recipes). Monks invented extra-heavy beers to sustain them through their so-called “fasts.” No amount of pot would have provided any nourishment, and I pity a fasting monk with the munchies.
- Scripture commends alcohol for our use.* Smoking? Can’t find it in my concordance.
- Scripture condemns intoxication. Cannabis serves no purpose but to intoxicate.† This is not the ignorant pontification of a legalistic indy-fundy who has never touched the stuff. I write from ample experience: you smoke pot, you get high. The same is not true of alcohol.
It’s pretty simple, really. Alcohol is not in the same category as mind-altering drugs; enjoying beer does not require acceptance of marijuana.
† What about medicinal use? I’m not sure, but Proverbs 31:6 might answer that. I take no position.