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Marijuana and the Church

07. August 2017

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This interview captures a candid discussion among pastor-friends who are ministering in areas affected by the legalization of marijuana. These pastors recognize a need for both medical research to understand mari­juana and counsel from the Church on the biblical warrant for the use of marijuana, but they have agreed to share their current thoughts and pastoral experiences for the benefit of the broader Church.

Hemphill: Explain how things have changed in your area since Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. Have things changed in the state, in the community, in the church?

Kingsbury: One thing that has changed is the prevalence of marijuana stores and dispensaries. North of our church building is a Safeway bakery. The area used to smell like bread, and now it smells like skunk. That’s depressing. It’s hard to put your finger on, but the quality of life, in Denver at least, has been slightly degraded by having marijuana so massively and publicly available.

A lot of warehouse space has been converted into grow facilities. Over the last five years, new power lines had to be put in because of the hydroponics equipment and the grow lights in all these facilities.

Sapp: I don’t think much has changed in the church right now. But, I remember living in Los Angeles, and the only time I would smell marijuana is when I rode my bike through Venice Beach. I smell it often ...

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