Marijuana and Schizophrenia: How much warning do we need? 

I do not intend to ride hobby horses in this blog but there are some subjects that demand attention now and then. The current rising interest in the use of marijuana among those who identify themselves as Christian is one of
them. This past week Dr Samuel Wilkinson, a physician in the department of Psychiatry at the Yale School medicine, wrote an editorial in the Wall Street Journal titled “Pot Smoking And the Schizophrenia Connection.”[i]In it he states that “medical research shows a clear link between marijuana use and mental illness.” He also said that “it is becoming
clearer that the claim that marijuana is medically harmless is false.” 

Wilkinson sited a number of studies in the article beginning with a 2004 study that concluded that marijuana use could be a “causal” agent in schizophrenia. He also quoted a 2007 study that said the risk of developing a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia was increased by 200% in heavy users. Wilkinson also noted that schizophrenia is a terrible burden to those who suffer it with lifelong disability. One third of the homeless in the U.S are thought to be

Knowing these things, I have a really hard time understanding why any believer would think it was a good idea to smoke marijuana. I have been told by some that if the laws of our nation change and marijuana becomes legal to grow and use, then Christians should be able to smoke pot. They invoke the Romans 14 doctrine of Christian liberty and dare anyone to be judgmental. 
I think it becomes a simple question of whether or not Christians should knowingly put something in their bodies that can cause them serious harm and is known to be addicting. Paul tells us in his letter to Corinth, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1Co 6:19-20 NKJ)

Our primary purpose in life is not recreation and certainly not recreational drug use particularly when that drug has great potential for harm. In a nation that has decided to make every kind of immoral activity legal, perhaps we should
remember that Paul also said, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1Co 6:12 NKJ) 
[i]Wall Street Journal
Editorial, July 1, 2013.

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