Marijuana can alleviate suffering for people suffering from many different ailments

The 2012 United States election presented a mother lode of surprises, from the first gay marriage measures approved by popular vote to a ceiling-breaking number of women elected to Congress. It also heralded a new era in access to marijuana, with the legalization of the drug being approved in Colorado and Washington State. While the new laws decriminalize marijuana use for recreational reasons, the Universal Life Church Monastery believes in making marijuana more accessible to terminally ill patients for medicinal reasons.

Colorado was the first state to decriminalize recreational marijuana use in small amounts, with voters approving Amendment 64 53-47 percent. The amendment will modify the state’s constitution to allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess, use, grow, and transfer up to one ounce of cannabis or four cannabis plants at one time, although certain restrictions will be imposed. Although the law will allow recreational use of the drug, which the ULC Monastery does not officially endorse, the bright side for ULC ministers is the fact that those who suffer from chronic pain due to terminal illness will be able to use the drug to relieve that pain.

In addition to Colorado, Washington state voters also passed a measure to legalize small amounts of cannabis for recreational use. In that state, Initiative 502 was approved by an even wider margin, 55-45 percent, and, as in Colorado, adults 21 years of age and older will be able to possess and use an ounce of cannabis. (Washington is now the only U.S. state where both cannabis and same-sex marriage are legal.) Once the measure passed, state prosecutors and police began dropping charges against individuals accused of possessing and using the drug. Although the new Washington law allows for recreational use of the drug, the most important consideration for those who become a minister in the Universal Life Church is the medical aspect–for ordained clergy, alleviating the suffering of the terminally ill is what truly matters.

In Washington and Colorado, adults can now possess small amounts of marijuana for any personal purpose

The law which aligns mostly closely with the church’s philosophy on marijuana use, however, was passed by voters in Massachusetts. Over 60 percent of Massachusetts voters showed their support for Question 6, passing into law a measure which would allow cannabis use by patients with “debilitating medical conditions” and the creation of 35 medical marijuana dispensaries across the state. The Massachusetts law boasts a more humane goal than the laws passed in Washington and Colorado: it focuses on the care and well-being of people with cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, HIV and AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, hepatitis C, and other conditions.

While the 2012 U.S. election has paved the way for progressive legislation in a number of areas affecting women and minorities, it has also made it a little easier for people with profoundly life-altering medical conditions to seek relief. For the Universal Life Church and its ordained pastors, America’s new cannabis laws are not an excuse to “get high,” but rather a tool to help ease the relentless pain and suffering, within the parameters of the law, of the sick in our communities.

Sources:

The Harvard Crimson

KREX-TV

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Seattle Times: “Marijuana prosecutions dropped in anticipation of legalization”

Seattle Times: “Voters approve I-502 legalizing marijuana”

One comment

  1. Patrick Hobbs says:

    Genesis 1:29 ESV /

    And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

    Revelation 22:2 ESV /

    Through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    Genesis 9:3 ESV /

    Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

    Ezekiel 47:12 ESV /

    And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

    Ezekiel 4:9 ESV /

    “And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and emmer, and put them into a single vessel and make your bread from them. During the number of days that you lie on your side, 390 days, you shall eat it.

    1 Timothy 5:23 ESV /

    (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)

    Genesis 1:11 ESV /

    And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.

    Psalm 51:7 ESV /

    Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

    Exodus 30:34 ESV /

    The Lord said to Moses, “Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part),

    Proverbs 15:17 ESV /

    Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

    Exodus 15:26 ESV /

    Saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

    Isaiah 38:21 ESV /

    Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover.”

    Genesis 1:29-31 ESV /

    And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

    Genesis 1:30 ESV /

    And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

    1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV /

    So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

    Matthew 12:11-12New International Version (NIV)

    11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

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