I always think I have heard it all until something comes along to make me realize I haven't.
I worked as a janitor, for a funeral home, night shift at a hotel and 25 years in newspaper.
I've seen some stuff.
Just when I think I have seen it all, someone shines a light in a previously unseen corner.
The WWJD - What would Jesus Do? - craze was a lot of fun. People wore shirts and bracelets that reminded everyone to think about what the Savior of the World would do before taking action. It also made the seller of all that material a lot of money. I wonder what Jesus would have done with all that cash. But I digress.
I never in all of the times I saw WWJD merchandise thought to myself, "Probably eat a marijuana brownie."
But, the people who are pushing to pass the state question to legalize marijuana for medical purposes actually went there with a recent press release.
Jed Green - who has the best possible name for a person supporting legalized marijuana - has some interesting ideas about why marijuana should be allowed for limited purposes in the state.
Sen. James Lankford had come out with a statement against the state question where he said passage of the measure would be harmful to the social fabric of Oklahoma. I'm not sure how getting medical marijuana into the hands of people who are suffering from chronic pain or other conditions harms the social fabric of a state. I guess maybe the people who smoke meth or are addicted to opioids would be jealous.
In response to Sen. Lankford's appeal to those on the religious right, Green said, "The word of God is clear on this issue." Well, I'm not entirely sure how the Bible would be clear on an issue like medical marijuana, but some members of the religious right believe gun ownership is a right granted by God, so let's hear Green out on this. Who doesn't love a little extra-Biblical logical extrapolation.
"As written in Genesis 1:29," Green said, going way back in the Good Book. God said to Adam and Eve, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.'"
Green went on to say, "So our question is, given that the ministry of Jesus Christ centered on healing the sick, without precondition, how would Jesus vote?"
Whew! There's a lot to unpack there.
To say that Jesus' ministry "centered on healing the sick" is a bit of a stretch. He certainly healed people. But his ministry wasn't exactly centered on it. He didn't heal every sick person. He brought Lazurus back from the dead but he didn't bring everyone back from the dead.
Regardless, I'm not going to presume to know how Jesus would vote on this issue. Jesus told his followers to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's but he never talked a lot about what medicines should be legal or how we should vote.
Jesus wasn't a Republican.
My favorite part of Green's argument on behalf of medical marijuana is using Genesis 1:29. That verse actually falls before Genesis 3 when sin entered the world. Genesis 1 probably isn't the text I would use to justify my use of medical marijuana.
I have said it several times. The older I get, the more libertarian I become in many of my views. It would be nice if the world presented only black and white issues. Unfortunately, there are a lot of gray areas out there.
Recreational marijuana use is one of those to me. You're telling me that I can smoke a cigarette or drink alcohol all day, but a guy smoking a joint needs to be arrested? That's crazy.
I don't even see medical marijuana usage as a gray area. People get relief from chronic conditions and they aren't taking powerful narcotics. Are there issues to handle after passage? Of course. But it isn't like Oklahoma is the first state to do this.
Will some people abuse the availability of medical marijuana and use it recreationally? Of course. Do you really think people aren't doing that right now?
Make it available to people who need it and regulate it like you do any other pain medication.
How would Jesus vote on SQ788? I'm not sure.
I'll vote yes, though. I'm not concerned about our social fabric and the benefits far outweigh any concerns I have.
I've never tasted alcohol and I have no plans to use marijuana for any reason. But if it can help someone else, I'm for it.