OK, here’s my dilemma.
I’ve suffered from chronic back pain off and on for the past fifteen years, due to an injury I suffered in my early twenties.
In my “younger, wilder” days, I used to smoke marijuana, recreationally, as well as to self-medicate for chronic, severe depression. I had quit altogether for about ten years.
The past year or so, I have been turning to pot again to alleviate my back pain- anti-inflammatories just don’t do the job, and the legal alternative would be to use highly addictive prescription painkillers which interfere with my mental functioning far more than the pot does.
Just of late, what with Lent starting this coming Monday (I’m Byzantine), I’ve decided to give up the pot for Lent, and I feel I ought to give it up altogether, because it is an illegal drug. I know that in order to stay in a state of sanctifying grace, I am called upon to obey all just laws of my country.
Here’s the rub- I am just not convinced that smoking pot is a sin, or at least not a grave sin, as long as you’re not misusing it (much the same as with legal drugs, or, heck, alcohol. I have seen a lot of very persuasive evidence both on the history of marijuana prohibition and on scientific studies of the supposed “harm” that has convinced me that the laws prohibiting its use are unjust laws.
I do live in a state that allows for the medical use of marijuana, and my employer, who uses it for Grave’s disease, could probably hook me up with a sympathetic doctor, but there are still the federal laws to contend with.
So, here’s my question. If I can get approval for medical marijuana, can I use it and remain in a state of sanctifying grace? What if I can’t get approval? It’s the only thing that consistently helps with my pain without knocking me on my sweet bippy (the analgesic effect lasts for hours after the “high” wears off, and I am more or less able to set my own work schedule, so being “stoned” on the job isn’t really an issue)
In the past, the pain has caused me to miss a lot of days of work, which of course, makes it difficult to make a living (fortunately, I’m currently an independent contractor, so I’m not going to end up unemployed from missing too many days of work, but I still have the rent and bills to pay.)
I find it hard to believe that a loving God would deny me sanctifying grace for using a natural plant to remedy my pain, especially when the pain could potentially cause me to be unable to earn a living.
But if it comes down to choosing between using the pot and staying in a state of grace, I think I would have to live with the pain.
Right now, I’m praying that if I can’t use what I’ve come to regard as my medication and still stay in a state of grace, that God will simply heal me and make it a nonissue.
Meantime, I’m hurting, and will be at least until Easter. I’m working on modifying my schedule so I will be working fewer hours more days so I that I won’t be in such severe pain that I am unable to work altogether.
Does anyone have any thoughts or advice?