Cannabis advocacy and Christianity aren’t often thought of as sharing compatible viewpoints. But one speaker at The October 2017 Dallas Marijuana March stood out for his medicinal use of cannabis, experience as a motocross racer, Christian faith and vast knowledge of The Bible’s interpretation of cannabis. Seeking a religious voice to round out their speakers, including Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston and Dallas City Policeman Nick Novello, Dallas Fort Worth NORML Executive Director Shaun McAlister found Christian author and former motocross rider Michael Thacker via Facebook.
Coming from a background in motocross that resulted in several subsequent injuries, Michael Thacker prefers to relieve his pain through natural means rather than utilizing prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. He consumes a variety of herbal teas and a healthy balance of THC and CBD, psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis compounds, respectively. “I don’t even take Advil,” he admits. “If I’m having a headache, I usually drink mint tea or vape a couple of hits. God has already given us our medicine to use.”
The negative view of marijuana many religious government officials hold may stem from Biblical concerns of sorcery and poisoning, or pharmakeia. Primarily referenced in the verse of Galatians 5:19-21, the passage states that one will not “inherit the Kingdom of God” if they engage in immoral acts like drunkenness, impurity or sorcery. Thacker argues that a modern version of pharmakeia would more accurately refer to “these horrible drugs that the doctors are prescribing,” meaning pharmaceuticals, rather than cannabis. With nearly half of every pharmaceutical television advertisement dedicated to listing potential side effects, I certainly agree with Thacker’s interpretation.
Along with medical advocacy, Thacker shares the same beliefs as the many millions of Americans who think cannabis should be legal, including freeing non-violent drug offenders and utilizing the very apparent tax revenue gleaned from dispensaries in legalized states. Thacker, along with anyone who identifies as both religious and supportive of cannabis, comprises an important sector of the changing face of cannabis users, advocates who will help us destroy the stigma once and for all.
The Good (Good) Book
Although it may surprise some, cannabis and hemp are mentioned throughout The Bible. Here’s just a sampling of passages from the King James Bible that mention the good herb.
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” (KJV Genesis 1.29).
“Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (KJV Genesis 9.3).
“On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (KJV Revelation 22.2).
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