Conservative Religious Groups are Banding Together to Fight Cannabis Legalization
If there’s one thing the commonest religions in the world agree on, it is that recreational cannabis is a sin. According to a Pew Research Center survey done last year, people who identify as religious are less likely to support legalizing marijuana than atheists and agnostics.
The center polled religious populations to find out what they think about cannabis legalization. For this research, the main religions observed were the Christians and the Islamists, and the study focused mainly on North Dakota. The researchers observed that only a few weeks after the Catholic bishops of Missouri urged their followers to oppose Amendment 3, which would legalize cannabis for adult use this fall, other religious institutions in North Dakota and Arkansas did the same; all of them putting up a solid front to prevent cannabis reforms.
Overview of Christian and Islam View On Cannabis
Popular Muslim Scholars have explained that Cannabis is “haram” according to the Qur’an. One of the clerics, Shaykh Muhammad bin Adam al-Kawthari of Dar al-Iftaa in Leicester, has explained that drugs or substances like marijuana, opium, and other intoxicating substances are prohibited because of their alleged adverse effects. He showed that his conclusion on cannabis is backed by a hadith from Sahih al-Bukhari that quotes the Prophet of Allah as saying that every form of intoxicant is prohibited.”
On the other hand, the North American Fiqh Council noted that a high concentration of CBD and a low concentration of THC could be found in some cannabis plant preparations. The group clarified that Islam only permits the use of these goods for medical purposes if they do not cause intoxication when ingested in significant quantities.
Although the Christain Bible does not directly say anything about cannabis, most clerics have explained that consuming cannabis and other intoxicating substances is a sin. They backed their claim using a popular Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20. The verse describes the human body as the “temple” of Gov; therefore, ingesting cannabis and other intoxicants hurts the body and lead to impairment. Another Bible verse commonly used is Galatians 5:6.
Like Muslim scholars, Christian scholars also agree that hemp and other non-intoxicating cannabis products can be consumed because they do not lead to impairment, nor do they hurt the users’ bodies.
To back this point, some Christian scholars use the Bible passage, Genesis 1:29, to prove that God permits the use of every herb capable of yielding fruit, including cannabis, for therapeutic purposes.
Views of the North Dakotan Christain and Islamists Population On Cannabis Use
Religious organizations, primarily leaders of Christianity and Islam, have joined forces with law enforcement officials in North Dakota to oppose Measure 2, which would regulate recreational marijuana. According to a statement from the North Dakota Catholic Conference, Catholics must defend human life and the common good.
In terms of cannabis, supporters of Islam appear to agree with Christians. Mohamed Sanaullah, a board member at the Islamic Society of Fargo-Moorhead, stated that alcohol is prohibited from a religious standpoint, specifically from an Islamic one. However, he said that while the matter is a personal choice, he believes every Muslim ought to cast a negative vote if they practice a more strict religion.
According to the survey, just 54% of respondents who identify as belonging to a particular religious organization believe that cannabis should be allowed for medical and recreational purposes. At the same time, almost three-quarters (76%) of polled US adults who identify as atheists, agnostics, or who believe in no higher being support the plant’s legalization.
Religious activists are actively working against the legalization of marijuana on a federal level. At the same time, cannabis supporters and investors are relentlessly trying to get cannabis fully decriminalized in all states of the nation.
Police chiefs, sheriffs, deputies, and associations for peace officers in North Dakota all take a similar position. In response to concerns about how legalization might impact his department, Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski stated that it would greatly tax our law enforcement resources which are already stressed. It will make an addiction problem that already exists worse.
Zibolski stressed that he agrees that marijuana and alcohol should be handled equally. But if the plant is too available, he claimed that underage residents might be most harmed. Even though you say it’s only for people 21 and older, Zibolski added, “kids are exposed to it just like any other prescription meds that adults take into their homes.” That makes it easy for them to access it as well.
Taking Further Steps to Halt Decriminalization
Kristie Spooner, the chair of Healthy and Productive North Dakota, went a step further and claimed that, in combination with other psychological problems, cannabis could also result in psychosis.
She said, “members of New Approach and support and favor marijuana’s legalization and responsible usage in North Dakota. Most people, including myself, prefer a regulated system from seed to sale.” Mark Friese, treasurer of New Approach, also concurred that controlled, safe, and checked cannabis can be handled lawfully and in the open by firms that have to abide by regulations.”
Meanwhile, in Arkansas, the Responsible Growth Arkansas (RGA) group is working hard to defeat recreational cannabis legalization efforts in the state. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the group’s lead attorney, David Couch ,teamed up with the church-based Family Council Action Committee to oppose Issue 4, which would legalize cannabis usage by adults.
On Wednesday, Couch and the committee’s executive director Jerry Cox participated in a joint press conference. In it, Couch claimed that he is now visiting the state and talking with chambers of commerce, church groups, and other organizations opposed to the planned change in marijuana legislation.
According to Cox, the organization has given out around 500,000 flyers to local churches with the slogans “Arkansas Does Not Need Another Drug Problem” and “Deadly meth, opiates, heroin, and fentanyl are already ruining too many lives.”
While the Islamists and Christians in North Dakota and Arkansas may have a good reason, the truth remains that the pros of cannabis legalization far outweigh the cons. Not to mention that the majority always wins, and in this scenario, the cannabis supporters have it.