Higher and Higher. . .
Vol: 118 Issue: 30 Saturday, July 30, 2011
The government of Israel announced this week that the ministry of health will launch a domestic pot-growing operation to grow and manage Israel’s exploding medical marijuana industry.
The Jpost is reporting that Israel’s decision to grow domestic pot will last two years, after which the government will take another look at it. The reason the government wants to grow pot is to bring the price down – imported marijuana costs ten times as much.
It gives one pause to wonder: where would they import pot from? Mexico? California? Canada? Why would it cost more to import a pot plant than it would a tomato plant?
Actually, a tomato plant should cost MORE. Pot is a WEED. I looked it up. It is a fairly aggressive week that will grow wild without too much attention.
And from what I’ve been able to read and what I know of Israel’s multi-tiered agricultural environment, if it can be grown anywhere, it would grow in Israel better.
Until now, authorization for the use of medical marijuana to relieve pain and provide other relief for patients – adults and children – with severe illness has been supervised and authorized for specific patients by Dr. Yehuda Baruch, a psychiatrist at the government’s Abarbanel State Mental Health Center in Bat Yam.
Currently, medical marijuana is supplied exclusively by local growers to some 6,000 patients authorized by Baruch, but there are predictions that doctor and patient satisfaction is so high that the number could reach 40,000 in 2016.
Members of the Israel Pharmacists Association have been pressing for permission to distribute medical marijuana to authorized patients through their pharmacies. Although the Israel Police has urged that supplies be imported rather than locally grown because customs agents could minimize their reaching illicit users, the ministry decided that in the near future, no imports would be allowed.
This is where it gets a little bit confusing. Indeed, this is where it becomes a lot confusing – SO confusing that many countries are either rewriting their marijuana laws or scrapping them altogether.
Once marijuana is recognized to have a legitimate, recognized medical use, it becomes much harder to justify cracking down on “illicit” users.
Marijuana is unique among illegal drugs in that it is less harmful physically than any chemical pharmaceutical, is virtually impossible to overdose on, is not known to have ever killed anyone and may actually provide certain health benefits.
In Canada, superior and appellate courts in Ontario have repeatedly declared Canada’s federal marijuana laws to be of no force and effect. Currently, one can be arrested for possessing marijuana in Ontario, but is unlikely to be prosecuted.
Now Israel is considering importing marijuana. Israel! The Apple of God’s Eye. The place where He located His Temple.
Marijuana for His Chosen People?
I was once challenged to prove from the Bible that pot-smoking is inherently sinful. It was a surprisingly difficult challenge. As Christians we are required to obey the law. So it is a sin to smoke pot. But the sin is evidently law-breaking. Not smoking pot.
The Bible also seems to contain injunctions against drinking – but the injunctions are actually against drunkenness – not drinking.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
“Deceived”, and thereby, “not wise”. But that is not the same as ‘sin’.
Deuteronomy 14:26 commands the Israelites, as part of the celebration of their first fruits:
“And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household.”
It would seem that there are times, therefore, in which God evidently approves of wine or strong drink, under certain circumstances. So it isn’t the drink that is sin. Or even the consumption of strong drink that is sin.
That only leaves time and circumstance. Clearly, it is better not to drink, and one can extrapolate from that obvious fact until it becomes sin.
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:” (Proverbs 31:4)
Are we not, as Christians, princes, priests or kings before the Lord? But then in the very next verse, we read:
“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.” (Proverbs 31:5)
“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (1st Timothy 5:23)
What does THAT mean? Clearly, there are times when strong drink and wine are appropriate, according to the Scriptures. And just as clearly, there are times when it is not. And for some people, there is never a time when it is appropriate.
Alcohol addiction has ruined uncountable millions of lives. What about marijuana addiction? I can’t say. I don’t know.
The Book of Revelation is the only place in the entire Bible where there is any reference to the use of drugs. But in the Book detailing the final hours of the last days, drugs are mentioned twice.
Revelation 9:21 outlines in a nutshell the reasons for the judgments coming on the earth during the Tribulation.
“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
The word translated in the Book of the Revelation as ‘sorceries’ has a unique and interesting etymology. The word usage is intriguing, when one considers the fact the Book of the Revelation, although put to paper in the latter part of the first century, is an account of events that are still future.
And it grows increasingly obvious that it is near future. . . The word translated as ‘sorceries’ in Revelation 9:21 and again in Revelation 18:23 is a different root word than used elsewhere in Scripture.
But uniquely, in the Book composed for the generation that would experience its contents, the word translated ‘sorceries‘ comes from the Greek word ‘pharmakea‘ from which we get our English word ‘pharmacy’. ‘Pharmakea’ means, ‘the use or administration of drugs’.
One would assume rampant drug abuse was not on the minds of the English translators poring over the old Greek manuscripts in 1611. Neither is there historical evidence of rampant drug problems in AD 87 when John was receiving the Revelation on the Isle of Patmos.
Pretty incredible, when you really think about it. Particularly when one consider the word occurs only in the Book detailing the judgments of God on a Christ-rejecting world in the last days.
The Prophet Daniel was given similar visions regarding the last days, visions that troubled him greatly, since he could not really understand what all the symbols, heads, horns, beasts, etc., were all about.
Daniel asked the revealing angel what the things he had written down meant, but the angel told him that the vision was not for his time, or any future time except the last time. And just to make sure he understood it, the angel told him twice.
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)
“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:8-9)
Here Daniel was given five separate prophecies:
- The words will be “shut up” or unintelligible;
- The Book itself will be ‘sealed’;
- It will not be unsealed until ‘ the time of the end’;
- The unsealing will occur as international travel increases
- Overall knowledge will suddenly increase exponentially.
The Apostle John continues the theme, predicting that all this will take place at the same time that the entire world is laboring under a drug-induced deception.
And it is in this context – think about it! – in THIS context that ISRAEL has decided that NOW would be a good time for the Chosen People to start growing pot.
Tick. . .tick. . .tick . . .