This is, of course, a special day. That is true whether you are celebrating the resurrection of humanity’s Savior a couple thousand years ago, or enjoing a plant that humanity has celebrated for a couple thousand years. Or both. Can it really be a coincidence that Easter falls on 4/20 in the year that Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay all legalized cannabis?
These two things have more in common than one might think. After all, the existential epiphanies one encounters through a religious experience are not dissimilar to the existential epiphanies that can be enjoyed through the properties of cannabis, and both can help induce a state of both excitement and peace.
Of course, over the years, many humans who represent organized religion have tried to claim that being a good Christian is incompatible with drug use. And yet… Jesus drank wine.
As a kid, raised in the church, the son of a preacher who believed even ocassional use of alcohol was a sin, I asked about the fact that Jesus turned water into wine. I was told something to the effect that most water at that time was dangerous to drink due to contamination, so wine was necessary and safer, while today, we have modern purification processes and don’t need to drink wine. A gullible kid, I accepted that, until later in life, when I asked “Hey, wait a second. Couldn’t Jesus have turned water into clean water? Certainly he was as powerful as Brita! No, he must have chosen wine for a reason.” Even at his last supper, Christ drank wine with his apostles. Drug use was an important part of sharing and coming together as friends.
(On a side note, I think it’s also telling that Christ was extremely harsh on those who abused the financial system for their own self-interest, while he was much more likely to be friends with, and providing help to, the fringes of society — the exact opposite of our judiciary today.)
Throughout history, mild drug use has served to bring people together, to foster friendships, to stimulate creativity and dialogue, and to celebrate peaceful coexistence. These things are clearly not at all incompatible with being a good Christian.
Yes, there are those who abuse drugs, just as there are those who abuse religion. Both can have the power to be extremely dangerous when misused, and it makes sense that we don’t want the irresponsible ones to harm others. However, we should never condemn all those who use drugs because of the self-destructive behavior of a few, any more than we should condemn all those who believe in Christ because of the bigoted and violently hateful actions of some who proclaim themselves to be Christians.
Have a euphoric and safe Easter this 4/20.