What Would Jesus Do? Probably Not Protest Marijuana Dispensaries

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In a very un-Christlike display, Mount Calvary Christian Center, a Seattle church run by pastor Reggie Witherspoon, descended on the newly opened Uncle Ike’s dispensary yesterday. The shop, which has been open since Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, is apparently too close to their church for comfort, and they’re throwing the whole “love your neighbor as yourself” thing right out the window.

As it stands, under the law that legalized recreational marijuana use in Washington state, I-502, does not provide special consideration for churches when it comes to the placement of retail cannabis dispensaries. The church protestors are infuriated that Uncle Ike’s is so close to their building (that they use a few hours a week) that they are doing all they can to block customer access to the building. The pastor stated that they will be back again and again to link arms and try to shut the shop down. The church is also pursuing more bureaucratic avenues to that end.

The owner of Uncle Ike’s responded to local media by saying he believes it is his right to set up the business, much like it is their right to protest. While he assessment of rights is accurate, it should be noted that the dispensary owner is being much more Christ-like than those who claim to follow him.

Perhaps because he changed water into wine in the story of the Wedding in Cana, the church believes that in Jesus’ rules, booze is acceptable but cannabis is not. After all, they have no problem with the liquor store a stone’s throw away. The irony here is that some scholars believe that Jesus used cannabis oil on those he treated, which might explain some of his miracles.

Regardless of whether he administered and used cannabis himself, Jesus, a radical, socially-conscious human full of compassion and love for those less capable than himself, would be ashamed that this is how some people claim to follow his philosophy.

Photo Credit: Toby Hudson under (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons