This DHD covers an issue that is very important to Oklahomans. It’s especially important at this time because in less than a month, on March 7, a special state election will happen that allows voters to decide whether or not recreational marijuana should be legal in Oklahoma.
State Question 820 is the proposal that is up for election. Voting “YES” on SQ 820 would be for legalizing recreational marijuana, and voting “NO” would be against it.
Oklahoma Baptists are against SQ 820. Both the Baptist Messenger and Oklahoma Baptists’ Ethics & Religious Liberty Committee have made statements and provided resources that explain why legalizing recreational marijuana would be bad for Oklahoma.
I offer six takeaways that defend a NO vote on SQ 820 on March 7.
- Mohler on marijuana
Albert Mohler is a common reference in DHD. I hold his opinion on issues in high regard. Here’s a brief statement Mohler has said about marijuana in a past Briefing podcast:
“Christians have to understand that the purpose for the use of recreational marijuana is to have a mind or consciousness altering experience. That’s the whole point of marijuana. And Christians need to understand that there is nothing in Scripture to justify trying to escape reality. The Bible dignifies reality. It does not dignify an altered state, and actually warns against drunkenness in both testaments over and over again.”
The whole podcast is an excellent commentary on marijuana use and the state of its practice in America today.
Why do I mention Mohler in this issue? Well, I believe it is important for people, especially Christians, to have wise, godly leaders whom they look to for guidance on issues. In the next point, I will list a number of public leaders and organizations who are against SQ 820, but first and foremost, seek guidance from Christian leaders who will help you make important decisions. Mohler does not live in Oklahoma, but I am certain if he did, he would be voting NO on March 7.
- A growing coalition against SQ 820
The Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association, Oklahoma Faith Coalition, Oklahoma District Attorneys Association, Adult & Teen Challenge Oklahoma (drug and alcohol recovery specialists), The State Chamber (leading advocate for business in Oklahoma states SQ 820 is “bad for business”) and former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating are in coalition against SQ 820.
These are important civic leaders who know what is best for Oklahoma, and they are speaking out against legalizing recreational marijuana use. And the list is growing of leaders and organizations who are against SQ 820.
- Check out NO820.org
An organization called “No820” provides even more reasons why legalized recreational marijuana is not good for Oklahoma. Check out their website and find out why SQ 820 is bad for families and especially children.
- Disheartening comparisons
According to news sources, there are more than 2,300 marijuana dispensaries in Oklahoma. There are less than 1,800 Baptist churches in Oklahoma. There are a little more than 1,800 gas stations in Oklahoma according to the Oklahoma State Energy Profile.
What is even more disheartening is there is a former church building on State Highway 77 near Pauls Valley that is now a marijuana dispensary.
Oklahoma is considered to be one of the least populated states that allows medical marijuana yet has the most dispensaries of any state in the country. It’s becoming a running joke of people outside Oklahoma. This should not be what our state is known for. This is against the reputation of people I know who want Oklahoma to be known for faith and family values.
- Empty promises
An aspect that YES supporters promote is how much money legalizing recreational marijuana would make for Oklahoma. I cannot directly argue with this point. Marijuana is a big business, which explains why there are so many dispensaries.
However, YES proponents claim this money will help education systems in our state. Similar promises have been made in the past, yet they are proven not to be fulfilled.
The money will come with challenges and from sources that come with bad reputations. Law authorities from around the state have reported crimes, even execution-style killings, associated with the marijuana black market that have come since the growth of the marijuana industry. Law enforcement believes it will only get worse with the passing of SQ 820.
- People need to vote NO on March 7
I bear even more bad news. The YES supporters believe they will win March 7.
Please make it a point to vote NO on March 7. “NO” voters are needed all across this state. I believe Oklahoma Baptists can lead the charge in making a strong statement against the out-of-control marijuana industry. Please don’t be a reason why Oklahoma is further “going to pot.”