Time to revive this blog…
A worship leader at a small Baptist church near us was recently busted for pot. He’s been the worship leader there for about 3 years and prior had been an assistant worship leader at a larger mega-church for 9 years.
He was sentenced to 6 months in jail with half of it suspended so long as he is not arrested again within the next 5 years. He has already served his sentence and is now working at a guitar store.
He is highly regarded as a worship leader and as someone who has been a very positive Christian mentor to dozens of high school kids. This has caused some bit of commotion in their growing church as the elder board were very intent on his resigning immediately and having no contact with anyone at the church. Parents of teens are apparently overwhelmingly supportive of him as are others in the church and want him back as worship leader.
His wife’s parents are split with her mother believing that she should leave him while her father is supportive of their staying together.
My understanding from friends we have in common is that he smokes about 3 or 4 times per year and has been doing so for over a decade. The contention is that his smoking this amount has had no negative impact on he or anyone else.
I think that smoking pot is exceptionally stupid. I also think that it does cause some bit of mental and physical damage to people who do smoke. I’ve known too many potheads to believe otherwise. I also believe that pot is addictive and can (though not necessarily often) lead to harder and much more damaging drug or alcohol use.
HOWEVER… I do not believe that criminalizing the growing, sales, possession, or smoking of pot has any positive impact. It may actually increase use and comparing pot use where it is legal or tacitly legal with places where it is criminalized would indicate that criminalization increases use, not decreases. Teens in the US are twice as likely to smoke pot as teens in The Netherlands.
In this specific case I have no idea if there will be any positive impact. I don’t know if he or anyone else will stop smoking because of this. It has caused considerable harm to numerous people though.