The Green Wave
By Meredith Flynn - Posted at iB2 News:
Legal pot use will be a growing challenge for Illinois churches
When Illinois lawmakers legalized recreational marijuana in June, many lauded the fulfillment of one of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s campaign promises, and the potential for millions in tax revenue to aid the financially ailing state.
Others, like Pastor Steve Ohl, grieved the decision’s potential impact on Illinoisans. Ohl is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenview; he also leads an addiction support group.
“When I was into drugs and alcohol, there was a void in my heart and I was trying to fill it anyway I could,” the pastor said. Ohl urged pastors to recognize many people in their pews and communities are struggling to fill their own heart-voids, and the road to recovery will probably be harder with easier access to pot.
Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana use on January 1, 2020, so now is the time to look to states where pot is legal, for both the impact on communities and the ministry challenges for churches.