Now that the vote in our town to approve recreational marijuana sales has failed I feel free to speak and write publicly on the matter. As a pastor, I am to be a man of influence, but when things get a little political it is rarely appropriate for a pastor to weigh in publicly. So now that I cannot influence the outcome of the vote, I wanted to share some thoughts.
It will not come as a surprise to you that I was very much against legalizing recreational pot sales in our town. My reasoning was extremely simple: Increased availability and increased acceptance ALWAYS leads to increase use (including those under age). Increased use ALWAYS leads to an increase in broken families. To this argument there has been no retort.
We found out this morning that a majority of Buena Vista residents saw things similarly or they had their own reasons to vote no. So today I am happy, but (and you knew there was a but coming) I am not relieved. Not relieved because nothing really has changed. I and others who believe and think like me did not dodge a bullet here. No, the bullet is still speeding towards us. What bullet? The bullet of raising kids who choose to be influenced by God rather than drugs and alcohol. The bullet of being a positive influence in our community. The bullet of working towards unity in our little town. The bullet of maintaining relationships so that we can lead people towards Jesus. Those bullets are still aimed right at us and must still be dealt with. As a follower of Jesus those are not only our responsibilities, but our calling. And it is, to me, a wonderful (and even fun) challenge, made only very slightly less challenging by this vote.
Voting down recreational pot sales did not save our town, only Jesus saves. And he doesn’t save towns, but individual people. Our task will still be as urgent and demanding as ever: To love God and to love others more than ourselves. To use our influence and relationships to bring people to what is best in this world, an almighty creator God, who loves them and wants relationship with them that can start today and will go on for eternity to come.