Saturday, March 10, 2012

Question for the Day: How big a role did marijuana play in the lives of Jesus and his followers?

jesus and pot

                            Good Day Humboldt County!

Today’s road in search of adventure and truth. leads us down well worn cobblestones that the Romans used to connect their empire. How prevalent was marijuana usage during the time of Jesus, and the height of the Roman Empire? Did people of the period burn pipe bowls of it to relax or medicate? There’s all kinds of questions to ask.

“Was Jesus a Stoner?” was an article about the use of cannabis in ancient Judaism that ran in The February 2003 issue of High Times, a pro-cannabis magazine. Its author, Chris Bennett, likes to shock people. He was the host of Burning Shiva, a show on Canada's Pot-TV, and an advocate for the medical use and decriminalization of marijuana.

Bennett first looked at the use of drugs in religion in 2001, in his book ‘Sex, Drugs, Violence, and the Bible.” He claimed that Jesus's ministry was fuelled by mind-altering substances and that he may have used cannabis-based oils to heal eye and skin diseases. Bennett suggested his very name - Christ - derives from being anointed with cannabis-enriched oil.

Over the centuries drugs have been used by virtually all religions. Why not Christianity? In ancient times cannabis was widely cultivated throughout the Middle East. It grows like a weed and provides nourishing seed, which is also a good source of fiber used to make rope.

People certainly knew of its pleasurable effects. Back in 1935, a Slovakian linguist identified the plant known as "fragrant cane" in the English Bible as flowering cannabis, a link since accepted by some Jewish authorities.

And, if we want to get real funky here, let’s take a look at what we now call the host. Back in Jesus’s time it might have been more than just bread. There are indications that early Christians shared magic mushrooms in writings describing their spiritual visions and ecstasies after eating their eucharistic meal. A 4th-century mosaic, discovered at a basilica in Aquileia (northern Italy) depicts baskets of mushrooms. Why? It wasn't a restaurant. Could the "red mushrooms" have been the ritual meal?

I guess, after wandering along the path of life long enough, we all discover that there’s nothing new under the sun.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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