RELIGION
05/29/2015 02:13 pm ET Updated May 29, 2015

What Is The Bible's Take On Marijuana?

Texas State Rep. David Simpson (R), a staunch Tea Party member and conservative Christian, made headlines earlier this month when he put forth "the evangelical argument for total legalization of cannabis."

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Simpson quoted Timothy 4:4, which reads “everything God created is good." Under Simpson's reading of the text, all God's creations, marijuana included, are good.

While some use religion as the basis for their opposition to the drug, early Judaism and Christianity scholar Stewart Felker told HuffPost Live on Tuesday that there are merits to Simpson's Christian case for marijuana legalization.

"Christianity itself was not born out of a hyper-puritanical mindset," Felker told host Josh Zepps.

Although the Bible contains "negative statements about alcohol in excess," it tolerates alcohol in moderation, Felker continued. Since drug use is not explicitly referenced in the Bible, Felker said its take on alcohol "lays the groundwork" for an interpretation of its stance on drug usage.

"There is no prohibition against alcohol in the Bible, and it is spoken of very positively in the New Testament, for example," he said. "So, by analogy, at the very least this lays the groundwork for an ethical theory that may have legal consequences if you're the type of person to do that."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about religion and drugs here.

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