Ministers for Mercy Marajuana

- Mayna Brachear of the Chicago Tribune
More than 60 religious leaders in Illinois are calling on state senators this week to pass a bill that would allow patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor's recommendation and without criminal consequences.

"Medical marijuana is an issue of mercy and compassion,” said the Rev. Bill Pyatt of the First United Methodist Church of Carthage. “It is the job of religious leaders to give voice to those who cannot speak up for themselves. We pray that the Illinois legislature will have the compassion to stop this war on patients.”

Several studies suggest that marijuana can mitigate nausea, pain and anxiety for patients with illnesses such as HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. Theological arguments are based on these findings.

"There is a moral obligation to heal and address suffering," said Rev. Al Sharp, executive director of Chicago-based Protestants for the Common Good. "Jesus lived his life healing those where he could and bringing those to the absence of pain. This is entirely consistent with that."