Stuart Varney Questions My Morality on National TV

My high school chemistry teacher was Ms. Duncan.  She was young, smart and committed to teaching the kids at my school. 

I loved all of my science classes in high school, and this one was no different.  Ms. Duncan and I were getting along swimmingly, until someone overheard a few of my friends and I talking about how we thought the class was too easy.

The next day came that dreaded scholastic event – the pop quiz.

Ms. Duncan had some compassion on the class and made the quiz multiple choice.  Knowing her teaching and testing style, and having “A” through “D” options to be able to eliminate choices, I was able to grab a 10 out of 10, even though I hadn’t properly reviewed the material (meaning I hadn’t looked at it at all).

Ms. Duncan knew that several of us weren’t ready for such a quiz, and so she asked me to stay after class.  She was worried that she wasn’t challenging some of the students (including me), so she asked how I got a perfect score.

With a mixture of trepidation and bravado, I described how I didn’t really answer the quiz questions for the ones that didn’t know – I answered what I thought SHE was asking – a lot like reading a fellow poker player to tell if they’re bluffing or not.

To her credit, Ms. Duncan was partially amused and partially dismayed.  She promised no more pop quizzes if the students would talk with her about what was too easy and what was too hard.  It was a win-win, really.

But my disdain for pop quizzes never died (I don’t think I’m alone…).  But as you know, life is full of pop quizzes (and so are the markets).  And it was a recent “pop quiz” that triggered my research on this series about the morality of investing in cannabis stocks. 

Here’s how it happened.

The Pop Quiz That Made Me Dig into the Morality of Cannabis Investing

Here’s the most frequent question I get about being on TV multiple times every week: “Do you read from a script or teleprompter, or get questions ahead of time?”

The answer is that there is certainly no script or teleprompter for me.  And while I do get topics ahead of time, they are almost always just news articles, market observations or stock news that I’m expected to research.

And about once a show, there’s the TV version of a pop quiz – a question that was unscripted and not part of the prep all.

And that’s what happened a few shows ago when we were talking about several cannabis stocks that were getting ready to report earnings. (You can watch the whole clip here.)

I gave my guidance that cannabis stocks are so volatile that you can typically pick one (or better yet, a group of them) that you like and wait to buy them on a pullback.

Crucial: This tiny cannabis stock could be gearing up for a huge market ride

(Spoiler alert – at the end of this series, I’m going to show you some of the best ways to play this cannabis investment trend).

Stuart then surprised me with a question – which requires some subtext.  Here’s the verbatim question he asked. “…But would you buy a pot stock? You don’t have a moral objection to buying a pot stock?”

The subtext is this: From our discussions off screen, Stuart knows that I’m a Christian.  More than that, he knows I’m an all-in Jesus guy.  On air, he has called me a prominent Christian when asking me another “Pop Quiz” question about Sister Theresa’s sainthood a couple of years ago.

So the underlying question, in my understanding, was this – “As a practicing Christian, do you have a moral objection to buying a pot stock”.

I answered that I didn’t since cannabis is now growing in legality and is being used medicinally.

But afterward, I found that the question really challenged me.  So I’ve done a deep dive into the moral, spiritual, and societal aspects of cannabis legalization.  And which stocks I think are the cream of the crop (so to speak).

And over the coming weeks, I want to share ALL of that with you. 

When I tackle a complex problem like the morality of pot, I tend to approach it in a logical progression.  So I put together the outline below that will guide the progression of articles that will follow.

And I have a request – after you’ve looked over my outline – let me know what I’ve left out, or what areas you’re particularly interested in.  And I’ll dig into those as well.

The Morality of Marijuana

  1. Safety
    1. Health effects (we don’t know much, because it’s been illegal and not much testing has been done)
      1. Physiological
      2.  Psychiatric
      3. Children/learning impairment
    2. Activity Impairment (driving, operating heavy machinery, etc.)
      1. Field tests to determine impairment
      2. Blood Levels that prove impairment
    3. Triggers of violent behavior
  2. Medicinal Use
    1. Areas of support (where it is claimed to help)
    2. Research (or lack thereof)
    3. Positive: does it replace and therefore diminish opioid use?
    4. Negative: or does it lead to increased opioid or other drug use?
      1. Once practically dismissed as an issue, it’s back on the table…
  3. Economic Issues
    1. Benefits of legalization
      1. Reduced enforcement cost
      2. Lightening jail burden
      3. Increased Tax revenue (both from legal sales and taxation)
    2. Vs. societal negatives (above lists)
  4. Spiritual Issues
    1. Buddhist and Hindu perspectives
    2. Christian perspectives (do Protestants and Catholics differ?)
    3. Jewish and Muslim perspectives
  5. Compare & contrast to other legalized substance vices: tobacco & alcohol (& caffeine!):
    1. Health effects
    2. Annual deaths, etc.
    3. Perception and history
  6. Conclusions and action items

I’m looking forward to digging into this controversial and potentially profitable topic with you.  And remember my request from above – after you’ve looked over my outline – let me know what I’ve left out or what areas you’re particularly interested in. 

Great trading and God bless you,


D.R. Barton, Jr.

29 Responses to “Stuart Varney Questions My Morality on National TV”

  1. D.R. I look at the Pot trend to be similar to opening Pandora’s Box. There are positives and negatives, and only time will tell. One thing – I just hope Trump stays out of the conversation. His history of polarizing situations would certainly have a negative effect. We need to proceed in a wides open mode. I have worked in heavy industry for all of my career. There are very restrictive constraints and deservedly so in my experience. There is nothing that one should do at work that is worthy to be injured for. This will likely result in a legal quagmire and is a major concern for me. Most people will likely use Pot responsibility, but they need to find the limits and that is truly an individual response. In this scenario, it will be very similar to gun control.

  2. I am not for the drug other than for medicinal use. That being said, I will not invest in it unless it is a limited medicinal use company. If Green Growth Brands were strictly medicinal use, that is the company that I would invest in.

  3. Hi. Apparently if you eat a raw green potato it will make you sick. But if its cooked, its a great addition to a meal. Could be the same with cannabis. One use is detrimental to your health, another way assists health. God created both plants. Maybe He left it to us to decide how to use them! I’m a committed Christian. A stock choice is also ours. I have no problem with legal cannabis stocks.

  4. I also am a Christian and have avoided investing in cannibis stocks because I have serious misgivings about the wisdom of making it available for recreational use. If it has definite medical benefits without long term bad consequences, I would support that kind of use. But just as I would not invest in a company which promotes the use of tobacco for “pleasure” without acting responsibly toward those whose health is damaged by its use, I do not plan to help promote the use of marijuana by buying shares in companies that profit from it, especially if there is a possibility of doing lasting harm to the user or others who may be hurt by the user, such as through a traffic accident caused by a user of this material.

  5. Thorough outline nothing to add. As a fellow “Jesus-guy” and current pot investor, but not user, the biggest issue I see is youth/adolescent use. I observe locally (Humboldt County CA, longtime pot capitol), that long-term pot use in households where parents use and kids begin using, produces definite psycho-spiritual-lifestyle consequences. Anecdotally, I am convinced it was my own use of pot (1970) that impaired my judgment and led to other drug use–it was also the “hippie” crowd I was in. Personally, I think ALL financial market trading and investing (where one’s profit = another’s loss) is a morally compromised endeavor. I am conflicted about it. Thanks for taking on this topic.

  6. Mr. Barton……I’ve always felt sorry for the people addicted to smoking, alcohol,
    and drugs—yes, even marijuana! I changed my stance on marijuana when a family member had to start being treated for dementia with the medicinal side of the drug! Yes, I like you also love our Savior very much! Best to you and thankyou Norm

  7. Great article. Great questions to consider as Christians. I’ve seen the effects of legalized recreational pot in Colorado, where we have a Summer home. It’s been devasting to many communities with an incredible number of young, homeless kids begging on every street corner, each just wating to make enough money to get high. Then I have a brother whose years of chronic pain and inflammation have been seemingly alleviated by medicinal pot. As Christians, I believe we must be judicious in our investing every bit as much as we choose our words. They both can have big consequences. I’ll remain with companies like GWPH that use the drug to heal and leave the other side to someone else to invest in. Keep up the great work!

  8. Not a bad outline. But in identifying and understanding the dynamic relationship between humans and marijuana, and after setting 1-2 major goals (BETTER health, medicine, economy etc.), you might consider answering the 5 “W” questions: Who, What, Where, When and Why to get to the goals. To add balance to the search always desire the good for others and society, thanking God for the knowledge and understanding to achieve the good goals. I’m sure you already do that, but you’re not the only one reading this. Peace.

  9. Israel is well advanced in its study of the benefits and effects of cannabinoids.
    Scriptures tells us that strong drink (or medicine) is useful for those in great pain or dying. That is the purpose of some plants. Of course any medication of strong herb can be misused,but so can money and a string of other things. They can’t all be called unethical or illegal because they can be misused! it is high time cannabis is used medicinally as it is brilliantly designed for that.

  10. Sorry, but I disagree with you. I went to lots of parties when in high school and college where people were smoking the stinky marijuana and would not be able to carry on a conversation that demanded any logic, and it affected their balance, as well. Then there were those who snorted coke – they would talk fast and would injure themselves – example, playing a guitar so hard and fast that their hands would swell up. Yes, of course marijuana should be available for medicinal problems – pain, seizures, cancer, etc, as I am a Physical Therapist and saw how marijuana or its components can be used for symptom relief, but I have never seen someone recover from terminal diseases with it, but anytime debilitating symptoms are lessened, its a good thing. Now, I’m a Christian too, so I can’t support it, because it started with legal medicinal use and soon also for recreational use, which is wrong. I can’t support it by buying stock in it since the majority of people use it recreationally. So, I will be poor, but that is okay with me.

  11. Over the Hurdle.
    Growing up in fear of jail time or not being able to run for president, I avoided cannabis because it was illegal and the propaganda and stereotypes supported the parental and social advice to stay away from the plant. After two years of consuming hemp orally (whole plant method), I can say my inflammation is greatly reduced and managed. My mood is calm, my sleep is deep. My blood pressure normal and a growth on my leg slowly disappeared. I do not get stoned from the hemp plant so it does not interfere with daily activities of any sort. Any question I have had with the morality of investing in pot stocks has been overshadowed by the results of experience. Moderation and purpose for use is the access most folks want. Those that seek the benefit of the THC cousin of hemp(cannabis), also, can benefit from the medicine of the plant and should have the right to make that choice as an adult. Abusers are warned and they know the penalties of the law, that remains their choice and the rest of the world should not be withheld the great medicine our bodies REQUIRE, yes, our endocannabinoid system requires the very substances contained in the plant. Besides the world can use a giggle…

  12. Hello D.R. ,
    I like your outline and look forward to what you write. Please remember to discuss that cannabis sativa can be divided into Hemp and marijuana and the differences for the audience. I think that educating your subscribers in the manner you do will promote a greater understanding of this subject matter. I think Stuart would benefit as well , (LOL) his question that you previously mentioned, may no longer be a moral issue as much as an educational issue. Have fun!
    Don

  13. As a Christian I have resisted anything to do with pot stocks because of the morality of using something that is so addictive and has caused so much pain, to make money or in some way to support the availability to all persons. I am very interested in your perspective but at the moment believe I would not engage in anything that might further the production or sale of this substance. Look forward to hearing your take.

  14. I am retired lakota cattle rancher. I use medical cannabis 4 pain issues. It works better than any other substance. Also it is a natural remedy. Native peoples of American continent used 300 plants 4 thier pharmacological cures. European invaders had 30. Who were the savages?????

  15. I have not invested in any Pot stocks for various reasons. I waver a bit on whether or not it should have been legalized. My moral side says it’s bad for people says NO and the logical side says YES. It’s an interesting topic to follow. Thank you for doing this research.

  16. Mr. Barton, I to am a Christian, and I to have been hashing this question, I had a mother that died with bone cancer and I wish from what I have heard about medical cannabis, I truly wish it would have been available in that day, because the morphine just numbed her brain a little and it was horrifying too listen to her scream. Now on the subject of cannabis for pleasure, I have a hard time with that one as I would buying a liquor manufacturer such as Jack Danialsm, which also makes very good barbecue sauces. We live in a world where Pandora’s box has been open for a long time and alcohol and weed have been in our society for a long time, but we as Christians don’t have to partake of such as the world does but I don’t think we have to be completely opposed to these things in such a way as to drive people away from Christianity, Jesus drank wine, was called a wine bibber, the Bible says don’t drink to drunkeness, but as for my self, I would deal in stocks that deal in medical cannabis as well as pleasure, because their are so many cures and ailments that can be helped by this sin product that so many have abused. And I have read your book, The Ten Minute Millionaire that your team sent me, and enjoyed it very much.

  17. Keith MEGILLIGAN

    My understanding is that the pot plant itself or a hybrid of hemp can be grown to produce just the medicinal rather than psychotropic biochemical portion that does “damage.” If that is true, the morality of the question is either evaded by the product or circumvented by the choice of what portion of the plant it used and for what purpose. p.s., I appreciate your Christian perspective and honesty.

  18. Morality is not related to substance so much as it is to INTENT. Jesus responded to his pop quizzes by questioning the intent of the questioner. (Matt 12:1-14) Why is morality being questioned by those who are responsible for deceiving the general public with commentary rather than reporting fact?

  19. D.R., I read this article with great interest. I, too, am a Christian and I consider myself to be an Evangelical. I am also a 90% disabled combat veteran who lives in chronic pain and I have been classified as 50% disabled due to PTSD. I occasionally partake in cannabis recreationally even though it has been illegal. Personally, faith wise, other than the legality issue, I see no difference in the occasional use of recreational cannabis and drinking beer. Just this month, when CBD oil became legal, I’ve begun using it to see what health benefits I can receive from it. I began investing in cannabis and cannabis oriented stocks 1st quarter 2018 as a part of my investment portfolio. I am not in anyway disappointed in the results I have seen. I’m planning to continue doing so in the foreseeable future. I see no conflict whatsoever in investing in cannabis and my evangelical Christian faith.

  20. Arlene Golladay

    If this is in any way the correct format, please address the topic of sugar being one of the worst drugs ever, on the market in thousands of forms, most notably for this discussion, in alcohol and in caffeinated products. Cannabis use reduces the use of sugar as the highly addictive drug that it is.
    Please address, where appropriate, what clinical trials have already proven cannabis to be effective in treating some of the worst diseases and conditions known, such as Epidiolex in treating seizures in children, and approved by the FDA.
    Thank you.

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