In 2011, Christianity Today magazine asked if Jesus’s followers should smoke medical marijuana.
That was literally the title of the opinion piece. Eight years later, with up to 11 states legalizing cannabis for adult-use, the question has become is it OK for Christians to smoke recreational marijuana?
While it’s considered acceptable for Christians to drink wine, which Jesus turned water into, then why is it not ok for Christians to smoke cannabis if it is legal?
That question and many others have Christians worldwide talking about weed more than ever have before. One such follower is Pastor Craig Ross, founder of Christian Cannabis. Yes, it is the same pastor who is famous for touring the U.S. with adult film king Ron Jeremy having “The Great Porn Debate.”
Gross announced his latest cannabis journey out in the dessert like the prophet John in the Bible. Difference between the two Christians is Gross preached his message from the sky, having an airplane sky write his website name this year in the dessert at Coachella on 4/20.
“I was tired of finding health benefits from a product that I wasn’t able to talk about though it was legal,” Gross said. “I was challenged by the thought that nobody in my space, the evangelical Christian space, was talking in favor of it, rather just saying it was still the devil’s lettuce.”
Since the world famous music festival, Gross has spent the last six months promoting his brand in an effort to give followers of Christ the permission they need to smoke weed.
“I can’t find anything through scripture that says you’re not allowed to use this,” Gross said.
But Gods Greenery Editor-in-Chief Natalie Gillespie does, saying the Bible clearly states to be sober minded.
“Whether you are using anything, whether it is food, sex, a dysfunctional relationship, illegal or legal substance that masks where you need to be healed spiritually, that is not a healthy state; however, if you used properly it is being used as God intended,” she said.
Gillespie referred to Genesis 1, noting that God looked over everything that he made and said it was good.”
“Does that I mean that you should take everything that he created and ingest it? No,” she said.
But it should be considered, according to Gillespie, who added after going on a scientific, educational, and medical journey for herself, she found original studies on CBD and read them top to bottom.
“I even tried to interview some of those authors and doctors rather than just take the word of the Internet as the truth and regurgitate it,” she said. “We are trying to get content from as direct a source as we can at Gods Greenery.”
Unlike Gross, Gillespie said God’s Greenery is trying to build a thoughtful and educational community-wide discussion only around hemp-derived CBD without the THC, since the website’s audience is not looking for a high.
“The health properties cannot be denied,” Gillespie said of CBD .
Rather than referring to the Bible again, the editor-in-chief pointed to a woman whose skin condition became so bad, she became an agoraphobic.
“After using CBD, within three weeks of applying the topical and taking the tincture, it was nearly gone, so that cannot be discounted,” she said. “That’s her real-life story.”
Gross’s real-life story cannot be discounted either. He said after finding physical, mental, and spiritual relief from marijuana with THC at the age of 37, it was time for him to speak up.
“God made the whole plant, not just parts of it,” he said.
While CBD is a great starting point, Christians need to know THC is ok, according to Gross.
“This is not going to send you to hell; God provided a product for us before us,” he said, adding, “And my goal is not for all to smoke weed.”
His goal, Gross said, is to give Pastor’s, who lack experience with the drug, more information.
“They are, for the most part, afraid to make a decision, a stance or a statement,” he said. “They do what churches do best; they avoid, they sit quiet, and they don’t say anything.”
And if you don’t say anything; nothing changes, which is a point both Gross and Gillespie agree on.
“If a Christian just looks at something and turns their face away, then we don’t get a seat at the table; we don’t get to be part of the cultural conversation other than being seen as narrow and judgmental,” Gillespie said. “If you don’t have a seat at the table, Jesus doesn’t have a seat at the table.”
While Gillespie encourages Christians who are interested in CBD to visit Gods Greenery and join the conversation, Gross invites pastors to his podcast.
“We have to talk about issues the rest of the world is talking about,” he said. “This is going to be federally legal at some point across the U.S. and it is time to talk about it.”