Pastor Craig Gross is a fan of weed. He’s not quite a heavyweight user like rapper Snoop Dogg or the legendary Willie Nelson, but he does confess to having developed a comfortable relationship with the psychoactive drug he testifies has taken him to higher levels of worship.
“I went to Coachella and saw one of my favorite artists that I’ve ever seen and I used marijuana before seeing him. It was amazing,” Gross tells The Christian Post. “I’ve never lifted my hands in a worship service ever, ‘cause I was raised Baptist. … I’ve done that in my bathroom worshiping with marijuana by myself.”
Often recognized as the founder of XXXchurch in Pasadena, California, a ministry that empowers individuals to break free from their pornography addictions, Gross has embarked on a new controversial mission: to sell and promote marijuana for Christians through a new venture called Christian Cannabis.
Changing public perception
As public perception continues to shift on the demonized plant he celebrates as a gift from God that was “created on day 3,” Gross wants to bring Christian weed users out of the shadows and challenge churches to have frank conversations about marijuana.
A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 62 percent of Americans, including 74 percent of millennials, support legalizing marijuana. Ten states and Washington, D.C., have now legalized it for recreational use for adults older than 21, while 33 states have legalized medical marijuana. Michigan is the latest state to legalize it for recreational purposes, while Utah and Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana in last year’s midterm elections.
Gross describes himself as among the untold number of Christians who first turned to marijuana for medicinal relief.
He says after consulting more than 20 specialists, participating in multiple scans and tests and trying numerous prescription drugs to ease a chronic migraine problem, he was finally able to experience relief with marijuana in 2013.
Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.
It’s in the wake of this shifting and complex cultural and political landscape that Gross believes churches should start having deeper conversations on marijuana and he hopes Christian Cannabis can help drive them.
“The audience that I’m talking to [is] in states outside of California like Michigan, where we’re now getting recreational. They don’t know what to think. They’re going, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know enough. This is wrong for so many years, now it’s right, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to feel,” says the XXXchurch leader.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair