An author interview by Shane with indoorgrowing.com (this website may have since changed names) about my 2016 release, "Cannabis Legalization and the Bible: Compatible or Not?"

[1] Please tell my readers about yourself. How did you become a Reverend?

 

(A) That was a process, rather than a decision I arrived at. It was as much an affirmation as it was a calculation. My decision to be a Web pastor, author and blogger came many years after I first gave my heart to Christ, which was back in 1992. To get the full story on that, I recommend my memoir, “Sole Survivor”, which you can get from my website at pcmatl.org. But my decision to go into the ministry full time was only after spending 21 years in IT. I had a stroke back in 2006 that I have since recovered from, but these days I need to work from home, so that's when I started writing. I was still in my own recovery phase while I was doing that, and it just gradually built up from there.

 

[2] Please tell me readers about your book.

 

(A) My latest offering, “Cannabis Legalization and the Bible: Compatible Or Not?”, reveals the “war on drugs” for the race-based, legislated criminal enterprise that it really is, shatters the myths about the allegedly addictive properties of marijuana, and exposes America's punishment-for-profit prison and court systems. My book goes into great detail about the huge economic and medical benefits of legalizing marijuana and its sister plant, hemp. Written by a pan-denominational Christian minister and blogger, this book uses quotes from the Bible to provide a simple explanation for why marijuana criminalization is a sin against God.

 

[3] Some would say a Christian Reverend supporting the legalization of cannabis is controversial. What would you say to these people that attack your stance on cannabis?

 

(A) Some? More like the majority! (lol) But I don't hold that against those people because many of them have been misinformed or, worse yet, purposely mis-educated – which is far more common than the general public realizes. Once I start quoting the verses in the Bible – and there are a number of them, starting with Genesis chapter 1 verse 11 – only then do people begin to understand how badly they have been misled by their own government.

 

[4] In the first chapter of your book, you mention the war on drugs has been a failure. Are you proposing the United States to legalize all forms of drugs? Including crack, cocaine, and heroin?

 

(A) In a word, no. There are a number of illegal substances out there that are illegal for a very good reason. You mentioned crack, cocaine and heroin; you can add “meth” and all its derivatives and so-called “spice”, which is alleged to be artificial marijuana when in fact it is neither! It's like the commercial says; “not even once”.

 

[5] If the federal government deschedules cannabis, do you feel the people that have been prosecuted as non-violent offenders should have their sentences upended?

 

(A) Absolutely!

 

[6] There's currently an opioid crisis throughout the United States and many marijuana advocates say cannabis can replace opioids as a viable alternative. Do you agree with this sentiment?

 

(A) It's possible, but the jury is still out on that one. Cannabis may not be the best alternative for everyone, so this is something that should be approached with caution. Clearly a lot more study is required.

 

[7] I conducted an interview last week with a cannabis advocate. He stated big pharma doesn't want Americans to grow cannabis indoors because he says they wouldn't be able to sell their drugs to consumers. I know your an advocate for legalized marijuana but how do you feel about people growing in their homes?

 

(A) Not only do I think people should be allowed to grow cannabis in their own homes or apartments, the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution protects their right to do so.

 

[8] In your book your being quoted as saying:

 

"89% of all marijuana arrests are for simple possession of the weed, not for producing or selling it. In short, marijuana prohibition is not, and will not, reduce demand. So then, it’s time to regulate the supply. It is time to remove the production and distribution of marijuana out of the hands of violent criminals and into the hands of licensed businesses, and the only practical way to do that is through legalization, regulation, and taxation."

 

I conducted an interview last week with a cannabis advocate. He claimed during the interview the onerous taxes that California has imposed on the general public are fueling the demand for marijuana on the black market. What do you have to say about that?

 

(A) High taxation may well fuel black market demand, especially at first. But something tells me those who wrote this law anticipated that and figured it into the demand for the product that they knew in advance would be there. Moreover, since I live in Atlanta, where the cost of living and taxes are lower than the West Coast, this would be even more true here in the A-T-L than California. So I only agree with your friend up to a point, but not beyond that.

 

[9] In your book your being quoted as saying:

 

"we are the only developed country that doesn't control prescription drug prices, meaning that the drug companies can charge whatever they want to – even for drugs that don’t work very well. The pharmaceutical industry’s unlimited hikes in their prices have helped make health insurance unaffordable for most Americans"

 

Small govt. advocates would argue against a greater governmental role. They would say "the government can't run the DMV. Why would you want them to control the cannabis industry?" Governmental agencies have proven to be inefficient and bureaucratic when dealing with private industry. Why would you want another governmental agency controlling the cannabis industry?

 

(A) Unfortunately, governmental involvement is a necessary evil whenever anything is regulated for the purposes of taxation, regardless of what it is. Although government in some form or fashion will always be there, I wholeheartedly agree that smaller is always better. The good news on that front is that the Internet will make mincemeat out of big government in less than a generation. Like the American workers whose jobs were out-sourced overseas for pennies on the dollar, with everybody unemployed due to automation there will be no one left for the big bureaucracies to govern – except for doling out everyone's monthly allowances.

 

[10] In your book, you mention the health care benefits of marijuana. You mentioned it's helped you with your bipolar disorder and PTSD. My question is and I know your not a doctor but do you believe cannabis can lower healthcare costs? If so, how?

 

(A) Cannabis will definitely lower health care costs because it can alleviate pain better than OTC drugs, and many of their prescription counterparts as well. Your mentioning of opioid addicts switching to cannabis in one of your previous questions is just one example. If you interview nearly any NFL player you will find that most of them smoke weed to deal with their aches and pains that plague them on their days off, and sometimes their workdays too!

 

[11] In your book, you often mention 'Wall Street' in a derisive manner. Small govt. advocates and more importantly venture capital firms and private equity companies are currently funding a lot of cannabis-related businesses. Are you suggesting they stop funding such ventures?

 

(A) I wasn't aware that the new cannabis businesses were being funded by venture capital firms and so on, I'm reading that for the first time. I'll be glad to look into that, but my understanding was that the funding for the newly legalized cannabis enterprises is derived from the fact that the operators of those business used to be black market operators who simply went legit. As for those “private equity companies” you mentioned, I'll look into that, thanks for bringing it up.

 

[12] You mention in your book the benefits of legalization relating to Mexican drug cartels. My question is if the government decriminalizes marijuana do you believe the cartels are simply going to pick up their things and leave?

 

(A) If you mean leave the US, where they are currently operating clandestinely or within the various street gangs, it is likely that legalization would drive out many of the Mexican narco-traffickers, but not all, especially at first. But I'm saying that, although those violent gangs would still be operating down in Mexico and elsewhere, legalization would take away the lion's share of the profitability of the bad actors that are operating illegally here in the US. Plus, now the black market operators would have a whole new crop of competitors who are legal, licensed, and who don't have to worry about being arrested.

 

[13] In chapter three of your book, you mention hemp. What are the benefits of hemp?

 

(A) You can make just about anything with it, and it's a renewable resource for clothing and other fabric products as well as fuel. If you grow it, harvest it and compress it really hard in machines, you get an oil that your car can run on. Besides being an effective gasoline substitute, it makes a much better quality paper than the wood pulp paper we're currently using (the Declaration of Independence is written on hemp paper). You can even make cars and furniture out of hemp – the list is nearly endless! For a much more detailed account, read chapter 7 in the book!

 

[14] Does hemp have the ability to be a lot less toxic to the environment than traditionally used resources?

 

(A) If you mean using it for fuel for our cars and trucks, hemp would be completely non-toxic to the environment since it's biodegradable. Also, you can grow a hemp crop in 4-6 months from which to make paper and related products. It takes 40 years or more to grow a forest, once all those trees are cut down for making paper. Think about that for a minute. How many trees would that save? And how much more co-2 would all those extra trees remove from the air?

 

[15] Why is hemp better than cotton?

 

(A) Hemp makes a much stronger fabric than cotton, although it's not any heavier to wear. That's not counting all the other things you can make with hemp that you can't make with cotton. See chapter 7 of my book for details.

 

[16] What entities do you believe want to keep the 'war on drugs alive'? and why do you think it's their position to do so?

 

(A) Based on the considerable amount of research I did prior to writing “Cannabis Legalization and the Bible”, I would say, number one, law enforcement and the court and prisons systems, all at once. From the start of the process until its conclusion, the Drug War generates bail bonding fees, then legal fees followed by fines and court costs if you're lucky. If you don't fare very well then it's jail or prison time, which generates huge amounts of government funding, followed by years on probation or parole, which generates still more monthly fees before the defendant is finally released from their obligations to the system. The second thing that is keeping the Drug War going is blatant, in-your-face racism. As I wrote in the book, the War on Drugs isn't about public safety, it's about singling out minorities and people of color for systematic prosecution. Look inside America's jails and prisons, and you'll find 2 out of every 3 inmates is black or brown. The media continues to ignore this problem, and my book addresses that bluntly and directly.

 

[17] The cannabis industry has a negative stigma although many would argue that’s changing. In what ways do you believe the cannabis industry can educate the consumer public about the benefits of cannabis?

 

(A) Like any other industry, they'll have to buy advertising and launch marketing campaigns just like any other new product. Except, of course, this product isn't new, it's just newly legalized. I would start out with a few public service announcements first and take it from there.

 

[18] What's the future for cannabis in America? Where do you see the industry going in the years and decades to come?

 

(A) The future for cannabis in America is overwhelmingly positive. The industry has nowhere to go but up! Once it's legal nationwide, which will happen sometime during the decade of the 2020's, I may consider getting into the business myself.