S3E8 - Pastor, Pot, and Prophets

Did Jesus die on the cross? Was Moses influenced by cannabis when speaking to the Lord? Are Christian Churches embracing Cannabis? First up we meet the founding member of Christian Cannabis, Craig Gross. Once known as the “Porn Pastor,” Gross has a new message for Christian leaders. We learn how cannabis facilitated his personal journey and how he came to a cross roads. Gross once focused on helping porn-addicted Christians kick their habit.  Now he is focused on how Christians can be healed by this ancient plant. Next we explore the origins of cannabis. Researcher Chris Bennett connects cannabis to world religion and how it spread from one culture to another. He speaks to how biblical Prophets, Knights Templars, and the Messiah himself, were connected to cannabis by reframing our trusted biblical stories. Bennett says cannabis has been part of human history from the beginning. The legalization of cannabis demands philosophical discussions and these two guests bring a deep conversion to what may be our most controversial episode yet.

 

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Thursday, 30 May 2019 18:22

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Episode Transcript

Christian Cannabis

Craig:  All right. My name is Craig Gross and just recently started a project called Christiancannabis.com. After having some benefits to my own life with marijuana I was tired of people inside the church in their Christian circles that I run with not even have a conversation about it. And so I felt like there was a lack of communication and conversation and I wanted to wanted to stir that up.  For 20 years I've worked as a pastor and I don't have a congregation. Travel around churches to be on the weekends and leading a parish church ministry. Mainly surprisingly dealing with sex and porn addiction which is I think why this is so shocking for a lot of people to read. Because the criticism I've heard is I've helped people out of one addiction and now I'm leading people into another. But the work that I'm doing now with Christian cannabis isn't pastoral work or ministry related but more of it new a business that I started in.

Kirk:  OK fair enough. And I did my research and I know you have a moniker called the porn pastor.

Craig:  Yeah it's a title that's been given to me. It's not anything I would ever use or talk about I don't even like the word pastor in front of my name if I do my friend's wedding, I need those credentials but I feel like the work that I've done inside that Ministries is birthed out of helping people that are you know because of shame and guilt and a lot of things associated with pornography I wanted to see people break free with that and the work now helping people that are interested in some of the healing or benefits of cannabis. And that is the same heart and desire for me to really help people. And that's why I thought we could go out and start this project.

Craig:  Yeah 2013 was one of the worst years of my life. Lost my dad and my wife got really sick with ovarian cysts and on top of that I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t just getting headaches. It was just like debilitating and it led me to the point of not being able to work to focus to look at the screen and I just chased answers through all normal medicine and I got a lot of drug prescriptions and I never filled one of them because I didn’t believe there was a reason to take medicine if they didn’t have an answer and they were just treating symptoms and I watch the weeds documentary at that time on CNN and applied for a medical marijuana card and I got a few products from that store. If you can remember back in 2013 I didn’t know what to do with any of them. And of course, being a Christian that was raised Baptist smoked about 10 cigarettes in my life. Drunk got drunk twice once on my 21st birthday. Never touched any form of drugs and so I didn’t want to smoke anything. And so I bought some food. But I think a cake Pop I got a chocolate bar and some gummy bears and I just the only way I could explain it was it’s like if I walked into the back of a CBS pharmacy and just took some things and then tried to self-medicate with drugs that I was not familiar with. And you know edibles as well where it was just like I just you know all and I didn’t feel that let me take more let me eat more. And then three hours later and so I would say my experience with cannabis wasn’t positive. In those early days because I didn’t know what the first shop I walked into the lady said we don’t have CBD we just have THC in top shelf and so over the years I just I just thought OK well I have another thing that doesn’t didn’t work for me. But with California where I live. Passing recreational use. The stores that started to open were way more helpful and I remember walking into the store in January 2017 and met with just so much more information and help. And somebody had at that time I was even dealing with headaches. But I was dealing with a brain that doesn’t shut off and I went in and I just said hey is there anything like that could relax my mind. And I got these breeze mints 5 milligrams. I think originally they were called relaxant and now they’re called Breeze mint but those five milligram mints were something that I then was you know you didn’t you didn’t get a prescription that says Take one the morning or one before breakfast so you then left with. Well when do I need this. Do I need it every day. Do I need it just at night. So once again I was just trying to figure out what works for me and those things. Help me. I guess slow down things in my head where I could listen to my body listen to my spirit listen to who I believe was the Lord and some of those encounters.

Craig:  And let me just be clear on that some of these you know I went to some specialists that said maybe you have seizures maybe these things I couldn't explain or put words to what I was feeling or maybe other early signs of M.S. maybe. Now we need a brain MRI. Now we need this. Now we need. And then when they found nothing they could find nothing wrong with me. none of the specialists.  Oh I think I like two different brain MRI two different I mean more than the hospital six different nights in three different states. And so they just sent you home with stuff that was like well you could use this and feel better. And I was like Well but why at 30 was a 37 38 years old. I've never had any symptoms. Why would I just feel this way. One Doctor said maybe you're grieving the loss of your dad. I'll give you depression medicine. And I think that's so I got a lot of like. I'm not challenging the doctors. I just I felt like there they begin to treat symptoms and we treat symptoms often times with you know with prescriptions and so walking into the weed store. It was just hey maybe there's something here and I could get some information or get some awareness of like. Anyone have any ideas like what this could be and so it felt safer. It's not like I mean some of those medicines I was prescribed. I'm in the back labels on.  I don't want to take this. And you know actually I did. You don't now that I did fill one prescription probably in 2015 for some of these same symptoms and it was about a week of just I couldn't get out of bed in the morning and I was like I don't like that. Side effects and my neighbour is an RN and she actually said hey there's this one drug. Why don’t you ask for it. But it was like she got. For saw some of the stuff I was gonna go on a deeper level and so I was just I guess more open to it. I mean in California this was just this was on the up and a lot of things were happening I was like maybe I can go in there and get some help from somebody that that has had some similar experiences.

Craig:  Yeah. This is once again. His experiences are hard to put words to and when they're personal experience. And since we've launched Christian cannabis I've gotten hundreds of other people's experiences with or without cannabis. Everyone's got their own experience and so for me I'm in my head all day long. I'm a high kind of performance guy an achiever. I'm a three and the integrm. If you're familiar with that and so I just go and I'm in my head all day long and I believe as a Christian like you know and your heart is where the spirit lives and being in tune with your body being touched with your spirit your body mind and spirit. I'm just very active in my head and fell when I took those breezes mints the first day I ever took it I didn't know what to do and I wasn't a huge busy week for my work but I staying in a hotel and I checked out at about 2 p.m. and I went to the spa at the hotel. They took one of these relaxing mints. I'll take a wrap around or relax mint then I'll go to the spa and what it did for me was it turned my mind from a to do list when I'm praying or sitting there meditating or just relaxing normally make my mind to start spinning and thinking about the rest of the day and where to have to go and what do I have to be. And it just settled my mind in a way where I could focus on something beyond those thoughts in my head and my wife has said hey you're being you've connected your head and your heart more than you ever. She's known me for. Twenty-three years. And so on day one I didn't get that. But on date I went back on day two I wrote all about this like I went back to the spa I got took a siesta hey I was just like a I want to take a midday break and go purposely with intent go try and see if I can just take a nap but check out of this Headspace in seconds somewhere else and I found some you know I did that for three days in a row and I was just like why wouldn't they try and do something like this every day and then I realize it's not about the spine it's not about the mint it's bigger than that it's like hey I've got to do something that that is different than what I've been doing for almost 40 years. And I feel like my closest to the Lord isn't the misquotes obviously on interviews and papers and Vice magazine there was an Instagram that said Jesus said he would be crazy is Craig said Jesus would be cool with weed like I've never said those things I've said my experience with marijuana has been it can be a spiritual experience as well and I feel like it opened me up and I've had some really deep encounters with the Lord and I don't think that's a me on a trip I don't think that's me with I mean 5 milligrams I don't think he's sending me to outer space and in some other planet I think this is a very like people that have known me have said hey Craig this is just too we've known you are all along. But like it it's helped me get out of my head and identify with the lord.

Craig:  I just felt like I know a few more things than maybe your average Christian pastor does. And what I wanted to do is just start a conversation and the thought was like we've put out the Web site and we have an open forum where you can post your story or experience. And my goal is just simply to share that. And when we get the opportunity to talk to churches I think it will be very informative. Not me like I have my experience but when I can bring in some educated people. To speak in this topic I think you realize we've maybe been demonizing something that doesn't need to be.

Kirk:  How long you been on the Christian cannabis project.

Craig:  I launched it on April 20th.  So like I said the response so far is like I said that my friends I've literally spoken at a thousand searches on the topic of pornography over the last 18 years from Willow Creek Church the Marcellus church to the biggest church in the country now Life Church in Oklahoma.  So I drove a message about porn and sex addiction through the church when it wasn't happening. I think that can happen again but not one church yet has invited me and I've only had one church publicly come out against us. But at the sametime I had somebody publicly come out in favor. So when I said the coin toss I think a lot of pastors in today's church are like myself when it comes to experiences.  I went to college. I knew I wanted to be a pastor.  I studied I didn't party I didn't drink I didn't use drugs. And so now I you know a lot of these guys are sitting leading services but they have with very little knowledge or experience firsthand. And now you are in states that start legalizing this and you're like well what does that mean. I don't know. And if you don't understand the church they depending on your denomination or your church they have policies like here's where we stand on the gay and LGBT community. Here's how we stand on drinking. Depending on the church you go to one church says you can't drink. One church says you can drink and one church says you can drink but you can't drink in public.  And so there's this kind of thing in the church. But when it comes to cannabis I've been in L.A. churches and I've been on this journey for the last year talking to pastors and every pastor I've asked is there a policy or there have been a conversation at your church yet and nobody has told me there has been. And they're like Well we have other issues. And I'm like well. You serve your community here you know you're there helping people in your congregation. But if somebody was to ask you Hey Pastor what do you think. They don't know enough now to know where their stance or what do I say to my congregation. But I feel like we owe it to the people sitting in our pews to start talking about this and dealing with this. I mean I truly do believe on the third day God created this stuff. You know you've created all the plants before he created humans. So he created this  "before us for us" but that doesn't mean there's not abuse.  So there's and I think kids should have this, No.  You know like I said I spent 18 years on another project. I was speaking at a church in the middle of Texas a couple weeks ago and they were so excited to have me and I couldn't return the favor if that makes sense. I was like it's taken you 18 years. Like you're so late to this topic right. And that's when I decided you know what. I've got a line Christian candidates. I am not an expert. I am not the authority. I am no smarter than a lot of people on this topic but I believe it's been good and I believe that I don't want 18 years to go by and that church still being silent.  So my goal would be within a year or two years that we start to see churches talk to their staff, talk to their community, engage with the cannabis community and go Hey we have to make a decision for our community and our church and whether that's for or against it or acceptance of it we say something when the church is silent on issues. The church becomes more and more irrelevant and the church becomes more and more like obsolete when we don't when we're afraid of the unknown. And my goal would be that this doesn't take 18 years for somebody to get around to it. But before it's legal in your state I think there's one only eleven states left.

Kirk:  It's it's medically legal and you're in California right. Yeah. So it's medically legal there. So the church the church obviously helps people when they're sick and receiving Western medical care is cannabis. I mean cannabis medicinal there. So is it not considered western care now in California.

Craig:  I don't I mean I go to a church that I mean plenty of pop culture celebrities go to and you know they're on they have stances and opinions on plenty of things and I sat with one of the pastors make that why don't there's a shop two miles away. So if somebody is in your church like me that could have benefit you have to understand if you don't say anything there's still a shame that is going on because of their shame. Just like pornography. I mean pot has been there's all that the average Christian that's sitting there. I don't know what the pastors might think it was illegal now legal. And now it's legal what do I do. And so I think we're frozen. That's where I just go man. I mean there's a church in Ohio. It's medicinally legal in Ohio. The pastor called me a drug dealer and he said Prozac is OK but he strongly is against any form of cannabis. And now I'm fielding e-mails from people in that church saying he does not speak for me. So my goal for the church pastors did not speak too soon but not speak too late. But we have to engage in conversations. So we have something to say on this topic.

Kirk:  Interesting. OK. See that's interesting how you are you voice that or you are dealing with you are dealing with the stigma of cannabis then.

Craig:  Oh yeah. If you're not familiar with like the Christian church it's so like I mean depending on where you go you go to the bible belt like you've got all those progressive churches. I mean the fact that there's churches that exist in Los Angeles that do not let women on the stage. And I'm like somebody else not me on that one. I don't want to take on the metoo movement in the church but like there's sickness happening inside our churches like that still where I have a friend who spent one hundred thousand dollars on a degree from Fuller Seminary and she'll never be allowed to speak at her church or even be called a pastor. And she has more education and credibility than anyone I know but because she doesn't have a penis she is not allowed to preach.

Kirk:  So what would some of these pastors say if there was actual documented evidence that Jesus Christ anointed people with cannabis oils.

Craig:  I think they would still disregard it if it was illegal because they would say oh well but the Bible says obey the law of the land.

Kirk:  The reason why I'm asking these questions because I'm I'm looking to blend this interview in with Chris's interview and Chris's interview is about for example Moses and the burning bush and his tent of meetings. Those tent of meetings, were full of incense and those incense were hash so in it and these are the documentation that he's got and he's been able to he's been able to extrapolate through his research. So if Moses was in the tent of meetings breathing and hashish incense what does that say about what does that say about the Old Testament.

Craig:  I  think I mean I probably got that that conversation 15 times in my inbox and I'm like Please somebody tell me more about this.

Craig:  And I hope I hope to change the church from like I mean it's hard it's hard to move an institution or an organization that's going I don't know. You sold me. The law has that it's bad. People have gone to jail because of this you know. Now how can this be good. And yet a friend of mine said last night to me and you know what. Craig I think marijuana is crushing gays that it is so powerful. It's one of the most powerful plants I've ever seen. And he said so. And he says marriage is probably one of the most powerful institution I've ever seen. It's also why it's probably under the most attack. And he's like this spirit against marijuana. He believes because it is so powerful it come we come against things that challenge us or just man just I don't know. Like I'm scared of it and I do think big pharmacy has shut this out of a lot of conversations where we would rather trust the lab and then trust the plant that's been there all along. and I am not anti-medicine at all. I come to think why is one form of medication good and one form is bad. And I just wish Christians. You can't judge or shame somebody for using something that you might not understand. And I don't even get it like I grew up he said Baptist we weren't allowed to drink. I'm like OK but I've met Christians they have no problem drinking at an absurd amount. And yet would never touch marijuana. Yeah. Like want more caffeine or food. I mean you can miss. You can abuse anything I am not talking about abusing marijuana. I'm talking about if you want to find some benefit of it like that. My 70-year-old mom is using it on her hip after hip replacement surgery and nothing else has worked for her. So I can't deny that.

Craig:  I'm in a transition phase right now. I joked and said You know I've been telling people what I'm against for 18 years and I want to spend the next 18 years on people what I'm for. I've always been for sex and relationships marriages. porn I think it's hindered that. I'm still on the team at xxxchurch and I'm going to be stepping out of the front facing a role there because it's kind of hard it's hard to champion one thing and then champion another thing. And that's just my heart's in a different place now like I've been in that space. I've dealt a lot with recovering addicts for years and it's been great work at times but it's been some of the most depressing days of my life in that space because of the pain associated with that and thought. At 43 I was like Yeah this is not a ministry. This is a separate project but I just go I think I get my heart is telling me that to share this now and move in a different direction and not hold on as much to you know that the previous work but I think marijuana is a great awareness tool if you want if you want if you want it or you can just say oh it makes you paranoid I'll never touch it. Well you're probably a paranoid person and it showed you that and amplified that but some of us just don't want the awareness or we don't want to learn and we might just stay away from things that make us uncomfortable.

Chris Bennet Interview (the phone connection was poor, some terms are not transcribed well) 

Chris:  Well you know according to the list Waylan Barber who is the foremost authority on ancient textiles. Evidence of tools used for decourt that's breaking the fibers up with the stock go back to 28000 thousand years there's been claims of hemp rope found in Czechoslovakia going back twenty-four thousand years.  Ah Evidence of cannabis cloths in both (?) and Taiwan. Very diverse cultures 10 in 12000 years or so. Our first evidence of inhaling or a consuming cannabis is from by the Ukraine region about 5500 years ago and that comes in the form of a polypot Bowl all that was you were burning cannabis you played it all with I guess would have held the fumes in it. So we have a very very very ancient relationship with this plant. Carl Sagan and Terence Mccanna have both speculated that cannabis is oldest agricultural crop it's reason for that even the term cannabis the root word canna is what comes from the most ancient form of language Puerto Indo European languages. So even before the Indo-European languages mother language of English French German Sandskrit, all sorts of modern languages. Even before that would split off to these other languages. Cannabis was already well in use and in the first users that we can identify with Ukraine leading a group by a European group known as a Sredny Stog. They were also the first to domesticate the horse and the horse is what made people highly nomadic and groups like the Scythians and their descendants spread use of cannabis and mythology in the linguistic throughout the ancient world enabled their corral and domesticate the horse.

Chris:  Ah yes. Well this goes back to the work of the pioneering House ecologist and etymology as Sula Bennett Polish Jewish woman and she over decades of her life referred to this term in the Hebrew cannabuson and said that this was originally a reference to cannabis that was mistranslated within the Hebrew text were translated into Greek and in Latin as Callimen and that what it actually identified was cannabis and she showed to tracing the modern term cannabis back through history in Jewish culture and taking a look at similar terms for cannabis such as those in Syria where it was known as cannabo are very similar sounding word that this was in fact a reference to cannabis. This is a very you know when you take a look at the references in this context it adds a whole new element in to understanding the Bible and figures like Moses and the Ezekiel and Isiaha they become more like shamans than like the other the priestly figures that that that have been sent down to us and the first of these references to cannabusom God who first appears plains of fire within a burning bush commands Moses to make a holly anointing water with about six pounds of this cannabusom mixed with myrrh and cinnamon and Cassia and every time that he has to speak the lord of Moses goes into this tent like structure the tent-of-the-meeting and in places some of this oil on incense alter along with a snake and then speak the to Lord and the pillar of smoke and he also covers his body in this this fat soluble transfers through the skin in large amount according to Health Canada study and we were talk the Lord and the pillar of smoke over the incense of when you through cannabis into that scenario. Moses becomes like a shaman like you see in South America today or in Africa he ingested psychoactive substance and then interpret the experience of that substance as some sort of divine revelation. And this was a prevalent type of experience throughout the ages here in the middle east during this time period. In other culture.

Chris:  Well it's a location certainly it's not like all incense is cannabis. You know what I mean. So recipes but certainly temple incense we know in Syria from reference temple incense were used in the same way as well as anointing oil. They opened ones ear to god so cannabis has receptors in areas of higher thinking and memory that stimulates these activities interactivity these areas into activity rate. So these people would be kind of like in a meditative state and that their patches would start rising up where they would interpret this new form of creative thinking as some sort of possession or a discussion with a divine being you know as opposed to chemicals affecting the brain and getting stoned. Right. And yes you know it's not only in the Jewish religion but you know in both the vetted I was going to saying something about the incense. This goes back to a group that we know the Hebrews had contact with trade this type of ritual use was adopted from a group known as the Scythians I mentioned earlier for their nomadic horseback riding spreading around the cannabis and Scythians one of the ways they would consume cannabis is they would make these teepee like tent structures and they would heat rocks up and then they would throw cannabis on top of the rocks and put their heads and say the tent was just a small tent or it was a bigger tent. Get right inside the tent as well and inhale the fumes that way kind of like a hot box type scenario right. But that like smoking of cannabis is relatively new that this would form drew new world contact and people smoking tobacco and pipes and cigars and things like that. And in the New World a South America North America where tobacco was withdrawn smoke right and that type of smoking technique then become adopted to cannabis than pipes were developed and you'll see images say in India people smoking chillums and stuff like that before this sort of trade is taking place in the world and seeing with the Islamic world with not images of people smoking hookahs and things like that before the discovery of a new world. So it's generally thought that it's more about later although there is some debate about this and some people disagree with that view.

Chris:  You know I think that when people come to fully understand the role of cannabis and other substances in the ancient of world in some of the world's oldest existing religions you know and I'm talking about evidence of cannabis use particularly in not only Judaism but in Christianity and Islam in Sikhism and Hinduism and Taoism Buddhism all the major religions have some sort of connection to this this herb and other planets as well. I think when it comes to fully understand the role of these substances in the ancient world it is as much a threat fundamental religion as Darwin's theory of evolution of the myths of Genesis and what it reveal is a plant based demonic origin of these traditions and in the Abrahamic physics which is something that they've always rallied against wherever they bomb whether it be you know the burning of the witches in medieval times or the destruction of the indigenous culture of the North or South America that used the sacred mushroom used the sacred cacti that used other sacred fire. And in fact in the book of revelations is one where we read sorcery it's actually the Greek translation of a term Pharmacia I'm currently going to pharmacy run but it refers specifically to the ritual use of psychoactive substances. This is the big debate in the early Christian period you know the current crisis itself is that the Greek translation of the Hebrew Messiah which the anointed one that reference the anointed wall that I was referring to an Exodus 323 which was at first was restricted only to the high priest but in later time was extended to the use of kings. In the Christian story Jesus baptize is none of the disciples but he does send out the Twelve Apostles with holy oil to cast out demons in that these days meant things like treating epilepsy cannabis is very effective form and there is Dr Russo has pointed to the Syrian references, regarding cannabis this between kind of those in the Syrian literature suggesting that this is ancient evidence cannabis use in epilepsy no doubt that when you see parents today treating their children with epilepsy, that this is a miracle drug.

Chris:  You know we don't know what happened with his early years as people they claim they went to India there's all sorts of claims you know. But it's important to remember that there were numbers of Mystery Schools that were around at the time of Jesus in Gnosticism thought to be pre-christain ample opportunity for interested parties the see type of cults of things but that it is nothing new at the time of Jesus right. I think it's more of the interest is more what gnostic documents indicate is that Jesus was pursuing this and initiating others into these rituals and that you know books like The Book Jude(?)  an agent in the gnostic text describing Jesus performing rituals and burning an incense that contain ?? (Sorry for the a poor phone line.) placing vines into wine bottles of wine you know and things like that with both men and women initiates. That they were doing some sort of you know ayahuasca type ceremony. You know what I mean is groups of people and psychoactive substances and that's nothing new. That's right. That's really the common type of experience of really you know how religions are born I think throughout the world if you take a look at things anaphorically it's a natural development of things that people would think that these psychoactive substances contain some sort of spirit energy you know.

Kirk: Right. So let's talk about the knight Templars and the Holy Grail.

Chris:  Yeah. Yeah. That's for sure. That's a really interesting thing. Now there's been for years I had been coming across references claiming that the Knights Templar had an elixir of aloe-vera cannabis infused into a palm wine and if for some reason it's in all these different books on our aloe-vera and I was always trying to find the source material for this claim right. And I couldn't find anything that said that unfortunate I'm talking like time period documents right. You know what I mean. But the earliest they could find was a book on the 90s from out or from about aloe vera and that guy didn't find anything and a couple other bits of information that I knew he was historically wrong on. So I couldn't really put a lot of faith into it but we do know that the Templars were in contact and at times had peaceful contact with a group known as the hashashin in which I you know described as hashish enthusing Islamic heretics and a lot of medieval documents. And I went back to the actual time period documents and what I did find was that Templars had Saracens which were Arabs growing cannabis for them Spain and we know how hash was in use It's been at this time from other guys and Saracens with not the growers of industrial hemp that were used in Europe. They were the growers of resin strands of cannabis that were available in the Arab country and they were growing other rare herbs like sophron for them well so obviously they had it and the two templar raids on the list of key documents. There's a considerable amount of cannabis use just with this cannabis use not described as bar or anything like that you know like it would be nothing if it was like fifty pounds but with nothing if they were kind of made cloth that would be like to useless amount to have it would be a considerable amount to have if it was resin of cannabis right. So, there is increasing evidence for it and we know where the Templars before they were accused of heresy were around for almost two centuries. Right. And we know that a pope friendly with the Templars, he release the medical treaty is largely influenced by Arab states like the works of Albert Vienna who was also a user of medical cannabis that included a cannabis infused wine for a number of medical purposes as well portfolio of villains of honacor the 13th century Mason who had spent time in the Holy Land. His book is still available still in print but beautiful illustration. The only full page of printed text is the hunocor books is a recipe for a cannabis infused wine So it does seem likely there is something going on here now and dark in my book. One of the more radical things that I guess you know coming out of nowhere it probably seems pretty radical to people and it's something I've written about before is the idea that the reason that the Templars were accused of mocking the cross was one of the biggest criticisms of them from the Catholic Church was that they found out about medical applications of cannabis and other psychoactive substances as an anesthetic and cannabis use as an anesthetic goes back to the first century cannabis infused wine we use in China had to perform all sorts of complicated surgeries and medical knowledge. This was well known in the Islamic world combinations of cannabis Mandarin opium and other substances were used to put people into a coma like state where operations and surgeries could be performed simple surgery And what that opened up was idea that possibly when Jesus hung on the cross he was given such a preparation and he only appeared to be dead. And then when he was raised by his Secret servant Nicodemus and another secret follower in the tomb showed up with owls and bears and rubbed his body which was not a Jewish technique for burial he was revived. And this is radical but the whole catholic church is based on the resurrection of Jesus in the forgiveness of sins through his sacrifice and resurrection. And to think such a thing and you know there's a book actually the Passover plot by Dr. Stonehill and he wrote a whole book about this fascinating looked out at night. You think it could have been a number of stuff but you were in the story. Jesus is on the cross. And then he's given a sponge of wine and then he says it is done. And then he just dies immediately whereas we know from studies from O'Shaughnessy and others that potent cannabis infusion can actually induce a state of unconsciousness where your body freezes up with rigor mortis state and your breathing drop down and your heart beat drops down and in the 19th century a physician Dr. James Braid wrote a book Trance and Human Hibernation and he suggested that Fakir in India that would do this trick, where they would get buried for a number of days a week type of thing and then they would be dug up and then their followers would start rubbing lotions on their arms and legs. and they would wake up again. what was done with a combination of yoga techniques and potent cannabis extracts. The Templars are they mentioned how great that hashashin and the hashashin according to Marco Polo and others had this whole initiation where a initiate was given hash had died could do a secret garden, raised again, sees paradise, dosed again and then brought back to this world. So first European stories about cannabis is about a guy taking an infusion of cannabis. I think it's taken given secretly and thinking that he died. You know he ends up at the time and wakes up and come to think that he's dead. And so this idea was around this time. But in regards to a Christian reception Well I don't think they're really aware of my ideas about the crucifixion and resurrection to any extent that they've responded but they're certainly aware of about cannabis being used as a holy anointing oil. And you know I guess it depends a lot on how people feel about cannabis. Some Christians have embraced the numbers of churches that have developed around the use of cannabis and the idea of Jesus using who are anointing oil. There's all sorts of stuff going on around that. But for the most part it's probably frowned upon. This is like the sign of the end times heresy you know what I mean. But then with the Pharmacia thing and there's all sorts of Christians sites that attack my work in the say instead that these were all actual miracles you know no evidence of any sort of other actual scientific method of medicine or anything like that behind any of it. You know it's a real challenge to them of course. And I think that part of the revelation I should mention in here you know people are probably listening right and I'm giving all the scientific reasons and you know just disposing of miracles and stuff like that. I'm not an atheist You know I had a very very powerful religious experience in 1989 or 1990 I guess right in between the two there somewhere. And was that very powerful religious experience we're using cannabis that led me to write four books on the history of cannabis that I've written and dozens and dozens of articles and spend the last you know close to 30 years now I guess fighting for the legalization of cannabis and promote a revision of its history.

Chris:  Oh my God. You know I've definitely sought out academic support for my work. You know I am. I have cannabis and the Soma solution has the back cover done by Professor Scott Littleton and I've sought out that type of stuff but I'm actually a high school dropout. I had a very powerful religious experience and as I mentioned and 89 90 and I was trying to understand what had happened and I thought well if there was anything to it and other people I've had something similar with some other information on this and so I just started collecting information whenever I came across it on cannabis and religion.

Kirk:  Well I am I marvel at it because I like I said I looked at a few of your books for their highly referenced you speak of people who are academics so went out personally and you've created these textbooks I'm surprised you don't have an honorary PhD from somebody yet.

Chris:   Well people suggest that I should have but I've never really thought anything like that out.

 

 

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