Dr. Livingston is the Senior Pastor of the Church of God by Faith #1 in Gainesville and Director of Patient Services for UF Health Jacksonville. Working in hospitals has changed his perspective about the use of medical marijuana to treat people in pain.
“I see pain every day. I lay hands on them, I do all the spiritual things I need to do, but sometimes the pain continues. So, in a compassionate way, I want to support whatever it takes to relieve pain. If medical marijuana is prescribed by a doctor, you have my support. I’m not going to put you on the altar and send you to hell.”
Added Pastor Stoney of The MaxOut Church in Melbourne: “This is definitely a taboo topic because we are pastors, right? I go back to this. If there's medicine for cancer, there's medicine for COVID now, and there's medicine for everything else, why can't there be a medicine prescribed by a doctor that has been tested and proven to make someone in pain feel better?”
Dr. Wesley of the Greater Little Rock Baptist Church in Pensacola said congregants really shouldn’t concern themselves with a church’s position on medical marijuana.
“It isn’t the church's business what medicine your doctor has prescribed for your medical care,” he stressed. “Do what you have to do medically to help you have a better quality of life.”
The pastors all agreed that education about medical marijuana was key to their acceptance of the drug. On the topic of recreational marijuana, all three voiced reservations on legalizing it regardless of whether that’s done by the state or federal government.
Click here to watch MMERI’s Conversations on Cannabis Virtual Forum featuring Reverend Lonnie Wesley (Greater Little Rock Baptist Church), Pastor Leo Stoney (MaxOut Church), Elder Doctor Erta Livingston (Church of God by Faith #1 in Gainesville) on YouTube. Visit MMERI’s website at http://mmeri.famu.edu.
For more information on qualifying conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana under Florida law, visit https://knowthefactsmmj.com.