Five years ago, I answered a call familiar to pastors and others of faith; the call to a ministry.
Mine was received with great anxiety because it involved admitting to unlawful acts; the use of cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana) for medicinal purposes. After much prayer, and a couple of miracles, I accepted this calling and chose to write a column for The Richmond County Daily Journal to explain my calling and to ask for understanding and forgiveness for anyone offended by my choice.
One of your readers posed the following question: “Aren’t you worried about being arrested?” My reply was: “Yes, I am concerned, but to be honest, my greatest fear was (is) how it might affect my Christian testimony.”
That remains true to this day. To illustrate, I asked for permission to explain my difficult choice to the members of the church I attend. I wanted to explain why I had chosen to use cannabis instead of the narcotics to treat my war wounds; in spite of the fact that it subjected me to arrest. That was several months ago, but so far, the concern of the pastor about alienating some older, opinionated members and some board members has prevented this testimony.
When I met with the board, they asked: “What does this have to do with church?”
Simple, the church is where ignorance is allowed to exist because of fear of being “deceived.” I have news for the church. They were “deceived” many years ago by a trusted government source, Harry T. Anslinger, the first commissioner of narcotics. His success in vilifying marijuana has resulted in perhaps the greatest injustice this country has ever endured. I would refer you to Isaiah 10th chapter, which begins: “Woe be unto those who create unjust laws.”
The information used by Anslinger has been disclosed as totally false and completely exposed by the scientific community. Today, I would like to ask the church and the readers of The Daily Journal to consider the following:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, noted brain surgeon and candidate for Surgeon General recently admitted that he had been duped by the U.S. Government. His special, “WEED” reported on cannabis used to treat a severe form of epilepsy in children known as Dravet Syndrome.
Usually fatal by age 5 or 6, the program described how Charlotte, a child having more than 300 seizures each week, is now almost seizure-free utilizing cannabis. It has resulted in “miraculous results for many of the children.” As of November, 93 families of children have flocked to Colorado for treatment of their children.
For me, another statement by Dr. Gupta was earth-shattering: “We always wondered if marijuana damaged or injured the brain. What we have found is that it appears to be a ‘neuro-protectant’. It seems to help heal the brain!”
We have over 287,861 veterans with diagnosed brain injuries! What, in God’s name, are we waiting for?
Perry Parks is president of the North Carolina Cannabis Patients Network. He lives in Rockingham.