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World News

'I’m looking for people who smell like weed': US pastor finds controversy after suggesting using church to grow cannabis

by Alex Collett

A Pastor in Atlanta has received widespread attention online for sharing that he wants to start a cannabis business, in a bid to welcome more men into his church.

Pastor Jamal Bryant, from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, said growing the recreational drug could teach men to become entrepreneurial as well as introduce them to faith.

Speaking in an interview with “The Cool Soror Podcast' with Rashan Ali, he said he wanted to reach out to people who would never attend church.

"I’m mindful that I’m not after Christians," he said. "I’m after people who don’t go to church."

“Churches are just recycling people from other churches. I’m looking for people who smell like weed.”

Mr Bryant, also spoke of his idea later during an Instagram Live in which he said he plans to open a clinic on the church campus within the next six months.

Addressing the controversial interview, he said: “I said I want people who smell like smoke because I believe these are the people God is looking for and too many of us have become so puffed up in our self-appointed sanctification that we fail to do outreach.

"In no uncertain terms is cannabis a ploy or distraction from winning souls to Christ.”

In response to Mr Bryant's comments on wanting to start a Cannabis business, Evangelist Shane Winnings said: "Pastor Jamal Bryant, a pastor and I use that phrase loosely, as a pastor is supposed to guide, lead and protect their flock."

Mr Winnings even made an ironic joke at the end of his post and said: "You know what why doesn't the church just open a liquor store and attach it to the Church, you know Jesus liked wine."

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