The Rev. Chris Schuller, former rector at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, who posted a video on YouTube calling on people to "thank God for marijuana" and stop being judgmental by "throwing stones at people who are already stoned," might soon face punishment from his bishop for the public statements supporting the recreational use of the drug.
While the video was posted back in December it was recently brought to the attention of Bishop Dabney Smith, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida.
Diocesan spokesman Garland Pollard told The Tampa Bay Times in an interview published Wednesday that the bishop "was very disturbed by the video."
"In this age of social media, we have two hats that we wear in the world, and we need to think of how we present ourselves. And the clergy is held to a higher standard," continued Pollard.
In December, Schuller posted the video on his YouTube account titled "Thank God for Marijuana."
In the video, which is a little over two minutes long, Schuller argued that relaxing with marijuana is no different than relaxing with wine or beer.
"Here's the thing though, nobody seems to have a problem with beer or wine. But millions of people still find marijuana consumption problematic," said Schuller in the video.
"We could, instead, thank God for marijuana and all the ways God has given us to relax and renew … thanking God is going to feel so much better than throwing stones at people who are already stoned."
While Smith may seek to punish Schuller for the video and its message, according to the Tampa Bay Times Schuller will likely leave before such a decision can be enacted.
"A few days ago, Schuller posted to Facebook that he had decided to leave the Episcopal Church and planned to 'minister outside of its boundaries,'" reported Waveney Ann Moore of the Times.
Schuller isn't the only Christian faith leader to broadcast his views on marijuana in recent days. Controversial televangelist Pat Robertson denounced marijuana use in a recent episode of "The 700 Club."
"Cocaine is the product of a vegetable, alcohol is the product of a vegetable, marijuana is a vegetable," said Robertson. "And yet, people are enslaved to vegetables. And you were made in the image of God. God made you in His image to reign and rule with Him. He gave you incredible authority."