Meet Pennsylvania's unlikely 'Pastor for Pot' – The Cannabist
Published: Aug 7, 2017, 10:39 am • Updated: Aug 7, 2017, 12:09 pm
ABBOTSTOWN, Pa. — What would they think?
His congregation. His representatives. All those people in the town hall.
He didn’t look like a rebel. And he didn’t look like a stoner — because he wasn’t one. (He still isn’t).
He wore his white collar – he regularly does in public. He was just as baby-faced then as he is now, about three years later.
He didn’t look like the “pastor for pot” — even though that’s what some have called him.
Annie was on his mind.
He was worried, for her and for her cause.
He worried that his actions would bring division, not unity.
He worried about the opposition he might face.
To be honest, he was a little worried they’d run him out of the church.
That didn’t happen. …
Three years ago, when Annie’s family came to speak with Shawn Berkebile, he hadn’t touched the plant in years.
Frankly, at that point in his life, he didn’t think much about marijuana any more.
When he was younger, he thought it was a drug — a bad one — and that people who smoked were stoners and potheads. They were the deviants.
Things started to change in college.
He smiled looking back. He was part of a music fraternity. Pot was just a part of the culture.
He partook socially, on occasion.
It didn’t ruin his life.
But he moved on, past those social circles. He graduated and went to seminary, just like he planned. He met his wife working at a church camp; he had three kids. He became a minister in sleepy Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, population: 1,011.
And because he was a minister, Annie’s family needed