William Worcester these days is facing more than a congregation. He's the pastor of the Trinity United Church of Lewisville, Ohio, where recently, several marijuana plants were confiscated. He is charged with the cultivation of those plants.
Worcester's court appearance Wednesday also attracted the attention of pro-pot supporters.
"If we're going to reform Ohio laws, we have to go everywhere," says John Hartman of the Ohio Cannabis Society. "This is a part of Ohio we don't get to very often, so this is an opportunity to show people we exist."
Hartman says residents were cordial to the group. While that may be true, people WTAP News spoke to weren't sympathetic to Worcester.
"Young kids get their hands on a lot of things these days," says Greg Ady, a volunteer firefighter from Beallsville. "I definitely think he should go to jail. The bad part about it is that it's on church grounds. It's supposed to be a holy place."
Even among members of the local clergy, Worcester doesn't appear to have complete support.
"The Bible says marijuana or any type of substance that's harmful to your body is not right," says Dawn Langdon, whose husband is pastor at the Church of the Nazarene. "And to have a pastor who's condoning that, it's wrong in general, but especially for a pastor who's supposed to be an example."
Worcester, who waived a preliminary hearing, is due back in Monroe County Court Aug. 14. He would not comment Wednesday.
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