Conservative city turns to marijuana for jobs

BRISTOL, VA — There are two big projects slated for a vacant shopping mall here.

One, a medical marijuana production center and dispensary, has been utterly uncontroversial.

The second, a destination casino resort, has divided the city, Virginia Mercury reports.

“This is an attack on the Bible Belt,” says Dewey Williams, an evangelical Baptist preacher who leads a congregation of 300 in the city. A history buff and avid hunter, he’s sitting in his basement office, which is wrapped in Civil War themed wallpaper and contains no less than three taxidermied raccoons.

He says he’s seen cannabis help sick people. And he says he’s seen the harm casinos can inflict on people who develop gambling addictions.