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Constitutional and Statutory right to religious use of cannabis

Kynwulf

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Our constitutional and statutory right to grow and utilize cannabis on religious grounds for spiritual and medical reasons.

Entheogenic use of cannabis:

Cannabis has long been used as a sacrament and/or spiritual aid in religions for as long as we have records, and far beyond that. Many religions also recognize the medicinal side of cannabis as a gift from the gods and goddesses. The Shintos of Japan have utilized cannabis, the Greek historian Herotodus wrote of the ritual use of cannabis by the Scythian tribes, the Vedas refer to cannabis as one of the five sacred plants. The ancient tribes of Europe held cannabis to be sacred according to many. My own religion holds it to be a sacrament and a vital tool in the use of healing. I personally believe it is also to be viewed a deity. The list of religious uses are extensive. In fact, even some modern religions have some sects which believe that the use of cannabis is sanctioned for a spiritual experience.

Entheogenic use of cannabis - Wikipedia Religious Uses of Marijuana
Cannabis (Marijuana) and Religion https://masscann.org/education-vill...tuality-of-cannabis/religious-use-ofcannabis/
Cannabis In The Bible: Is Smoking Weed A Sin?

Does government have a right to limit the use of cannabis?

A few years ago an argument could be made on both sides. While it is my belief that the constitution has always supported the utilization of cannabis in religious practice, many states would argue that they had a “compelling governmental interest” in restricting it. Those days are now past as various state governments have taken actions (legalization for medical and recreational use) that destroys the claim that they now have a “compelling governmental interest” in banning cannabis.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the states from enacting or enforcing laws which interfere with the free exercise of religion: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...” My own state (Ohio) guarantees this same protection in Article 1 Section 7 of the Ohio Constitution:

“All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience...."

These constitutional provisions have been given new teeth with the passage of both the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) 42 U.S.C. 2000bb and the Religious Land use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) 42 U.S.C. 2000cc. RLUIPA has given a definition to religious practice which includes the individual's religious belief, whether or not central to their religious group. Here it is the individuals belief that matters.... not what your pastor, priest or imam may proclaim:

Exercise of religion is defined as, “any exercise of religion, whether or not compelled by, or central to, a system of religious belief”. 42 U.S.C. 2000cc-5(7)(A). See, Cutter v. Wilkinson, 125 S.Ct. 2113, 2118, 544 U.S. 709 (2005).

“Under the definition of 'religious exercise' in 42 U.S.C. 2000cc5(7)(A),... a religious exercise need not be mandatory for it to be protected...” Kikumura v. Hurley, 242 F.3d 950, 960 (20001).

Both RFRA and RLUIPA clearly mandate that government may not substantially burden a persons free exercise of religion unless (1) they have a compelling governmental interest in doing so; and (2) that the burden is the least restrictive means available. 42 U.S.C 2000bb and 42 U.S.C. 2000cc Most state and local governments are completely ignorant of the law under RLUIPA. As such, the United States Department of Justice, on December 15, 2016 sent out a letter to local and state municipalities to remind them of their duties under RLUIPA.

https://www.justice.gov/crt/page/file/918596/download

So what is my argument for medical use of cannabis based on a religious belief? The courts have upheld the rights of religious groups to utilize both peyote and hoasca, but rarely if ever have upheld the right to cannabis. So why do I believe this has changed? First and foremost. Many of the religious cannabis claims thus far have been by churches or people who have “invented” religions centered around the use of cannabis. The courts have simply not found them to be serious on a religious level (although I believe I could make a good argument otherwise for some of these). Secondly, the states themselves have taken actions which limit their ability to now claim that they have any “compelling governmental interest” in banning religious use and growth of cannabis. Many states have now legalized the use of cannabis for recreational or medical use or both. Some states have also legalized home growing of cannabis. Once this has happened, the states have lost the ability to argue their main reasons for illegality.

Let us look at how the law on religious practice are to be viewed by the courts. When anyone claims that the state has violated or infringed upon their sincere religious practice or beliefs... the state must then prove that they (1) had a 'compelling governmental interest” in doing so, and (2) that the interference was by the “least restrictive means necessary.” See, United States v. Boyll, 774 F.Supp. 1333, 1340 (1991), citing, Hernandez v. Commissioner, 490 U.S. 680, 699 (1989); United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252, 257-258 (1982), Thomas v. Review Board, 450 U.S. 707, 717-719 (1981); Sherbert v. Verner, 374 U.S. 398, 403 (1963). So,... the short answer is... anytime one state allows recreational use, medical use and the legal right to grow cannabis, that hinders the next state from arguing that they have a “compelling governmental reason” to prohibit those same actions. If in fact there existed a legitimate “compelling governmental interest” to ban the practice, then no state would be permitting it. Where such acts are permitted and allowed in other states, it becomes impossible for the state of Ohio to then support any argument that they have a “compelling governmental interest” in prohibiting those same actions which would infringe upon the free exercise of religion. The states contention that the prohibition is justified is significantly undermined by the fact that other states permit these same actions. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 414 (1977).

The state may articulate many reasons why they feel they must restrict or prohibit the use or grow of cannabis, and many of those reasons may have some legitimacy to them.... but none of them can rise to the level of a “compelling governmental interest” in the restriction. And, even if they could establish a “compelling governmental interest” to restrict your actions.... they would still only be permitted to enforce their interest by the “least restrictive means” necessary.

In a nutshell, if you have a sincere religious belief in the use and grow of cannabis for spiritual and medical purposes.... I do not believe the state has the legal means to stop you. I am not advising anyone to go out and violate the law... what I am advocating is that those to whom this applies to research what I have said, then contact your state legislators with these facts and demand the right to the free exercise of religion. If enough point out the legal and constitutional facts to the state legislators, and argue that the state may not violate their religious rights.... we may see some changes made to the laws.

But, for those governmental officials who think they can violate your constitutional rights.... they should be aware that federal statutes makes it a criminal offense for them to do so.

United States Code Title 18 Section 241: Conspiracy Against Civil Rights
United States Code Title 18 Section 242: Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law
United States Code Title 18 Section 247: Damage to Religious Property; Obstruction of Persons in the Free Exercise of Religion.
 

bigsur51

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I wonder how come new posters show up and promote their favorite cause and then leave?

Do these new posters even read or u derstand how a community Forum works?

Would it change anything on this site if new members were required to post an Introduction before making any posts?

Anyway , Kenwulf , is this a one time post or do you intend to be an active member here?
I don’t want to take much thought and time responding to your post if you don’t intend on staying here long.

Cheers
 

Chad.Westport

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Not sure bigsur51.

It was a little TLDR, but I can understand a desire to be knowledgeable in the subject. My problem with this approach, from a practical approach is, you're going to be explaining this from behind jail bars. This argument may get you out of charges (but the criteria is rigorous) but it isn't likely to stop you from getting arrested. It's been tried many times.
 

Chad.Westport

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or it could be Russian agents hiding trigger words for secret agents in generic text aimed at the scurge of the free world, pot smokers. Maybe I'm just high?

or AI spambots have learned to copy text from their memory to a website relating to the subject matter.

or.... (your turn)
 

WeedHopper

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Kynwulf. You do know your dealing with stoners right. Another words keep it simple,,we are stoned. 😁
 

Kynwulf

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I am only on internet twice a day, therefore not here to respond repeatedly.

I do understand this is a long post, but it was intended to be a blue print for those who seek to secure their constitutional and statutory rights.

And no, if someone wishes to implement this, they need not wait until arrested to do so. Any person is free to petition any court for a declaratory judgment as to their rights in this matter to obtain verification.

One thing I am aware of is the law under these statutes, as I was the individual who drafted and for years prosecuted the Miller v. Wilkinson case which was consolidated with Cutter v. Wilkinson and Gerhardt v. Lazaroff to go before the United States Supreme Court as Cutter v. Wilkinson to determine the constitutionality of the Religious Land Use Act. needless to say the United States Supreme Court ruled in our favor.

Cutter v. Wilkinson, 544 U.S. 709 (2005)

I do apologize for the long post that it was, but it would not be understandable if condensed, nor of any value if anyone wished to pursue the matter.
 

Kynwulf

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I agree with hopper. Long posts tend to loose me. I can stay with Walt and GW but a post like the one above bores me. Just me!
Agreed. Long posts are boring. But this was intended to be more than a post... a blue print for anyone in need. Would be useless without the explanation and citations, don't you think? Besides, with the title, I presumed would be read by those in need of this and by very few others.
 

Kynwulf

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I wonder how come new posters show up and promote their favorite cause and then leave?

Do these new posters even read or u derstand how a community Forum works?

Would it change anything on this site if new members were required to post an Introduction before making any posts?

Anyway , Kenwulf , is this a one time post or do you intend to be an active member here?
I don’t want to take much thought and time responding to your post if you don’t intend on staying here long.

Cheers
Sorry, did not mean to post and disappear. I am not online but a couple times a day. I am terminally ill (pulmonary fibrosis) and just sitting up at times is difficult. I will make an effort to do better.
 

Chad.Westport

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It's a human! Welcome Kynwulf :)

Thank you for sharing. Its a shame more people aren't able to openly express their connection with the plant. Many refer to it as a healing plant. It can offer relief and also mental clarity. With flaws the way they are in a few remaining states, I sincerely hope no one ever has to go to jail for the personal growth or consumption of a plant. Religious grounds may be one alley to explore, but wouldn't it be great if we didn't need that extra layer of protection?

No worries on post frequency, we are happy to have you here when we can. There has been an increase of spam on the website and so there was a natural knee jerk reaction to your initial post. Not many first time posters have the desire to string such an important and researched topic for their first post. Glad you're you :)
 

Kynwulf

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It's a human! Welcome Kynwulf :)

Thank you for sharing. Its a shame more people aren't able to openly express their connection with the plant. Many refer to it as a healing plant. It can offer relief and also mental clarity. With flaws the way they are in a few remaining states, I sincerely hope no one ever has to go to jail for the personal growth or consumption of a plant. Religious grounds may be one alley to explore, but wouldn't it be great if we didn't need that extra layer of protection?

No worries on post frequency, we are happy to have you here when we can. There has been an increase of spam on the website and so there was a natural knee jerk reaction to your initial post. Not many first time posters have the desire to string such an important and researched topic for their first post. Glad you're you :)
Thank you. The last 40 years of my life have been spent fighting the system, in more ways than I care to articulate, so this is simply something that I do. I often forget, however, that not everyone does so, and as a result, I may seem odd to them. But this is me, argue and fight against the system. I feel confident that this is a valid argument, if for no other reason than (1) I fought and won RLUIPA in the highest court in the United States, and (2) This is the exact basis for the Indiana religious freedom law (the state copied federal law) under which the Church of Marihuana operates and the state leaves them alone.
 

WeedHopper

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Hey,,your not spam and thats all i needed to know.
As for the thread,,its very interesting and maybe it could help one of the members so thanks for the post. I personally have lived in Texas most my life and i am use to basically being an Outlaw,,in more ways then one and wont go into it,,but lets just say, Im use to it.😁
 

Chad.Westport

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Good people break bad laws.

Education is essential. There have been a lot of people trapped in the system, had they had a decent lawyer or knowledge of the laws, their lives could have been dramatically different. Its sad that the quality of justice is so uneven amongst our population. So, keep spreading the word my man. No one should be in jail for growing personal consumption gardens.
 

bigsur51

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Sorry, did not mean to post and disappear. I am not online but a couple times a day. I am terminally ill (pulmonary fibrosis) and just sitting up at times is difficult. I will make an effort to do better.
no problems
I apologize for grouping you with so many others who post once and disappear

I am really sorry to hear your prognosis....prayers of comfort for you and your loved ones

i just lost my brother a bout a year ago to lung issues , chronic copd , he was down to less than 20% use of his lungs..I cared for him the best I could for the last 6 years , he passed over in my house , very much at peace with things

wishing you all the best
 

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