Religious Freedom true or false?
Recently Allen St. Pierre of NORML in High Times magazine makes me think that NORML isn’t keen on the religious freedom idea. Read the full article here: http://hightimes.com/legal/ht_admin/6814
However, the legal and/or political prospects of such a thing happening are practically zilch. Supreme Court rulings – most notably in 2006, in the case of Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente União do Vegetal, where the religious defendants used ayahuasca, a powerful South American herbal sacrament traditionally used by the Santo Daime church in Brazil – should make it fairly clear that while small, committed religious sects may be permitted to use an otherwise illegal drug as a sacrament, the high court only allows such religious exemptions under circumstances for which cannabis will never be able to qualify
I say HOGWASH!
Allen is completely un-educated in religious freedom it seems. Just recently a case in Utah proves Mr. St. Pierre’s statements wrong here. Just last year James Mooney of Benjamin Utah won a supreme court case when he was fighting for his rights to provide peyote to his church members. The problem wasn’t the peyote as much as he was giving this substance to non-Native Americans.
After several years in court James Mooney won his court battle, and received his schedule 1 peyote plant back from police evidence. It was dead of course, but they got back the remains of their spiritual guide that police killed.
James Mooney is free now to provide a schedule 1 drug to non-Native Americans.
See this article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/595072326/Churchs-peyote-use-OKd.html
The reason why English defected to the US to start their own country was to remove themselves from unfair taxing and religious persecution. Here we are 400 years later back where we started, fighting for religious freedom!
Too bad we don’t have much support from other freedom activist groups. But non the less, this isn’t a political issue as much as it is a freedom and religious issue. A lot of these groups are just playing politics. Sometimes politics get in the way of standing up for what is right.
Allen does say at the end of this article
NORML has always supported – and always will continue to support – the use of cannabis by adults for religious purposes. But cannabis consumers, reformers and religious adherents should concentrate their efforts on the much broader reforms that can be achieved by cannabis legalization. In the end, this is a faster, more effective means to achieve genuine religious freedoms, rather than hoping that the current legal system (and body politic) under cannabis prohibition will be rational enough – or fair enough – to respect diverse religious practices consistently.
I respect that. However I do not respect the negative comments that detract from our fight for religious freedom.
Allen is basing his opinion on just one case, yet there are many others out there that he is not considering.
Look up NJ Weedman (Edward Forchion NJWeedman) who enjoys religious ceremonies on federal property with cannabis and without arrest.
Also take a good look at the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
There is a reason why that act was initiated, its because Americans are slowly losing our religious freedom!
If something like that can be initiated, then we are on the right track, and it is NOT impossible as many NORML speakers tend to believe!
I made this video a few days ago, and I think it applies to this conversation.
This is a minor road bump. We agree on pretty much everything. I just think religious freedom is more important than cannabis freedom. Religious freedom is most certainly a large reason why our country was founded. So I am bias, based on those beliefs. But in my bias, I stand firm. Religious use of cannabis is (or should be) protected by the First Amendment.