Spiritual pot update

Prohibition hangs by a thread in Canada, as at least four constitutional challenges to pot laws are currently being heard in courts across the land. In the US, battles continue between the states and the federal government for the fate of medical pot. The reverberations are felt as far away as the Vatican, where Pope John Paul II recently rejected legalization, issuing a declaration late in 2001, calling the marijuana and drug economy “death trafficking.” For cannabis users, it is a slap in the face.
Doesn’t the Pope remember when the Catholic sacrament of alcohol was prohibited in the early 1900’s? Are we still living in the era of the witch hunts, when one’s choice of sacrament or medicine meant facing extinction at the hands of storm troopers with a papal blessing?

Entrance to the Northern Lights Church: slander and busts.Entrance to the Northern Lights Church: slander and busts.Spiritual pot update

In California’s Calaveras County, Reverend David Jack of Northern Lights Church, which uses cannabis as a medical sacrament, is suing the local Sheriff’s office for libel, and has filed papers with Fresno’s US District Court.

“The sheriff’s office had made many statements,” said Jack, “in four different newspapers in seven different articles, and on three different occasions on two different television stations, that our church was dubious, that we didn’t have pews. They made very slanderous statements, saying ‘these people are looking for more than a spiritual high.’ What we are looking at is whether the sheriff had an influence on people who made the decision not to allow us to operate as a church in this county.”

Jack believes that the sheriff’s slander led to religious persecution, including restrictions against him erecting a cross on church property and holding services without a license… a license that Jack says is not required of any other church in the county.

The sheriff’s slander followed an August 2000 bust on Northern Lights Church, (CC#29, Medical marijuana ministries). The church was only providing marijuana to people who had a proven medical necessity, Jack said, and the county had agreed to leave them alone under proposition 215, the statewide ballot initiative that made med-pot legal in California. After the raid, two of the church’s reverends, Rick and Sue Garner, left the congregation to pursue growing cannabis for the sick people of the area. They were raided again by cops on November 8, 2001, although details of the case are currently being withheld pending a decision by the court.Entrance to the Northern Lights Church: slander and busts.

? Northern Lights Church www.northernlightschurch.org

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