Pot Activist Takes on Canadian Government

Chris Bennett is a pot activist, cannabis historian, and a longtime contributor to Cannabis Culture and Pot-TV, who has been fighting an ongoing battle with the Canadian government and courts over the religious use of marijuana.

Now, an important case that could have huge implications for marijuana and Canadian law is going to court.

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – Pot activist Christopher Bennett claims the Canadian government is making him choose between his religious beliefs and his personal security by not exempting him from marijuana laws. Bennett, a station manager at Vancouver’s Pot-TV, says he uses pot for religious and spiritual purposes after “he experienced a profound epiphany in 1990, coming to the belief that cannabis is the Biblical Tree of Life.”

Bennett, author of the 1995 book, “Green Gold the Tree of Life: Marijuana in Magic and Religion,” claims that his research suggests that Jesus used marijuana. He also writes for High Times and Cannabis Culture Magazine.

Bennett says the Canadian health minister denied his application for exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, as not in the public interest.

By denying his application, Bennett claims, the health minister placed “him in the constitutionally untenable position of being forced to choose between his religious and spiritual convictions and his liberty and security of the person.”

He seeks an order compelling the minister to allow him to use and produce marijuana on similar terms as medical marijuana patients and a declaration that sections of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are unconstitutional.

Bennett is represented in Federal Court by Kirk I. Tousaw. [Courthouse News]

Bennett is the author of a soon-to-be-published book called Cannabis and the Soma Solution which explores the plant’s complex relationship with ancient and modern religions.

It just so happens that Mr. Bennett has a store, The Urban Shaman, right next to the Cannabis Culture offices. Mr. Tousaw, also a regular contributor to CC, has an office upstairs in the same building. I will be interviewing the duo about their case for a CC feature article, so stay tuned.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Chief of Operations of Cannabis Culture and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.



  1. Anonymous on

    This is exactly what I was thinking…I enjoy school, work, and all that other crap but what I love most is waking up having a nice stretch, smoke a doob, make breakfest, then get ready for the day ahead at a nice steady pace.

    I wanted to…give up the whole education stage and just travel CaNaDA to start up a “secert” society or something..selling product, couch hoppin, bonding, and just having a blast. Make money to pay for the simple products needed daily then eventually buy land to grow our own food…build a nice GREEN house and just be as GREEN as possible. Cannabis has a faster growth period than trees, and can grow in any kind of climate. Hemp can be turned into everything we humans need

    Stoners love the planet, and if they had the chance to do good deeds all day with food in their bellies and air/smoke in their lungs wouldn’t the world be a happier place. Who wants to go to war and have danger creeping around the corner at any moment.

  2. Dispatchmouth on

    I know this probably sounds too simple. I’m sure someone has tried this idea in the past. But…
    Why not just start a religion around cannabis here in Canada. I know there are “rules” when defining a “religion”. I think you need so many people before you get upgraded from “cult” to all out religion. Anyone know the rules where that is concerned? I’m sure we could get enough stoners to sign up. I’m curious..

    What do you think?


  3. Covey WhiteGold on

    I and many many others really hope you win Chris. From seeing some of your video’s and readings I’m finding I’m coming to the very same conclusion on my belief and Christ’s use of the Holy Anointing Oil to heal and cast demons. Thank you for your diligent hours of research to help those of us stumbling in this spiritually devoid world and finding the connection for Cannabis and it’s existence with mankind and his spiritual development, I think Jesus was the first to probably share the Oil openly with the people.

    Thanks again..