The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has its sights set on a surprising target – churches.
Cannabis sacrament or ‘pot’ churches believe cannabis sativa is a sacred plant that can be used for religious purposes to expand consciousness and draw people closer to God.
While cannabis has been used in rituals throughout history by religious sects like Rastafari and Central Asian shamanism, modern pot churches are typically a strange blend of Rastafari, Gnostic Christianity and New Age philosophy.
Is smoking pot in church legal?
Sacramental cannabis sects claim they should be exempt from current marijuana laws because they use cannabis for religious purposes. Cannabis sacrament church leaders believe marijuana makes the mind more spiritually aware, and therefore it is their right as ministers to provide marijuana to those who want it
For example, a post on the Cannabis Culture Marijuana Magazine makes the argument sacramental cannabis users “are environmentalists, medical marijuana providers, and human rights activists. The war on cannabis is not new, it is an ancient battle between those who wish to explore the full dimensions of human consciousness, and those who want to control and limit the minds of others.”
The War on Drugs and Cannabis Sacrament
While the “for religious purposes” line of reasoning has worked for some on occasion, the DEA has beencracking down on cannabis sacrament users and their churches. One case in particular was in the spotlight after series of raids on The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry, founded by Roger Christie.
Christie, along with 13 other members of the THC Ministry, were charged last year with conspiracy to possess, manufacture and distribute marijuana. The DEA claimed Christie’s church was actually a major growing and distributing operation.
Pot Church Websites
Although more marijuana-smoking church arrests are being made in the U.S. and other countries like Canada, cannabis sacrament church sites are still springing up on the Internet.
A search for “pot church” yields interesting results. URLs like “potchurch.org,” “churchofreality.org” and “unitedcannabisministries.net” are scattered across the Web. Some pot churches even have Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Should marijuana be legalized?
The debate over whether marijuana should be legalized has always been a heated one. But, should churches be allowed to use marijuana for religious purposes?
Aside from the obvious moral questions, most traditional churches would probably rather avoid the cannabis sacrament debate, and focus on something a little easier — like whether to use real wine or grape juice for communion.
Kim Linton began her writing career in 2001 as a contributor for Ministrymaker.com, a Christian ministry webzine. Kim’s work has since been published on a variety of websites including Woman’s Day and Intel, and featured on several news sites including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.
– Article from Yahoo! News.