Cannabis Culture News LIVE: Fight for Religious Marijuana Freedom Heads Back to Court

CANNABIS CULTURE – Watch Cannabis Culture News LIVE for the latest news and views on pot politics and the marijuana community. In this episode: Canadian cannabis historian Chris Bennett will go back to court next week for the right to use marijuana for religious and spiritual purposes. Bennett and his attorney Kirk Tousaw join the show to discuss the case.

Also on the show: marijuana activist Neil Magnuson joins us to discuss the latest on the Occupy Vancouver/Wall Street protests and his and other activists’ work to keep drug law reform a part of the demand process.

CCN host Jeremiah Vandermeer will also go over the latest HIGHlights from the front-lines of the Drug War.

Tell Christy Clark to listen to the experts who say it’s time to end marijuana prohibition. Call the BC Liberal office: 604-606-6000 or send an email.


Go to the Pot TV Livestream page to join the chat.

Click here to watch MORE EPISODES of CCN LIVE.

Jeremiah Vandermeer is editor of Cannabis Culture. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



  1. click jogos on

    God created the marijuana seed, and we all have a God-given right to grow this miracle plant and enjoy it’s endless benefits.

  2. friv 4 on

    I was very happy to bring joy to you

  3. Anonymous on

    Cmon man if u really are godly you would know god and have the sense not to use your words to degrade others but i will read more on this guy if hes doing gods work it will show throgh his actions more than words

  4. Chris Bennett on

    I think you are right, this guy is a Harper troll.

  5. Anonymous on

    It is pathetic that there are people who want to cage humans for using a God-given plant.

    God indicates He created all the seed-bearing plants, saying they are all good, on literally the very first page of the Bible (see Genesis 1:11-12 and 29-30).

    Proof, EVIL is alive and well.

  6. Anonymous on

    sweet .. and Harper pays us with your tax money and fines when we catch you
    and we do keep catching you and we will keep catching you.
    For people over 40 you sure didn’t learn any life lessons-
    look at Marc Emery,
    Look at Malmo Levine,
    look at Randy Caine,
    look at every one of your grumpy activists
    –rusted out stoners waiting for a bus that is never gonna come

  7. Anonymous on

    Calling cannabis.. a plant that has been used medicinally for more than 5000 years “dope” disqualifies you immediately from any sort of rational discussion on the subject. You are some buzzcut dinosaur from the 50’s. Get lost and go extinct with the rest already.

  8. Anonymous on

    Yes we are legion :) but there is only a few that are douchebag harper paid trolls.

  9. Anonymous on

    That was a spin away from the point
    It doesn’t matter what anybody’s name is
    who raises points.. and adds content
    there is more than one anon
    but you didn’t notice

    glad you are laughing first
    you won’t be laughing last

  10. :) on

    Good thing that all government money doesn’t go to trolls……

    Prepared For The Senate Special Committee On Illegal Drugs

    Leah Spicer
    Law and Government Division

    12 April 2002


    a. Sumerians

    Several cannabis commentators believe that the peoples of the Near East were the first to use cannabis for religious purposes due to man’s inability to engage in introspection.([25]) The theory is that the cannabis plant assisted in giving man the ability for introspection, but that man initially believed his own introspection was actually the gods speaking to him. According to Julian Jaynes, a psychologist who wrote, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, “ancient people from Mesopotamia to Peru could not ‘think’ as we do today, and were therefore not conscious… they experienced auditory hallucinations – voices of gods, actually heard as in the Old Testament or the Iliad – which, coming from the brain’s right hemisphere, told a person what to do in circumstances of novelty or stress.” Terrence McKenna expanded this theory in his book called Food of the Gods, and suggests that, “psychoactive plants, like the psilocybin mushroom and cannabis, acted as catalysts and accelerators for mankind’s transition into consciousness and self reflection. The hallucinations and mystical insights experienced by those who consumed these plants convinced the ancient worshippers that they had come into contact with the divine.”([26])

    In an example of this, the Sumerians of the Ancient Near East each developed their own ‘personal deity’ whom they would worship each day by burning cannabis. The Sumerians believed that the daily worship of their personal deity assisted them in earning a living and being courageous in battle. However, commentators believe that this ‘personal deity’ was actually just a “personification of a man’s luck, and his capacity for thinking and acting.”([27]) In other words, cannabis became entrenched into Sumerian religion because they believed it was putting them in touch with their gods. Researchers believe however, that cannabis inhalation was actually just facilitating the Sumerians’ discovery of personal inner thinking.

    b. Biblical Origins

    There are many contested theories of the appearance of the use of cannabis by peoples of the Near East in the Old Testament. These theories are often challenged as being quite obscure with no clear history.([28]) However as C. Creighton wrote in his article, On Indications of the Hachish-Vice in the Old Testament, “there are reasons… why there should be no clear history. All vices are veiled from view, and that is true especially of the vices of the East. Where they are alluded to at all, it is in cryptic, subtle, witty and allegorical terms. Therefore, if we are to discover them, we must be prepared to look below the surface of the text.”([29])

    In Creighton’s text, he asserts that cannabis appears to have been eaten by both Saul and Jonathan in I Samuel 14, 25-45. In Jonathan’s case, the Bible passage is as follows:

    And all [they of] the land came to a wood, and dropped; but no man put his hand to his mouth: for the people feared the oath. But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath; wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in an honey-comb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened.([30])

    Creighton asserts that over the years the Hebrew words ‘yagarah hadebash’ have been translated incorrectly into ‘honey comb.’ He says that, “The earlier [translations], however obscure, show that the ‘honey’ was of a peculiar kind”([31]) and that the Syrian version of the text is actually a better account. The Syrian account says that Jonathan dipped his rod in a field of flower-stalks with resinous exudation, which would be produced in times of heat – similar to the behaviour of cannabis resin.

    If proof exists that peoples in the Old Testament used cannabis, this in fact predates the belief that the word ‘cannabis’ originated with the Scythians. Like Creighton, commentators such as Sula Benet, Sara Bentowa and Chris Bennett also delve below the surface of the Biblical text to argue that the word cannabis was actually borrowed by the Scythians from Semitic languages such as Hebrew. The word ‘kaneh bosm’ appears several times in the Old Testament([32]) “both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant,”([33]) but a specific example sees Moses using it in Exodus 30:23 when God commanded him to make “holy anointing oil of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, kaneh bosm, and kassia.” Benet explains that in this passage the Hebrew definition of kaneh bosm is ‘aromatic reed,’ kan meaning ‘reed’ or ‘hemp,’ while bosm means ‘aromatic.’([34]) The linguistic resemblance of the word ‘kaneh bosm’ to the Scythian word cannabis, and the Hebrew definition of kaneh bosm provide Benet and Bentowa with enough evidence to assert that the intoxicating properties of cannabis were probably first used by the peoples of the Near East and then spread through contact with the Scythians.([35])

    Today, there are groups such as The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church who fully believe in the teachings of the Bible and that “marijuana is a godly creation from the beginning of the world… Its purpose in creation is as a fiery sacrifice to be offered to our Redeemer during obligations… Ganja (cannabis) is the sacramental rights of every man worldwide.”([36]) As further confirmation of this belief, they point to the Encyclopedia Brittanica’s section on Pharmacological Cults, which states: “the ceremonial use of incense in contemporary ritual is most likely a relic of the time when the psychoactive properties of incense brought the ancient worshipper into touch with supernatural forces.”([37])

  11. Anonymous on

    That’s Intellectual dishonesty to use yourself as a reference.At this stage of the game you really should know better than to pull that kind of sophomore crap What’s worse its an opinion piece and we all got opinions – so what? Millennia of cannabis in religious use and the only reference you can find is yourself? You stoners better do way better than this when they get to court or they will blow you off like a turd fly. Its one thing to be denied fa petty application to the courts for an exemption to get stoned- and quite another to waste everybody’s time and considerable public expense of a court to just get denied..its just dope Chris, everyday plastic bag lightbulb reefer of which your city is awash in.
    What makes you so special from us other 7 billion ? please- no links to your highschool yearbook page. We’d have to hear from your Gramma at this point

  12. Anonymous on

    Somehow cannabis has been seen fit to be banned by a billion plus Godless Communists, tens of millions of Muslims, equal number of Buddhists and assorted other non aligned social systems around the world- for the last five generations.
    Good luck selling your stale dated dope spooks to rational people – and to think you got your mystic inspiration from the holy book of people you loathe. ha ha ha Chris,
    we’ll watch them beat you down in court. What activist historian worth his weight in bullshit needs permission to smoke dope ? We made way for the tree of life and monkeys like you fell out of the branches

  13. Anonymous on

    the plant is natural and has been around longer than we have been around to notice it. Sorry but god didn’t create shit, but it’s true that telling a man/woman what they can or can’t consume is just stupid.

  14. Norm S. on

    God created the marijuana seed, and we all have a God-given right to grow this miracle plant and enjoy it’s endless benefits.

    Only transparently phony Christians – like the red, white and blue Harper Regime – would declare a war on God’s Plant.

    I’m already sick and tired of his 38% “majority” government pushing their intolerant ‘Made in the USA’ agenda on the 62% of us who Did Not vote for these disgusting military-industrial sellouts.