Direct Action: Sacramental Cannabis User Jailed on 30 Year Old Charge

Chris Bennett talks to Brother Gary, who with his wife Ilene Schecter, has been a member of the Ethiopan Zion Coptic Church for over 30 years. Recently while travelling into Canada, Canadian authorities siezed his wife on a 30 year old Canadian cannabis charge that was incurred while she was a member of the church. This is clearly a case of Religious Persecution. Write Martin Cauchon and tell him to free Ilene Schecter now!
For more information:
Ilene Schecter’s husband Gary: 954-242-5639
Write Martin Cauchon at
[email protected]

Ilene Schecter, an American citizen, is presently being held in a Canadian correctional facility on a 30 year old maijuana charge. Both then and now she has declared it to be her sacrament and uses it only for the purpose of worship. She has been a faithful member of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church for over 30 years, which declares the sacramentality of herb. The church was enacted into the laws of Jamaica by the Queen of England and Governor General in 1976. I hope you will take this into consideration as her basic human right and correct this injustice.

With offerings of devotion, ships from the isles will meet to pour the wealth of the nations and bring tribute to his feet. The Coptic Church believes fully the teachings of the Bible, and as such we have our daily obligations, and offer our sacrifices, made by fire unto our God with chants and Psalms and spiritual hymns, lifting up holy hands and making melody in our hearts.
Herb (marijuana) is a Godly creation from the beginning of the world. It is known as the weed of wisdom, angel’s food, the tree of life and even the “Wicked Old Ganja Tree.” Its purpose in creation is as a fiery sacrifice to be offered to our Redeemer during obligations. The political worldwide organizations have framed mischief on it and called it drugs. To show that it is not a dangerous drug, let me inform my readers that it is used as food for mankind, and as a medicinal cure for diverse diseases. Ganja is not for commerce; yet because of the oppression of the people, it was raised up as the only liberator of the people, and the only peacemaker among the entire generation. Ganja is the sacramental rights of every man worldwide and any law against it is only the organized conspiracy of the United Nations and the political governments who assist in maintaining this conspiracy.

The Coptic Church is not politically originated, and this was firmly expressed when we met with the political directorate of the land during the period of pre-incorporation. We support no political organization, pagan religion, or commercial institution, seeing that religion, politics, and commerce are the three unclean spirits which separate the people from their God. Because of our non-political stand, the church has received tremendous opposition from the politicians, who do not want the eyes of the people to be opened. Through its agency, the police force, the church has been severely harassed, victimized, and discriminated. Our members have passed through several acts of police brutality, our legal properties maliciously destroyed, members falsely imprisoned, divine services broken up and all these atrocities performed upon the Church, under the name of political laws and their justice.

American citizen jailed in Canada on a 30 year old cannabis charge
by Dana Larsen (25 Oct, 2003) Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church member wan not allowed religious defense in court

On September 19th, 2003 Ilene Schecter was seized at the Peace Arch Border Crossing when entering into Canada on a 30 year old Canadian Cannabis Charge.

Ilene Schecter, an American citizen, was arrested in Canada 1970 for bringing roughly a kilo of marijuana into Canada. At that time, Ilene declared herself to be a member of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, and that the marijuana was her sacrament.

A religious legal defense was not permitted, and Ilene served 14 months of a 24 month sentence, before escaping while on a Day Pass in 1973.

Now Schecter is back in a Canadian prison, 30 years later, with the same defense. Less than a year was left on the original warrant for Schecter’s arrest, and likely by today’s standards the 14 months served would be a considerably harsh sentence.

The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church was chartered by the Queen of England and the government of Jamaica in 1976, and claims to have used ganja (marijuana) for their sacrament for many generations. They use ganja for divine worship and prayer.

Ilene Schecter has lived a quiet life for 30 years as a working mother of two, and continues to live her life according to the doctrine she adopted in 1971. She is currently being held at the Burnaby Correction Center for Women.

For more information:
Ilene Schecter’s husband Gary: 954-242-5639