Toronto Religious Group to Appeal Pot Decision

A religious group that uses marijuana as a sacrament is reigniting its bid to be exempt from Canada’s pot laws.

The Church of the Universe, which launched the constitutional challenge in defence of two members charged with drug trafficking, is appealing the court’s Feb. 7 ruling.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Thea Herman had said group members were earnest in their beliefs and agreed that their religious rights were being limited.

But Herman dismissed the case because she did not think it was possible to create a workable religious exemption for the group.

Prosecutors had argued that allowing the church’s application would effectively legalize marijuana, as others would claim a religious right as well.

Paul Lewin, the lawyer representing church member Peter Styrsky, says the appeal will seek a limited exemption for the applicants in this case.

If his client wins the appeal, trafficking charges from 2006 against Styrsky and fellow church member Shahrooz Kharaghani will be dropped.

– Article from CBC News.

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