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.



  1. Marian on

    I am 52 years old. I have been smoking marijuana everyday since I’ve been 14 , aside from a bout of alcoholism I have been sober since 1991. Since smoking pot I have led a fairly healthy lifestyle despite various medical ailments, that had I relied in their drugs and probes I’d probably be a lot sicker now. What pot gives me is clarity of mind and a sense of empathy for all living creatures. And a vast appreciation for the great creator. If I could freely join a church of God dedicated to opening our senses by lighting a joint. Bring it on.

  2. Brian Kerr on

    There is no casual link between ingesting cannabis and Schizophrenia.

    The rate of Schizophrenia does not increase when the use of cannabis goes up and the rate of Schizophrenia does not fall when the use of cannabis goes down.

  3. Anonymous on

    Unless the “vulnerable” are being exposed to Cannabis, 12-15 year olds according to recent schizophrenia studies, then what reason does the government have to deny a religious exemption? Doesn’t matter if the judge accepts your religion, as long as you say Cannabis is your sacrament, identical to wine in Christian churches,and no vulnerables are involved then the state has no right to deny you, other than because they like to feel powerful and they have a cruel streak. Who are they protecting under those conditions? Just don’t let anyone under 18 join the “church”.