Author of “Bonanza of Green”
This question may indeed be answered “Yes” in both cases when Cannabis is considered. Some people scoff at the idea of smoking weed being religious and I can understand that initial response. However when looked at more closely the sacramental nature of cannabis becomes obvious to me. Consider the fact that in Christianity, which encompasses many denominations, wine is a sacrament used in many churches. Is it any more ridiculous to use cannabis as a sacrament than it is to use booze?
Actually the world now realizes that cannabis is indeed medicine. In fact as a trained Naturopathic Therapist I can attest to the fact that cannabis is probably the finest of herbal medicines available. The range of uses are so wide that many pharmaceuticals would be replaced if Cannabis were freely available at reasonable costs. The use of cannabis even when smoked has been shown to be healthy in fact. Most people are convinced by now that cannabis is real medicine especially since we discovered the THC receptors in the brain.
This powerful effect has major implications for many types of therapies and cannabis can be a very effective anti-depressant. These THC receptors seem to allow us to relax and enjoy eating. This de-stress herb can be the key to healing our souls as well as our bodies. In alternative medicine the mind, body and spirit are a triad making us whole. When considering the spiritual nature of a substance we look at the effects of ingestion by whatever form.
Luckily the Christians don’t get drunk when they go to church. 🙂 Most probably Rastafarians have a serious spiritual side as well. If you look at it with an open mind Cannabis as a sacrament seems sensible. The effects of the aromatherapy Cannabis gives are relaxation, peace and love. My good friend Soma says that “Cannabis makes people kinder” and he considers it his daily Sacrament. I quite agree with this and most of what Master Soma says because he is truly a great soul. Like myself he is possessed with the spirit of Cannabis. That may sound like a bad thing to some but would you rather use alcohol daily as your ritual or sacrament. Would that be more spiritual?
In fact there is much basis for Cannabis being a sacrament in history and even Christianity believe it or not. Many now believe that the recipe for the Holy Anointing Oil, used by the Hebrews and Jesus to heal, actually contained large amounts of cannabis. This oil is currently being made and it does have remarkable healing properties that could have helped a blind person see after having it applied by Jesus. The ingredients for this Holy Anointing Oil come from the Torah which predates the Old Testament of the Bible in Judeo-Christianity.
In many states and other countries as well as Canada there is legal medical marijuana and the trend seems to be going well in
that regard but Cannabis while allowed for some religious use has not been legally made a sacrament in the USA as yet. We are working on it however. The implications of this are huge in the legal realm because this could, in one court case, virtually end Cannabis Prohibition in the USA. Although some don’t want it legalized, for many reasons that I do understand, there may be no choice. Time marches on and the good aspects of Cannabis and Hemp seem endless. Now on to the spiritual aspect.
Have you ever been to an event where everyone was smoking and sharing a lot of pot openly and freely? Did you notice something about how you felt and about how others seemed also to feel around you? Do you think a plant could have a spirit? Booze has a spirit as well and when everyone gets a little high on it the fun starts, but when the folks get drunk people often fight. Cannabis tends to make the initial fun as well and there is no problem when people have had enough. They don’t fight or crash their cars. They don’t get rowdy and start cussing at each other. They have a great time and they go to sleep peacefully.
Religious or Medical, freedom is just that. The right to say and think what you believe and the right to choose what you ingest. Whether it be for medicinal or religious purpose is up to the individual. Alternative Medicine as a whole often stays away from the Medical Marijuana issue because they have enough trouble with their own legitimacy when faced with a myriad of laws forbidding them from practicing medicine without a license. Herbal medicines are required to state that they haven’t been proven to be effective by the FDA in America so they are in almost the same boat as us Cannabis users.
What people need to realize is that freedom is what is at stake here. Everyone has certain rights given by “The Higher Law”. Most legal authorities say that man’s laws reflect the Higher Law but often they don’t. Since men made the laws that we can change all we need to do is just that. My belief is that the courts will soon be forced to place Cannabis in the same place as Ayahuska as a legal sacrament. The people I recently visited in California have a city where Medical Marijuana is legal for medical users. The funny thing about this California city however is that it’s name is Sacramento!
Personally, I am for the legalization of Cannabis for whatever purpose. I would like to see it remain a small time business and home grown industry if possible. We wouldn’t want our medicine to lose it’s spiritual nature in some big commercial production line. Part of the process is the love people put into their Cannabis and the intention Medical Providers have to provide real medicine that will help people. My wish is that someday the simple truths will come to be evident to all.
In conclusion my argument that Cannabis is a Sacrament seems every bit as real as it’s medicinal value. Have you ever heard it called, “The Peace Weed”?
Peace to you, all my Brothers and Sisters, may the ONE LOVE be felt in you all right now! 🙂 BOG
This story previously appeared in Treating Yourself Magazine.
The price of Dutch marijuana increased 20 percent last year because the supply is being curbed by a rise in police raids on hemp plantations.
The effectiveness of one gram of Dutch-grown marijuana also has decreased by 1.5 percent, according to an e-mailed statement from the Trimbos Institute, a Dutch group that studies drug addiction and treatments. The level of THC, the compound that gives cannabis its potency, fell to 16 percent from 17.5 percent last year.
It is the first time that the price of Dutch marijuana has risen since the institute started keeping a record of hemp prices in 1999. One gram of marijuana, grown in the Netherlands, costs 7.30 euros ($10.30) currently.
A decrease in supply of Dutch hemp and higher prices could be causing some marijuana producers to mix the cannabis with compounds such as sand and glass pearls, the statement said. The Institute didn’t find evidence that hemp sold in Dutch coffee shops has been mixed with other compounds.
Imported cannabis was 5.4 percent weaker than a year ago, according to the statement. The price of imported marijuana also increased this year, by about 40 cents per gram.
Earlier this year, police in Rotterdam said they’d shut down 600 indoor marijuana farms since 2005. There are about 6,000 active producers in the city.
Dutch officials have stepped up raids on an estimated 40,000 indoor hemp plantations, which cause two fires a month in Rotterdam by tapping into power lines for lights that feed their crops. The crackdown is making it harder to supply marijuana shops with the Super Skunk and Purple Haze their customers crave in a country that decriminalized use of the drug in 1976.
A recent ban on alcohol in remote Australian Aboriginal villages has resulted in a big increase in the use of marijuana by adults. The Australian government hoping to crack down on the social ills of alcoholism in those remote villages has instead encouraged the local production and consumption of marijuana.
This article claims there are some vague social costs to the switch over, and doesn’t even mention what they might be. Perhaps there’s some kind of improvement in the social lives of Aborigines now that they’ve been weened off their addictions to alcohol? Of course the Australian press would be loathe to report that marijuana consumption improved anyone’s life, but in this situation, that is likely to be the case!
|Lee Bridges, The Cannabis Poet
Informative CNN video describing Oaksterdam University which teaches classes on growing and selling marijuana under California’s medical marijuana law. Medical marijuana is a $1 billion business in California.
Dennis Peron, one of the people behind Prop 215, is in the video too. Thanks to CNN for airing an unbiased report on cannabis.
There’s a new petition to Legalize Marijuana circulating in California. This petition was started by Jack Herer, Eddy Lepp and other cannabis activists. Unlike previous Initiatives on the California ballot, this one will try to legalize all aspects of growing, possessing and selling cannabis and related products.
It states that "no person, individual, or corporate entity shall be arrested or prosecuted, be denied any right or privilege, nor be subject to any criminal or civil penalties for the possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp marijuana, including:
(a) Cannabis hemp industrial products.
(b) Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations.
(c) Cannabis hemp nutritional products.
(d) Cannabis hemp religious and spiritual products.
(e) Cannabis hemp recreational and euphoric use and products."
Click below to see the Petition or become a petition circulator.
California Cannabis Hemp & Health Initiative 2008
AN ACT TO AMEND THE HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE OF CALIFORNIA:
I. Add Section 11362.6 to the Health and Safety Code of California, any laws or policies to the contrary notwithstanding:
1. No person, individual, or corporate entity shall be arrested or prosecuted, be denied any right or privilege, nor be subject to any criminal or civil penalties for the possession, cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp marijuana, including:
(a) Cannabis hemp industrial products.
(b) Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations.
(c) Cannabis hemp nutritional products.
(d) Cannabis hemp religious and spiritual products.
(e) Cannabis hemp recreational and euphoric use and products.
2. Definition of terms:
(a) The terms "cannabis hemp" and “cannabis hemp marijuana” mean the natural, non-genetically modified plant hemp, cannabis, marihuana, marijuana, cannabis sativa L, cannabis Americana, cannabis chinensis, cannabis indica, cannabis ruderalis, cannabis sativa, or any variety of cannabis, including any derivative, concentrate, extract, flower, leaf, particle, preparation, resin, root, salt, seed, stalk, stem, or any product thereof.
(b) The term "cannabis hemp industrial products" means all products made from cannabis hemp that are not designed or intended for human consumption, including, but not limited to: clothing, building materials, paper, fiber, fuel, lubricants, plastics, paint, seed for cultivation, animal feed, veterinary medicine, oil, or any other product that is not designed for internal human consumption; as well as cannabis hemp plants used for crop rotation, erosion control, pest control, weed control, or any other horticultural or environmental purposes, for example, the reversal of the Greenhouse Effect and toxic soil reclamation.
(c) The term "cannabis hemp medicinal preparations" means all products made from cannabis hemp that are designed, intended, or used for human consumption for the treatment of any human disease or condition, for pain relief, or for any healing purpose, including but not limited to the treatment or relief of: Alzheimer’s and pre-Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, cramps, epilepsy, glaucoma, migraine, multiple sclerosis, nausea, premenstrual syndrome, side effects of cancer chemotherapy, fibromyalgia, sickle cell anemia, spasticity, spinal injury, stress, easement of post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette syndrome, attention deficit disorder, immunodeficiency, wasting syndrome from AIDS or anorexia; use as an antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-viral, or anti-emetic; as a healing agent, or as an adjunct to any medical or herbal treatment. Mental conditions not limited to bipolar, depression, attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, shall be conditions considered for medical use.
(d) The term "cannabis hemp nutritional products" means cannabis hemp for consumption by humans and animals as food, including but not limited to: seed, seed protein, seed oil, essential fatty acids, seed cake, dietary fiber, or any preparation or extract thereof.
(e) The term "cannabis hemp euphoric products" means cannabis hemp intended for personal recreational or religious use, other than cannabis hemp industrial products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, or cannabis hemp nutritional products.
(f) The term "personal use" means the internal consumption of cannabis hemp by people 21 years of age or older for any relaxational, meditative, religious, spiritual, recreational, or other purpose other than sale.
(g) The term "commercial production" means the production of cannabis hemp products for sale or profit under the conditions of these provisions.
3. Industrial cannabis hemp farmers, manufacturers, processors, and distributors shall not be subject to any special zoning requirement, licensing fee, or tax that is excessive, discriminatory, or prohibitive.
4. Cannabis hemp medicinal preparations are hereby restored to the list of available medicines in California. Licensed physicians shall not be penalized for, nor restricted from, prescribing or recommending cannabis hemp for medical purposes to any patient, regardless of age. No tax shall be applied to prescribed cannabis hemp medicinal preparations. Medical research shall be encouraged. No recommending physician shall be subject to any professional licensing review or hearing as a result of recommending or approving medical use of cannabis hemp marijuana.
5. Personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products.
(a) No permit, license, or tax shall be required for the non-commercial cultivation, transportation, distribution, or consumption of cannabis hemp.
(b) Testing for inactive and/or inert residual cannabis metabolites shall not be required for employment or insurance, nor be considered in determining employment, other impairment, or intoxication.
(c) When a person falls within the conditions of these exceptions, the offense laws do not apply and only the exception laws apply.
6. Use of cannabis hemp products for religious or spiritual purposes shall be considered an inalienable right; and shall be protected by the full force of the State and Federal Constitutions.
7. Commerce in cannabis hemp euphoric products shall be limited to adults, 21 years of age and older, and shall be regulated in a manner analogous to California’s wine industry model. For the purpose of distinguishing personal from commercial production, 99 flowering female plants and 12 pounds of dried, cured cannabis hemp flowers, bud, not leaf, produced per adult, 21 years of age and older, per year shall be considered as being for personal use.
8. The manufacture, marketing, distribution, or sales between adults of equipment or accessories designed to assist in the planting, cultivation, harvesting, curing, processing, packaging, storage, analysis, consumption, or transportation of cannabis hemp plants, industrial cannabis hemp products, cannabis hemp medicinal preparations, cannabis hemp nutritional products, cannabis hemp euphoric products, or any cannabis hemp product shall not be prohibited.
9. No California law enforcement personnel or funds shall be used to assist or aid and abet in the enforcement of Federal cannabis hemp marijuana laws involving acts which are hereby no longer illegal in the State of California.
10. Any person who threatens the enjoyment of these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor. The maximum penalties and fines of a misdemeanor may be imposed.
II. Repeal, delete, and expunge any and all existing statutory laws that conflict with the provisions of this initiative.
1. Enactment of this initiative shall include: amnesty, immediate release from prison, jail, parole, and probation, and clearing, expungement, and deletion of all criminal records for all persons currently charged with, or convicted of any non-violent cannabis hemp marijuana offenses included in this initiative which are hereby no longer illegal in the State of California. People who fall within this category that triggered an original sentence are included within this provision.
2. Within 60 days of the passage of this Act, the Attorney General shall develop and distribute a one-page application, providing for the destruction of all cannabis hemp marijuana criminal records in California for any such offense covered by this Act. Such forms shall be distributed to district and city attorneys and made available at all police departments in the State to persons hereby affected. Upon filing such form with any Superior Court and a payment of a fee of $10.00, the Court shall liberally construe these provisions to benefit the defendant in furtherance of the amnesty and dismissal provision of this section. Upon the Court’s ruling under this provision the arrest record shall be set aside and be destroyed. Such persons may then truthfully state that they have never been arrested or convicted of any cannabis hemp marijuana related offense which is hereby no longer illegal in the State of California. This shall be deemed to be a finding of factual innocence under California Penal Code Section 851.8 et seq.
III. The legislature is authorized upon thorough investigation, to enact legislation using reasonable standards to:
1. License concessionary establishments to distribute cannabis hemp euphoric products in a manner analogous to California’s wine industry model. Sufficient community outlets shall be licensed to provide reasonable commercial access to persons of legal age, so as to discourage and prevent the misuse of, and illicit traffic in, such products. Any license or permit fee required by the State for commercial production, distribution or use shall not exceed $1,000.00.
2. Place an excise tax on commercial sale of cannabis hemp euphoric products, analogous to California’s wine industry model, so long as no excise tax or combination of excise taxes shall exceed $10.00 per ounce.
3. Determine an acceptable and uniform standard of impairment based on performance testing, to restrict persons impaired by cannabis hemp euphoric products from operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery, or otherwise engaging in conduct that may affect public safety.
4. Regulate the personal use of cannabis hemp euphoric products in enclosed and/or restricted public places.
IV. Pursuant to the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the people of California hereby repudiate and challenge Federal cannabis hemp marijuana prohibitions that conflict with this Act.
V. Severability: If any provision of this Act, or the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, shall be held invalid by any court, the remainder of this Act, to the extent it can be given effect, or the application of such provisions to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.
VI. Construction: If any rival or conflicting initiative regulating any matter addressed by this act receives the higher affirmative vote, then all non-conflicting parts shall become operative.
VII. Purpose of Act: This Act is an exercise of the police powers of the State for the protection of the safety, welfare, health, and peace of the people and the environment of the State, to protect the industrial and medicinal uses of cannabis hemp, to eliminate the unlicensed and unlawful cultivation, selling, and dispensing of cannabis hemp; and to encourage temperance in the consumption of cannabis hemp euphoric products. It is hereby declared that the subject matter of this Act involves, in the highest degree, the ecological, economic, social, and moral well-being and safety of the State and of all its people. All provisions of this Act shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes: to respect human rights, to promote tolerance, and to end cannabis hemp prohibition.
George Clayton Johnson
Ronnie Lee Smith
Michael S. Jolson
Seeva Marie Cherms
BILL SEEKS MEDICAL DEFENSE OF MARIJUANA
by James Carlson, The Capital-Journal,
28 Jan 2008
Topeka Capital-Journal A bill introduced in a Senate committee Monday would allow judges to consider a medical condition as defense of marijuana possession.
Under the proposal, those with a debilitating illness arrested for the drug’s possession could present in court a doctor’s written certification that marijuana would offer therapeutic benefits.
"This is simply an issue of compassion," said Laura Green, director of the Kansas Compassionate Care Coalition that helped draft the measure.
The bill would not legalize or decriminalize possessing the drug.
The mere introduction of the bill, usually a formality, was decried by one Topeka legislator.
Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka, opposed the bill’s entry on the calendar, saying, "It costs a lot of money to introduce a bill."
Schmidt, a pharmacist, said it’s difficult to ensure the same amount of marijuana is distributed to each patient. She added that the bill violates federal law.
The bill is expected to receive a hearing in mid-February.
More news to come as this bill is heard on the floor.
Philadelphia, PA — In a move it hopes will spur research into medical uses of marijuana, the nation’s second-largest physicians’ group is calling on the government to ease criminal penalties for doctors who study and recommend the plant, and patients who smoke it.
The American College of Physicians says several nonmedical factors – a fierce battle over legalization of the drug, a complicated approval process, and limited availability of research-grade marijuana – has hobbled scientists from looking into its full benefits.
“A clear discord exists between the scientific community and federal legal and regulatory agencies over the medicinal value of marijuana, which impedes the expansion of research,” the Philadelphia-based organization states in a 13-page policy paper.
A White House official dismissed the report yesterday as a “political act” that contained no new science, and noted that other doctors’ organizations think differently.
Researchers generally agree that there is some medicinal benefit to the drug. The policy paper reviews evidence that its psychoactive ingredient – tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – is useful for the treatment of glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, nausea and pain.
But the report also argues that marijuana in its raw form may be helpful in ways that THC alone is not. It explains, for example, how patients who experience nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy may prefer smoked marijuana’s milder effects over those obtained from its active ingredient in approved pills.
The paper was three years in coming, and the organization knew it would be controversial, said its president, David C. Dale, a Seattle internist and professor at the University of Washington.
“In terms of advocating for the public good and the good of medicine, this was the right thing to do,” he said.
“We recognize that this is a drug that may be able to help and harm,” he said, noting that medicines often work at that interface. “But the prejudices of the past shouldn’t limit research into the good it can do.”
Of concern to many physicians is the patchwork of state laws on the issue, and federal agencies’ power to prosecute them regardless, making physicians reluctant to pursue research.
“If it’s permissible by state law, patients and physicians should not be guilty of a crime for marijuana and its uses,” Dale said.
To encourage study, the college wants the federal government to downgrade the drug from its status as a schedule 1 controlled substance – the same as heroin, crystal meth, LSD, and other drugs with no clear medicinal value.
A dozen states – Pennsylvania and New Jersey are not among them – have approved the use of medical marijuana or offered some protection to patients. The Food and Drug Administration has also approved two medicines containing THC.
Medical-marijuana advocates hailed the paper as a breakthrough.
“This is 124,000 doctors that have just told the federal government they are wrong,” said Bruce Mirken, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington group that lobbies for medical use of marijuana.
“The question about whether this is useful has been studied, and it’s time to move on and figure out how to use it.”
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said it changed nothing.
“This is not medical science,” said chief scientist David Murray. “This is a policy paper. A political act calling for political response.”
“It says, ‘We want more research,’ and we generally support more research as well.”
Murray noted that other medical organizations – the 240,000-member American Medical Association, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – do not support the smoked form of marijuana as medicine.
He acknowledged that compounds in marijuana, mainly cannabinoids, have some value with certain illnesses, such as when treating neurological disorders or used as an analgesic.
Research into those applications should be pursued, but drugs given to patients must be only isolated, purified compounds proven in clinical trials and approved by the FDA, Murray said. “Whatever it looks like, it will not be the raw, crude weed delivering a stew of chemicals that are demonstrably harmful and toxic.”
The American College of Physicians is hoping the paper will encourage the government to help science thoroughly investigate a plant that, after 40 years of study, researchers still know less about than they would like.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
CARLSBAD, NM – A paraplegic man is suing Eddy County Sheriff’s deputies for seizing marijuana plants and equipment to grow marijuana, which he uses to control pain resulting from a spinal cord injury. Leonard French received a license to cultivate and use small quantities of marijuana for medicinal purposes from the state of New Mexico under the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, which represents French, says the deputies’ actions violated not only that law, but also state forfeiture laws and a constitutional prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.
“The New Mexico state legislature, in its wisdom, passed the Compassionate Use Act after carefully considering the benefits the drug provides for people who suffer from uncontrollable pain, and weighing those benefits against the way federal law considers cannabis,” said Peter Simonson, ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director. “With their actions against Mr. French, Eddy County officials thwarted that humane, sensible law, probably for no other reason than that they believed federal law empowered them to do so.”
On September 4, 2007, at least four Eddy County deputies, acting as members of the Pecos Valley Drug Task Force, arrived at French’s home in Malaga, New Mexico and announced, “We’re here about the marijuana.” Thinking that the deputies had arrived to check his compliance with the compassionate use law, French presented the deputies with his state license to grow marijuana and showed them his hydroponic equipment, including two small marijuana plants and three dead sprouts. The deputies seized the equipment and plants and later turned them over to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. French has not been charged with any violations of federal drug laws.
A physician prescribed marijuana for French after other medications lost their effectiveness in controlling pain and severe muscle spasms stemming from a 1987 motorcycle accident.
Simonson said, “With the Compassionate Use Act, New Mexico embarked on an innovative project to help people who suffer from painful conditions like Mr. French’s. The law cannot succeed if the threat of arrest by county and local law enforcement hangs over participants in the program. With this lawsuit, we hope to clear the way for the state to implement a sensible, conservative program to apply a drug that traditionally has been considered illicit for constructive purposes.”
The ACLU’s complaint is available online at:
For more information about the national ACLU Drug Law Reform Project, go to: www.aclu.org/drugpolicy
Saturday-Sunday: Walk Your Talk
Circulate a Petition Calling on Your U.S. Senators to Support Research
Dear ASA Supporter,
What an exciting week! Medical cannabis events have been held throughout the nation, while activists like you have taken action daily. So far this week, activists nationwide dropped-in on their U.S. Senators’ district offices to ask them to support medical cannabis research. On Saturday and Sunday, mobilize your community for medical marijuana research.
Download and print out a petition calling on your U.S. Senators to support access to materials for FDA-approved medical cannabis research. Visit ASA’s fun interactive map to download a petition addressed to your state’s U.S. Senators. Gather signatures on this petition at your work, school, home, church, and in your community.
Visit www.AmericansforSafeAccess.org/MMJWeekSunday to take action now!
ASA has created a petition that you can print out and circulate at your work, school, home, church, and in your larger community. Our goal is to collect 30,000 signatures by April 21st . These petitions will be hand delivered each to of your Senators by our National Office staff. Please join in our efforts and begin gathering signatures today! Read on for ways to get involved.
Lets get washington behind this petition.