Founder of Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, 13 others facing federal charges

Cannabis The founder and director of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, Roger Christie, and 13 of his associates are facing federal marijuana charges.

Christie claimed he had a religious right to grow and distribute marijuana.

Hawaii Cannabis Ministry: Religious use of marijuana seen as legal refuge

Cannabis The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry has organized a Cannabis Church Revival Tour promoting the religious use of marijuana and its potential as a legal defense against pot prosecution.

Founder Roger Christie touts religious use of cannabis as a legal refuge for marijuana users of all stripes protected by the First Amendment — as long as they are sincere.

Church of Cognizance founders can’t escape drug charges

Church of Cognizance Dan and Mary Quaintance in 1991 founded the Church of Cognizance, organized around the principle that marijuana is a deity and a sacrament.

A federal district court in New Mexico found that the couple’s beliefs were not religious and added that they failed to show that those beliefs were sincerely held.

On appeal, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on May 19 affirmed the denial of the couple’s RFRA defense in United States v. Quaintance.

Marijuana: Holy Smoke?

Marijuana smokers may enjoy soaring moods and hearty appetites but they also can suffer short-term memory loss and reduced intellect, an expert testified Friday.

Dr. Harold Kalant was providing his expert testimony on both the adverse effects and benefits of pot at a constitutional challenge by a Toronto church — the “Church of the Universe.”

Church seeks OK to smoke ‘sacred’ marijuana

A Toronto church — the “Church of the Universe” — asked a Superior Court judge Wednesday for an exemption to the country’s marijuana laws.

Jury takes 14 minutes to convict self-proclaimed pot pastor

Steven Swallick Steven Swallick says he runs a ministry about marijuana. He says he mixed the marijuana with other ingredients to create anointing oil, a recipe he says he got out of the Bible.

But the jury didn’t have to address the religious issue, just whether he grew it, possessed it and stole electricity to do it.

Religion News Roundup: Atheism; Transcendental Meditation; Marijuana for religious use; and more

religion news In Today’s RNB Roundup, • Inmate says jailers interfered with his Satanic religious practices. • Rastafarians tells an Italian judge their pound of marijuana was for religious purposes. • Quick, sell your TV: The PTL Club may soon be back on the screen • A look at Scandinavia’s kinder, gentler atheists.

Also: • Leonard Cohen returns to the road, for reasons practical and spiritual, • Transcendental Meditation taught in American schools. And more…

Arizona Supreme Court to decide whether there is a religious right to use marijuana

Church of Cognizance Without comment, the justices agreed to hear Daniel Hardesty’s argument that the First Amendment protections of free exercise of religion entitle him to use marijuana as a “sacrament” of his church. Both a trial judge and the state Court of Appeals rejected those arguments.

If the high court decides otherwise, it would be the first time in Arizona that judges have concluded there is a legal defense for those who use marijuana.

Arizona Ruling: No religious right to marijuana

Cannabis There is no religious right in Arizona to possess marijuana, the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday, saying freedom of religion is not the same as freedom of action.

The judges rejected arguments that the First Amendment protections of free exercise of religion entitle an Arizona resident, Daniel Hardesty, to use marijuana as a “sacrament” of his church.

Rastafarian wins appeal against conviction in marijuana case in Italy

Rastafarianism Italy’s highest criminal court has ruled that the fact Rastafarians consider marijuana use a religious sacrament should be taken into account if they are tried on trafficking charges, lawyers in a recent case and news reports said Friday.

The Court of Cassation threw out the drug trafficking conviction of a 44-year-old Italian Rastafarian, ruling that the amount he possessed was in line with the heavy use that comes with his religious beliefs.

Judge dismisses woman’s religious drug-use argument

Cannabis An Alabama couple asked a judge to dismiss criminal charges because marijuana is part of their religion.

The Shoops’ attorneys also argued that they were protected by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Alabama Religious Freedom Amendment because their religion mandates the cultivation and consumption of cannabis.
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