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Praise the Lord and Pass the Grass

I have two distinct personality traits.  I don’t smoke marijuana because it dulls my hatred of people and I have never been a very deeply religious person.  My philosophy is that I believe in God and believes in me and that’s about it.  However, with lawmakers set to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) I think I am about change my ways.

Under RFRA, before the government could force or prohibit me from doing something that might violate my religious beliefs they have to articulate a compelling reason.   And I can argue there’s no compelling reason for the State of Indiana to prohibit me from using pot as part of my religious practices.

Grab some mary jane and Doritos and allow me to explain.

First of all, marijuana consumption is part of numerous faith traditions.   Rastafarians are known for their cannabis use.  If you’re a member of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church you can light up.  And you might want to attend a future service of the Free Marijuana Church of Honolulu, The Free Life Ministry Church of Canthe and my personal favorite, the federally tax-exempt inFormer Ministry Collective of Palms Springs, CA.

So now that we have the religion established, now we need the government rule. We know marijuana is illegal in Indiana, but there’s no compelling interest for it to be, especially when it comes to religious practices.  About 19 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.  Nearly two dozen states have decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes.  Four states have legalized it altogether.  And there’s a bipartisan effort to reclassify it as a Schedule II drug, which means it has medical benefits.   And if I can use pot to help heal my body, why can’t I use it to help heal my soul?

So with that said, what “compelling interest” would the state of Indiana have to prohibit me from using marijuana as part of my religious practice?   I would argue marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and wine used in religious ceremonies.   Marijuana isn’t anymore “addictive” than alcohol and wine is used in some religious ceremonies.  And marijuana isn’t anymore of a “gateway” drug than the wine used in a religious ceremony will make you go out any buy hard liquor.  (At least not on Sunday.)

So frankly, I’m looking forward to the passage of RFRA.   Not because I want to change faith and smoke pot, but because I want a front row seat at the trial that we all know is going to happen when all this goes down.

Praise the Lord and pass the grass!

  • malercous

    So long as alcohol is legal there’s no reasonable argument for cannabis to be illegal. No need to drag religion into this. Why should persons of reason & logic be forbidden from using pot, while those holding bizarre & illogical beliefs get a pass? That seems like rewarding irrational “thinkers.”

  • qwertyuiop

    Since no one gets prosecuted for simple possession of marijuana, who cares? Dealing marijauan will remain illegal. Is marijuana distribution part of anyone’s faith tradition?