'High Priest of Pot' Waged War in Courts

'High Priest of Pot' Waged War in Courts
Posted by CN Staff on September 30, 2002 at 07:27:01 PT
By Tom Hawthorn, Special to The Globe and Mail
Source: Globe and Mail 
Ian Hunter called himself Reverend for the Church of the Universe, said he was on a Mission of Ecstasy and described marijuana as a sacrament. The evangelist for marijuana, who brought to his advocacy a wit and flair unappreciated by those who upheld the laws he challenged has died in an accidental drowning. He was 41.Acting as his own lawyer on three drug-related offences in 1998, he told a B.C. Supreme Court justice that since the constitution recognizes the supremacy of God, and since God created marijuana plants, therefore all anti-marijuana laws were unconstitutional.
It is unknown how his use of marijuana influenced this novel legal argument. In any case, the judge would have none of it. He dismissed Mr. Hunter's challenge and ordered him to stand trial.After conviction and given a $500 fine, Mr. Hunter remained unrepentent about promoting marijuana. "I carry some with me all the time," he said. "I consider it my sacred duty as a minister, like a medicine man."Mr. Hunter was a rebel with a cause and the newspapers called him a "hemp honcho" and a "high priest of pot."With his 19th-century muttonchop sideburns and pristine white suit, Mr. Hunter cast a dandy Beau Brummell figure as he campaigned for mayor of Victoria in 1996. The suit, of course, was made of hemp fibre. He finished a distant third, although he proved more popular than the five other candidates.Ian Fergus Hunter was the son of an insurance agent and a mother who had polio. He learned journalism at the Other Press, the student newspaper at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. At 23, he became editor of The Squamish Times and later contributed to Vancouver's trailblazing CFRO, Co-op Radio.In 1988, he produced a provocative report for CBC Radio's Ideas program advocating the vote for children. Mr. Hunter noted that arguments once used to deny the franchise to women and people of colour were also cited to keep children from the ballot box. He contributed a seven-page statement outlining his position on children's suffrage to the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing in 1991.He had first become publicly identified as a marijuana advocate in the early 1990s when he opened the Hemp BC store near Victory Square in Vancouver with Marc Emery. They called their budding business "capitalist activism."In 1993, when then prime minister Kim Campbell admitted to having smoked marijuana, Mr. Hunter tried to present her with a certificate declaring her "a research associate in our hemp-cultivation program." Tongue firmly in cheek, Mr. Hunter said his group was called the Institute for Adversarial Irony.After moving to Victoria, Mr. Hunter opened his own hemp store called the Sacred Herb near city hall. He also initiated weekly marijuana smoke-ins at Beacon Hill Park, which attracted from 50 to 150 aficionados.Victoria police broke up one of the protests in May, 1996, charging three people with possession. Mr. Hunter wanted 11 police officers to be charged with obstructing a religious service, but the Crown said there was no reasonable chance of conviction.Two months later, police raided his store and Mr. Hunter was charged with trafficking marijuana seeds, growing a marijuana plant, and possession of a small amount of psilocybin, so-called magic mushrooms.When Mr. Justice Montague Drake dismissed Mr. Hunter's constitutional challenge, he noted that marijuana seemed to be his church's only dogma. Mr. Hunter was later convicted by a jury and fined by the judge.An appeal was rejected by a 3-0 vote by the B.C. Court of Appeal. Mr. Hunter vowed to take his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, but lacked funds to pay for a transcript of his trial.Meanwhile, police asked council to review the store's business license. Council voted 6-3 to revoke the licence, the deciding vote for the two-thirds majority necessary was cast by the mayor, Bob Cross, against whom Mr. Hunter had campaigned two years earlier.He sold his store and eventually moved to Nelson in the British Columbia interior, where he co-hosted a weekly, two-hour radio program called Fane of the Cosmos Infinite Moment. (Fane is an archaic word for temple.) The other host was Dustin Cantwell, proprietor of the Holy Smoke Culture Shop.Mr. Hunter also began exploring a variety of New Age practices, including yoga and tai chi. When he was first reported missing on Aug. 14, six friends cast the I Ching before launching their search of him.Mr. Hunter's body was found floating in Kootenay Lake near a small powerboat. The RCMP said he had accidentally drowned, although no witnesses were available to describe the circumstances."He always pushed ideas," Mr. Cantwell told Pot-TV, an Internet broadcaster at: "You'd have an idea and he'd bat it into the outfield."Mr. Hunter leaves his father, Gordon Hunter, and brothers Merrick and Graham. His mother, Margaret, died in 1987.Ian Hunter, marijuana activist; born March 20, 1961, in New Westminster, B.C.; died on Kootenay Lake, near Nelson, B.C., on Aug. 14, 2002.Note: Activist argued the unconstitutionality of Canada's marijuana laws.Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author: Tom Hawthorn, Special to The Globe and MailPublished: Monday, September 30, 2002 Ė Print Edition, Page R9Copyright: 2002 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Links - Cannabis Archives
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Comment #1 posted by DdC on September 30, 2002 at 08:54:44 PT
The Assembly of The Church of the Universe
DECLARATION As Members of the Church of the Universe and Ordained Clergy, we declare our ancient and common law right to freedom of worship and our right to freedom in the administration and the co-ordination of all sacraments, Baptism, Holy Matrimony, Last Rights, Exorcism and Communion and of the 12 fruit of the Tree of Life, Marijuana as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen. CHURCH MANDATEThat members live by The two Rules of the Church;1. Do not hurt yourself.2. Do not hurt anyone else.Church members are required to use Godís Tree of Life, (Cannabis, Marijuana), as a sacrament in their lives and worship. It is required in their search for an understanding of their spirituality and connection with Almighty God.Church members are required to provide medicinal sacrament to the sick.Church members are encouraged to surround themselves with the holy Tree of Life, not just inhaling it, but wearing it,
growing it writing on it, eating it, etc. They decide for themselves ways and times to use Godís Tree of Life.Church Clergy are mandated to wear head gear such as (yarmulke or turbans etc.).CHURCH CREDOWe believe that the Tree of Life is necessary to our understanding and worship of Almighty God.We believe that the Tree of Life opens a path to spiritual growth and connection with Almighty God and us, the Children.We believe that the Tree of Life is for the healing of the nations. Revelation Chapter 22.We believe that everyone has the right to worship God, to explore and create their own understanding of spirituality and growth in connection with God. First God then Humanity, then Government.We believe in standing and kneeling before Almighty God and no other.Church of the Universe
http://www.iamm.comUNIVERSAL WWW LINKS I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)The Religion of Jesus Church Uses of Cannabis Hemp of Cannabis as Incense pdf of Cannabis as Incense text Life Church Ministries MYTH, MAGIC & MEDICINE Cannabis Food Fuel Fiber FARMaceuticals Hardrug&Booze Alternative! Re-Legalize It! Biblical-Philosophical LinxCannabis Linx & the Bible was not founded on Christianity
Sacramental Cannabis
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