MJ-Infused Faith Challenges Definition of Religion
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MJ-Infused Faith Challenges Definition of Religion
Posted by CN Staff on July 19, 2013 at 13:22:15 PT
By Mark Oppenheimer
Source: New York Times
USA -- Sixty-four-year old Roger Christie, a resident of Hawaii’s Big Island, although most recently of Cell 104 at Honolulu Federal Detention Center, is a Religious Science practitioner, a minister of the Universal Life Church, ordained in the Church of the Universe (in Canada), an official of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Hilo, Hawaii, and the founder of the Hawai’i Cannabis THC Ministry. As you might guess, it was the last of those spiritual vocations that landed him in prison.
In 2010, Mr. Christie, along with several co-defendants, was indicted on charges including conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. He does not dispute the facts of the case. He just believes that his operation — “a real ‘street ministry’ serving the needs of our neighbors from all walks of life,” he told me, in an e-mail from prison, “busy six days a week,” employing “three secretaries and a doorman” — was protected by the First Amendment. On July 29, Mr. Christie’s lawyer will argue in Hawaii federal court that his client should be allowed to present a religious-freedom defense at the eventual criminal trial. He will base his argument on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Congress in 1993, which requires the government to show a “compelling interest” whenever it “substantially burdens” a religious practice. In 2006, the Supreme Court relied on the act to permit a New Mexico church to use the hallucinogen hoasca, or ayahuasca, for sacramental purposes. But so far such exceptions have been granted to small religious communities and relatively obscure drugs: for American Indians’ use of peyote, for example, or the New Mexico church with its ayahuasca. But marijuana? That would be far more problematic. “The difference is that peyote and hoasca have little or no recreational market, and that is not likely to change because they make you sick before they make you high,” Douglas Laycock, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Virginia, wrote in an e-mail in explaining why a court would be unlikely to approve of the church’s practice. “Marijuana has a huge recreational market. Diversion from religious to recreational uses, and false claims of religious use, would be major problems.” Mr. Christie is hoping that now, as many state marijuana laws are liberalized, federal courts may allow him to argue for the sacramental needs of his ministry, where until his arrest he worked full time. First, he must convince a federal judge that his religion — or one of his religions — is not just a form of personal spirituality concocted to get stoned legally. According to Mr. Christie’s personal declaration, filed with the court in April, he joined the Religion of Jesus in 1993, was ordained in 2000, then founded as an offshoot the THC Ministry. (THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.) “The THC Ministry,” he wrote, “is a universal religious organization that uses cannabis to exalt consciousness, facilitate harmony and become close to God and nature and each other.” The Religion of Jesus, Mr. Christie wrote, holds that sacramental marijuana use is “a God-given right, as told to us in the Bible in Genesis 1:29, in which it says, ‘Then God said, I give you every seed-bearing plant …'?” Other tenets of the faith include, “Our religion does not believe in going to war” and, “Our ministers are required to use a hemp-cloth shawl for ceremonies and prayer.” Mr. Christie’s declaration lacks the somber tone that usually distinguishes “religion.” At his Sunday services, he would “weed out, so to speak,” any visitors who seemed “insincere” about the faith — people without any sense of pot’s spiritual purpose. His faith’s “primary sacred day” is April 20, known to Deadheads, readers of Craigslist and High Times subscribers as “4/20,” slang for marijuana. The Sunday service sounds like a Judd Apatow movie outtake; it requires a “volcano vaporizer” and “large clear inhalation bag.” In addition, “after services,” Mr. Christie wrote, “members would gather to drink hempseed coffee, eat and talk.” Religion, or late-morning munchies? But the courts have offered no coherent definition of religion. “What constitutes a religion is one of the hardest questions of all, and except in the most obvious cases, the courts tend to avoid it if they can,” according to Professor Laycock. As religion scholars point out, categories like “legitimate” privilege religions that are old and established — those that have buildings, and other trappings of power. In a telephone interview, the Rev. James D. Kimmel, who in 1969 founded the Religion of Jesus, Mr. Christie’s church, summed up the church’s beliefs as “God is our father and we’re all sons and daughters of God.” That isn’t the language that Mr. Christie uses, but for Mr. Kimmel, who is 78 and not the talk-show host, who lives in Hawaii and talks a lot about an esoteric text called the Urantia Book, such a discrepancy is no problem at all. “It’s a personal religion,” he said. “We’re not institutional.” The courts will probably be loath to allow Mr. Christie his humorous, personal, idiosyncratic religion. If we could all have our own religions, the courts would have a lot more defendants claiming their religions require drug use. Besides, he may not be the ideal crusader for religious marijuana. According to the government, the THC Ministry offered a “sanctuary kit” that included a cognac-and-cannabis “tincture” — the recommended donation was $1,000. And in its brief, the government quotes transcriptions of wiretapped conversations in which Mr. Christie sounds like a drug dealer haggling over prices, not a man of God serving his people’s spiritual needs. Yet Mr. Christie’s case raises difficult, important questions. If only old or popular religions are protected, what would the First Amendment mean? If almost any belief system were a religion, then what would the word mean? For its well-meaning efforts to carve out religious protections, government got into the business of deciding which religions count — and, to Mr. Christie’s chagrin, which ones do not. Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Mark OppenheimerPublished: July 19, 2013Copyright: 2013 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis  Archives 
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Comment #45 posted by museman on July 22, 2013 at 11:40:11 PT
"The US War on Drugs-Bankers have been laundering drug money in the billions for the past 40 years."How soon they forget. I'm still waiting for G. Bush Sr to be charged with the war crimes he and his bud Reagan pulled off in the name of the WOD and false 'foreign relations' in South America. Iran-Contra. God the corruption is so thick, and has been so much a part of our daily lives for so long, I am pretty sure most of the amerikan sheeple are totally desensitized to it.Money money money. Capitalism at its lowest manifestation. Greed justified by any means available. Carpetbaggers abound. "Step right up and get your piece of the cannabis market. Capitalize now." -if you don't have the necessary tools, someone will certainly sell them to you. A disgusting human practice if there ever was one. Not 'selling' but the taking advantage of an unstable situation. Not even the money made by greedy growers is as bad as that IMO. There are people who have medical cards who don't smoke the herb, only sell it! Its a problem.But the problem is truly in the values that state that it is ok to market goods by stretching the truth -like the supposed 'harmfulness' of smoking herb for instance. In anything not taken in moderation, there is potential for harm if not direct harm. I have been inhaling cannabis for longer than most of these people have been alive. I was a tobacco smoker for 33 years. Because of the cannabis smoking -which includes an expectorant/solvent quality that enabled me to literally clean out my lungs. Last physical the VA doc said I had the lungs of a 30 year old. -I haven't stopped smoking yet. I will agree that a vaporizer is a great break form the constant heat, but then bongs and water pipes have been around a lot longer than any of this, so the idea of 'harm' from heat and smoke (Heat yes, smoke? Well, compared the the average smog and pollutant inhaled by any average city dweller the amount of potential damage from smoking herb is INCONSEQUENTIAL! and add to that the fact that cannabis heals, the 'damage' seems to be un-documented because whatever 'damage' comes from the heat and smoke is immediately addressed by the properties of the Holy Smoke. I for one like the smoke, and since it actually isn't doing any measurableharm -after 40 years, one would think I would notice. And for me, using a vaporizer is just too high octane -nice for getting really stoned, not necessarily for medicating.)There are numerous 'marijuana marketers' poised with their ill-gotten wealth to jump right in and get their personal addiction to stuff satisfied by selling cannabis and cannabis accessories. But the head shops have also been around for decades, it's not like we have a shortage or anything.I made my own pipes and water pipes. Out of clay, stone, hardwood, and bamboo. I traded in them, but mostly just to get my stash. I made quality pipes out pipe stone and non-chemically laminated wood that would probably 'sell' for hundreds of dollars. If you have one of my few hundred i made, you have a priceless object, cuz I ain't making any more.But because of the lame values of our consumer society, my many hours of loving labor in building those pipes went pretty much un-compensated, so I gave it up. Now glass pipes are cheap and readily available, good, clean smoking, long lasting pipes are a thing of the past.Personally I believe that consumer/capitalistic/materialistic values are at the root of the Prohibition Mind set. As you say Runruff -the bleeding of money and energy from the people is the real reason behind all this crap. And the fallacious belief in those values pervades our society. I don't believe that such un-informed attitudes are helping our cause.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #44 posted by mexweed on July 22, 2013 at 10:11:01 PT:
runruff  36
Good list, here's another point: Crapaholism instead of sword and lash uses "persuasion" (hatefearteasing) to entrap purchasers (alias suckers) into yielding up their money for psycho "remedies" which promise to relieve anxiety (sugarsalt junkfood, entertainment, booze, $igs etc.). The ideology is that the purchases were "voluntary", the victim's money fair game.
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Comment #43 posted by museman on July 22, 2013 at 10:05:08 PT
"Once I gave up dogma and focused on spirituality everything changed for the good."Its amazing how many people can't make the separation and continue to stagnate their spiritual lives with the same ol same ol.Sorry to hear about your friends. There is a lot of that going around right now. I am a bit shocked to hear that even the hospice bailed. I have had some experience with the hospice program over the past few years, and I actually have a lot of respect for what they do -contrary to the quack doctors who are practically useless except for surgeons. (IMO)Dementia is a hard thing to cope with, especially if the person is someone you know and love.I just said a little prayer, asked My Dad to send some angels. Sometimes that's all we can do.peace.A discussion on Dogma and Doctrine;
A discussion on Religion vs Spirituality
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Comment #42 posted by museman on July 22, 2013 at 09:50:08 PT
runruff #41
Nothing to worry about, white man has Monsanto! (and apparently Monsanto has the US Gov in its pocket) Who needs food? We got GMOs! Now that the 'food' is as fake as our leaders (every damn one of them from the hippy-dippy guru to the president) it ought to be fairly easy to contrast reality with them. Or not...LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #41 posted by runruff on July 22, 2013 at 08:25:04 PT
Custer: Hair today, gone tomorrow!
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money". Cree Proverb
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Comment #40 posted by FoM on July 22, 2013 at 07:07:36 PT
This song always makes me smile. I know it is corny but I still love it! LOL!Just A Little Talk With Jesus" By George Jones (2008)
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Comment #39 posted by FoM on July 22, 2013 at 06:59:59 PT
I was raised Catholic and church doctrine was all I really knew. We were not suppose to read the Bible because the church was the one to interrupt it. Everything was a "mystery". I tried different religions and they all fell short. Finally I had a little talk with Jesus. ( That's a gospel song I liked a lot.) I now walk in Peace, understanding, compassion and non-judgmentalism. I am a happy camper. Once I gave up dogma and focused on spirituality everything changed for the good.
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Comment #38 posted by runruff on July 22, 2013 at 06:44:00 PT
I feel your pain!I totally understand your feelings. I respect everyone's right to believe as they see fit. With all of my carrying on with non-sense you would not think that about me. I am a very soft heated person. I tend to step outside of myself and reality when I am joking about things. It is true I am not very reverent, I do not believe that god requires this of me. I do no believe in the dogma of religions. Even Jesus taught against the forming of religions and strongly criticized his own. He said do not make a religion out of my words of life. Religion kills the spirit in the "Word", he said this.I am strongly connected to my Native back ground. We are what you call spiritualist. We worship creation and the spirit of creation. "We Stand Alone Together" may tell you something about us that is insightful. This means that we respect each others feelings and beliefs. This is understood...a given. So, humor and wise cracks and laughter is all Ok. Westerners have too much ego and not enough humility in my opinion but I too could use a little more humility, this I know. I try to trend toward this virtue.
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Comment #37 posted by FoM on July 22, 2013 at 06:15:52 PT
That makes me happy. I have been walking so close to death these days I look very deeply at everything. A friend of mine's son almost died this weekend. Actually he did die and was brought back. He overdosed on alcohol at a big festival and he was in Intensive Care when he crashed. Our other friend has AIDS Dementia and has been kicked out of a nursing home, the hospice program and is alone in the house because of his violent behavior. No one will help him. I have little time for splitting religious views I guess. God is good and loving and I believe He is in control and that's that I suppose.
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Comment #36 posted by runruff on July 22, 2013 at 06:12:35 PT
Drug war, Inquisition, Witch Trials, Holocaust.  
While the "Useful Idiots" who did the evil hand's on work thought they were supporting an ideology they believed in, the shot callers in their game was in it for the money all along.Salem witch Trials- the political powerful eleminating their weaker rivals and confiscating their wealth.Spanish Inquisition- The more powerful Catholic Church targeted religious and political dissenters, killing them and confiscating their property. The Church, at this time became enormously wealthy.Hitler hated the Jew-He perceived that, even though the Jews were a lesser numbered population, they owned the major portion of Germany's wealth at that time. Kill the Jews, collect their wealth. The Reich became very wealthy robbing theses people.The US War on Drugs-Bankers have been laundering drug money in the billions for the past 40 years. Law enforcement received huge budgets as well as all the cash and goods they could steal from political dissidents. Politicians and cops made fortunes in pay-offs and asset forfeitures. Millions were imprisoned and thousands were killed. Many innocent people died in this modern day American inquisition. 
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Comment #35 posted by runruff on July 22, 2013 at 05:44:33 PT
I understood you too, after Museman explained to me what you meant.-lol
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on July 21, 2013 at 18:43:58 PT
I am glad you understood me.
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Comment #33 posted by museman on July 21, 2013 at 16:08:46 PT
You are welcome, and thank you!
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on July 21, 2013 at 15:38:32 PT
Thank you. That is good to get him back into Canada. He has to be approaching 5 years soon isn't he? I hope he is doing OK.
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Comment #31 posted by The GCW on July 21, 2013 at 15:36:19 PT
Marc has been granted a move to a facility in Canada to finish out His rip-off of His life. -Read over at Cannabis Culture...-0-(I drink a little booze.)I heard cannabis is fresh food, booze is rotten food. Ha
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on July 21, 2013 at 14:54:15 PT
That's a good suggestion. Has anyone heard how Marc Emery is doing? Shouldn't his time be up soon?
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Comment #29 posted by Richard Zuckerman on July 21, 2013 at 14:46:17 PT:
Give him an application for Presidential Pardon?
Would somebody please provide him an application for a Presidential Pardon?
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Comment #28 posted by afterburner on July 21, 2013 at 13:05:43 PT
HempWorld #12 -- Rick Simpson 
Powerful discussion of Cannabis Oil's healing benefits and the Obstruction of governments, the medical establishment and agri-business. Listen if you get a chance.
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Comment #27 posted by konagold on July 21, 2013 at 11:45:09 PT
religion or fraud
Alohacontrary to the thought that all things are legal if done in love, murder is NOT, nor is a ponzi scheme such as Christie ranthere is nothing 'religious' about cheating folks out of money at contraband prices, nor does that facilitate the worship of God nor is that an act which follows the great law of human fairness the so called golden ruleyes the religious use of pot is a protected right however the sale of pot at contraband prices is not a religious act, nor is the cowardly hiding behind religion to do so at all exemplarypot, if sold legally [un-prohibited], is worth about $2 per pound for unmanicured buds 'wholesale'at that rate, $2 a pound wholesale, a Calif. farmer would make 3 times gross what a grape farmer would make on the same acreage of landthere is NOTHING Holy about sales of contraband at contraband pricesas to Christie helping legalize pot in Hawaii that is just not trueI was involved in the gathering of patients for 3 legislative sessions to travel to Honolulu to testify and to pass the med pot law in Hawaii, Christie worked AGAINST the passage of this law by thwarting efforts to gather folks to testify for the bill, yet later had the gall to claim he was operating his ministry to supply med pot, tho the majority of his clients were not med pot patients my friend[R.I.P.], dying of a 14 year battle with cancer, who did testify in Honolulu [an airplane ride away], and traveled 220 miles round trip to Hilo, only only to be bitterly disappointed at the unaffordable $400 per oz price for needed medicine from this profit gouging 'minister', and supposedly fellow member of the Religion of Jesus Churchbelief in the religious use of cannabis is not fraudulent, in fact it is a protected right [see Guam v. Guerrero ] but the price gouging in the name of religion by Christie is fraudulent and the bilking of folks out of $250 for bogus sanctuary kits that claimed protection from prosecution which it [and Christie] failed to deliver, is shamefulworse is the leading of 13 of his friends into 5 to 40 year sentences for which 7 have now plead guilty and WILL do timein the words of Mr. T. "pity the fool"Aloha Rev. Dennis Shields
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on July 21, 2013 at 11:35:34 PT
Thank you and what you wrote means a lot to me.
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Comment #25 posted by runruff on July 21, 2013 at 10:28:42 PT
To whom it may concern;
I prefer to be addressed as, Your High Lordship Mister Irreverent Joker if you please?
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Comment #24 posted by runruff on July 21, 2013 at 10:14:23 PT
I did not mean to sound as If I was challenging you, I believe you.Red wine, fruit of the vine, now that's Biblical.
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Comment #23 posted by museman on July 21, 2013 at 10:05:59 PT
"The interpretation of Scripture can mean different things to different people and that I respect. I do believe that all things are lawful...."And that my friends is "Religious Freedom." A conviction, not a lawyer interpreted 'law.'The phrase 'religious freedom' as lauded by politicians and other lawurinators refers to the 'right' to have said conviction without persecution, or prosecution by arbitrary social and political powers -which the US Gov and its corporate Lords are all about.One has their own relationship with 'God' and like FoM says interpretation of scripture, is also personal. The right to have that personal and unique perspective on Spiritual Matters is the major motivation that got this country started in the first place. The Church of England was about as forgiving as Amerikan Justice, and almost as powerful.The idea that one way of looking at The Most High Creator of Universes is somehow more correct or special, or better, one of the stupidest things Adversarial Mind ever convinced us of, and the creation of religion to cram everyone into the point of view of an Emperor of a crumbling Rome (Constantine) is the number one most successful ploy of creating and maintaining ignorance among the general peasant/slave population.And also as FoM points out "ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL" -when done in the sanctity of Love.There is conflict in religion, between the 'law' of man -(which incidentally is also "Mosaic Law" -often confused as 'the law of 'God'' because in taught theory, Moses (Moshe) was 'merely' expanding on the Ten Commandments -'interpreting' them into the long list of don'ts, and the 'appropriate' punishments for doing the don'ts. Out of that incredibly complicated mess came the LAWYER!) and the actual 'law' or 'commandments' of Yah, as exemplified, demonstrated, and recorded in the message and life of Yshwh.In the Old Testament it is written that YHWH (God) "appointed base men to rule over us." -Didn't anybody ever reflect in what that might mean? The evidence is sure pretty compelling that this is true.The reasons for this could be debated for centuries.The 'Separation of Church and State' was not a slam against 'God' but a recognition of the fallibility of humans in upholding and maintaining such absolutes as 'Loving one's neighbor as themselves.' And the most important aspect of that is the guarantee that everyone has the right to worship Yah as they see fit, or even be such an irreverent joker as Runruff and not be harassed, judged, or condemned because of it.That was the intent of the 'law' about religious freedom, but as laws are made by BASE MEN, controlled by even baser men, and enforced by animals posing as men, intentions are like the old addage; "The best laid plans of mice and men aft gae agleee." -Particularly when property, possession, and wealth become the deciding factors of power, influence, and who governs who.The Xtian interpretation of -for instance- the statements made by Paul (Sha-ul) in Hebrews about 'obeying' those same base men whom 'God' 'appointed' are seriously open for interpretations. Unfortunately sheeple enthralled by their religions usually aren't free thinkers -they prefer to let 'jesus' or the 'appointed' false representatives of 'God' (preachers and ministers - so much like politicians it ain't even funny-) do their thinking for them.Its funny how Xtians claim to be following the tenets of YSHWH's Law of Love, yet continue to judge their fellows based on the 'Law' of Moshe.I recently buried a very wise and beautiful man, who I was also blessed to have as a friend. He was very into the Hebrew roots of the Torah, and YSHWH. In this we had some marvelous fellowship over the years, and some heated debates from time to time. We did not agree on everything, in fact we had some pretty fundamental disagreements about some things, but a few years ago we were discussing the law -both 'mans' and Yah's- and he said this to me;"The Ten Commandments is really only the Ten Suggestions."It is a guideline to a good life. Ignore them at your own risk, but not because of some vicious, mean, emotionally unstable 'God' who will obliterate your soul should you not comply.Those who understand through their relationship with Yah that the phrase "I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it." is all about the difference between justice by fear and punishment, over just behavior nurtured by love are probably actually paying more attention to the message, than the messenger. Particularly since the Holy Roman Empire set up the messenger as another carrot on another stick, that unlike the BS carrot of the 'amerikan dream' is even more BS, because one can never attain the status of a 'christ' or a 'son of God' (even though the True Scriptures say otherwise), one just has to accept 'blindly' that the carrot gives a rats ass about anything other than being a carrot.But the message; now there's some true wealth for those who really wish to understand and don't just take the 2,000 year old repetitions and their Status Quo propaganda for granted.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #22 posted by HempWorld on July 21, 2013 at 09:41:46 PT
Hey runruff, peace mon!
I thought about this before I wrote it down (for a change) and yes a little red wine is good, not alcohol in general, Ok?Peace Out Green Brother!
Pot Farm
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Comment #21 posted by runruff on July 21, 2013 at 09:30:03 PT
A little alcohol is good for ya?
I have heard this and I believe it may be true but there are those of us for which a "little" everyday is not possible. It is all or nothing at all with some of us with a certain body chemistry.I just wanted to bring a little light here. I am not being argumentative. Cheers HempWorld.A typo in the church letter read; Potluck on Sunday after church. Prayer and medication will follow.Next Sunday night the sermon topic will be "What is Hell?" Stay and hear the choir practice.Don't fear the reefer!
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Comment #20 posted by HempWorld on July 21, 2013 at 09:25:35 PT
Ok, staying on the subject: Medical Marijuana
is Kosher!Warning this could be funny!
Marijuana Is Kosher!
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Comment #19 posted by HempWorld on July 21, 2013 at 09:13:30 PT
Olympic Athletes Can Smoke Marijuana After All
Until now, the rules have always been as follows: as long as the tested amount of marijuana is 15 nanograms per milliliter or lower, an athlete isn’t tested positive. Whenever its higher, an athlete will be banned out of the competition. 
This caused some problems in the past with the Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati. He almost lost his gold medal because of an amount of 17.8 nanograms marijuana per millileter. Luckily, the WADA believed that this was a result of second-hand smoke and Rebagliati could keep his medal. 
Since then, there has been a lot of discussion inside WADA. And finally, after about 15 years, the agency decided to change its rules. Instead of 15 nanograms of THC per milliliter, from now on 150 nanograms are allowed.Hey Sam, a little red wine every day is good for ya!
Olympic Athletes Can Smoke Marijuana After All
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Comment #18 posted by Sam Adams on July 21, 2013 at 07:13:27 PT
serious Christian?
ok, you're welcome to drink wine (ethyl alcohol) with your God.I'll be drinking green tea & hitting the Volcano with the Buddhists. See you around the nursing home in 30 years. Of course, you'll be in there 20 years before me.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 21, 2013 at 05:04:13 PT
My Thoughts
I was raised Catholic and we were taught in theology class that if God's law says one thing and man's law says another we should obey God's law. The interpretation of Scripture can mean different things to different people and that I respect. I do believe that all things are lawful....
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Comment #16 posted by The GCW on July 21, 2013 at 04:45:41 PT
"God set up all things including government and told us that we shouldn't break the law unless it conflicts with Gods laws."Cannabis prohibition, persecution and extermination conflicts with God's laws.Satan, Lucifer, evil... has slipped into government...When We come to a fork in the road and one direction leads toward Christ and the spirit of truth and the other direction doesn't, .........Don't do anything which separates You from the spirit of truth.Using that which God indicated is good on the 1st page of the Bible does not separate Us from the spirit of truth and in fact helps join Us wth the spirit of truth.*The only Biblical restriction to using cannabis is to use it with thankfulness. -see 1 Tim. 1-4.
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on July 21, 2013 at 04:25:22 PT
It's not OK to smoke pot?
God says that where. The only place i have even heard that is from a xtrian. Is eating it ok to a xtian? If my brain chemistry produces too little cannabinoids is it ok to supplement?I know god has a history of not getting every thing perfect here on his creation. I often have to clean up one of his messes or supplement or fix. Usually he is busy with his plagues or wars or hurricanes and such so he misses a lot of details. As for it is not ok to "smoke the stuff" dang, wish you would have told me 50 years ago when I first started. 50 years of regular pot smoking, Man, what will become of me? At age 67 I enjoy the health and body of a 45 year old. You mean to tell me perhaps that I could be enjoying more health wealth and happiness than I already have if I never smoked?Most xtians I know are only happy for about two hours every week, then it is stress and grind. Well "to each his own, There are over 5,000 versions of god in the world and 360 xtian come on, somebody is wrong out there. When I am sitting in Hell with the other 359 who got it wrong I'll say, You picked a loser too, huh? Yeah, thought I had this one." Turns out the real god was hiding in plain sight out on Easter Island. 
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Comment #14 posted by anomalies on July 20, 2013 at 20:06:28 PT:
God and pot
   I am a Christian, and I think it is "NOT" okay to smoke the stuff, Now hear me out, here is why, God set up all things including government and told us that we shouldn't break the law unless it conflicts with Gods laws. I really believe that God has put it here on earth for us to use,, after all it contains endocannabanoids ( spell ) that is naturally produced in our bodies to keep us healthy, fights cancer tumors.ect,ect,ect. There are a bunch of us Christians that believe it should be legalized, perhaps not smoked for some, it depends on your personal relationship with God. We are fighting to get it legalized for MANY MANY reasons. Hey guy with the not really Christian if you don't anoint with oil,, that was before Jesus changed everything, I don't mean that to sound harsh in anyway, it's just an update. 
Lets all work together without bashing each other,,, God bless all of you.
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Comment #13 posted by Garry Minor on July 20, 2013 at 15:46:24 PT:
Whether Roger Christie is a fraud or not, I'm not the judge! 
When I talked to him in 2006 and asked why he charges for information, he said, "It's not about the money." Then, he sent me some Oil, free of charge!Regardless of his intentions, he has certainly helped with efforts to legalize Kaneh in Hawaii, opened the eyes of many people, and, put his life on the line! The bottom line is that Biblically, factually and historically ..... Cannabis has been used as Sacrament, and, should be recognized as such!
Period!Maybe, instead of pointing fingers, we can learn from all of this, and simply promote the Historical Truth of Cannabis as Sacrament?Eh?It is clear that qeneh bosem was common among the biblical Hebrews not only for the Holy Anointing Oil as indicated above, but also for other material uses including clothing, rope and linen. Green Prophet Khizr: Islam's Patron Saint of Cannabis use for explicitly spiritual purposes is most common among Sufi believers, who are the most mystical of Islam's adherents. has an important function in the mythology of Shinto, the "Way of the Gods", as the ancient indigenous religion of Japan is known. Hemp was used to purify, to drive out evil (exorcism).......... ancient Egyptian goddess Seshat (in her role as the Goddess who measures) is depicted with a hemp leaf in her head dress. Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (1479 to 1425 B.C.E.) called her Sefkhet-Abwy (She of the seven points). Hemp was used to make measuring cords. Seshat was the goddess of libraries, knowledge, and geomancy, among other things. Spell 10 of the Coffin text states “Seshat opens the door of heaven for you”., the First Healer/Priest of Haoma(Cannabis) Thrita was the first who drove back death and disease, as Ahura Mazda had brought to him down from heaven ten thousand healing plants that had been growing up around the tree of eternal life, the white Hôm or Gaokerena.
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Comment #12 posted by HempWorld on July 20, 2013 at 14:19:30 PT
My link and Rick Simpson"
"Cannabis prohibition crime against humanity!"
Kaneh Bosm!
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Comment #11 posted by Sam Adams on July 20, 2013 at 12:42:30 PT
religion & fraud
of course this type of conduct is not new for religion.Just take a look at the many evangelical ministers who are scamming and stealing money from their congregants.Separating foolish people from their money has been called "religion" for eons!
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Comment #10 posted by konagold on July 20, 2013 at 11:22:29 PT:
Christie is a fraud
Aloha I am the minister who performed the ordination of Christie in 2000 he immediately abandoned our church and our religious beliefs [the religion of Jesus Church] to sell pot hiding behind his trumped up ministry our nickname for him is Mr. Inauthenticwhen offering so called sanctuary kits at $250 through his PayPal button Christie promised "protection from prosecution"yet when called to testify for a defendant claiming this protection, Christie took the fifth letting his parishioner dangle in the windhe has been denied bail for his insistence that if released he would simply go back to his client base and ministry as his sole source of income ; like a bank robber pleading for bail saying that they were just going to go back to robbing banks if released after all that's where the money isI pity Christie ; 7 of his co-defendants have plead guilty and are lined up to testify against himas to his 'religious exemption' to 'sell' pot at contraband prices what is that legal argument, that God is short of cash??pot laws are bad lying about ones religion in order to profit off of prohibition is worseAlohaRev. Dennis Shields
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Comment #9 posted by museman on July 20, 2013 at 10:31:02 PT
the First Precedent of all western Law
Is the belief in the existence of 'God.'Because all western law is based on the 'Ten Commandments.'Without that accepted fundamental aspect of 'the law' it all becomes moot and arbitrary.If a 'judge' cannot affirm his/her faith and belief in some form of that Divine Entity, then they are ethically, morally, and in the strictest sense; illegally occupying positions of authority, and all their decisions are rendered void in terms of actual reality (irregardless of the amount of denial.)Too bad the constitution was engineered by lawyers instead of people, and that the idea was not about liberty and justice for all, but the select and elite few.Too bad that the definition and meanings of terms have been twisted by the forked tongues of the lawurinator mouthpieces for the wealthy rulers so that good is bad, black is white, people are 'consumers' not citizens. We are mere Strawmen providing a source of credit for the slave owners who trade futures in their economic game of global dominion.Too bad that instead of a Democracy, we got a Republic. There is no 'democratic form of government' here. The terms 'Republic' and 'democratic' in the same sentence and referring to each other are an oxymoron.You want to talk about some 'False claims,' let's start with the false authority that this government has assumed over everyone's lives. How about the fact that they are all liars for starters? How can people, after all the scandals, betrayals, blatant ignoring of the peoples sufferings by the PTBs -all lawyers or celebrity- continue to believe that there is any salvage of this corrupt and collapsing system? Wouldn't it be better, shouldn't we, and isn't it high past time to DICTATE TO "OUR" GOVERNMENT that they obey us, not the other way around? How about let's DO a Democracy?Or is everyone content that their little 'vote' is doing the job? A vote in a democracy has power, in this Roman Republic, it is an inside joke that the politicians all laugh about behind closed doors, I assure you.And how about those lukewarm compromisers and fence sitters? Why do they seem to get support when the real work of pushing the envelope by dedicated people is fought against?Liberty is not defined by a piece of paper anyway, and if you can step back just a bit, you might see how ludicrous that idea is, and how easily it allows people with money -for instance- to control it. Specially if the lawyers have a monopoly/exclusive control over how it's interpreted and applied.We don't need to have a revolution to 'overthrow' the government (which is 'treasonous and punishable by death' -wow now that's a not an example of the fox guarding the henhouse! Ha!) all we need is to JUST SAY NO! Damn it's so simple, but everytime the people reach critical mass in this country, some kind of compromise buys them off or distracts them, so that the only 'effect' they have is to put the lawyers to work writing new 'laws' to prevent such things from happening in the future.I think that patriotism has gone bad. Perhaps the idea is faulty to begin with, if we are supposedly a 'nation under God' because all who recognize the fundamental First Premise of the Existence and Authority of YHWH (God) also recognize the evolution of that same Authority into the Higher Form of True Law (we eventually find that it is the foundation under the foundation) -Love. I have found that pride of any kind often interferes with the growth and nurturing of love.We fight for our liberties - not with votes, but with words, actions, and deeds. We suffer the indignities of the made-inferior-by-ignorance who by virtue of there sheer obnoxiousness cause others to give way before them. 
We must hear, see, and have read, over and over, the litanies of the foolish who confuse the truth with petty personal attachments to pet phraseology.All precept in Law must be based on a precedent. Without that 'corner stone' all 'legal logic' becomes exactly what we have; 'law' that is arbitrarily and almost whimsically manipulated to suit the ones who make it and their wealthy (Rocky) masters, and has no real logic, or reason at all. Why else is it that only a bonafide lawyer has the legal right to interpret law?Isn't it obvious yet? 
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on July 20, 2013 at 08:16:00 PT
Smoked a "J" for Jesus.
My cousin took me with him last Sunday to church. The sermon was "Jesus walked on water". Next weeks sermon will be"In Search of Jesus"Dude, it's like a two thousand year old reality show Coo'!
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on July 20, 2013 at 07:55:42 PT
kaptinemo #4 
That First Amendment and those other Constitutional protections for the sovereignty of the individual person: these are the very reasons that government bureaucrats and private corporations are attempting an end run using free trade as a weapon. Starting with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and moving on to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the world is moving to a one world corporate dictatorship bypassing national governments.
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Comment #6 posted by Garry Minor on July 20, 2013 at 07:44:12 PT:
The Beautiful Truth of Kaneh bosm!
The wonderful Truth that no one seems to want to reveal is that Roger doesn't just have a right to use Cannabis, kaneh bosm קְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם .... Spiritually, but, that anyone that claims to be a "Christian" and hasn't been Anointed with the Holy Oil as directed to Moses by God, that contains Kaneh bosm, Cannabis ...... Is Not a Christian, an Anointed One!
Good, well meaning people, maybe, .... Christians, not yet!
They can scream, cry, weep and gnash their teeth, but, the Truth remains!Cyril of Jerusalem; Having been counted worthy of this Holy Chrism, ye are called Christians, verifying the name also by your new birth. For before you were deemed worthy of this grace, ye had properly no right to this title, but were advancing on your way towards being Christians.6. Moreover, you should know that in the old Scripture there lies the symbol of this Chrism. For what time Moses imparted to his brother the command of God, and made him High-priest, after bathing in water, he anointed him; and Aaron was called Christ or Anointed, evidently from the typical Chrism. There are many, many more references to the early followers of "The Way" Anointing themselves with Oil, hence the later name "Christian," Anointed One. The title Christ/Messiah simply means Anointed, covered in oil! Therefore, what does the word antichrist mean? Opposite of, opposed to or against, anointed! 1John 2:18-29! Seems to me that there has been a huge deception within the church! Kind of like what's described in Revelation! Read it!The leaves of the Tree are for the healing of nations! No longer will there be any curse?My Christ Cures Cancers! Their jesus?It's a narrow gate!Oh, btw, ..... the Words of Christ are just as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago for those with eyes that see, ears that hear, and, hearts that understand! Mt 13:10-23Garry MinorColumbus Cannabis MinistryColumbus Indiana
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on July 20, 2013 at 05:41:49 PT
relentless propaganda
NY Times never quits! Right, cannabis use isn't religious freedom - it just says so right on the FIRST PAGE of the Christian Bible!Sorry, public education hasn't dumbed me down enough to swallow these lies.
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Comment #4 posted by kaptinemo on July 20, 2013 at 04:55:50 PT:
I seem to recall something about a First Amendment
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Emphasis mine - k.)Seems to me the Congress and the courts have no say in this regardless of 'recreational potential' of the sacrament involved, or, by using that same yardstick, Catholics and Jews would have to give up sacrificial wine.Another example of cultural biases slamming head-to-head with reason and rationality.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on July 19, 2013 at 18:07:05 PT
Priorities change with spiritual use of the green.
I believe that as cannabis becomes more and more RE-legalized there will be more people using the superplant for spiritual uses.And that may be one of the chief reasons why government wants to prohibit citizens from using the God-given plant. Cannabis used spiritually may have incredible ability to help people see the truth. Truth is not a friend to government.The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #2 posted by Swazi-X on July 19, 2013 at 15:50:32 PT
Legislating Religious Practices?
"False claims of religious use"? For a plant that cannot kill you in any dose and has never killed anyone in all of human history? So the courts now control what is and what is not religious? Praise be!I'm sure that will turn out fine. As long as you're a "Christian" who tows the party line and succumbs to the virtually Godless hierarchy of the church and as long as you're able to ignore serial child abuse by your preacher, and the lavish life styles your contribution to "God" affords them, no problem.Ironically, the Bible contradicts this perversion of justice in black and white - "...all herbs bearing seed" have been put here for the benefit of mankind. The Bible also mentions "kane-bos" (sp?) that has in the past been translated incorrectly but that now is recognized by those who study such things as being cannabis. It was part of the Main Dude's Holy Anointing Oil and very likely a major part of the miracles attributed to him, which makes sense now that we have the science to support it.Our masters are concerned that we will "abuse" a plant that can only help us, can only heal and soothe us while it protects our bodies from the assault of chemicals they've spewed into our environment for profit. Strange then that they are so much at ease with the abuse of children and power by religious "leaders" that actually costs innocent lives. Where is their moral outrage when children's lives are destroyed? Where is the urge to protect when the truly powerless are victimize in the name of their God?
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on July 19, 2013 at 13:50:37 PT
How do you get around with a name like that?"But marijuana? That would be far more problematic."You see, it is ok for peyote and (fill in the void) because, bla, bla, bla (fill in the void) but mari ju ana?Nope, no can do, everything else is fine, but ma ma mari ju ana?Religious freedom my a**! Principles? What?
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