Ras Iyah Ben Makahna won a partial victory in the US’ 9th Circuit Court after he argued that he used cannabis as a sacrament. The potential implications are astounding: sacramental users, especially Rastafarians, may be able to light up on federal lands and be protected by Makahna’s precedent.
Ras Iyah Ben Makahna was arrested for possession and importation of marijuana seeds on January 2, 1991, at an international airport in his homeland of Guam, a US territory. He was on his way back from California when officials charged him with importation of a controlled substance. The American Civil Liberties Union soon became interested in his case, and offered legal assistance.
Makahna explained that Rastafarians are required by their religion to carry and use cannabis sacramentally: for him it was a choice between breaking the law, or sinning in the eyes of God.
(See also: ACLU, Rick Steves launch marijuana campaign).
(Via Irreality Wire).
Why is religious exemption the most feasible means of making legal exceptions for marijuana use? If we accept that religious people can use the drug, why not cancer patients? Or artists and musicians? Or television program viewers?