Rastafarians may get religious exemption for marijuana use

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.

Full Story: Cannabis Culture.

(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?

2 Comments

  1. The invisible monster that lives in the sky is the great excuse for everything. Flying planes into buildings, invading countires, smoking pot, feeding homeless people, having sex, not having sex… anything and everything at any time, anywhere, with anyone, at any cost, eternally. Just blame it on an invisible monster that lives in the sky and society will condone behavior it will otherwise not condone.

  2. Greetings to all. It’s so amazing to me how people want to try to classify our religion with a whole bunch of hooplah that has nothing to do with why we use it. Learn about the ancient culture and heritage that we as Rastafarians live by and you will see that we have simply obeyed the Father in how we worship. So if you feel that we “blame it on the big monster in the sky” remember that what you called a monster is your creator, so what are you. I know Im not a monster. I know that my religion deserves the respect that all other religions have. Regardless of what you think about it’s practices

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