cannabis buyers clubs
medical marijuana clinics
You do not have to join our religion to be legally protected (although you may join for free). You do not have to donate any money or time to our religion (although donations are greatly appreciated). These principles apply to all of the worlds major religions.
This is a long article because it discusses how cannabis buyers clubs and medical marijuana clinics can protect themselves from federal prosecution. You may still be raided, but a competent lawyer can get the charges dismissed and your materials returned. It is vital that you contact your own lawyer before any DEA raid occurs.
Having a valid legal defense will not stop a DEA raid. Having a valid legal defense will empower a skilled lawyer to successfully get charges dismissed (or win in court if the case goes to trial) and get your materials returned to you.
This article discusses (1) the legal basis for a religious defense, (2) the religious basis for a religious defense (with specific examples from several major world religions), and (3) how to document the religious defense prior to government intrusion.
While cannabis buyers clubs and medical marijuana clinics are legal under twelve (12) state laws, the federal government (in particular, the DEA) continues to shut them down under federal laws. The federal courts have ruled that there is no federal right to medical necessity.
If all of your workers have a sincerely held religious belief that they are required to take care of the sick and disabled by participating in the distribution of medical marijuana, then you are safe from federal government (DEA) prosecution.
Almost all of the worlds religions require some of their believers to take care of the sick.
There is no requirement that all of your workers share the same religion, merely that they each have a sincerely held religious belief requiring them to participate in the distribution of cannabis to the sick and disabled.
There is a long standing American tradition of believers from diversely different religions coming together to work on commonly held charitable religious activity.
Clinic and club operators can obtain more information by contacting our Presiding Elder MichaelM at 949-566-0001.
about the law
Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court strongly supported religious rights regarding drugs in the 2006 case Gonzales v. UDV. In that case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 was constitutional and applied to the DEA. The DEA was required to return Schedule I drugs and related materials to the members of the UDV church and was required to meet the conditions of the Act regarding religious defense.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) provides strong defense for religious activity that might otherwise be illegal under federal law.
To qualify for RFRA protection, an activity must be (1) a sincerely held (2) religious belief (3) that is required of the believer.
Court decisions have distinguished between religious belief and philosophy or lifestyle. Religious belief is protected, while philsophy or lifestyle are not protected.
Court decisions have made clear that the government can not question the reasonableness of any religious belief.
While there can be no test of the validity of a religious belief, the government can question the sincereity of the belief.
Court decisions have also clearly indicated that the religious activity must be required by the sincerely held religious beliefs. If the activity is optional
Under federal law (not to be confused with state laws), the government must show that a law that substantially burdens religious rights is neutral towards religion.
The government must prove that it has a compelling interest in criminalizing the religious activity.
The fact that Congress declares an activity to be dangerous does not automatically make the activity dangerous and the government must show that the religious activity is in fact dangerous.
Even if the government does show that there is a compelling interest, it must also show that the law is the least restrictive means available to the government to meet the governments compelling interest.
Note that one federal appeals court has ruled that single-issue marijuana religions dont count as real religions. That court set up a series of tests heavily biased towards Christian and Christian-like religions.
You can read more about the legal matters in the chapter on religious rights in the book Introduction to Cannabis Religion offered by Pr Ntr Kmt. You must talk to a competent lawyer to insure that your activities are legal.
As mentioned above, almost all world religions require some of their adherents to care for the sick and the disabled by distributing medical marijuana.
Christianity is the most common religion in the U.S. The Christian Bible clearly states that each Christian is given different gifts and has a different calling to serve the overall needs of the body of Christ. Just as the human body has organs that have distinctly different functions for the overall good of the body, the body of believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior also have different functions (callings) and gifts to serve the needs of Christ. Some Christians have a divine calling from God, Jesus, and/or the Holy Spirit to serve the sick and disabled, and some of those will have a more specific calling to serve in a medical marijuana clinic or cannabis buyers club. This is something they learn through prayer, mediation, and Bible study. Christians tend to rely heavily on quoting specific verses from the Christian Bible (and seem to enjoy debating each other over shades of meanings of obscure verses). You can find long lists of Christian Bible verses at many Christian-oriented cannabis websites.
Islam is the second most common religion in the U.S. The Islamic Koran (or Quran) states that each Muslim is given different gifts and has a different calling in the service of Allah. Muslims who have sinned against Allah are specifically required to atone for their sins by doing good works in the name of Allah. Some Muslims have a divine calling from Allah to serve the sick and disabled, and some of those will have a more specific calling to serve in a medical marijuana clinic or cannabis buyers club. This is something they learn through prayer, mediation, and Bible study. This is something they learn through prayer, mediations, and study of the Koran (or Quran).
Judaism is the third largest religion in the U.S. Jews believe that their G-d (devout Jews never spell out the entire name of their deity outside of specific religious settings) requires them to perform good works. Some Jews believe that they are required by their G-d to care for the sick and disabled, and some of those will have a more specific belief that they must serve in a medical marijuana clinic or cannabis buyers club. This is something they learn through prayer, meditation, and study of the Torah.
Witchcraft is the fourth most common religion in the U.S. Wicca is the most common form of Witchcraft in the U.S., but there are literally thousands of kinds of Witchcraft. Witchcraft is an earth-based religion that has a magickal view of the universe. The oldest and earliest activity of Witchcraft was the growing and use of plants for medical purposes. More than two-thirds of all modern medications (by use) were discovered by ancient Egyptian witch doctors. growing and distributing cannabis for medical purposes is clearly and unambigiously a central act of Witchcraft. The Roman Catholic Chrurch and the Lutheran Church have a long history of torturing and killing people for Witchcraft if they are discovered to be in possession of cannabis or materials related to using cannabis for medication. All Witches are required to provide magickal medication when possible (even if the Witch does not him- or herself use cannabis).
Hinduism is the fifth most common religion in the U.S. Hinduism is a very fragmented religion, with widely divergent and sometimes contradictory beliefs. All forms of Hinduism call on the performance of good works. Doing good works brings about good karma, allowing a reincarnation to a higher status in subsequent lives, eventually leading to Moksha, or union with the divine. Some forms of Hinduism have optional use of cannabis (which doesnt rise to the level of federal RFRA protection). Some forms of Hinduism do require the use of cannabis (which does rise to the level of federal RFRA protection). Hindus may learn of their religious requirement to serve in a medical marijuana clinic or cannabis buyers club from a guru, from ancient and/or modern Hindu texts, through yoga, through meditation, or through other Hindu activities.
Buddhism is the sixth most common religion in the U.S. Buddhists believe in karma, and the idea that after sufficient improvement through multiple reincarnations that one can obtain Nirvana, or oneness with the universe. Some Buddhists may believe that they are required to care for the sick and disabled, and some of those will have a more specific belief that they must serve in a medical marijuana clinic or cannabis buyers club. Buddhists may learn of their religious requirement through meditation, Buddhist texts, or other Buddhist activities.
The ancient Egyptian, or Kemetic, religion (Pr Ntr Kmt) teaches that all persons must obey the Law of Maat, but leaves to each believer the exact deifnition of what constitutes the Law of Maat. Some Kemetic believers may believe that they are required to care for the sick and disabled, and some of those will have a more specific belief that they must serve in a medical marijuana clinic or cannabis buyers club. A common method for learning of religious requirements is the Ntr Sentra ritual, the burning of cannabis smoke in order to interact with the divine.
The Rastafarian religion teaches that ganja (cannabis) is a sacrament to the divine and requires its believers to use sacramental religious cannabis. There have been multiple court decisions upholding the right of Rasta to use ganja.
The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Religion has had success with local police and sheriffs and even some state judges in cases involving possession, distribution, and growing. You can find them online at www.thc-ministry.org.
Many other world religions have similar teachings regarding aiding the sick and disabled.
As an official or operator of a medical marijuana clinic or cannabis buyers club, you will want to strongly document the religious aspect of your activity in order to protect yourself from DEA or other federal harassment and prosecution.
The first thing to do is to put up signs that clearly indicate that your medical cannabis distribution is religious in nature.
A large sign that says something to the effect of distributing medical marijuana [or medical cannabis] to the sick and disabled as required by our sincerely held religious beliefs is an excellent start.
If your clinic or club is operated by a specific temple or church for its membership, then you should prominently display the symbols and name of your religion.
In the more likely event that your clinic or club deals with members of a variety of religions, it is a good idea to include multiple religious symbols to show an atmosphere of inclusiveness and diversity. At a minimum, you should probably have the symbols of the six largest eligions in the United States: the Christian cross, the Islamic crescent moon and star, the Jewish Star of David, the Wiccan pentagram or pentacle, the Hindu Om, and the Buddhist lotus or wheel of life. You might also want to consider the Taosist tin-yang symbol, the lion of Rasta, and the ankh of the ancient Egyptian religion.
MichaelM, presiding elder of Pr Ntr Kmt, can provide your clinic with one or more large hemp cloth banners that clearly indicate to any visitor (including the feds) that your clinic or club is distributing cannabis for religious purposes. These signs will be customized with the name of your clinic or club, specific references to your state medical marijuana law, and specific reference to religion. The symbols of multiple religions can be placed on the banner to show that your club or clinic is open to all religions. MichaelM is the artist who created the signs youve seen Jack Herer use. Contact MichaelM at 949-566-0001.
Next you want to document that your workers are involved in an activity that is required by a sicnerely held religious belief.
Pr Ntr Kmt provides certificates for a wide variety of religions for those who want to officially declare that they have a sincerely held religious belief that requires them to distribute cannabis to the sick and disabled. Some of the religions include: ancient Egyptian, Asatru (Norse), Buddhism, Celtic Druidism, Christianity, Gypsy, Hellenism (Greek), Hermeticism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Kemetic, Mithraism, Rastafarian, Shamanic, Shinto, Wicca, Witchcraft, and Zoarastrianism. Certificates for other religions can be prepared on request.
Note that you do not have to join Pr Ntr Kmt to obtain certificates.
The medical cannabis certificates cost $20 each (plus $5 in postage and handling) and can be ordered by contacting Pr Ntr Kmt at 949-566-0001. You may ask each worker at your clinic or club to obtain their own certificate, or your clinic or club can obtain the certificates on behalf of your workers. Your club or clinic should photocopy and keep on file a certificate for each worker as evidence that your activity is religious in nature and protected by the RFRA.
Please note that you should be careful about any workers who seem to lack sincerity. The government can question the sincerity of religious beliefs and it can cast doubt on your activity if there is evidence that you should have had reason to doubt to the sincerity of any of your workers.
If you want to help spread the word about how medical marijuana clinics and cannabis buyers clubs can protect themselves through the use of the RFRA, please consider making a donation to Pr Ntr Kmt. You can make this donation on-line by credit card or you can mail a check to: Pr Ntr Kmt, 340 Old Newport Road #7, Newport Beach, California, 92663, >USA.
Medical marijuana clinics and cannabis buyers clubs may want to consider becoming an authorized temple of Pr Ntr Kmt. Contact presiding elder MichalM for more details.
You may want to make a donation to help Pr Ntr Kmt spread the word.
See also legally valid religion.