Parent Survey on Pot, Trayvon Martin on Pot, and ..Pot Used in a Religion?
I wrote awhile ago that it looks like pot is going to be legalized for recreational use. But a survey released in July by The Partnership at Drugfree.org found that while 40% of adults want to see it legalized, a majority of those want the legal age for use to be 21. Interesting that they don’t want kids and teens to be able to use it—very good news indeed. They voiced their concern about the effect on developing brains and their academic performance, and they also are against advertising it.
Trayvon Martin and Pot
Did you know that Martin’s autopsy turned up pot in his system? Thus, Zimmerman’s lawyers argued that he “was aggressive and paranoid from smoking” it. But in an op-ed, a neuropsychopharmacologist found that argument to be hogwash. Martin only had a small amount in his body, he had probably ingested hours before, and it wasn’t enough to do much at all, he said. Plus, pot smoking doesn’t make a person violent and aggressive; on the contrary, it’s a relaxant. The writer points out that this charge is reminiscent of the Reefer Madness era.
Worshipping at the Altar of Marijuana
It seems that every “cause” has its left-winger, and recreational pot is no different. If you can believe it, a Hawaiian man has founded the Hawai’i Cannabis THC Ministry, and it even drew the attraction of the Beliefs column in The New York Times. His name is Reverend Roger Christie, and he has spent time in prison for his “religious beliefs.”
Christie was indicted in 2010 because he couldn’t convince a jury that his street ministry, which served the needs of his neighbors from all walks of life, “was protected under the First Amendment” (which prohibits any law that “impedes the free exercise of religion,” for one.)
Interestingly, a New Mexico church was allowed to use hoasca, which is a hallucinogen, for sacramental purposes, and a Native Indian church was able to use peyote legally on religious grounds. And while you think these substances might be worse than pot, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Virginia explained why that’s not true here, in this case, as follows:
“The difference is that peyote and ayahuasca (hoasca) have little or no recreational market, and that is not likely to change because they make you sick before they make you high.” Also,….“marijuana has a huge recreational market. Diversion from religious to recreational uses, and false claims of religious use, would be major problems.”
Now that the tide has turned in favor of legalizing pot, will the minister win out? Will he be able to say that his religion “is not just a form of personal spirituality concocted to get stoned legally?”
Reading the article, you may think the Reverend is a few cards short of a full deck. But it’s an interesting legal article with ramifications beyond what is first apparent. It seems that the courts don’t like trying to define what constitutes a religion. The religion writer behind this column goes so far as to say the case raises “difficult, important questions,” even about the First Amendment.
Several people have said legalization is on the horizon. They never said it would be easy; in fact, as in my post on that, they predicted there’d be a number of problems.