It is my belief that cannabis should not have been made illegal, and all laws drafted regarding its use contravene international human rights law. When the law upholds sacramental cannabis use, prohibition is dead.
Both the UN Declaration and EU Convention on Human Rights carry the same paragraph in regard to freedom of religion.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”
In English, anyone stating a sincerely held belief that cannabis aids their spirituality in any way is protected from prosecution. This, as ever, needs to be taken before the ECHR for confirmation, but the CA (Cannabis Assembly) has been working since September of last year to get a religious defence case prosecuted.
You need neither dreadlocks nor a hassock, You do not need to be a member of any recognised religion, and EU law forbids the questioning of religious beliefs.So, with full legal consultation, we have determined that anyone who can prove Cantheist beliefs prior to arrest will be protected from prosecution. Simple really, ho ho, but we have to get it into court and the authorities are refusing to take the bait.The Cannabis Assembly was born in September of 2004 following continued disillusion with the capitalistic intent of the US based THC Ministry. Rev. Pete Brown and I, co-founders of the CA, believe any assistance which may be given to protect cannabis users from prosecution should be given freely, and it is stated clearly on our site that the CA will never accept any financial donation of any kind.
To this end we have designed, written, and made freely downloadable, membership documents, a sanctuary sign, plant tags, and ID cards, stating the religious use of cannabis. Once these documents are on display in a person’s home arrest for any cannabis offence under UK law immediately triggers the religious defence. You’ll find all documents required at http://cannabis-assembly.co.uk
We also began a letter writing campaign to inform the authorities we were cultivating and consuming cannabis for religious use, and have written numerous letters to; Mr’s. Blair, Blunkett, and Clarke, and to the Dept. of Constitutional Affairs, various other Ministers and the media. They may simply be compiling a case but to this date they have chosen not to attempt prosecution. This is annoying, of course, but inevitable nevertheless. We shall have our day in court.Rev. Pete Brown and I both have previous convictions for cultivation. Pete is confined to a wheelchair and I have spinal arthritis but still get around acceptably with the use of a walking stick. We are both medical consumers of cannabis having found prescription medications no longer viable due to increased side effects.
Sacred Herb, Sacred Rights
The use of cannabis in medicine and religion predates recorded history. ‘Kaneh bosem’ from ancient Hebrew, the basis of Biblical holy anointing oil and used by Jesus Christ, became the Greek ‘Kanabis’ which was adopted into Latin as ‘Cannabis’ and has a local language name in every country on Earth.
We in western cultures often only relate the Rastafarian religion to Sacramental use of cannabis, but as it was used by ‘the anointed one’, or ‘Christ’, it also used by Jews, Taoists, Hindus, Shintoists, Buddhists, Muslims, and the healers and shaman of isolated groups worldwide.
Cannabis is an active part of modern religious life and yet, in direct contravention to it’s own discrimination laws, governments of the EU continue to persecute it’s users. Practices such as these should not be seen to continue in the anti sectarian, multi-faith, society that we hope to build in Europe.The advocates of cannabis prohibition continue to claim reasons of ‘no medicinal use’ and ‘harmful to public health’ to defend this unjust mistake. People throughout Europe however are daily using cannabis to treat Multiple Sclerosis, AIDS, Cancer, Brain Tumours, Glaucoma, Stroke, Nausea, Asthma, Epilepsy, Insomnia, Depression, Chronic Pain, and Migraine. New medical studies seem to appear weekly confirming the claims of those who rely upon cannabis as a medical necessity.
The many harmful side effects of prescription drugs governments and health authorities deem acceptable, yet the pleasant euphoria experienced when using cannabis is not. By preventing normally law abiding, hard working, men and women from using this herb the governments of the European Union are guilty of an act of torture upon its own citizens.HJ Anslinger, Director of the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics, openly misled the Congress of the United States to achieve a personal agenda that historians have labelled misguided at best and is popularly believed to be a corrupt collaboration between Anslinger, Randolph Hearst, and Du Pont.
The newspaper, and timber, magnate, Hearst, published a campaign of anti-’marijuana’ propaganda, often penned by himself and Anslinger, based on unacceptable racial intolerance and outlandish medical claims. These articles claimed that one joint of cannabis could cause “insanity, criminality, and death” and made people of “degenerate races” “believe they are equal to white men”. In evidence given to a hearing of the US Senate in 1937 Anslinger stated,”There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
“…the primary reason to outlaw Marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”
“Marihuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”
“You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”
“Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
These statements have been available to the governments of Europe for many years yet the citizens see no action taken to rectify this injustice. The fact that such discriminatory and unfounded laws as the prohibition of cannabis can remain on our statute books in the twenty-first century is a barrier to the future harmony of Europe which needs to be dismantled.
Recently we have seen modern examples of the ‘reefer madness’ stories once again being used to promote personal political agendas. What the majority of the mainstream media fail to put in banner headlines are the quotes from the authors of the latest reports.Dr Ferguson, head of the New Zealand study, said “the same results would occur in (testing) milk”. Prof Van O, of the Dutch report, said “the results affect such a small number of people it should never be used to guide legislation”. Van O openly states prohibition does not work. Yet certain politicians and sections of the media take anecdotal studies that suggest cannabis may be one of many thousands of things that may trigger mental illness in someone already predisposed to that illness, and broadcast it to the public as ‘cannabis drives you mad’. Can anyone see a slight discrepancy between headline and fact here?
Our representatives can no longer ignore the wishes of the growing number of cannabis users while allowing far more dangerous drugs, such as tobacco which kills over 50,000 people each year in the UK, and alcohol which kills over 26,000, to be sold openly. These politicians are not concerned in the health of the public but only about the profits of the multinationals that donate so generously to party funds, and these politicians do not represent the majority view of the citizens of the United Kingdom.If you want to protect your children, legalise cannabis, and all drugs, consider this; under prohibition the minimum legal age to buy drugs is 50p.”
Faith and patience, Rev. Paul Farnhill, Cannabis Assemblyhttp://cannabis-assembly.co.uk
SACRED HERB, SACRED RIGHTSby Rev. Paul Farnhill, Cannabis Assembly