Published on June 6th, 2015 | by News Feed
Congregants Defend Their Constitutional Right to Use Cannabis At Church
Is it possible that marijuana could be used, freely, in a church service? Well that is the goal of several groups across the country. While police brutality and minority hardships continue to dominate the national media, there are many other areas in the country that are facing major legal decisions. One church in Indiana is attempting to use marijuana in their services. While this might seem radical it is not a new approach. The Healing church in Providence, Rhode Island, is currently using cannabis within the gray area of the constitution. However they believe it is only gray to the authorities.
The Healing Church is a legitimate, legal church. The group consists of roughly 15 members and they are, in their own words, legitimate Bible thumpers. They have been holding worship services in the West Greenwich area for over a year and they have recently taken their church to federal lands. Roger Williams National Memorial is a federally maintained and regulated park. This park has park rangers as well. The church asked for and was granted permission to hold services in the park. The group has refrained from actually smoking marijuana but they are using oils and drinks in their service.
Bhang is a concoction from India that they claim can enlighten the mind and bring health as well. This concoction does have marijuana in it and it is a beverage made to drink. The group used this and the oils in the park and the police or the rangers did not harass them. Alan Gordon is a representative for the church and he made it very clear that he refuses to use the word marijuana. He claims that cannabis is the proper name and he offered a few other opinions as well.
“Unlike the Indiana Church, we are sincere Judeo-Christian Bible-thumpers, who see “kaneh-bos” in Hebrew as the same plant as modern cannabis. We have express federal, state and city recognition of our religious right.”
The Healing Church offers weekly canna-mass service. They are also very prominent in the park holding prayer meetings as well. According to the group they not only have the right to do as they would wish but they claim that the first amendment protects their right to use marijuana. The services typically run an hour in length and they are beginning to draw more and more people.
However it is important to know that the authorities and the police are not letting this slide. They are routinely stopping and questioning the members of this congregation. However the members have continually told the police the truth and they are not hiding their cannabis. “We stood up, they backed down,” said Gordon.
Would you be willing to attend a church service if it meant your right o cannabis would not be thwarted? Is this a legitimate bypass of the federal government or will it all come crashing down?