Ariz. ruling finds no religious right on marijuana | www.azstarnet.com ®
There’s no constitutional right to use marijuana for religious purposes, according to a new Arizona court ruling.
The state Court of Appeals’ ruling upholds the conviction and sentences of Danny Ray Hardesty in Yavapai County for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hardesty’s appeal contends that he’s entitled to use marijuana under religious freedom protections of the state and federal constitutions.
The Court of Appeals acknowledges that courts have ruled that use of peyote for a bona fide religious belief is a defense to prosecution.
But the court’s ruling says marijuana use is more pervasive and that the uniform ban on possession and use is a legitimate restriction imposed by government.
Wow. So, if too many people use a particular sacrament, it can’t be holy anymore and protected under religious freedom? Whoops, tough for you, Rastafari, your God told you to use the wrong sacred plant!
If enough people began using peyote, then, that would be reason enough to enact a uniform band and rescind the rights of Native American worshippers to use it?
This insane hair splitting over “sincere” or “bona fide” religious uses of ganja miss the whole point. The meaning of “freedom of religion” in our Constitution is really a measure of Freedom of Thought – the sovereignty over your own free will, your soul, your spirit, whatever you call it. It doesn’t matter whether you believe a divine Creator made that burning bush for your sacred enlightenment or whether you believe this fantastic plant co-evolved in a symbiotic relationship with humanity or whether you believe you’ll just wake’n'bake today, reasons be damned!
The point of freedom of religion is that it is your right to believe what you wish; no one is master of your mind but you. How you alter your consciousness, whether you call it “communing with God”, “alleviating stress”, or “gettin’ high, dude!”, is your business so long as you don’t interfere with others’ rights.