My Religion is Science, Therefore I Believe Cannabis to be Sacred–Does anybody have an issue with that?
February 24, 2010 9 Comments
With the recent release of a University of California study proving cannabis (marijuana) to be a safe and effective medicine for various ailments including chronic pain, any and all laws limiting the availability of this medicine to the general public have been severely called into question. As if they hadn’t been already.
The state of California is now on the brink of full decriminalization due, in part, to the headaches involved with attempted “medical marijuana” legislation. Meanwhile, there are a growing number of individuals attempting to claim that cannabis is a part of their religious/spiritual practice. So far, the courts have continued denying that cannabis can be a legitimate part of one’s spirituality/religious practice–yet the Attorney General’s office effectively condones its use as medicine, and science has proven this to be a very wise decision.
However, some overzealous officials continue persecution of medical users despite federal guidelines suggesting they no longer waste public funds chasing medical marijuana patients where the herb has been recognized as medicine. A move which seems counter-productive if the “drug warriors” involved are attempting to display the value of their services to the public and perhaps keep their jobs. Instead of focusing their energy and funding on far more dangerous drugs like meth and heroin, they have gone directly against the administration’s instructions along with overwhelming support for the plant from both the public and the media. Then there’s the religious aspect.
Followers of Rastafari who have fought for their rights in court have been repeatedly told that their faith in the plant is either insufficient or insincere, or both. Members of various other churches which see the plant as divine have enjoyed similar treatment, but now a very lucky few of their fellow citizens have had their right to use cannabis confirmed by no less than the U.S. Attorney General’s office–thanks, according to the memo, to a severe lack of funds and the profound realization that it makes no sense to spend public dollars chasing after cancer patients and the like for choosing their own medicine. Wow.
When you think about it, that is actually a huge step: the people in charge finally recognize what a colossal waste of time and resources the drug war has become. They also recognize that the culturally accepted use of this particular ‘drug’ is not a significant threat to the surrounding community–a direct contradiction to the rationale previously used in court to justify the denial of first amendment rights to so-called “marijuana religions.”
There can no longer be any serious claim at a “compelling interest” to keep certain people from using the same exact ‘drug’ as others who are allowed to use it for a different, ‘legitimate’ reason. Beyond that, where can you draw the line between medicine and spirituality–or even between science and religion?
Personally, I believe science to be an advanced form of religion itself–exhibiting the same debilitating “orthodoxy” which has plagued organized religions for thousands of years. That being said, I also rely heavily on the findings and theories of scientific study to help me better understand the world in which we live. Science may not be able to prove and/or explain everything, but in my opinion it is one of the best generally applicable tools we have at our disposal.
When the scientists come out and tell me that cannabis has proven therapeutic value, I’m apt to believe them. What’s funny is when cannabis is proven to have therapeutic value (which recently happened and was subsequently reported to the California state legislature), it also means that cannabis no longer meets the stringent requirements for being classified as a “schedule I narcotic.”
Unless they are prepared to declare science an insincere and insignificant belief system, Congress needs to bite the bullet and finally end this ludicrous attempt at prohibition which has been crippling our nation and the rest of the world for at least seventy-five years.
My religion is science, therefore I believe cannabis to be sacred. If any individual or government entity has got a problem with that, I’d love to hear it.