THE ORIGIN OF THE New American Church Association
and the "REFR2000" Ballot Initiative
by Guy Mount, RoadmanAfter working hard to place Prop 215 on the ballot and win voter approval in November of 1996, it became apparent in 1997 that many people who use marijuana wisely and well were excluded from legal use. It also seemed to me, after gathering signatures and meeting a wide variety of voters and hearing their concerns, that the major opposition to ending the prohibition of marijuana came from scientific and religious fundamentalists who sincerely believe that marijuana users (medical or religious) are doing something naughty. Therefore, I concluded that the people in the movement needed to demonstrate that marijuana could be used religiously, like peyote in the Native American Church, and that we needed to provide teachings for respectful use of marijuana.
All of this came together for me in August of 1997, when I attended a peyote ceremony and asked the Creator for guidance on the medicine path. The answer I received to my prayer was to establish the New American Church Association which advocates a religious exemption for marijuana and peyote, regardless of ethnic heritage, religious affiliation or medical condition, so that everyone who uses these sacred plants wisely and well would be covered. The NACA is a nonprofit religious association which provides a spiritual roadmap for respectful marijuana use and distributes information free, online or by regular mail, and on the telephone, to the public.
Unfortunately, the medical path has reached a dead end: few doctors are interested, most patients don't qualify, and the legal marijuana patients in our part of the state (Butte, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity Counties are still at risk because of the ambiguities in the law. CA Attorney General, Dan Lundgren, recommended guidelines that are followed closely by the cops and judges hereabouts, which means a patient cannot grow more than 2 plants, or have more than 1 oz in possession. Few patients can grow the amount of medicine they need (up to 4 pounds per year according to Federal standards) with just 2 plants, nor can they afford a trip to Oakland to buy only 1 oz., and so they are going to jail for growing or possessing more than the limit.
Furthermore, few patients can afford marijuana at any price, much less the outrageous cost of homegrown sold through cannabis distribution centers (or from the underground) at $400 an oz. or more! Even $100 per oz. medicine from Los Indios del Mexico, our primary health care providers in CA's central valley, is unaffordable for most patients. Terminally ill cancer patients are not only sick, they are very poor.
Since the U. S. Supreme Court decided that a religious exemption for controlled substances like peyote, an even stronger medicine than marijuana, was "up to each state" (Oregon vs. Smith, 1989-90), the NACA has been advocating a similar exemption for marijuana. The only problem is, I couldn't figure out until recently how to actually obtain an exemption since the state legislature won't pay any attention to the problem, and we couldn't find a Civil Rights attorney to help file a civil case involving the denial of religious freedom.
So I did what I always do when unable to solve the problem by myself, I attended another peyote ceremony and asked the Creator to show me an open road. The vision I received in August of this year, combined two important elements from Native America: democracy (plagiarized from the Iroquois Confederacy), and the idea that plants are sacred because they have a spirit, too. The answer to my prayer was that we place this issue before the people with a democratic ballot initiative, and ask them to approve a religious exemption for marijuana.
This means we have to provide teachings for respectful use to be persuasive.
1. We are trying to build a better future for America by combining the social tolerance of Amsterdam with the ecological, intellectual and spiritual consciousness of Arcata.
2. If the only image we had of marijuana use was the one that comes out of High Times Magazine, I'd be inclined to vote against legalization myself. I think placing a centerfold portrait of marijuana, or peyote, or any other sacred plant, in the same context as centerfold portraits glorifying heroin, cocaine, alcohol and other dangerous, debilitating, nonspiritual, manufactured drugs, plus SEX-900 numbers, and false ads for piss tests that don't work, or pictures of stupid freaks, to be the very thing that frightens voters. Amsterdam and High Times Magazine provides ordinary Americans with such a frivolous, adolescent image that it's no wonder marijuana is still illegal -- It looks like just another way to get drunk. High Times proves that the DARE Program is right: marijuana use results in crazy or criminal behavior.
I hope the NACA can provide American teenagers with an alternative message. We think marijuana makes you smarter and facilitates learning. Cannabis helped me get a Master's Degree and write several books. It helped Steven and his friends start and operate the largest and most successful Peyote Church in America. It saved me and thousands of other Americans from severe medical distress. It brought my children safely into the world and gave me the courage, strength and visions to follow the medicine path, instead of the warpath. It's too bad President Clinton didn't inhale, it might have shown him a better way to go -- Instead of being dishonest, he might have proclaimed that making love with drugs was better than making war on them.
In conclusion, I think you could truthfully say: the NACA and the "REligious FReedom 2000" ballot initiative (REFR2000) originated as personal marijuana and peyote visions. However, the NACA also extends special gratitude and recognition to North American hempsters, who have long advocated the beneficial uses of cannabis for hemp building products, clothing, food, paper, oil and many other useful products. Mother Earth needs a health care program, too, and hemp will provide it.
Hemp Magazine, Hemp World Journal, plus hemp advocates and writers like Chris Conrad and Willie Nelson, have all provided a reverent portrait of respectful use and added to the heritage established by religious organizations like PFPF, Our Church, Coptic, Hindu and Rastafarian religions.
Our thanks for your many gifts.
by Guy Mount, RoadmanMany years ago I was fortunate enough to meet and interview Ruby Modesto, a Desert Cahuilla (Kawia) medicine woman, who lived near the Salton Sea in southern California. Ruby's people lived in Coachella Valley for thousands of years. She had learned ancient traditions, language and songs from her grandparents and extended family. Ruby also learned certain spiritual teachings which enabled her to heal people with dream power, herbs, massage, songs, feathers and smoke. "Smoke Is God's Breath," she often said, while blowing it on a patient or inhaling it prior to deliberate dreaming.
Ruby used tobacco in her healing strategies, but said any kind of herbal smoke was sacred. Smoke was the spirit of the plant made visible. Tobacco, itself, was a special gift from the Creator in the Cahuilla Creation Story along with the pipe. The Cahuilla cremated their dead on outdoor funeral pyres. It was said you could see the spirit rising from the body like smoke. Ruby always thanked God (Um-nah, Our Creator) and the plants for their gifts to her people by taking a smoke with prayer.
Smoke was so sacred to the Cahuilla that hunters maintained a ceremonial smoke house (as opposed to the northern California sweat house) where men smoked themselves all night, internally and externally, to eliminate human odors, prior to hunting Bighorn Mountain Sheep. The smoke house was a large, airtight chamber with a smoky greenwood fire in the center. Hunters purified their body with smoke from the fire, and inhaled smoke from a communal pipe which contained tobacco mixed with other herbs . The ideas was to smoke and sing hunting songs until you had a vision. In fact, the hunting shaman used smoke deliberately to send his spirit flying. A dream doctor with real power could locate the herd of sheep from the air, return to the smoke house and direct the hunt by drawing a map of well-known intaglios and petroglyphs (seen from the air during spirit flight) for the hunters to follow the next morning.
Ruby taught me that herbs are healing, providing you use them with reverence and respect. The plants have a spirit too. It's not just a matter of taking medicine when you are sick -- there is a Medicine Path that goes with the respectful use of plants by those who are born to be "Medicine People."
The Medicine Path recognizes there is a spirit in everything: animals, plants and people, as well as clouds, rivers and rocks. Mother Earth and Father Sun have their spirits too. We follow a spiritually conscious, medicine path by using sacred plants in respectful ways, with deliberate concern for the welfare of our community.
The Cahuilla found it desirable to initiate their children with the most powerful visionary plant mixtures on earth -- datura, elephant tree and cultivated tobacco. These medicines revealed the spiritual realm, impelled respect for the earth and elicited reverence for the plants and elders that supported a Medicine Path.
The people in southern California built a special "schoolhouse" just for this initiation. Each boy and girl would have a sponsor, an older person, who would guide them, help keep their feet on the ground, and provide spiritual support. There are teachings that go with these plants, teachings that come from thousands of years of use. The Cahuilla taught their children to use visions for the benefit of society as well as their own self interest. Hopefully, the initiate would discover a special talent to pursue. They might become eagle dancers, dream doctors, creative basketmakers and potters, or perceptive hunters, storytellers and singers, responsible leaders and ceremonial attendants.
I think a package of medical marijuana ought to come with the warning: DO NOT MIX WITH ALCOHOL, CIGARETTES OR OTHER MANUFACTURED DRUGS WITHOUT A DOCTOR'S RECOMMENDATION.
Like cannabis, peyote is a wonderful medicine too. In 1986 I fell off a ladder, landed on my elbow and ruptured my spleen. When I woke up in the hospital, after an emergency spleendectomy, my left arm was paralyzed. I couldn't move my fingers. After 3 months, the muscles in my hand atrophied (collapsed around the finger bones). My hand became a claw, and it was painful from elbow to fingertip. I discovered THE AMA HAS NO MEDICINE FOR SEVERE NERVE DAMAGE. Cortisone, the only prescribed drug, was worthless.
Finally I got desperate. I play guitar, so to lose my hand was awful. I went to visit friends who are earthpeople, and got some peyote and pot. Pot helped take care of the stress but it did not relieve the paralysis. It would help relax a spasm when a spasm occurred, but it didn't get rid of the nerve problem, which was getting worse. So I found some peyote and we took it with prayer.
We try to do it right. We make a fire and use our special medicine basket and a Navajo blanket, our water drum and rattle. We sing our songs and ask for help and give thanks with the peyote. There is a spirit in the plant. There is a spirit that can come with respectful use, and for me it comes as a Living Light. It comes in a way that is right for each person. Don Juan says don't get attached to what you see, but I'm really fond of that light. It feels like the father I always wanted. I ate four peyote buttons, smoked some herb and called on that light, until I could see it in my mind's eye. Then I asked it to move down through my arm and fingers, healing everything in its path. I could actually "see" and feel the nerve synapses reconnecting. By morning, I could make a fist and move my fingers once again. I got my hand back, thanks to good medicine.
Marijuana and peyote therapy competes with approved medicine, especially the synthetic pharmaceutical drugs of profiteering corporations. They claim they can't control the dosage of herbs, but the truth is they can't control the price.
The war on drugs has replaced the cold war with a dirty war. It's a continuation of the war in Vietnam, which is how the empire perpetuates itself. Marijuana users have learned what it was like being a member of a Vietnamese (or 19th century Indian) village. Suddenly the Professional Guardians of America enter your humble house, capture innocent women and children, chase you into the bushes, or arrest you and place you in a concentration camp, and confiscate everything you own, teaching you a lesson in the name of peace, in the name of love, in the name of God, in the name of civilization, in the name of progress and democracy. Nothing has changed in the American Empire since Columbus landed and started the whole thing by reporting how one Spanish soldier could easily control one thousand Indians, because they were so gentle and kind-hearted.
Is there is any difference between General Custer riding rough-shod into a Lakota Indian village and President Clinton hurling 24 Tomahawk missiles into the middle of Bagdad? They both arrogantly assume the right to kill innocent women, children and elders for the control of economic resources.
Only 80 years ago Ishi walked out of a canyon 30 miles from Chico, representing the last free, human being in California. You've read what an intelligent, gentle person he was and kind too, as Columbus discovered. Nothing has changed. We exploited Ishi's people and their resources and carried that policy across the Pacific. The forces that perpetuate an empire didn't stop in California. America expanded westward, acquiring the Philippines, Hawaii and other territories in the Pacific. Japan was conquered with an atomic bomb. We kept going , testing Korea, then Vietnam, followed by wars with the Islamic nations of Asia. Arabs are the current Indians of the world from the point of view of our empire.
However, despite American history, I have the belief that an empire is very much like an individual person and a person can change. In my lifetime I went from being an alcoholic, a U.S. Marine Corps gangster, a "worker" who got his identity from IBM and Litton Industries, to a place of some enlightenment and knowledge and wisdom. I changed for the better and I'd like to think the empire can change too.
My introduction to marijuana came when I was 30 years old. I was very depressed at the time, 1968, because I was going through a divorce and feeling miserable about myself. I was a "bad husband, a bad father" (according to my ex-wife), and I felt increasing alienation from the empire. I worked in the Job Corps Program, teaching high school dropouts how to pass the army entrance exams so they could go to Vietnam. The creation of cannon-fodder became the purpose of the Job Corps program as the War intensified. The harder I worked the more depressed I became, but I didn't know why. Like most Americans, I thought something was wrong with me and I blamed myself instead of the empire. I even thought about committing suicide.
But fortunately a friend said, "Well, if you're gonna kill yourself, you might as well try this little pill. You might learn something new." The pill was LSD.
We drove up into the Sierra Mountains, dropped acid together and smoked some pot. And that was where I started this journey.
I remember sitting under a ponderosa pine tree beside a spring-fed creek, lamenting my fate while waiting for the acid to come on: "Nothing is going help me," I thought. "This stuff isn't gonna work."
Suddenly I looked down at my hands, which had been unconsciously playing with a handful of pine needles and I saw that the pine needles were alive! I never realized pine needles were alive before -- and my hands were alive too! I could see something moving inside the needles and within my own hands. I could actually See the life-energy inside of things. Power. It was manifested in everything that existed in the environment.
Then I became aware of that 200 foot tall ponderosa pine tree. I could feel the sap moving. The tree was alive and contained more power than me. I started hugging the tree and noticing, for the first time, butterflies in the meadow around us flying through the air. The air itself was alive, making beautiful patterns in the grass. My friend and I grinned foolishly at each other and removed our clothes and went skinny-dipping in the creek where a waterfall made a deep pool. When I swam naked in that water I felt Mother Earth envelope me in love. I hadn't felt close to the earth like that since walking barefoot as a boy on our family farm in Ohio.
The funny thing is there was something, a spirit perhaps, that spoke to me and said I should learn how people lived on this part of the earth before Europeans arrived. So I came down from that trip in the mountains, enrolled at Cal-State University, majored in anthropology and Native American studies, and finally met Ruby Modesto.
What I learned from her was a profound reverence for plants that were even more powerful than LSD, a reverence which my people obviously lost somewhere along the way. There was a time, of course, between the last ice age and the rise of international urban empires, when Europeans lived just like American Indians. There was no difference between them except the color of their skin. Mother Earth's people were free, not wild. But I learned to question what modern European/Americans are doing to Mother Earth, and her people, because I became conscious of the fact that America is addicted to following a warpath, rather than a medicine path.
To think of the earth as Our Mother is not absurd. It helps one establish true (scientifically verifiable) identity and relationship with the natural world, rather than a false identity with a spurious, exploitative, inhuman, warmongering empire. There is a spiritual reality to existence. But like the rest of the world outside our acculturated, self-conscious persona, we are normally unaware of it. We have eyes that do not see, and ears that do not hear.
I think marijuana smoke helps us see and hear with the eyes and ears of our soul. I find the smoke wonderful for writing. It enhances my perceptions. I can catch a story, like catching a song, and find new ways to be creative. If I didn't smoke pot, I wouldn't do anything except find a job in the empire and bitch about it.
One of the things that helps me define spirituality is music. When I started smoking pot at the age of 30, I truly heard music for the first time. Up until that point in my life, I perpetuated the empire. But marijuana made me want to learn how to play music and perpetuate myself. So I quit my job making cannon-fodder for Vietnam and used the power I received from marijuana to play guitar. I would smoke and play music all day long. It was a very high meditation.
But I was a backslider you might say. I was still avoiding spiritual considerations. Then I read The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda and wanted to learn about peyote. Castaneda reported hearing music and I wanted my own songs. So I found some peyote, made a fire and took it with prayer. And I received a vision in which I saw a Great Light and heard music. I suppose one might call it a "hallucination" rather than a vision, if one wished to be unkind and discount the value of this experience, but there is a big difference -- hallucinations are meaningless, whereas a vision means everything. The "spirit" taught me many songs, a whole repertoire of medicine songs which I love to play today and share with other earthpeople.
There is a spiritual reality which we can perceive with the help of power plants. The main difference between the institutional religions of the empire and a medicine path that comes from the earth is that the empire emphasizes a spiritual program, whereas indigenous religions emphasize a spiritual encounter.
And that's another reason why marijuana is illegal. Spiritual programs (language itself) lead us to believe we are separate from the rest of the world. But when the illusion of separation is dropped, we enter into the spiritual realm. "In here" and "out there" become the same place. Our true identity is our integrated relationship with the earth, not the programs and cultural institutions that create the illusion of separation in order to perpetuate an empire.
I believe that marijuana is good for us, whether it's re-creating ourselves through art, ceremony, love and pleasure, or in having a vision, PROVIDING we use it with respect. Pot makes us healthier, in part, because it integrates us with the spiritual realm -- Mother Earth, Father Sun and that mysterious perceivable reality, the Power of Life and Light which flows through all things that exist. By applying the teachings that indigenous earthpeople suggest for the proper use of power plants, we can insure a peaceful and healthy future for America and the planet, when marijuana becomes legal.
A SPIRITUAL ROADMAP FOR THE RESPECTFUL USE OF MARIJUANA
12 Time-Honored Steps on The Medicine Path* Take it with prayer -- Thank God for pot.
* Avoid alcohol, commercial cigarettes and other manufactured drugs.
* Seek a personal vision -- Follow a path with heart.
* Attend an earthcircle -- Sing, dance and play music.
* Get your identity from the earth, not an empire.
* Show reverence for all your relatives: plants, animals and people. Harm nobody. Give thanks for everything.
* Be part of the solution -- Respect, protect and perpetuate Mother Earth. She will always love you, no matter how old you get.
* Use your power to make things better for everybody.
* Make Love, Not War -- Forgive your enemies.
* Practice the Golden Rule -- Be Cheerful and Kind.
* Clean your house, tend the garden, study hard, get a job and support your family.
* Take time-out for yourself.
Your generous donations make this roadwork possible.
Please join or contribute to The New American Church Association, a non-profit religious organization, and support the rights of friends and family to use marijuana as a sacramental medicine. We believe that marijuana ought to be treated just like peyote, another controlled substance, with an exemption for use by a bona-fide interfaith church or religious association. Marijuana can be a spiritually healing plant for many people, regardless of ethnic heritage, providing they observe teachings for respectful use.
This is, in fact, the way we practice our religion and share it with other people who are seeking salvation with the help of sacred plants -- sacred because the plants have a spirit too. That's my perception and understanding of reality.
Every morning at sunrise I stand on my front porch and have a smoke. Then I say: "Thank you Grandfather Sun for shining down on me and all my relatives -- the animals, birds and trees, the rivers, clouds and rocks, and all my people, too. I hope You have a good day." Then I take another puff of smoke from the pipe and thank Grandmother Earth for loving me, no matter how old I get. "What can I do for You today?" I wonder. Then I thank the smoke itself for helping me understand that we all have a higher parentage in common, regardless of how we express it, metaphorically. The smoke is good for us, providing we follow the teachings that go with a medicine path. That's my religion. Many other Americans share similar beliefs, ideas and values.
You can help establish our constitutional right to religious freedom. The U.S. Supreme Court decided (Oregon vs. Smith, 1989) that each state has the right to exempt a controlled substance for religious or medical use. Oregon subsequently recognized The Native American Church and exempted peyote for religious use. The New American Church Association has submitted a non-profit application to the state of California and the federal government with a request for sacramental marijuana exemption. State authorities used to say we could "believe in" sacramental use, but we couldn't "do it." However, California's Compassionate Use Act changes everything. Medical Marijuana patients are legally using marijuana, today. All we want is the right to "believe in" it, and give thanks according to our religious sensibility.
We need your financial support and spiritual commitment to succeed. Please help.
ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP PLEDGE $25
LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP PLEDGE $100
Free membership for medical marijuana patients with a verifiable, U.S. physician's approval or recommendation.
Members and contributors receive a free copy of THE MARIJUANA MYSTERY: A Novel For Earthpeople and Holy Smoke Newsletter. You can improve health care in America by supporting our constitutional right to religious freedom and an exemption for marijuana and peyote as sacramental medicines, regardless of ethnic heritage, or medical condition. Members must be over 21 and citizens of the USA. Contributions from the rest of the world are welcome. Tax-deductible donations, publishing and research grants will be put to good use. Federal and California non-profit status pending application approval. Send donations payable in U.S. funds to:
Guy Mount, Executive Director
THE NEW AMERICAN CHURCH ASSOCIATION
16625 Heitman Road * Cottonwood, CA 96022
Guy Mount, Roadman
RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION 2000 (RE 2000)
16625 Heitman Road
Cottonwood, CA 96022
Telephone/FAX: (530) 529-5392 (7am-6pm PST)
RE 2000 is sponsored by donations and the volunteer efforts of many individuals and organizations. Please send for more information by email or regular mail. Let us know if you want you name on our list.
CANNABIS CAN HELP GENERATE FAITH
Excerpted with permission from "The Healing Magic of Cannabis," (pgs. 65-66), Copyright 1998 by Dr. Beverly Potter and Dan Joy, Ronin Publishers, Inc. Berkeley, CA.Cannabis is an entheogen. This term, popularized largely through the efforts of ethnobotanical researcher Dr. Jonathan Ott, means literally "generating god within" and refers to substances that can facilitate religious experiences and feelings of spirituality. Stronger psychedelics like peyote, mescaline, psilocybin, and LSD are also entheogens. The psychoactivity of cannabis can assist in (quieting the mind to contact the inner source of faith and hope. Cannabis aids in eliciting the relaxation integral to spiritual, meditative, and contemplative techniques, and its mental effects are associated with the intuitive, imagistic, nonrational, nonlinear aspect of the psyche from which flow faith and hope. The tradition of using cannabis as an entheogen stretches back thousands of years. In India, cannabis is associated with the Hindu god Shiva. Bhang, a drink made from cannabis, is considered "the heavenly guide" and "the food of the gods" by certain Hindu sects who have long used the plant as an adjunct to meditation and the study of scripture. Yogis recount using bhang to "center their thoughts on the eternal" and many Hindu saints used cannabis for "fixing the mind on god." Fakirs and ascetics, India's wandering practitioners of extreme religious austerity, used cannabis to facilitate communication with their deities. The Japanese traditionally burned cannabis in marriage ceremonies to drive away evil Spirits, and members of the mystical Sufi sect of Islam used cannabis for spiritual insight.
CATALYST OF THE NEW AGE MOVEMENTCannabis' entheogenic properties played a significant role in the explosion of the plant's use in the 1960s. A crucial early event was the "Good Friday Experiment" conducted at Harvard by Dr. Timothy Leary and his colleagues, in which students of Divinity were administered LSD in a religious setting to produce "trips" whose characteristics closely resembled those of classic religious and mystical experiences. As the decade unfolded, such spiritually-charged LSD experiences helped catalyze widespread interest in alternative and Eastern religious and spiritual forms such as Zen Buddhism and Taoism, and fueled fascination with Indian masters of yoga among western followers.
These developments, taking root in the counterculture and blossoming in later decades as the New Age movement, were crucially supported by the entheogenic qualities of cannabis. The plant offered a relatively brief and non-threatening initiation into psychoactivity. Where LSD was generally considered appropriate only for occasional use, cannabis could be used more regularly to recall the spiritual intensity of LSD experiences and help nurture, maintain, and integrate into daily life the insights they yielded.
Cannabis is often used with the religious rituals, ceremonies, and meditative forms widely explored as alternative spiritualities proliferated, and in this capacity played a formative role in awakening spiritual inclinations among many who never used LSD. Stephen Gaskin, a major American proponent of alternative spirituality and founder of the long-lived Tennessee countercultural commune called "The Farm" discusses the continuing contemporary entheogenic use of cannabis in his book, Cannabis Spirituality.
A Proposed California Ballot Initiative and Survey
by Guy Mount, RoadmanREligious FReedom 2000 is a proposed ballot initiative which establishes an exemption for the cultivation and bona-fide religious use of marijuana by the people of California.
According to the U.S. Supreme Court (Oregon vs. Smith, 1989), "Each state has the right to exempt any controlled substance for religious use." Therefore, RE 2000 is sponsoring a ballot initiative that would provide a religious exemption for marijuana in the state of California.
Please note: REFR 2000 is a nonprofit, tax-exempt Political Action Committee, representing people from many different churches and religious traditions. Supporters of REFR 2000 hold in common the belief that marijuana is a sacred plant that lifts our spirit and facilitates communication with The Great Spirit. We thank God for marijuana, and hereby request freedom of religion for all the people who are using this good herb wisely and well.
HOLY SMOKE, a free online journal with a REFR 2000 storypage, also provides testimonials and teachings for respectful use of marijuana. More information on the ballot initiative is also available by mail, or telephone.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO PREVAIL -- cash donations, roadwork, signature collection, local city and county organizers, legal advice, good will and ideas.
We also would appreciate your response to the following survey:
Religious Exemption Survey1. Do you think marijuana should, or should not, be exclusively limited to medically approved users.
2. How has marijuana helped you physically, mentally or spiritually?
3. Would you support a ballot initiative or legislation in your state which provides a religious exemption for marijuana cultivation and use?
4. Can you help collect voter signatures and/or distribute information on respectful use?
Send your email response to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regular mail to: REFR 2000 * 16625 Heitman Road * Cottonwood, CA 96022
REFR 2000: A PROPOSED CALIFORNIA BALLOT INITIATIVE ADVOCATING A RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION FOR MARIJUANA
Changes in the Health and Safety CodeTo the honorable Secretary of State of California:
by Guy Mount, Roadman
We, the undersigned, registered, qualified voters of California residents of ______ County, hereby propose an addition to the Health and Safety Code, relating to [the religious and spiritual use of Cannabis sativa, L (hemp, indica, marijuana), and petition the Secretary of State to submit the same to the voters of California for their adoption or rejection at the next succeeding general election or at any special statewide election held prior to the general election or otherwise provided by law. The proposed addition to the Health and Safety Code shall read as follows:
Section 1: "Section 11362.6 is added to the Health and Safety Code to read: 11362.6 (a) "The purpose of this measure is to serve an exercise of the powers invested in the People and State of California by the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the US Constitution, to preserve and protect the Freedom of Religion established in the First Amendment there of, and to ensure that Freedom of Religion is secure for all Californians."
(b) "We the People of the State of California do hereby declare that the rights to conscience and religion are fundamental human rights that must be protected by the rule of law."
(c) "The right to freedom of religion is meaningless without the right to practice that religion, to form bona-fide religious associations, churches and organizations and to partake in the sacrament, so long as such practice does not physically harm another person."
(d) "The use of Cannabis sativa, L (hemp, indica, marijuana) for sacramental purposes is long established in the history of humanity, including the Zoroastrian, Egyptian, Hindu, Moslem, Coptic Christian, Rastafarian, Hottentot, and numerous other religions and cultures."
(e) "It is improper to use color of law to violate the right to Freedom of Religion."
(f) "Therefore we do hereby declare the following:
1. No person who in good faith cultivates, possesses or consumes any cannabis plant or natural derivative thereof for religious or spiritual purposes shall not be prosecuted or otherwise imposed with criminal or civil sanction or penalty.
2. No person who in good faith and with respect prepares or provides such sacramental cannabis plant material shall be prosecuted or otherwise imposed with criminal or civil sanction or penalty.
3. A parent, physician or legal guardian shall have the power to authorize the sacramental/medical use of cannabis by any person below age 18. 4. No state personnel, fund, or other resource shall be used in the investigation or prosecution of any person whose behavior is consistent with this section.
5. No property used to produce, prepare, provide or consume cannabis for religious or spiritual usage shall be subject to forfeiture.
6. Nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize anyone to engage in reckless behavior, to harm any other person or property, or to divert cannabis plants for non-spiritual or non-religious usage.
Section 2: "If any provision of this measure or application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, that shall not affect other provisions or application of this measure, and to this end the provisions of this measure are severable."
Your support and any suggestions are welcome. The REFR 2000 Ballot Initiative Proposal is preliminary roadwork for the Presidential Election in the year 2000 (the next feasible general election). We must provide voter information about respectful, reverent use of marijuana, pay for professional signature collection, and raise $1 million, according to the Secretary of State, through fundraising events and private donations to put the initiative on the ballot. We need your good will and ideas, city/county volunteer coordinators for signature collection and cash for printing information packages and paying postage.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM 2000 (REFR 2000)
16625 Heitman Road
Cottonwood, CA 96022
Telephone/FAX: (530) 529-5392 (7am-6pm PST)
REFR 2000 is sponsored by donations and the volunteer efforts of many individuals and organizations. Please send for more information by email or regular mail. Let us know if you want you name on our list.