|Town v. State, 377 So. 2D 649 (Fla. 1979).
The parties agree and the trial court expressly found that (1) the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church represents a religion within the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, (2) the use of cannabis is an essential portion of the religious practice (8) members of the church believe that cannabis is the mystical body and blood of “Jes-us” and (9) through cannabis members purportedly find a spirit of love, unity and justice, which bring them closer to their god.
Further, the EZCC is not a new church or religion but the record reflects it is centuries old and has regularly used cannabis as a sacrament. The trial court also found that petitioners property was used as a church in violation of the zoning ordinances of the City of Miami Beach. For this reason, the court enjoined further use of petitioner's property as a church but permitted Ms. Town to worship in her home with family and friends.
Second of all for the record I also consider myself to be a member of all churches, organizations, religions, individuals who use cannabis as a sacrament or spiritual plant. In my first petition I pointed out that I had written “ Marijuana and the Bible” posted in various places on the web and if you have taken the time to read that 40 page document you would be aware that cannabis has been used for thousands of years by many different cultures and religions for spiritual purposes.
At the turn of the twentieth century , the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission set up to study the use of hemp in India contains the following report.
….it is inevitable that temperments would be found to whom the quickening spirit of bhang is the spirit of freedom and knowledge. In the ecstacy of bhang the spark of the Eternal in man turns into light the murkiness of matter.
…..Bhang is the Joy-giver, the Sky-flyer, the Heavenly Guide, the Poor Man's Heaven, the Soother of Grief....No god or man is as good as the religious drinker of bhang...The supporting power of bhang has brought many a Hindu family safe through the miseries of famine...To forbid or even seriously to restrict the use of so gracious an herb as the hemp would cause widespread suffering and annoyance and to large bands of worshipped ascetics, deep-seated anger. It would rob the people of a solace in discomfort; of a cure in sickness; of a guardian whose gracious protection saves them from the attack of evil influences.
I consider myself to be a Christian who believes in Rastafari the God of the EZCC and other sects of Rastafari. See United States v. Bauer, 84 F. 3d 1549, 1556 (9th Cir. 1996) Rastafarianism is a legitimate religion, in which marijuana plays a necessary and central role. Rastafarianism is among 1, 558 religious groups sufficiently stable and distinctive to be identified as one of the existing religions in this country. The Bauer court found that in the case of simple possession the Bauer defendants were entitled to the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
See United States v. Raynard Earl Valrey, (Order No. CR-96-549Z) in which the judge modified the terms of Mr. Valrey (a Rastafarian) supervised release. The court allowed his personal use and possession of marijuana exclusively in connection with the practice of his religion. United States District Judge Thomas S. Zilly signed the Order on Feb. 22, 2000 (Western District of Washington at Seattle)
For the above reasons , the Court MODIFIES the conditions of Mr. Valrey's supervised release. The Court will allow Mr. Valrey's personal use and possession of marijuana exclusively in connection with his practice of his religion. Mr. Valrey shall (1) self report his marijuana use (affirming that such use is in the context of his continuing participation in the Rastafarian religion), (2) undergo regular urine testing for controlled substances, (3) report monthly, (4) submit to periodic criminal history checks, and (5) comply with all of the other conditions of supervision.
I was taught in the EZCC that the sacrament Christ shared with his disciples was cannabis. Take eat this is my body, this is my blood, do this as often as you will in remembrance of me. As long as cannabis is used in remembrance of what Christ stood for -to love one another- to do unto others as you would have them do unto you- to forgive one another- to pray for one another- etc., it is lawful.
The Catholic Church was allowed its sacramental use of wine during prohibition. It is my understanding that they were allowed to possess, manufacture, transport, distribute and use their sacrament without government interference.
I do believe that cannabis is a gift of God, the sacrament that Christ shared with his disciples, and the Biblical tree of life for the healing of the Nations-all EZCC teachings-
Now I find myself alone with no organized structure, no elders other then myself,
but with beliefs and the use of cannabis as a practice. How do I use cannabis? As often as I will in remembrance of Christ. Like Christ I should have the lawful right to find disciples and to share my sacrament with them. At the current time I have offered to confine my practice to my home or the home of another that believes the same as myself. At the current time I have no real need of any great amount of sacrament. However religions and churches do grow. As times change and the sacrament becomes more accepted, whether medical, religious or for its commercial applications I may decide to buy land, make a church building and institute prayer services to the public. At that time I will notify the DEA of my intention. At the current time I see no need for the importation or exportation of cannabis. If that changes I will notify the DEA.
If you did not have the power to grant an exemption you would not ask for religious users to send Petitions. What I am asking for is easy for the DEA to do. Grant me a religious exemption for growing, possession, sharing in my home and carrying enough for personal use. A number of states already allow this for medical use and the federal government has said they will not interfere with that.
It is my understanding that the federal government currently supplies 300 joints a month to each of five compassionate use patients and that these patients are allowed to smoke pretty much any time they have the need. See attached exhibit. Orlando Sentinel article of Nov. 28, 2002 “Stockbroker uses pot to ease pain with Uncle Sam's blessing.”
If a law allows secular exemptions government must have a compelling reason for refusing religious exemptions. Lukumi, 508 U.S. at 537. Thus, where a rule requiring police officers to be clean-shaven had an exemption for medically motivated beards Lukumi required an exception for religiously motivated beards. Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Newark, 170 f. 3d 359, 366 (3rd Cir.) cert. denied 120 S. Ct. 56 (1999)
We are not talking about a dangerous substance. The federal governments own National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse 1972 recommended that the possession of marijuana for personal use no longer be an offense. It also recommended that casual distribution of small amounts for no renumeration or insignificant renumeration not involving profit would no longer be an offense. The recommendation was endorced by the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, the American Association for Public Health, the National Education Association and the National Council of Churches.
The DEA's own administrative law judge Francis Young In Marijuana Rescheduling Petition 1988 found marijuana in its natural state to be one of the safest therapeutic substances known to man and that no one has ever overdosed. He also recommended that it be rescheduled to schedule II.
I am asking for no more then what is being allowed under medical use. I would like to grow up to ten plants in the privacy of my home, to share that with like minded individuals in the privacy of my home or in the privacy of their home, to be able to carry up to an ounce, to be able to practice my religion in a national forest, to do that at any time when moved by the spirit or when in communion with others. Where ever two or three are gathered together in my name I am there to bless them and do them good.
What is the DEA's compelling interest in total prohibition of cannabis when that is not the status quo.? Thirteen states currently make provision for medical use and another 10 have decriminalized small amounts. For years Alaska has allowed the growing and private use in the privacy of ones home. California is going to vote next year on the complete legalization of cannabis. The majority of the citizens of this country support medical marijuana and close to 50 percent outright legalization.
What I am proposing is no threat to health and safety. Your job concerns diversion and control of dangerous substances. You need not worry about cannabis. There are many dangerous drugs including legal pharmaceuticals that are being abused and causing much suffering and death. If total legalization or country wide medical use is allowed the DEA will be able to concentrate on the truly dangerous substances.
I solemnly swear under penalty of perjury that the foregoing information is correct.
I leave you in One Love
Jeff A. Brown dated Jan. 14, 2010.
I sent this revised petition certified mail and it was received. I received no reply.
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