A self-described ‘church’ which allows worshipers to smoke cannabis as part of a sacrament has opened its doors in Wisconsin.
Organizers at the Lion of Judah House Rastafari, in Madison, have said 6,000 people signed up to the place of worship in less than a month.
First thought: No chance this is legal, right? I haven’t polished up on my laws and regulations within the state boundaries of Wisconsin, but I’d have to imagine you can’t just bring weed into church and light up because the Jamaican guy with dreads at the alter says it’s part of his religion. Separation of church and state doesn’t mean that laws get thrown out the window when you enter a sanctuary. But it appears I was mistaken. It looks like we’re not dealing with your prototypical airhead pot smokers here. These dudes are smart.
Believers claim the ‘religious practice’ is protected by the First Amendment which allows the free exercise of religion.
Not a bad opening argument. In fact, it’s pretty well-thought-out. The state can quote all of the laws they want, but they should read over a little piece of paper called The Constitution first. The first amendment bans any law from prohibiting someone to practice their religion. If they can prove that smoking marijuana is part of their religion, they’re golden. And if not, aren’t religions just made up anyways? There has to be room for one more. So while marijuana may be illegal in Wisconsin, except for medical purposes, there’s not much anyone can do about this. They just want to worship! And they’ve done their homework on that topic, too.
The 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act has also been used to protect the use of banned substances in religious worship.
I’m no lawyer, but these guys seem to have found a legitimate loophole in the system. They can open up that church 24/7 for worshipers, and people can go in there and smoke weed whenever they want because it’s a part of their religion. Wisconsin can’t prohibit anyone from practicing their religion, and the use of banned substances are legal in religious worship. They’ve checked all their boxes! All they need to do is prove that they’re actually a church!
Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy said: ‘They are claiming to be a church. ‘I have not seen any documentation or anything that supports they are, in fact, a church.
God dammit. So close. Turns out that the people in charge may not be the smartest after all. They forgot to actually become a church. So as of now, this is nothing more than a place where a group of people are going to smoke weed, which falls under the category of “Illegal”. This isn’t a religion. This is the Monster Hits Only Club.