Judge Rejects Marijuana as Holy Sacrament
Trevor Douglas says he believes in the "botanical messiah" and that smoking marijuana is a holy sacrament.
But a Colorado judge disagreed.
He was found guilty of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving an unregistered vehicle, the Associated Press reports.
The judge said the 25-year-old man's beliefs don't rise to the level of a religion. The judge rejected his marijuana use as a holy sacrament.
Douglas argued that cannabis is similar to the breaking of bread and drinking of wine in Catholic Holy Communion.
"I believe that, as mentioned in the Bible, cannabis is the tree of life," said Douglas who represented himself in a two-hour long trial.
He said he holds membership in two churches that espouse such beliefs.
Throughout the trial he pointed passages in the Bible referring to cannabis as his defense exhibits. He also mentioned that his parents taught him how use marijuana in holy ceremonies.
In August Douglas was stopped by a state trooper for having an expired vehicle registration. The trooper smelled marijuana and that is when Douglas began explaining how cannabis was a part of his religion.
The judge had to determine if his spiritual practices were considered religion as defined in case law.
Douglas says he will appeal however. He plans to stand up for his First Amendment right to religious freedom. Under the law, it says all individuals are constitutionally permitted to choose a religion freely in accordance with their conscience and spirituality, and the government may not inhibit their religious practices.
The judge ordered Douglas to pay $450 in fines and costs and serve 15 hours of community service.
- Pot user loses his religion defense (Denver Post)
- Man Fighting Marijuana Charges Based On Freedom Of Religion (TheDenverChannel.com)
- First Amendment - Religion and Expression (FindLaw)
- Peyote and Religious Freedom (FindLaw)
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