Court denies Meyers religious defense for the sacramental use of cannabis. Meyers started the “Church of Marijuana” in 1973.
“Meyers founded the “Church of Marijuana” in 1973. The church allegedly has 800 members and one designated meeting spot. The church’s “religion” is to grow, possess, and distribute marijuana. The church’s “bible” is a ponderously titled book: Hemp & the Marijuana Conspiracy: The Emperor Wears No Clothes—The Authoritative Historical Record of the Cannabis Plant, Marijuana Prohibition, & How Hemp Can Still Save the World (“Hemp“). The church does not have a formal clergy, but does have approximately 20 “teachers.” Meyers did not explain what the teachers do. Although there are teachers, the church has no hierarchy or governing body. The church does not attempt to propagate its beliefs in any way, and does not assert that everyone should smoke marijuana. Nonetheless, part of the “religion” is to work towards the legalization of marijuana.”
The court ruled against Meyers religious defense, finding that his church did not deal with profound spiritual issues, lack of metaphysical beliefs, lack of an adequate moral or ethical system, and an overall lack of comprehensive beliefs.
The kicker was at the end of Meyers testimony, when he mentioned he and other church members were Christian. However, Meyers never asserted any use of the Bible, or that he thought it was his God given right to smoke marijuana (even though the Bible encourages cannabis use). The court seems to have seen the Meyers defense as a loose attempt at a fabrication of a religion to get away with illegal activity.