We witness medical marijuana more and more on social media, on the news, in magazines etc... Cannabis has all kinds of new uses lately. Although I came across something that was completely unexpected and new to me; Cannabis in churches. Does it really have a place in spirituality, and does it belong in a church? How is it evolving through the new communities of “smokers” considering its new legal state? (medical marijuana is legal in 33 states)
Creation of new religions
We all heard about the Rastafarian community. Rastafarian religious movement is originally from Ethiopia but has been popularize in Jamaica, around 1930. Rasta believers are well known for their dread locks and their common use of marijuana.
The Rasta religion is against all drug but allowed its faithful people to use Ganja. Rastafarian wont use cocaine or heroin. They will frequently avoid alcohol, tobacco and even caffeine. These last elements being considerer toxic for their bodies.
For them Cannabis is a meditative tool, it helps them reach a state of self-realization and even gives them mystical experiences. The consumption of Marijuana in this context is never intended to get a psycho-active “buzz”.
They also smoke “weed” in group, as rituals. For these occasions, they like to use a common pipe, properly called chalice. These gatherings are performed to reinforce the sense of community and create divine connections.
New variations of this last religion have made their debut in America. In 2015, more specifically in Indiana the Fist church of cannabis was founded. Inspired by its Judaism childhood Bill Levine instituted The Deity Dozen, which are the guidelines for his new church.
- Treat everyone with love as an equal.
- The day starts with your smile every morning. When you get up, wear it first.
- Help others when you can. Not for money, but because it's needed.
- Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas.
- Do not take advantage of people. Do not intentionally hurt anything.
- Never start a fight… only finish them.
- Grow food, raise animals, get nature into your daily routine.
- Do not be a "troll" on the internet, respect others without name calling and being vulgarly aggressive.
- Spend at least 10 mins a day just contemplating life in a quiet space.
- Protect those who can not protect themselves.
- Laugh often, share humor. Have fun in life, be positive.
- Cannabis, "the Healing Plant" is our sacrament. It brings us closer to ourselves and others. It is our fountain of health, our love, curing us from illness and depression. We embrace it with our whole heart and spirit, individually and as a group.
In 2017 people praying with the help of marijuana got together again to create The International Church of Cannabis, in Denver, which also praise the value of the plant. The disciples of this new movement called Elevationist believe that “the sacred flower” accelerate and deepen self-discovery.
Similarly, to the Rastafarian their comrades are considered awaken when in use of the Cannabis plant. This last movement do not have a doctrine or a set of rules except the importance of following the Golden Rule.For those who are less familiar with the Golden Rule, it is simply the principle of threating others as you want to be treated.
The International Church of Cannabis was inaugurated on April 20, 2017. This new Elevationist group had painted a concerted old Church by contemporary artists. The beautiful new look of the sacred house is worth the detour, if you are in the area.
Considering that smoking cannabis in Colorado is illegal the consumption of cannabis is not permitted during the public opening hours of the church. In order to celebrate their sacraments of cannabis only the members can assist to a private service held every Friday.
Recycling old churches
With these new religion practices gaining in popularity sadly others are losing theirs. The citizen of a small town in north of Ontario called Val-Rita will see their town church being transform in a cannabis culture center.
The church lost its religious “status” years ago and was use for activities for the young of the community.
The town decided to move the activities and sell the old church. The offer they got was not exactly what they were hoping for, but the committee is now exited for the new job opportunities this project will create. The establishment once installed is believed to be able to produce 600 kilograms of Medicinal Cannabis per year.
A CBD Convent?
You might have heard of this new Californian spiritual group called The Sisters of the Valley. They are a group of “Nuns” making CBD oil. The funder of this organization so called Sister Kate says she is an accidental nun and like to describe herself as “self-declared, self-empowered anarchist- activist nun”.
The sisters of the valley are living together, take vows and practice chastity like Christian nuns. Although they don’t have the same system of beliefs. They consider their Cannabis production a spiritual activity. Their faith blends New Age practices and Environmentalism, they also inspire themselves from Native American practices.
These beliefs affect the way they harvest and make their products. They follow Biodynamic agriculture practices and regulate their procedure with the cycle of the moon. They like to keep 5 % of their production to give to the people who need it but can not afford it.
The Sisters of the Valley is a growing movement. They already have sister hood in Canada, New Zealand, The U.K and in Brazil. Their goal is to have “weed nuns” in every town across the planet by 2040.
Today’s reality is changing so fast. Institutions that have been around for hundreds of years are losing their power and new ones are slowly rising. What was wrong is now right and some things we could never even imagine are happening. Faith is an indisputable and beautiful thing but having an open mind is the key to evolution.