“God and cannabis.” That’s what members of Alabama’s Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light preach. The married couple Janice and Christopher Rushing are co-founders of the church and both regular users of cannabis. They founded the church in 2015 and claim they have a state exemption to smoke cannabis and consume hallucinogenic mushrooms and peyote cactus.
The church regularly gathers to discuss the benefits of cannabis, citing it as a possible cure for bipolar disorder, “an ungodly facial rash,” cancer, and post-traumatic stress disorder. All this is possible because of their traditional Native American spiritual beliefs and they consider their usage “a sacrament.”
All 120 members in the Alabama church carry photo identification, similar to a driver’s license, that identifies them as members of a church that has a federal religious exemption to use natural drugs that are otherwise prohibited by law, [Christopher Rushing] said.
This Birmingham News story comes in conjunction with a recent video showcasing a rabbi, priest, and atheist smoking herb together. In that video, Jim Mirel, Rabbi Emeritus at Temple B’nai Torah in Bellevue, Washington, said that, “If [cannabis] helps you become a better person, if it lifts you up, gives you a new view of life, it’s a very positive thing.”
Cannabis usage remains illegal in Alabama, the home state of anti-marijuana Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But through religious exemptions, that hasn’t stopped state citizens going green it seems.
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