There have been a great many developments in the world since last I posted on this blog. Matters both heart-warming and heart-breaking have come and gone, and yet I’ve been too ill to write at length about them. That, or I’ve been at an utter loss for words. Some things leave you that way. Some things need silence.
The most recent bit of news I’ve felt compelled to comment on involves a bit of melodrama in my home state of Indiana. In light of that state’s governor’s pushing through an ugly piece of legislation involving granting additional, unnecessary protections for religious freedom which amounted to giving businesses the right to discriminate against customers for religious reasons. This was clearly meant as an attempt to disenfranchise Indiana’s LGBT residents.
Using the loopholes set in place for religious freedom against Indiana’s draconian marijuana prohibitions, a new church has sprung up, calling itself “First Church of Cannabis” under the leadership of one Bill Levin. Further, the church and Mr. Levin himself have filed a lawsuit against the state and Marion County, claiming the prohibition of cannabis violates their religious freedom. Very slick. This church is also the absolute worst possible thing that could happen for the cause of cannabis decriminalization.
Cannabis has rock-solid, proven medicinal and industrial uses. The states which have thus far decriminalized its use have benefited from a windfall of tax proceeds from legally purchased cannabis. They’ve seen no rise in the crime rate nor any other negative societal impact as a result of these changes to their laws. That is the best argument possible for the pro-weed movement. Not another bull-shit religion getting involved in politics.
Yes, I am aware that many different peoples throughout history have used cannabis as part of their ceremonies and rituals. I concede that fact. This church, however, is not doing itself or the greater legalization movement any favors by dragging God into this. Especially in a state that barely recognizes the existence of any religions besides the (extremely irritating) born-again variety of mega-church Christianity complete with Christian rock bands and light shows. Which is not to say other religions aren’t represented in the state. They’re around, and treated with just as much respect as you can imagine.
The fact is, while I know all religions are “made up” for one purpose or another, this one’s purpose doesn’t require any revelations from some fake prophet. The country is nearly on the cusp of legalizing cannabis simply due to the fact that it’s very prohibition was instituted for racist, nonsense reasons many, many years ago. It doesn’t need another fantasy story about a God to get this one right. So, please…PLEASE keep your religion out of my one-hitter. Just fire one up and contemplate the nature of the universe. It’s worked for years without being sanctified!