Marijuana smokers get the spiritual touch; Cannabis legalisation situation in various countries discussed

By @ritwikroy1985 on
A woman smokes during an event marking Israel's government's approval of a new policy to decriminalize personal marijuana use in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 4, 2017. Reuters/Baz Ratner

The International Church of Cannabis, located in Denver, is set to open its doors to the public on Thursday. It’s a special Church dedicated to marijuana. It will be the spiritual home for those adults take marijuana for inspiration and meaning.

“Our church is the spiritual home for adults everywhere who ritually take the sacred flower to find inspiration and meaning,” congregational leader Briley Hale says in the promotional video on YouTube.

By “sacred flower,” he can only mean the cannabis plant. The Church already has new members, who call themselves Elevationists, and they reportedly “use the sacrament of cannabis” for elevating their lives. They believe that using marijuana ritually will not only enrich their community but also ignite their spiritual journey. In other words, this special Church is a place where cannabis-takers can smoke with others, though all that comes at a cost. The promotional video mentions fundraising campaigns too.

As per Huffington Post Australia, members of the public are being asked to donate $4.20, so that they can install an elevator and fix a 100-year-old radiator. The elevator will be very much useful for those who are less mobile. So far, the cannabis church has been able to raise US$31,000 from 109 members. It will hold a 4/20 Ceremony everyday, which means 4:20 p.m. A lot is going on around the world in terms of marijuana legalisation. Protesters are continuing to fight for decriminalisation of the drug.

There are some countries that are legalising only medical marijuana while in some others, recreational use of cannabis is also allowed. In Australia, Puerto Rico, Poland, Czech Republic, Canada, Croatia and Macedonia, cannabis is legal only for medicinal purposes, and in Turkey, for the cultivation for the same purpose, reports The Sun. In Uruguay, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in the US, Spain, Slovenia, Netherlands, Jamaica, Columbia and Chile, marijuana is legal or decriminalised in some form.

However, there are certain countries where marijuana laws are extremely harsh. The Cannabis Control Law in Japan can give a five year prison sentence along with hard labour for smoking a single joint. Malaysia and Indonesia have similar kind of regulations. In Philippines, anyone caught smoking weed is sent straight to rehab for six months. Repeat offenders can go to jail for six to 12 years. Marijuana dealers are meted out even harsher punishments. In the UAE, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, traffickers and sellers can be sentenced to death.