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Marijuana: Judge Throws Out Religious Defense in Arizona Marijuana Case, Says Defendants Lack "Sincere" Belief

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #467)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues
Politics & Advocacy

A federal judge ruled December 22 that the founders of an Arizona church that uses marijuana as a sacrament, and worships it as a deity, must stand trial on marijuana trafficking charges despite their claim that they are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That means Dan and Mary Quaintance, founders of the Church of Cognizance, face a January 16 trial on charges related to a 172-pound marijuana seizure in New Mexico. They face up to 40 years in prison each.

Ten months ago, in a case pitting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act against the Controlled Substances Act, the Supreme Court upheld the right of a New Mexico church to use a controlled substance as a sacrament. The Quaintances cited that case in seeking to have their charges thrown out. But US District Judge Judith Herrera in Albuquerque refused to dismiss the charges against the couple, saying their religious beliefs were not "sincere" and they had "adopted their religious belief in cannabis as a sacrament and deity in order to justify their lifestyle choice to use marijuana."

"She doesn't fully understand our doctrine," Dan Quaintance told the Associated Press after the ruling. "This is very upsetting to members of our church. It was quite a holiday present. Normally on Christmas we would have shared the herb with our friends and church members," Quaintance said. "Instead we had presents. We were a little empty... What's happening to us is a clear violation of the US Constitution. It's clear we are sincere."

The Church of Cognizance was founded in 1991 and filed a statement of "religious sentiment" with local authorities in 1994. According to the Quaintances, the church has 40 or 50 members in Arizona and an unknown number across the country. The church's motto is: "With good thoughts, good words and good deeds, we honor marijuana; as the teacher, the provider, the protector."

The couple remains free on bond at their home near Pima, Arizona, while awaiting trial. They have stepped down as leaders of the church.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I smoked pot most of my life and had to deal with the ramifications of using and then some. Being a musician it sure did help or inspired the sences. Arizona has a zero tolerance against drugs.... if one was tested for drugs while driving a car in AZ, and the smallest amount of thc was detected in ones urine. Regardless, if you smoked or consumed it days prior. Your. The bottom line is Its Illegal!!! Any way you look at it! No one is exempt here. Until the drug law "for pot" changes. This can only happen with time and lots money spent on research and education. Maybe then we can evolve away the nightmare being branded a criminal. My seventeen year old son is living these nightmare now. He was found with just the smallest trace in his pee. He smoked with 4 or 5 of his friends three days prior. To summerize. because its making me nausus to think or write on this.!!!!! The court sytsem shall wait 7 or 8 months to try him. hmm 18 years old and trialed as an adult. The law as it is today & tommorrow stating the dangers of pot is going ruin my son. He already is under the stress of losing the small scholar ship due to this. He is a special education student. He was read his rights by the police and was denied his attorney or myself to be there while in question. and so on and so on. then a few weeks go by, it happens again. pulled over driving a friend home near our home in Gilbert Az. He was profiled? I suspect, yes. His rights were read, harrased, denied an attorney or a phone call. Arrested. pee test and of course pot stays in your system for up to a month or so they considered him still under the influence. impounded the car. I demaned to have his pee tested myself by a qualified tech the minute they got their results and we were denied. Please I'm all out for keeping the streets safe from the impaired driver and so is my son. The bottom line again is that "Pot is Illegal" anyway you look at it. So we have to deal what ever may come from this. (millions of other sufer too)

Sun, 01/07/2007 - 5:38am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I Went to court today Feb 12, 2007 with my son in reference to the article above "Bottom Line Its Illegal" Well, today was, to me,the so called "Maranda Rights" does not exist much of anything. My son asked for council, parent, phone call and the right to remain silent was all denied at both incident. The first night of arrest was around August 3, 2006 (so the police report says) the charges read in a very incomplete and untrue statements. In summary, mind you, I'm very tired and drained......He has three counts against him. Yet, only the first date of arrest was provided. Here are the charges.
CT 1: 1286 DUI-Impair GLB 6000012386 02 M1.
CT 2: 1288 DUIDRGBODY GLB 6000012386 02 M1.
CT 3: 1299 DUIMncarf GLB 6000012386 02 F6.
A Class6 Felony! You see, I (his father) asked him to pick up his cousin Johnny (who is11yrs old, the law reads anyone under 15 years of age in a car with the driver Impaired falls in the FELONY 6 catagory. The police report, which I finally got to glance at, six months ...hmmmm Im looking for the level amount of THC was discovered. I saw something that read prosecution for .000 lvl...............I must be retarded or look like one but isn't that under one percent of nothing? Yet the Judge and State dont fukcking careeeeeeee.
' ) ...Okay second arrest was August 20, 2006. My son was giving a friend a ride home from our house. My son was heading north on Lyndsy and making a left turn (west) on Baseline Road. He and friend notice a polilce car sitting at red light facing (east) on Baselilne Rd. The police turn around in zero seconds flat to pull him over. My son rolled down the window and police officer said, "Did I not Pull You over recently and arrested you?" Bang! Your Busted! My son whom has not smoked the herb since first incident, "and I believe him.) Was too scared to indulge. Again arrested, harrased, humiliated, and denied councl. Now, they are stopped on the north side of Baseline Rd. What the .... is a Gilbert police officer doing making an arrest in Mesa. I'll tell you why. Because you are still impaired and under influence
of a drug thc. my son was "profiled" My lawyer which I hired today and scrounged up $900.00 upfront just to say to me seconds before entering court "there will be jail time due to its the mandatory first offence and that F6 charge" I was in shock to here this from him. Hell I could have done better by creating the argument I mentioned above. He was going to plea bargain! I supect. Easy $900.00 and I would still owe $900.00 balance.
Please respond, anyone out there. I Love both my sons with all my heart and soul and am in total disbeleve what my son has to indure. He's studing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights now in school.
More details I will add or email me with above address

Tue, 02/13/2007 - 6:00am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Judge Herrera,

Will not burn in Hell for not making a constitutional correct decision.

The United States Government has no business in deciding who is or is not sincere in their beliefs.

These peoples attorney left a hole in their argument that allowed this judge to make a political correct ruling thats all.

Fri, 02/02/2007 - 6:50pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I fail to see the distinction. Would anyone question my sincerity if, for example, as a christian, I adopted christianity merely as "a lifestyle choice"? In a country with christian churches in every town and city it's very easy to join, and at least look like you belong. But even if you don't, how can the sincerity in your heart be measured? Also, I don't remember reading anything in the Bill of Rights about religious freedom being dependent upon sincerity.

Fri, 01/05/2007 - 4:14pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Judge not, lest you be judged -- and be not decived, for God is not mocked, what we sow, we reap, to paraphrase.

Though not a member of their sect, I have met Dan and Mary before their recent tribulations, and just from the *few minutes* I spent wtih them, I cannot doubt their sincerity. This is a political move to squelch freedom of religions that the establishent does not agree with, nothing more, and this judge should be impeached for malpractice.

I know christian ministers who, for decades, have pastored brick and mortar churches (actually against the teachings of their Christ, by the way) with way less sincerity than Dan and Mary Quaintance. It was a tax-shelter business deal to those ministers, who manipulate scripture to fleece their flock -- yet they have a thriving 'church', and Dan and Mary who have a cogent, yet different message are the ones persecuted -- soon to be effectively imprisoned for life -- by the theocracy in power.

The so-called drug war again is responsible, and has been repeatedly found to increase violent crime and addiction, squelch dissent, punish the non-white poor with inequal and extreme punishments (not to mention the otherwise law-abiding terminally ill patients like myself who use a certain unpopular herb for pain medicine) and propagandize the citizenry with lies, creating a secondary, perceptually inferior sub-class of 'those druggies', read: undesirable non-Americans.

REPEATEDLY CALL AND WRITE your representatives in Congress, and bug them nearly to death (waterboard?) to support the truth in trials act, defund the DEA when they persecute patients or use tax dollars against any state initiatives, tell the HHS to answer the petition by Americans for Safe Access ( that will force the HHS to tell the amazing medical truth about marijuana, and STOP the persecution of those who use natural herbs like marijuana or other earth-born organics such as fungi or cacti in their sacraments. Under Constitutional law, the supposed and nationally accepted law of the land, it must be allowed.

Rev. Dr. D. L. Diamond
Minister, ULC

Fri, 01/05/2007 - 5:04pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I just want to know who the hell they were hurting by having a church dedicated to that. Look at things this way how many lives has alcohol claimed compared to marijuana. HMMMM and alcohol is still legal, answer me that I say. I was raised around it and alcohol the only bad effect it ever had on anyone was lazyness, on the other hand alcohol caused violence, rape, murder, and every one of the 7 deadly sins. what never made sence to me was why something that is natural and makes you happy illegal when something that makes your life deteriorate legal. Makes you think about our government and which side it is on. Think of this why spend all that money on court cost, attorney fees, and to pay the judge to preside over a case in which they cannot even proove that these people were acctually doing anything wrong in the first place. The government is just trying to prove that they are bigger than god.

Fri, 01/05/2007 - 9:48pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I wonder what Judge Herrera's decision would be if she had to decide the case of a Rastafarian, a religion whose members have who have a proven history of sincere use of marijuana as a sacrement.

Fri, 01/05/2007 - 10:45pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The comment babout Rastarfarianism and marijuana was made by me. For some reason it appeared as a comment by Jim McGiire and, no doubt, the software will post THIS as a comment by Jim McGuire also.
Robert Halfhill

Fri, 01/05/2007 - 10:55pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

"Judge" Herrera should be promptly disbarred and impeached, not only for violating a decision of the Supreme Court, but possibly also for violating the commerce clause in the Constitution.

The Federal Government has NO, I repeat, NO jurisdiction over any commerce that takes place entirely within a single state. If these good folks' marijuana is grown and processed in their state, then it is not subject to the Federal Government. Someone needs to go back and re-read the part which grants Congress the authority to regulate "commerce AMONG the states".

Keith Boardmsn

Sat, 01/06/2007 - 8:24pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Is this a joke?? Really? The last time I checked, it was not a legal loophole to create a church to get around a previously made law. If this church was around before marijuana was deemed illegal there may be some ground to stand on. But you cannot have the "Church of Crystal Meth" just because you want to tweak all day. I have seen plenty of people that seem very sincere about their drug use, but it doesn't make it a valid religion, regardless of what freedoms you think are granted in the Constitution. Let's look at it a step further: For everyone hwo wants to know who they are hurting, it is a documented fact that people who smoke "the green herb" are more likely to move on to harder drugs. Bringing up alcohol use and comparing it to marijuana is just plain silly. I bet most of you have had a beer or two and never got violent. The violence only comes when there is abuse and no one can tell me that drugs are not abused by people.

I don't by it for a second...I don't think this Dan and Mary are even irrational or drug addicts looking for a way to score. I think they are mearly looking for attention.

Sun, 01/07/2007 - 4:56am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

There is no scientific evidence for the theory that marijuana is a "gateway" drug.
The cannabis-using cultures in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America show no
propensity for other drugs. The gateway theory took hold in the sixties, when marijuana
became the leading new recreational drug. It was refuted by events in the eighties, when
cocaine abuse exploded at the same time marijuana use declined. As we have seen, there is
evidence that cannabis may substitute for alcohol and other "hard" drugs. A recent survey
by Dr. Patricia Morgan of the University of California at Berkley found that a
significant number of pot smokers and dealers switched to methamphetamine "ice" when
Hawaii's marijuana eradication program created a shortage of
Do you believe everything the politicians tell you? Do your home work BEFORE posting.

Mon, 05/28/2007 - 7:11pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

That was the funniest movie when I first saw it .
Now it is a Sad Statement that in the USA.The government can take public funds and make propaganda true or not . Never mind the atomic bomb warnings , Red menace ... Billions to keep the arms race going . Look who the rich are in America , then follow the money.
Then they take our money to try to fill us full of crap. Now we are paying to dismantle Russia's Nukes and then we can spend billions on ours, unless they find a reason , After all "the war on Terror" more propaganda to spend billions . How come the military does not own the weapons plants ? That would take the profit away from the rich.

Thu, 03/26/2009 - 10:56am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Arizona authorities cower to Feds even over the legalized use of pot for patients, so why is it a surprise that they and their cohorts won't respect it for any other use, even religious practice either?? Remember the alcohol and other lobbies have priority over the expressed wishes of voters and further, election results are nullified in Arizona, unless Feds like such election result on any matter. It doesn't matter if the result of a vote of the people is for US President or a simple matter as medical marijuana, the result will be ignored and/or nullified if the power to be do not like the result of the vote in our (what used to be) "democracy". Three times the voters of Arizona legalized marijuana for medical use, but you will still be prosecuted for it in Arizona for even the most remote trace of an empty shell of prescribed marinol (called a metabolite) exists in your bloodstream and certainly for an indication that there was regular marijuana in your bloodstream once that you used weeks before. At least there is one southwestern state, California where voters authorized marijuana for medical use and strong local and state government stood up to Feds allow its medical use succesfully. The arrogant federal Republican Sen. Bill Frist was on the news last year saying there was no reason for pot to be legalized that those individuals seeking medical marijuana could simply buy the manufactured pill form of marijuana called marinol. HELLO, Sen. Frist and other ultra wealthy lords over common folk, how about a reality check? Marinol is $500 a bottle at Walgreens, etc. and NOT provided for patients under Medicare. Pot on the street is about $40 for similar supply need, much cheaper and fast acting. Pot smoked lightly for the purpose of increasing appetite stays with you about 30 minutes. The marinol pills may or may not work and if they do must enter through your digestive tract when taken on an empty stomach and then may last up to 3 hours. I know all this because I am on chemotherapy and battle to keep my weight up and my nausea down. I was arrested, spent the night in jail and treated like a common criminal once in Scottsdale, AZ when I admitted i was a chemo patient and listed my regimen of treatment which sometimes included mariol. Charges against me were dropped then resurrected a year later when a new prosecutor came aboard who wanted more funds for city coffers. She said tests indicated I had a metabolite (empty shell trace) of marinol in my system. After dragging me to court at great inconvenience and expense, since they couldn't prove anything relating to medical marijuana use against me because they lost what they claim was a resurrected lab result, Scottsdale had me settle and pay a fine of nearly $300 for going one mile over the limit. Never mind that officers took my car and left it on the Scottsdale/ Tempe border and did other things that cost me much more even though I am on disability sometimes hospitalized for treatment. I agreed to settle and pay the $300 as I was too sick and weak to continue to fight what I considered righteous officials making their own rules bucking voter wishes using a no tolerance policy as an excuse to extort monies from citizens and cover up their own faulty and possibly criminal acts.

Sun, 01/07/2007 - 9:31am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

If only I could trade in my second amendment "right": to own a gun, in exchange for my right to use marijuana without penalty. We are so hung up on punishing people in this country, why can't we be civilized?

Sun, 01/07/2007 - 12:20pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Because, dear heart, it is all about "control" of the many by the few misguided/greedy individuals. There will always be someone who "Knows what is best for you", and most definately not for them.

Fri, 02/02/2007 - 3:08pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

First I and I would like to thank this jimmcguire dude for taking the heat for all these scandalous comments. Rastafari was established religion, more sincere than you are used to, in 1937 when the Tree was outlawed in Amerika, as it were. Thus law was unconstitutional from Jump Street. My own defense under Religous Freedom Restoration Act for 1996 ganja defense was disallowed when Supreme Court ruled against the law as it applied to states. This of course had no bearing on case against I-self as individual but public defender could not grasp concept. Supreme Court has routinely jumped through all manner of illogical hoops to justify plainly illegal law in the interest of their concept of the public good, which involves lots of good ole boys making lots of money off the misery of the powerless.

Sun, 01/07/2007 - 6:57pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Anyone who thinks this is the land of the free is fucking delusional. Land of the rich overlords and the brainwashed masses. How the hell can you outlaw any naturally occurring herb/plant/fungus? That is true blasphemy. The world is nuts I tellz ya. So sad.

Mon, 01/08/2007 - 11:16am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I was actually busted just 2 days ago for posession. I have smoked for 13 years and, under the influence of marijuana, have never comitted a violent act, stolen from someone or been dishonest, unless it was about my use of marijuana and I was speaking to some non-understanding dolt. Marijuana IS NOT the gateway drug. The GATEWAY drugs are ALCOHOL and CIGARETTES!!!! The only difference is the legality. I know that most of the people I engage with who do smoke marijuana do not use other illicit substances, some do not even drink alcohol. However, I know several people who drink alcohol, and I have not met many that drink, who do not drink everyday or at least more than occasionally. It's funny I always see people fighting to bring down the tobacco industry or marijuana, but never alcohol. Hmmm..... well all I can see, is that the harsh sentences for the use of marijuana only hurt the citizen's of this state while lining the pockets of our disillusioned sheriff Joe Arpaio. Think about how much it costs just to keep one person in jail for 6 months and then have them monitored on probation. It is costing our state millions and millions of dollars, tax dollars no less to arrest and jail people by the thousands ho have been busted for marijuana. Many conclusive tests have been done on the effects of marijuana dating back to the 1950's. All the tests indicated that marijuana had no adverse effects on the subject other than slight laziness and in some, an increased appetite. So, why do people fight so hard against it? Because it is a huge moneymaker for politicians who accept money from lobbyists to keep it illegal. I mean heaven forbid if we used in industry as well. I bet Dupont (who spend millions of dollars a year to keep marijuana illegal) wouldn't like the idea of going out business because we could make twice the amount of plastics out of marijuana as opposed to oil. Or what about exxon or chevron....hemp makes a cleaner more effecient burning fuel. In addition to fuel, it also makes 2 by 4's that are twice as strong as normal lumber and takes a 20th of the time to grow as a tree. We have been making the mistake of keeping a life bearing fruit of the earth from being used in so many aspects of our lives that could better us and help to save the environment as well and instead are opting to use other substances materials etc.... Oh well I will have to go serve my time and when I come out I will continue to fight for the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in hopes that one day our state will stop taking the side of some backwoods religious right fascist and start understanding what a waste of state funds it is to keep a naturally occurring plant illegal

Sat, 02/10/2007 - 4:55pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

There are some REAL problems with the system when a man can walk into a gun show and purchase tech nines and uzis with out even showing id, but you can go to jail for smoking pot!!! Arizona is a SCARY place.

Tue, 02/13/2007 - 6:59pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

By Marc Emery, Publisher, Cannabis Culture Magazine, Congress Watch
Two outstanding Congressmen from the House of Representatives are seeking the nomination of their parties for the Presidency of the United States in the November 2008 election.

Ron Paul, a family physician representing the Gulf Coast region of Texas around Galveston, is seeking the Republican nomination. Ron Paul was rated by Cannabis Culture Magazine as the #1 Congressman of the last decade, far and away the #1 Republican in the House of Representatives, and the highest score of all 435 Members of the House of Representatives in Cannabis Culture's Survey of the 109th Congress. Ron Paul voted against The Patriot Act, the Iraq War, every aspect of the Drug War. Ron Paul was one of only 5 Members of the House who voted against re-authorizing the budget of the Drug Czar John Walters office (ONDCP). Ron Paul co-sponsors many, many bills each year whose intent is to repeal the drug war, repeal the intrusions of Big Brother. Ron Paul is incorruptible. He votes against any and all expansion of government authority.

Ron Paul is a libertarian Republican who constantly enrages the GOP (Grand Old Party – The Republicans) because he actually believes in a small federal government and sound fiscal policies. He's anti-death penalty, anti-drug laws, anti-police state, anti-Patriot Act and anti-anything that's not authorized by the Constitution. I admire him for his "principled anti-war stance," while pro-abortion voters don't need to worry about the obstetrician/gynecologist's strong pro-life stance — he knows the federal government has no right to get involved in such stuff.

Contenders for the 2008 Republican nomination include prohibitionist heavyweights like for New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Arizona Senator John McCain. Marijuana arrests rose from under 6,000 a year in New York City in the year before Giuliani became Mayor (1993) to over 62,000 arrests in 2001, the final year in his term-limited second term. Giuliani was America's most rabid drug warrior and his views have not changed.

John McCain's most recent job prior to becoming a politician in 1986 was as a brewery executive (his wife is the heir to Hensley & Co., the second largest Anheuser-Busch beer distributor in the USA). McCain has expressed the most hawkish positions on drug policy. On March 5, 2000, McCain told the Boston Globe he wants to increase penalties for selling drugs, supports the death penalty for drug kingpins, favors tightening security to stop the flow of drugs into the country, and wants to restrict availability of methadone for heroin addicts. He said he would push for more money and military assistance to drug-supplying nations such as Colombia.

McCain supports the following principles concerning illegal drugs:
Increase penalties for selling illegal drugs
Impose mandatory jail sentences for selling illegal drugs
Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers
Strengthen current laws dealing with non-controlled substances, including inhalants and commercially available pills
Increase funding for border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the US
*Source: Project Vote Smart, 1998, Jul 2, 1998

John McCain has not moderated his views perceptibly.

There will be no better Republican seeking the GOP nomination than Ron Paul. And the contrast between Ron Paul and Republican front-runners Giuliani and McCain is very stark. Very opposite worlds. Of the other 7 Republicans who have announced "exploratory committees", only Tom Tancredo, an iconoclast Representative from Colorado whose immigration policies have gotten him attention, supports state's rights to medical marijuana.
Among the Republican Party candidates for President, only Ron Paul has voted against both the 2002 Iraq War Resolution and the funding of the war in the annual Appropriations Bill.

Ron Paul is a wonderful idealist, a prolific and intelligent writer and columnist, a true Man of the People who is completely devoted to the ideals of free men and women in a free society of bodily autonomy and freedom of choice. Ron Paul was rated the only Congressman with a perfect record of voting for the cannabis culture and against big government, the drug war and the war in Iraq. We must support Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President. If you are so inclined, register as a Republican so you can support, campaign, and lobby other Republicans to make Ron Paul their choice for President in the primaries next year.

Dennis Kucinich was the third highest rated Congressman in our survey of the 109th Congress. Only Representatives Ron Paul and Barney Frank scored higher. Dennis Kucinich wants to decriminalize marijuana, curtail the powers of the Drug Czar, end the War in Iraq immediately. He has co-sponsored many bills that seek to amend the slew of prohibitionist legislation that has come out of Congress over the last decade. Dennis Kucinich is a thoughtful and intelligent man who gives many speeches and articulates his many messages well. Not coincidentally, Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul co-sponsor and co-operate on many amendments and bills to reign in the US federal government. His campaign for the Democratic Nomination for President is at

Certainly Dennis Kucinich, like Ron Paul, is a long-shot for his Party's nomination. The two leading contenders for the Democratic Party nomination are New York Senator Hilary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Other announced Democrats in the race for their party's nomination include Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Connecticutt Senator Chris Dodd, North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Kucinich is the only Democratic contender for President in 2008 who actually voted against the Iraq War and its funding. Senators Biden, Edwards, Clinton, Dodd, all voted YES on the 2002 Iraq War Resolution, while Senator Obama has voted to finance the war since he has been in the Senate. Among the Democratic Party candidates for President, only Dennis Kucinich has voted against both the 2002 Resolution and the funding of the war.

Barack Obama has voted to finance the Iraq War while speaking against it, which shows equivocation. As to his views on drug use, following is a passage he wrote about his own marijuana and other illicit drug use in his 1996 book:

"I got high for just the opposite effect, something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind, something that could flatten out the landscape of my heart, blur the edges of my memory. I had discovered that it didn't make any difference whether you smoked reefer in the white classmate's sparkling new van, or in the dorm room of some brother you'd met down at the gym, or on the beach with a couple of Hawaiian kids who had dropped out of school and now spent most of their time looking for an excuse to brawl. You might just be bored, or alone. Everybody was welcome into the club of disaffection. And if the high didn't solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world's ongoing folly and see through all the hypocrisy and bullshit and cheap moralism."
*Source: Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama, p. 87 Aug 1, 1996

There's insight in those remarks. On The Daily Show with John Stewart, Senator Obama said his youthful marijuana use was a "mistake", but he didn't seem negatively affected by the experience. In fairness to Senator Obama, he doesn't appear to be a man who has a mean streak or a dominator complex, and that bodes well.

New York Senator Hilary Clinton is not on record as saying anything against prohibition. Considering she is from New York, of the infamous Rockefeller Laws, and she has almost no drug law reform mentions in 6 years in the US Senate, it's clear drug-law reform is not on her agenda.

In the 2004 campaign, this magazine endorsed Dennis Kucinich for the Democratic Party nomination for President. A former Cleveland Mayor now representing the 10th District of Ohio, Kucinich spoke well and often about the misguided drug war. During the 2004 campaign, Loretta Nall had the opportunity to interview Rep. Kucinich over the course of that campaign and became one of his consultants on drug policy reform. Loretta has assured me she will be campaigning for Kucinich in 08.

Representative Kucinich is now Chairman of a Congressional Oversight Sub-Committee with the broadest oversight authority of any subcommittee in the federal government, with jurisdiction over all Domestic Policy in the United States. In fact, Kucinich has oversight of the Drug Czar's office, the Office of the National Drug Control Policy.

Americans in the cannabis culture must talk up and gather momentum for Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul. 2007 will be all about sorting the contenders from the pretenders. The internet can be very useful, please promote Dennis Kucinich For President and Ron Paul For President on your myspace, blog or other cyberspace media. Nothing beats talking to people about getting involved in perhaps the most important election ever! Ideally, our dream election would " Dennis Kucinich(P) & Maxine Waters(VP)" on the Democratic ticket vs. "Ron Paul(P) & Dana Rohrabacher(VP)" on the Republican ticket. Maxine Waters is a great Congresswoman from California who was rated in our survey among the top ten Representatives. Ohio-California, good state mix, two of the top liberals in the House with outstanding credentials for honesty and integrity. Ron Paul and Dana Rohrabacher are the #1 and #2 top rated Republican Representatives in the House (by CC #63) , and both co-sponsor bills to provide state rights to medical marijuana and other drug-law reform bills. These two also have impeccable credentials and are untainted by lobbyists, greed, corruption. Texas-California is good state mix for a ticket.

Both tickets would feature highly principled seasoned legislators with very clear agendas. The citizens would really hear some ideas in that Presidential campaign!

Contribute money to the campaigns of both, money is essential in gathering any kind of momentum. Buy bumper stickers, T-shirts, buttons, posters and put these promotional items to regular use. Get Ron Paul For President or Dennis Kucinich for President stickers, posters, and handouts made to be given out on campus, at Peace rallies, 4/20, Global Marijuana March, summer festivals, everywhere! It's a long grueling 20 month campaign and this may be the most important Presidential primary season ever coming up!

Mon, 05/28/2007 - 7:15pm Permalink
herbsmoker (not verified)

all i have got to say is fuck arizona!!!! my friends bring pot to a river trip and then the cops find in the room. Assume that it is everyones and then arrests us. none of it was mine!!! wtf!!!! screw arizona shouldnt even be a state. worrying about people doing pot when they should be worried about other things. pathetic.....

Sat, 08/08/2009 - 8:11pm Permalink
john williamson (not verified)

what about the 8 year olds that consume alchohol every sunday herrera? and the preachers that distribute the substance to them? should the children be put im a rehab and taught they are defective with a life threatening disease called alchoholism? should the preachers be put in prison for decades? its called communion and your judgement is HYPOCRISY. amen
Fri, 12/30/2011 - 1:35pm Permalink

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