I have spent some time with Ron Kiczenski. I found him to be exceptionally perceptive and smart, and I agree with his arguments. He claims he communes with God when he ingests cannabis and cultivates hemp, as do I. He once sent Bill Clinton a quarter pound of reefer and was interviewed by a local (CA) TV station about it. I haven't done that.
Ron sued the USA over the issue of religious freedom. In a brief, the US Attorney said the following:
The amendment doesn't say anything about whether one weaves society, politics, philosophy, economics, and ideology (think about that one!) into one's practice of one's religion. One might even say it implies that US attorneys and federal judges should avoid making such distinctions.
Here is the First Amendment, although one would not think it
was the same text referred to by the US Attorney:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances.
The judge agreed with the US Attorney. "Yes, of course. Ideological, not religious. Right-o. And philosophical, to boot. No way it's a religion."
All of which kind of reminds me of the legislative argument against allowing sick, disabled and dying people to use cannabis when it is recommended by a doctor.
The question seems to hinge on whether we smoke cannabis to feel better, or simply to feel better. People are going to jail by the cruiseship-ful because of an idiotic framing of a question.