Guide for medical cannabis ministers
and medical marijuana ministers

    This is a Guide for medical cannabis ministers and medical marijuana ministers.

    This Guide outlines some of the topics you may need to prepare for in order to have a successful legal defense in both federal (U.S.) and state (California) court for working as a medical marijuana minister or medical cannabis minister in a California medical cannabis collective, dispensary, or cooperative.

    Exact material will vary greatly by religion. I provide examples from my own religion, although many of the examples may not apply to your religion. You will want to prepare your own defense, probably with the help of a lawyer skilled in first amendment and criminal law.

basic defense

    The basic religious defense is that the law in question either (1) is clearly biased against or for a particular religion or religions and therefore against the first amendment (applied by the 14th amendment to the states) and the California state constitution or (2) is law of general applicability that places a burden on a sincerely held religious belief and therefore against the RFRA (federal) and the RLUIPA (federal and state).

    The RFRA is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. The RLUIPA is the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

    The Ayahuasca case, February 21, 2006, Gonzales v. Centro Espirita Beneficente União do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), affirms that the RFRA applies to religious use of a Schedule I drug that is banned by federal law.


    The RFRA is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.

    The RFRA first requires that the defendant prove through a preponderance of evidence that an otherwise neutral law of general applicability places a substantial burden on a sincerely held religious belief that an act is required by the religion.

    The government must then show that it has a compelling interest in criminalizing the religious act for the specific instance. It is not enough that the government merely claim that the act is dangerous. It must prove it is dangerous.

    Then the government must prove that it has applied the least restrictive method possible for meeting the government’s compelling interest.

ayahuasca case

    In the February 21, 2006 case of Gonzales v. Centro Espirita Beneficente União do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), Chief Justice C.J. Roberts writing for the 8-0 majority (Alito didn’t participate because he didn’t hear the case) claimed regarding the religious use of DMT-containing tea:

  1. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the controlling law for this matter.
  2. The Government must prove that it has a compelling interest in criminalizing the religious use of this tea for this specific instance.
  3. Just because the Government says that a drug is dangerous in legislation (DMT is Schedule I) does not relieve the government of its obligation to show that it is dangerous in this specific case.
  4. The Government bears the burden of showing actual harm and the evidence the Government presented about actual harm caused by using DMT-containing tea did not meet its standard.
  5. The government failed to provide a clear compelling interest which would override the default assumption of religious freedom as spelled out in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
  6. The Supreme Court never even got to considering whether the ban on the tea was the “least restrictive means” available to meet the governmental interest because the Government failed to show a compelling interest in the first place.


    Being arrested pretty much automatically constitutes a substantial burden.


    The government can question the sincerity of beliefs.

    The three basic tests to qualify for protection under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) are: (1) the government burdens a (2) sincerely held (3) religious belief.

    While the government seems to normally challenge whether or not your beliefs are religious, they can also challenge the sincerity of your beliefs. There is a Supreme Court case (I will add the citation later) involving two different people challenging (under completely different laws, not the RFRA) Florida’s requirement to vaccinate their children. The Supreme Court protected one family because the court decided their religious beliefs were sincere and rejected the other family’s protection because the court decided that their religious beliefs were clearly faked.

    You have to sincerely believe that the divine has called you to be a medical marijuana minister or medical cannabis minister.

    You can’t fake this to try to pull something over on the government.

    Your religious beliefs have to be sincere and real.

    This blog is about how to be a medical marijuana minister or medical cannabis minister. Anyone with sincere religious beliefs that their religion requires them to minister to and help those who need medical marijuana can become a medical marijuana minister or medical cannabis minister.

    I am emphasizing that your religious beliefs must be sincere and real.

    I have already pointed out several easy ways to get written documentation (including my own religion [external link], Universal Life Church [external link], and The Hawai’i Cannabis Ministry (THC Ministry) [external link]).

    I can help you learn the details of being a minister. Come back and read this web page daily.

    And let me again emphasize that I am offering free in-person lessons that can apply to any religion.

    Free in-person medical cannabis minister lessons offered Monday nights near the border of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, California. Send a self addressed stamped envelope to Milo, PO Box 1361, Tustin, California, USA, 92781 if you plan to attend (I don’t show up if I don’t expect any students; I will reply to your letter with the exact time and location). I check the post office box once a month (late in the month). I checked the mail for the end of June 2010.

valid religion

    The government can question whether or not the beliefs are religious (non-religious beliefs don’t have this protection).

    The government is not supposed to be able to question the validity of beliefs, just whether or not they are religious.

    The two most common tests for being a legally valid religion are the Meyers’ Test and the IRS test, both of which are highly biased in favor of Roman Catholic beliefs.

    The California state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has already ruled that my religion is a legally valid religious creed subject to state protection, although this ruling may or may not have applicability for a criminal prosecution.

    There are numerous specific court cases that address the question of what constitutes a legally valid religion or religious creed. These court cases give specific standards (or tests) based on the Roman Catholic Church.

    Currently there is a six judge majority of the U.S. Supreme Court who are active members of the Roman Catholic Church (John Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Sonia Sotomayor).

    In theory, no court should question the validity of any religious beliefs.

    In reality, I assume that facing a hostile judge I must prove through preponderance of evidence that my religion is substantially, qualitatively, and quantifiably more legally valid than the officially established Roman Catholic Church of the U.S. Supreme Court.

strict scrutiny

    U.S. District Chief Judge Vaugh R. Walker struck down Proposition 8 using two standards of the law.

    One standard Judge Walker used was that the law was based on so many unfounded claims that there was no rational basis for the law. This could be used against the federal law placing cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Francis Young, a DEA administrative law judge, ruled in 1988 that cannabis had no known danger (Docket # 86-22).

    The other standard that Judge Walker used to strike down Poposition 8 was strict scrutiny.

    Strict scrutiny is a test in discrimination cases holding laws to a higher standard when they adversely affect certain minority groups.

    To meet strict scrutiny a law must be justified by a “compelling government interest” and must be “narrowly tailored” to meet that interest.

    The tests for whether a minority is within a “suspect classification” are: (1) been historically targeted by discrimination; (2) a “discrete” and “insular” community; (3) be a minority for an unchangeable characteristic; and (4) lack the power to protect themselves using the political process. A qualifying group does not have to meet all four standards and other factors may be considered.

    This obviously doesn’t apply to Christian medical marijuana ministers, but it certainly applies to Pagan and Witch medical marijuana ministers (including my own religion).


  1. burden
  2. sincerity
  3. religious beliefs
  4. religious requirements
  5. Meyers’ Test
  6. IRS rules
  7. age of belief
  8. numbers
  9. divinity or supreme being
  10. ultimate ideas
  11. comprehensive belief system
  12. philosophy
  13. numbers
  14. metaphysical beliefs
  15. creation
  16. afterlife
  17. moral or ethical system
  18. external signs
  19. accoutrements of religion
  20. founder, prophet, or teacher
  21. important writings
  22. proverbs
  23. Rastafari Bible verses
  24. music
  25. gathering places
  26. temples
  27. pyramids
  28. gardens
  29. keepers of knowledge
  30. sesh per anhk
  31. ceremonies and rituals
  32. marriage and weddings
  33. circumambulation
  34. structure or organization
  35. education
  36. holy days
  37. diet or fasting
  38. appearance
  39. clothing
  40. propagation
  41. distinct and separate
  42. strict scrutiny
  43. blood libel
  44. time line
  45. illegal bias
  46. what is religion?
  47. pharmacy
  48. potions
  49. false claims
  50. non-existence
  51. Satanism
  52. danger
  53. disease
  54. bad weather
  55. agricultural failure
  56. crop failure
  57. milk cows going dry
  58. hens not laying chicken eggs
  59. racism
  60. music
  61. laughter
  62. Goddess of cannabis
  63. Diana
  64. the law
  65. Exodus 22:18
  66. other verses
  67. Witch of Endor
  68. Edict of 1484
  69. Malleus Maleficarum
  70. Martin Luther
  71. separation of Church and State
  72. Controlled Substance Act (CSA)
  73. conspiracy
  74. the borders and Customs
  75. arrest
  76. fabricated evidence
  77. torture
  78. bruloir
  79. pressing
  80. Elizabeth Bathory
  81. mob
  82. death penalty
  83. hanging
  84. hanged, drawn and quartered
  85. beheading
  86. burning
  87. burning stakes
  88. burning in Hell
  89. sealed records

major cases

    Courts have upheld the right of Native Americans to use the hallucinogenic plant peyote in religious rituals, e.g., State v. Whittington, 19 Ariz. App. 27, 504 P.2d 950 (1973), cert. denied, 417 U.S. 946, 94 S.Ct. 3071 (1974); People v. Woody, 61 Cal.2d 716, 394 P.2d 813, 40 Cal. Rptr. 69 (1964); Whitehorn v. State, 561 P.2d 539 (0kl. Crim. App. 1977); contra State v. Big Sheep, 75 Mont. 219, 243 P. 1067 (1926); State v. Soto, 21 Or. App. 794, 537 P.2d 142 (1975), cert. denied, 424 U.S. 955, 96 S.Ct. 1431 (1976).

worker summary owner summary today’s topic

daily topics

return to CannabisClergy



    Free weekly instruction for medical marijuana ministers and medical cannabis ministers every Monday night in Orange County, California. Write to: Milo, PO Bx 1361, Tustin, CA, 92781. Post office box checked once per month.

    The courts have already ruled in multiple cases that a person who starts preparing a religious defense (including gathering certificates and other paperwork) after arrest loses all chance to use the late religious defense. It is essential that you prepare your defense before you are arrested. Adequate preparation may even prevent arrest. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense for at least one collective owner somewhere to pay me minimum wage to work on preparing these materials on a full time basis? Even the most callous cooperative owner should realize that low paid workers facing prison sentences are likely to change sides and testify for the police? On the other hand, if the workers have a religious defense ready then they need not fear going to prison and have no incentive to testify against the owner. I don’t care how jaded and selfish a dispensary owner is, it just makes good sense to have a strong religious defense ready for your workers.

    If you spot an error in fact, grammar, syntax, or spelling, or a broken link, or have additional information, commentary, or constructive criticism, please contact Milo at PO Box 1361, Tustin, Calif, 92781, USA.

previous page next page
previous page next page

    Copyright © 2010, 2013 Milo.