Owners of medical marijuana or medical cannabis collectives, dispensaries, or cooperatives gain advantages by hiring medical marijuana ministers or medical cannabis ministers, as well as current employees and workers becoming medical marijuana ministers or medical cannabis ministers.
The biggest advantage is that if the workers are legally protected from imprisonment, they have very little incentive to testify against the owners (and may even have a legitimate religious privilege allowing them to refuse to testify).
The classic law enforcement model is to arrest the little fish and then make a deal to get them to testify against the big fish.
Workers at medical marijuana and medical cannabis collectives, dispensaries, and cooperatives may protect themselves from imprisonment by the U.S. government by being medical cannabis ministers (or medical marijuana ministers).
This legal protection from inprisonment is easiest applied to the DEA and other federal agencies because of explicit Congressional law (RFRA) and related Supreme Court ayahuasca decision. A skilled lawyer should also be able to mount a religious defense in California state courts using the 1964 and 1965 peyote cases. The federal government recently used the federal Religious Land Use and Institutalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) to block the use of local zoning laws that interferred with religious beliefs.
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).
Los Angeles, California, is currently sending out eight man teams of undercover narcotics agents, backed by SWAT and other police officers, to arrest owners and workers at medical marijuana collectives, dispensaries, and cooperatives.
Ministers (including medical marijuana ministers and medical cannabis ministers) have a religious right to refuse to betray religious confidences to authorities such as law enforcement, prosecutors, and even judges. Some places may have legal limits on this right.
Even a public defender should be able to assert a medical marijuana ministers and medical cannabis ministers rights to practice a medical marijuana ministry or medical cannabis ministry. Combined with the right to keep religious confidences, the medical marijuana minister or medical cannabis minister has little incentive to participate in a wrongful prosecution of the owner of a medical marijuana collective, dispensary, or cooperative.
Ministers can legally be paid less than the minimum wage for religious ministry work. A living wage is recommended, but an owner is not bound by that recommendation.
Having a minister or several ministers on the payroll handling the distribution of medical marijuana or medical cannabis for religious purposes (possibly collecting donations) helps establish a non-profit atmosphere. A strong non-profit atmosphere may discourage federal, state, or local law enforcement from investigations and arrests (this is not guaranteed).
The owner of a medical marijuana collective, dispensary, or cooperative can easily become a high priest or high priestess in the Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) religion because this was traditionally a position more involved in running operations than conducting religious services.
A medical marijauan collective, dispensary, or cooperative can be organized as a church, gaining stronger legal protection. The Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) religion has a long well-established record of welcoming persons from all religions without any requirements to convert and even going so far as to incorporate ideas, beliefs, and deities from other religions.
Further, being organized as a church clearly shows in court that local zoning laws forbidding medical marijuana dispensaries, collectives, and cooperatives from being close to churches are not religion neutral (and therefore unconstitutional), especially as that kind of zoning law regulates what religious activities a non-Christian church is allowed. The case of unconstitutional religious interference becomes even stronger in cities that have officially posted In God We Trust in their city council meeting rooms, as the ancient Egyptian (Kemetic) religion includes Goddess, which they have specifically discirminated against with their official acts..
The accompanying blog provides almost daily information on honing and improving the quality of a religious medical marijuana ministry.
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