An academic treatise by Chris Conrad, which addresses the question: Is there an ecumenically-based religious creed common to a significant number of cannabis-based theologies, that can be articulated and offered as a formal petition to Congress for redress of grievances to protect religious use of cannabis under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America? We hold that a universal set of principles and practices does exist that meets the above qualifications. Based on the following principles, do assert that adherence to the religious use of marijuana should be recognized and protected under the First Amendment and provided equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment. We invite your comments and suggestions. —
Definitions: Cantheism (1997), derived from Kantheism (1996 fr. Greek: kannabis + theism). A mystical religion based on the inherent goodness of the Cannabis plant. Adherents: Cantheists, Cannabists Cantheist Creed I believe that Cannabis sativa, L. is the useful cane and the true hemp. I believe that Cannabis Hemp is a restorative natural resource for all humanity to grow, share, and use for our fundamental needs.
Therefore, I shall honor its existance. I believe that the Cannabis plant is endowed with important healing powers, some of which cannot yet be explained.
Therefore I shall offer it to ease the suffering of others. I recognize cannabis as a sacrament within my community. Therefore I shall receive it with thanksgiving and deep respect for its resinous powers. The cultivation and disemination of cannabis are honorable professions. Therefore I shall act with absolute integrity and honesty* to protect the Cantheist community and its values. * Note: The Christian Bible states that “the truth shall set ye free” and “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s”, therefore a Cantheist cannot lie or perjur themselves in a court of law because it violates both “the truth” and “the things that are Caesar’s”, namely the courts. Cantheology: Philosophical roots Cantheism neither endorses nor discriminates against any other church, faith, or system of belief. Anyone may incorporate Cantheism into their current religious persuasion, so long as they adhere to the Creed. Many of the world’s great religions have used Cannabis sacramentally and ceremonially, including but not limited to:
Animism: Belief that all things have sentient spirits, and some versions assert that Cannabis has the power to cross the line between the mental and the spiritual worlds. Popular in Africa and pre-Columbian America. See the parable of the rope, below.
Biblical Judeo-Christian-Moslem religions, including Coptic Christianity and Rastafari: Genesis 1:29-31; Ezekiel 34:29; Isaiah 18:4-5; Rev. 22:1-2. Sacred spliff.
Egyptians: Smoke Eaters at the Temple at Thebes, incense, mortality rituals.
Hinduism: Sadhu, ganja, chillum, spiritual and physical healing, smoking cloth. Includes the mystical interpretation of Cannabis healing powers via Ayurvedic practices.
Pygmy and other African religions: Mound smokers, animism, the spirit of plants and nature, the breath of the gods. Scythianism: Smoking huts, hemp labor, cannabis purification rituals.
Shamanism: Use of all herbs in mystical pursuit of the infinite.
Sufi Moslems: Use cannabis to reach an ecstatic state.
Zoroastrianism: Use cannabis to communicate with god on high for mystical consciousness and personal enlightenment. Cannabis Hemp: The rope that linked mankind to God
African creation myths explain why God, who once lived close to humankind, has removed himself from their world. Most of these myths describe a golden age when there was no separation between humans and their creator. However, something occurred to alienate God. The Mende say that God withdrew into the heavens because humans continually begged benefits from him. Ashanti mythology tells of God’s retreat into the heavens after a woman hit him with her pestle while pounding traditional food. Myths from the upper White Nile area speak of the relationship between God and man being severed when a rope between heaven and earth was accidentally cut (Mbiti, John S. 1969. African Religions and Philosophy. London: Heinemann, p 97; Mitchell, Robert Cameron. 1977. African Primal Religions. Niles, IL: Argus Communications. p, 25).
Cantheist Rites, Rituals and Ceremonies Observance of Cantheist rites are beneficial but not mandatory. The extent of one’s participation is a measure of the depth of one’s devotion. Practice cannabism, the regular consumption of cannabis. Make oblation with the hempseed, and sow it everywhere. Offer thanksgiving and blessing for cannabis when you partake. Share the holy smoke among the faithful. Use a hempen prayer cloth to inhale through when sharing the holy smoke among the community. First passage of cannabis at age 16: Parents may choose to offer cannabis, child may pass on this opportunity. Age of personal consent at 18: Adult steps forward and accepts Cantheism and shares in the sacrament. Summer solstice: Bonfire jumping. Undertake cannabinges, periods of intense consumption of cannabis. Freedom pilgrimage: Take the sacrament in a land that it is free from oppression at least once in your life, and remember the years of persecution. Cantheist Symbology The graphic symbol for Cantheism is modeled after the ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for hemp rope, which was transformed into the letter “h”. The hand symbol for Cantheism is right hand cupped around the left, with two fingers extended in the inner hand, symbolizing the male and the female plants. The overall hand gesture signifying the female calyx which holds the trichome glands. Astronomy: The three stars of Orion’s belt represent the three aspects of cannabis: Commerce, medicine, and spirit. Sirius, the brightest star in the nearby constellation Canis Major (Big Dog) symbolizes cannabis in the Northern winter sky. Cantheist Code I will share my faith, but not be obnoxious about it. We pray for our oppressors, and work for a better world.