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COOL News: Quaintance Court Decision


Posted on Tuesday, January 02 @ 22:37:19 UTC by skip

The court decision below has a direct bearing upon the COOL community.

Apologies for the footnotes being out of place there... This is how I got it.

We need to study this so that our community can be in compliance with the law and the intent of the Religious Freedom Act.

Please post any comments here as you can't comment on the decision directly.

-Skip

http://www.coolove.org/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=9



Associated Topics

Ceremonies & SacramentsCOOL CommunityFreedom


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Re: Quaintance Court Decision (Score: 1)
by wyldwynd on Wednesday, January 03 @ 21:30:47 UTC
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This does give a good idea of the structure needed for a solid foundation. Which i have read it once and plan on reading it again and researching it further, from what i can tell there is five essential areas that need to be discussed and defined and established within.



1)Ultimate Ideas

      existentail matters~such as a mans sense of being

       teleological matters~ such as a mans purprose in life


       cosmological matters~such as a man's place in the universe


Ultimate concerns such as purpose, and death; "a fear of the unknown, the pain of loss, a sense of alienation, feelings of purposelessness, the inexplicability of the world, and the prospects of eternity."


2)Metaphysical Beliefs


3)Moral and ethical system

4)Comprehensiveness of beliefs

5)accoutrements of religion

      a)founder,prophet, teacher

       b)important writings

      c)gathering places

      d)keepers of knowledge

      e)ceremonies and rituals

      f)structure and organization

     g)holidays

      h)diet or fasting

      i)appearance and clothing

       j)propagation





Re: Quaintance Court Decision (Score: 1)
by skip on Monday, January 15 @ 22:46:09 UTC
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Yes, the overemphasis on marijuana by the Quaintances in their church had a negative impact upon the court.  I understand their logic in trying to make mj a diety, but that is pretty much without precedent in history (to make a sacrament a diety in itself).

Remember this decision only relates to their motion to dismiss the case based on RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act).  So they still have the main trial to restate their case, and present new evidence.

Rev. Tom (whom I'm seeing later today), thinks they can beat it too if more evidence that was repressed in the motion to dismiss can be presented. 

I'm pretty sceptical of their chances.  The facts & testimony from the guy who got caught delivering the mj indicate a for profit motive, for at least part of the load. There are way too many holes in their defense which the court has already made perfectly clear. 

In short, ya can't be a big drug dealer and pretend it's all about religious use.




Re: Quaintance Court Decision (Score: 1)
by wyldwynd on Monday, January 15 @ 15:12:40 UTC
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I printed the decision out and it is 19 pages with the smallest font, soo yah lots of reading. I still think the quaintences can beat this, which yah some of his answers did not seem to have the substance needed to persuade the burden put on them to explain their religion or the use of marijuana as a sacrament. Which i am still unclear if marijuana in the quaintences church was the main deity focus or just a branch of their beliefs. To me any sacrament is not the main focus but a branch with means to connecting with the spiritual world. The outcome of the sacrament whether it be enlightment, greater awareness, communion, healing of the physical body as well as the spirit, is the fruits of the sacrament.
Which many of our quotes in the conscious bible answer many of the questions put forward in this court case. And that is just a small section of our community.

Peace Love N Light





Re: Quaintance Court Decision (Score: 1)
by skip on Monday, January 15 @ 23:09:17 UTC
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Now, as far as the list of items that the court deems necessary to religion (despite the fact that they're NOT supposed to define what a religion is), I have these comments.

It appears we've covered almost all these bases with the COOL website.  While we haven't defined or even discussed diet and clothing, those seem to be the least important items, and hardly defining what a religion is about.  You might as well include a symbol or logo for the religion as being an important item.

I'd say diet and clothing are up to the individual, as we celebrate individuality.  Indeed, I'm loathe to tell others how to live and what to think. 

We have a very special situation here with the COOL community vis-a-vis religion because we are letting ppl define their religion themselves, as well as create their own bible.  We are simply giving them the tools to make this process easier, and providing the place for the COOL community to interact and support each other.

Therefore each indivdual bears responsibility for their beliefs and actions, not the site.  We are not a church (yet!).  Nor are we a specific religion at this time.  Our members are welcome to establish a church or religion of their own choosing, and apply whatever they like from the teachings on this site and elsewhere.

As you can see from this and other court cases, the prosecutors are not after the churches themselves, but those who commit "crimes".  So we cannot at this time "protect" anyone from prosecution.  Our members must protect themselves by acting in accordance with the law and these recent decisions.

To claim the religious use defense, an individual must show how their use of sacrament is part of their religious devotional activities.  Selling the sacrament for personal profit of course negates this defense immediately.  Growing sacrament and keeping it for personal, religious use will probably keep you from ever being hassled by the authorities.  And if you are caught with personal use amounts, you will probably prevail if you can prove your use was for religious purposes - and there is the tricky part.

To provide a proper religious use defense, you'll need to address all those subjects in the list above.  Just being a member of this site will help, but adding testimonials about how important the sacraments are to your religious beliefs will help as well as creating your own bible, containing your core beliefs and teachings from others sources.  This can be entered as evidence to the court and can make a much bigger impression than the Quaintances did.





Re: Quaintance Court Decision (Score: 1)
by skip on Sunday, January 14 @ 23:49:48 UTC
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Thank you Wyldwynd for posting that outline, I was just about to do that myself after reading the decision (at last!).

Yes, these are the main factors based upon another decision (Meyers), that the court uses to determine if your alleged religious use of sacrament meets the criteria of the Religious Freedom Act.

I really love the way the court went thru each of these factors and weighed them against the Quaintances' case.  It clearly shows that we are on the right track with the COOL community.

One important thing made clear by this decision is that you can't be vague at all about your religious beliefs. Mr. Quaintence had little substance to backup his assertion that his religious beliefs were based on more than "do good".  And you can't claim cannabis is your deity unless you have some religious proof to back it up with.  (Jack Herer's book, Hemp, was not considered a religious source)

In fact it seems any religion based solely upon worshiping & using marijuana is going to be prosecuted because the courts prefer to view marijuana use as a secular lifestyle choice and not a religious commandment.  Indeed the facts of the case imply his use prior to starting the church was strictly secular, and in fact his selling large quantities of cannabis belied his religious use and implied he was really a cannabis dealer.  So they say his decision to make mj a religious sacrament was just to provide legal cover for his dealing activities.

So anyone wanting to start a church with mj as a sacrament will have to be circumspect in their use of mj and not allow things to get out of hand.

It's really a pity this & the Meyers case involve churches that were so carelessly setup because neither offered a real challenge to the existing mindset & legal precendents regarding cannabis & religion.

I believe that we on the other hand have carefully considered most of these issues and are creating a new religion with a strong theosophical base that will include marijuana as one of several natural sacraments.

It's not enough for mj use to be a recreational lifestyle.  It must be an integral part of a religion, used in ceremonies with spiritual significance, and viewed by members as an essential part of their belief system.

Just lighting up, toking and passing the joint won't qualify as a religious ceremony or experience.




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