For those who understand what spirituality is, Marijuana can, indeed, be a substance that opens new thoughts and ideas to help with understanding our innermost thoughts and feelings. For those who question conventional religion, Marijuana might open your mind to new ideas, new concepts that merit deep thought.
All mainstream religions, and many of those that are not so mainstream, have at some point in their history, embraced the “High” as a means of transcending the mundane life.
History records that the Scythians, about 8,000 B.C. knew to, as Greek philosopher Herodotus wrote, throw the “Seeds” of Cannabis on a fire and breathe the smoke to “Obtain visions.” (We must assume it was the flowers of the plant as smoking seeds will not get you high). There is some evidence that the holy anointing oils used by Hebrew elders and reportedly by Jesus of Nazareth, contained very potent extracts of Cannabis. Those Europeans who embarked on the “Crusades” of the middle ages encountered Hashish, or the smoked or drank resins of Cannabis being used by Arabs in the Middle East. Cannabis was well known in ancient China and India. Where it was available wild in North America, we know Native Americans used it both in smoking mixtures and as a medicinal poultice.
More recently, there have been a few religions or philosophies that have embraced Marijuana as a sacrament. Most well known is the Rastafarian sect, centered in Jamaica, but there are a number of religions that use Cannabis as a central sacrament.
Those who oppose relegalization of Marijuana have exhausted their arguments. All they have to fall back on is their “Religious” belief that Marijuana is a vice and should be shunned.
In the Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam, there are no prohibitions on Cannabis. In the Holy Bible (King James Version), Genesis 1:29: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat,” which myself and many others consider to be a commendation of Cannabis, since it is an herb which bears seeds.
Hebrew researcher Yosef Glassman has some good information on Cannabis in the Jewish tradition.
In the talk, Glassman described finding several biblical references to the herb that include Book of Numbers 17:12-13, where Aaron the High Priest, “no pun intended,” probably burned marijuana as an incense offering “during a time of turmoil.” Other passages include God’s instructions to Moses to “take for yourself herbs b’samim” — herbs of medicinal quality — and instructions in Exodus to “take spices of the finest sort, pure myrrh, five hundred shekels, fragrant cinnamon, and ‘keneh bosem,’” which literally means “sweet cane,” but possibly refers to cannabis, said Glassman. “Keneh bosem” is also mentioned in the Song of Songs 4:14, Isaiah 43:24, Jeremiah 6:20 and Ezekiel 27:19.
This is found at: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/1.562450
Islam, in spite of Cannabis being well-rooted in Muslim culture, is very much against personal use, but seems to allow it for medicine. While this article has some inaccuracies, it seems to sum up the Islamic mindset. http://www.aimislam.com/why-islam-prohibits-the-recreational-use-of-marijuana/.
Pagans have, by and large, accepted Cannabis along with other herbs as sacraments, though Paganism is a very diverse religion, and not all Pagans are 420 friendly.
Most religions have a basis in Cannabis. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and others used Cannabis widely in the early days of their religions. Marijuana in various forms has been used in Asia and the Sub Continent for thousands of years.
Of course there are Cannabis-centered religions or philosophies that go back many years. The Rastafarians have used Marijuana since their inception in the early 1930’s. Coptic Christians, who rose in the 1970’s, consider Marijuana as the Eucharist. You can read more about the afore mentioned religions at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entheogenic_use_of_cannabis.
In 2000, Roger Christie formed the THC Ministry, based on Christian principles and the idea that Cannabis is a sacrament. According to their creed: “It is our opinion that cannabis is the original sacrament of Hebrew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, Rasta and more, and fulfills the prophesies to ‘feed all our hungers’.” You can read more about this at: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/thc-ministry/info.
Cannabis relieves the mind of the mundane. It lets you think freely, about anything you care to think about. Marijuana relaxes you on a sublime level, and helps you to forget, for at least a time, the irritations of life that keeps you from connecting with your inner spirit. A passage in a book, or a phrase in a song can trigger the imagination and cause you to explore the topic in your own mind. For those seeking their Spirituality, that path can be illuminated by altering your conscious mind and opening your mind to new ideas and new ways of looking at old ideas.
Nor is the idea of using an external substance a new idea. Native Americans know a variety of plants and herbs used to pray with. Where Cannabis grew wild in North America, tribes in that area used it. Elderberry bark, the inner bark of cedar, wild tobacco, peyote, varieties of amanita mushrooms and other plants have been used in vision quests, for thousands of years.
Cannabis or Marijuana, as you choose, is a wondrous plant. There is no other plant on this planet that feeds you, clothes you, heals you, helps you to enjoy life and connects you with Spirit. There shouldn’t be a fuss about it being used as a sacrament.