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bongme

Can : Devotees 'find God through cannabis'

18 posts in this topic

Hi

By DON PEAT, Toronto Sun

A constitutional challenge by two members of the "Church of the Universe" busted on drug charges was back in court Tuesday.

Church of the Universe lawyer Paul Lewin kicked off four days of closing submissions Tuesday by arguing the defence has proven the belief of the church members is sincere and based on a nexus with religion.

"They really do find God through cannabis," he said. "Canada has a long history of religious tolerance.

"It's like hockey, we are good at it. We're world leaders."

Brothers Peter Styrsky, 53, and Shahrooz Kharaghani, 31, both minister-members of the Beaches Mission of God-Assembly of The Church of the Universe, in the Beaches, were charged with trafficking marijuana after they allegedly sold pot to two undercover cops who infiltrated their "congregation" in 2006.

Lawyers for the church are seeking an exemption to the country's marijuana laws from Madam Justice Thea Herman, saying it infringes on their religious rights.

The ministers' lawyers are asking Herman to strike down the laws prohibiting the possession, cultivation and distribution of cannabis-related substances because it violates the church's right to practise its religion.

The trial is expected to go on until at least Friday.

It is believed to be the first time a Canadian court has been asked to define what is a religion and whether its illegal practices are protected by the Charter of Rights.

Ear

Bongme

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Interesting.

Keep an eye out for the result wontcha, Bongme?

Woof

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lol

...now HYV , how do i get ordained as a Cantheist minister..?

peas and faith

rm

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lol georgey no but younmay find me

Hi

By DON PEAT, Toronto Sun

A cobut tounstitutional challenge by two members of the "Church of the Universe" busted on drug charges was back in court Tuesday.

Church of the Universe lawyer Paul Lewin kicked off four days of closing submissions Tuesday by arguing the defence has proven the belief of the church members is sincere and based on a nexus with religion.

"They really do find God through cannabis," he said. "Canada has a long history of religious tolerance.

"It's like hockey, we are good at it. We're world leaders."

Brothers Peter Styrsky, 53, and Shahrooz Kharaghani, 31, both minister-members of the Beaches Mission of God-Assembly of The Church of the Universe, in the Beaches, were charged with trafficking marijuana after they allegedly sold pot to two undercover cops who infiltrated their "congregation" in 2006.

Lawyers for the church are seeking an exemption to the country's marijuana laws from Madam Justice Thea Herman, saying it infringes on their religious rights.

The ministers' lawyers are asking Herman to strike down the laws prohibiting the possession, cultivation and distribution of cannabis-related substances because it violates the church's right to practise its religion.

The trial is expected to go on until at least Friday.

It is believed to be the first time a Canadian court has been asked to define what is a religion and whether its illegal practices are protected by the Charter of Rights.

Ear

Bongme

nope but if you do ask him where ileft me mobile :rofl:

:smokin:

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Hi

Keep an eye out for the result wontcha, Bongme?

Will do!!

Bongme lol

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Brothers Peter Styrsky, 53, and Shahrooz Kharaghani, 31, both minister-members of the Beaches Mission of God-Assembly of The Church of the Universe, in the Beaches, were charged with trafficking marijuana after they allegedly sold pot to two undercover cops who infiltrated their "congregation" in 2006.

Sounds like Entrapment.

Dirty pigs.

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Still ongoing?

:spliff:

Woof

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Published at the same time but contains further info ..

Hard to determine sincerity of 'religious' pot use: Judge

By IAN ROBERTSON, TORONTO SUN

Officials would have difficulty determining the sincerity of anyone applying to legally smoke pot in a church dedicated to its use as a holy sacrament, any Ontario Superior Court judge said Friday in Toronto.

"The nature of a religious belief ... is dealing with innermost feelings," Justice Thea Herman told lawyer George Filipovic, who is defending one of two "minister-members" of a Toronto church dedicated to marujuana use.

Filipovic and lawyer Paul Lewin suggested Parliament impose numerous rules allowing licensed weed on religious grounds.

"No one is really going to go through the procedure unless they are sincere," Filipovic countered on the last of four days of legal submissions in what is believed to be the first time a Canadian court has been asked to define a religion and whether its illegal practices are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"Brother" Peter Styrsky, 53, and and "Brother" Shahrooz Kharaghani, 31, both minister-members of the G-13 Mission of God, a branch of The Church of the Universe, were arrested in 2006 after allegedly selling pot to two undercover police officers who infiltrated their church.

Kharaghani is charged with 12 offences, including trafficking in an illegal substance. Styrsky has four charges, including trafficking.

They claim marijuana, which they say comes from "The Tree of Life," is a holy sacrament.

Lewin said current anti-weed laws result in "bad baggage by criminalization," and pot could be controlled by licensing users who convince authorities they use it for spiritual goals.

He said limits could be placed on locales for smoking joints, restrict transportation only from homes to a marijuana-using church, bar pregnant women whose fetuses might be imperilled, and people under 21 - who medical studies quoted by the Crown warn are more likely than adults to suffer brain damage from long-term use - plus those who might trigger a schizophrenic (plse check spelling) attack by smoking pot.

Alcohol and tobacco, which Lewin argued carries health risks, is legal, "but you can't regulate a substance if it's a crime."

Keeping pot illegal except for licensed medical use will result in criminals being "more likely to spike it with other substances," he said.

Lewin and Filipovic are seeking changes to laws similar to Public health regulations that permit limited, licensed medical use of marijuana and are defending the co-accused pair's claims that weed puts them in contact with God.

Filipovic said they are not advocating complete legalization, comparing the result to "sending a rocket into the sun."

Giving G-13 members limited legal pot rights "is like throwing a rock at the sun ... absolutely negligible," while denying its use would "labotomize" their church, he told Herman.

Lewin disagreed with Crown arguments that thousands of pot users will flock to the Queen St. church to join for $25 if a court recognizes its unlimited marijuana use as religious freedom.

"I don't think people will be doing this," he said.

The judge, however, suggested a "stampede is a legitimate concern."

But Justice Herman agreed with Lewin that "young people" especially would be reluctant to provide personal information to government officials in order to qualify for a marjuana license that requires them to admit being users.

Lawyers with the Public Prosecution Service

of Canada told court the G-13 church was cleverly created in an bid to subvert drug charges.

On Thursday, prosecutor Lawyer Nicholas Devlin warned that accepting their unlimited pot use habits could prompt others to launch similar so-called churches.

Filipovic's closing defence arguments will be followed by final Crown submissions.

A decision is not expected until fall in what is believed to be the first time a court in Canada has been asked to define what is a religion and whether its illegal practices are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Interesting but not the same argument as ours. They include supply and it appears the Canadian court can base their decision on what they define what is or is not a religion.

e2a: Source

Edited by HvyFuel

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not my cuppa tea to pay for membership and selling cannabis. does smack of insincerity but am not opposed of people using religion to deal in pot which may be the case here. i would smoke pot if there were a death penalty as it is my daily sacrament. it is the body and blood of jesus to me. manna from heaven.

gen lol

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Any news, Bongme?

:ninja:

Woof

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Hi

No not yet just looked on that net work and news pool! But i will keep a eye on it mate :unsure:

i have two folks in Toronto also keeping a eye on things as they want to know also for there sites they will pass it on if it comes in! :rofl:

or if anyone sees anything on your travels please pass in thank you! :wink:

Feel like fucking octopus lol :wink:

Bongme lol

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Feel like fucking octopus

Nah!

That was a different news article.

:clapping:

Woof

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Leave that octopus alone, Bongme!

:ninja:

Unless it's a Canadian one, of course.

:)

Woof

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Hi

just found this with more detail hope this helps! and has 170 comments...

Church seeks exemption to pot laws

By DON PEAT, Toronto Sun

Canadians are as good at religious tolerance as they are at hockey, a lawyer for members of a branch of The Church of the Universe argued Tuesday.

Lawyer Paul Lewin said based on that Canadian tolerance, if marijuana is religious to some — as he feels the defence has proven — Toronto’s G-13 Mission of God should be shut out of Canada’s marijuana laws.

It isn’t clear yet if that argument has scored with the judge presiding over the charter challenge by two members of the Church of the Universe busted for drug charges back in 2006.

Lewin kicked off four days of closing submissions Tuesday by arguing the defence has proven the belief of the church members is sincere and based on a nexus with religion.

“They really do find God through cannabis,” he told court. “Canada has a long history of religious tolerance.

“It’s like hockey, we are good at it. We’re world leaders.”

Peter Styrsky, 53, and Shahrooz Kharaghani, 31, both minister-members of the Beaches Mission of God-Assembly of The Church of the Universe, on Queen St. E., were charged with trafficking marijuana after they allegedly sold pot to two undercover cops who infiltrated their church in 2006.

Lewin detailed some of the church’s good works including holding Sunday services and giving hemp clothes and food away to those in need.

“Were there some people there just to buy marijuana? Probably. But lots of them weren’t,” he said. “Either this was a very, very elaborate lie or else Brother Peter was very committed.”

Lawyers for the church — which claims weed as a holy sacrament that allows them to connect to God — are seeking an exemption to the country’s marijuana laws from Justice Thea Herman, saying their religious rights are being infringed.

It is believed to be the first time a Canadian court has been asked to define what is a religion and whether its illegal practices are protected by the Charter of Rights.

Lawyers Nick Devlin and Donna Polgar of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada will argue later in the week that the men’s actions do not fall under the charter’s provisions for protected religious conduct.

“The applicants sold marijuana to undercover police officers, had kilos more ready for sale to the public and held thousands in cash as proceeds from the trafficking they had already done,” begins the Crown’s written closing submissions.

The Crown argues the G-13 was a retail shop and the defence has failed to prove the shop’s standard operating procedure “of indiscriminate trafficking in marijuana” had any connection to religion.

“By way of analogy, taking the case at its most favourable to the Applicants, they were in the same position as a group of Catholics who seek to extend their personal religious practice of using small quantities of wine in the communion ritual into a claim that the Charter grants them the right to run a liquor store open to the general public,” the Crown writes.

Outside court in the garden of Osgoode Hall, Styrsky said he would be lighting up with his supporters during the trial’s lunch break.

But he later balked at lighting a joint saying he’d been advised not to.

“I got to listen to my lawyer,” Styrsky said, while a few feet away his supporters gathered in a circle to have a smoke.

Closing submissions are expected to continue until Friday.

don.peat@sunmedia.ca

Ear

Bongme

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“The applicants sold marijuana to undercover police officers, had kilos more ready for sale to the public and held thousands in cash as proceeds from the trafficking they had already done,”

That might have blown what chances they had lol

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