By: Danuel D. Quaintance Founder and Cogniscentee of, The Church Of Cognizance Hcr1 box 4352 13109 West Klondyke Road Pima, Arizona 85543 Phone: 928 485-2952 Fax: 928 485-2370
October 2, 2002
Bona Fide Religious use exemption in Arizona
Cannabis commonly known as Marijuana today has an extensive history of use by humans extending to time even scholars can only speculate about. Religious relics of past cultures worldwide, unearthed, reveal Cannabis played a central role in early human spiritual development. This use went on unabated, drawing little attention from any except those indoctrinated into the faith. It is well documented that Industrialist demonized the Hemp plant by renaming it to marijuana so none would recognize they were legislating against an American Commodity. The United States has never shown unrefuted evidence that marijuana use in any fashion is more harmful to health, safety, or welfare of society in general than many-many other substances humans are allowed to consume. Early religious doctrines teach that cannabis is not for everyone, it is not for thieves, nor muggers, nor haters, nor liars, is what the Avesta of the Zorastrians teach. To allow cannabis use in bona fide religious practices would do no harm to the health, safety, or welfare of society in general. Today it is unrefuted that a class of cannabis users exist that are productive, full bearing members of society, in all professions, in all walks of life. The Government has not shown any evidence that, allowing this last mentioned group of individuals, the use of cannabis in bona fide religious practices would harm society in any way. In this case the accused has been a member of a local religious institute for over 8 years, had gone so far as to Notarize a Declaration of Religious Sentiment in 1994. The accused has lived a good clean life leaving no victums in her wake. The accused has not previously been charged with so much as a minor traffic offense. The accused is a loving sharing person that believes in the sacred and healing powers of her marijuana and believes it her duty not only as a member of The Church Of Cognizance, but also as a caring human, to tend to the spiritual and medicinal needs of others when requested to do so. To refuse another human relief from their suffering, physically, or mentally when one knows in their heart and mind the truth regarding the powers of this plant, would be an unconceivable sin to the members of the accused church that they should not be compelled to bear. The accused did not venture into society to find some innocent lamb upon which to pounce. It was in reality the accused herself and her loved ones that became the victim of an unjustified invasion of their Monastery, by Government troops in full military gear, and training, that invaded in military fashion, this humble citizens rightful domain. The Government has put itself in an impossible position of attempting to eradicate a plant that grows naturally world wide. What would be the resulting effects upon our Planets Ecosystem if our Government were able to eradicate, to extinction, all traces of this Nature provided herb, fiber, oil bearing plant, god, sacrament?
1. State Constitutions are not prohibited by federal statutes from providing greater constitutional protection to the citizens of a state than those protections provided by the Federal Constitution.
2. The Constitution of The State of Arizona along with A.R.S. Protects Bona Fide Religious use of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances.
a. Article 2 Section 13. No law shall be enacted granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations.
1.A.R.S. 13-3402. Possession and sale of peyote; classification
A. A person who knowingly possesses, sells, transfers or offers to sell or transfer peyote is guilty of a class 6 felony.
B. In a prosecution for violation of this section, it is a defense that the peyote is being used or is intended for use:
1. In connection with the bona fide practice of a religious belief, and
2. As an integral part of a religious exercise, and
3. In a manner not dangerous to public health, safety or morals.
b. Article 2 Section 32. The provisions of this Constitution are mandatory, unless by express words they are declared to be otherwise.
c. Article 20 section 1 The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state:
First. Toleration of religious sentiment
First. Perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured to every inhabitant of this state, and no inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship, or lack of the same.
d. Article 20 Section Thirteenth. Ordinance as part of constitution; amendment
Thirteenth. This ordinance is hereby made a part of the Constitution of the state of Arizona, and no future constitutional amendment shall be made which in any manner changes or abrogates this ordinance in whole or in part without the consent of Congress.
1. ARS Void for Constitutional Vagueness as applied to this case (no exclusion for bonafied religious use) 2. Violation of accused Equal rights, privileges, and immunities (NAC and Peyote Way Church of God and Boyll v. US) 3. Actions of accused are protected rights under AZ Constitution Article XX 1st Ordinance (perfect toleration of religion) 4. Justification of preventing greater harm. (ENSR, and host of other illnesses) 5. Justification preserving customs, habits and traditions of ancient yet extent culture.
I've read your arguments but, I think I disagree. Since we are talking about "Killer Weed", I beleive there needs to be a case won specifically on marijuana, not just it's simularity in usage to Peyote. Your calling marijuana a religious thing is too new a concept to most people. Everybody has heard about the Indians using peyote to get visions but MJ is just to get high on if you ask the average person and besides, it leads to hard drugs! (just like flies cause garbage!). The case you talk about elsewhere might be a good place to fight, every little local win establishes a precedence.
According to IRS publication 557: "Some organizations are not required to file Form 1023. These include: Churches, interchurch organizations of local units of a church, conventions or associations of churches, or integrated auxiliaries of a church, such as a men’s or women’s organization, religious school, mission society, or youth group. These organizations are exempt automatically if they meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3)."
According to IRS Code § 508(c)(1)(A): Special rules with respect to section 501(c)(3) organizations. (a) New organizations must notify secretary that they are applying for recognition of section 501(c)(3) status. (b) [omitted...] (c) Exceptions. (1) Mandatory exceptions. Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to—(A) churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches.
IRS Publication 526: "Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions: You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations *other than churches* and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS."
"Not only is it completely unnecessary for any church to seek 501c3 status, to do so becomes a grant of jurisdiction to the IRS by any church that obtains that State favor. In the words of Steve Nestor, IRS Sr. Revenue Officer (ret.):
“I am not the only IRS employee who’s wondered why churches go to the government and seek permission to be exempted from a tax they didn’t owe to begin with, and to seek a tax deductible status that they’ve always had anyway. Many of us have marveled at how church leaders want to be regulated and controlled by an agency of government that most Americans have prayed would just get out of their lives. Churches are in an amazingly unique position, but they don’t seem to know or appreciate the implications of what it would mean to be free of government control.”
from the Forward of In Caesar’s Grip, by Peter Kershaw"
"To be taxable a church would first need to be under the jurisdiction, and therefore under the taxing authority, of the government. The First Amendment clearly places the church outside the jurisdiction of the civil government: "Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.""
So, the primary reason that churches have restrictions on what is legal and not is always cited as the 501c3 tax code. However, since that is completely superfluous, then the rule of the land is: Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Therefore, they may make no law that says smoking pot is a prohibited free exercise of religion.
Your lawyers won't know this. They make money from litigation. What interest do they have in tax code that makes churches immune from almost if not all litigation and government regulation? There's no money in it. Ask an IRS agent. Defeat 501c3 and you defeat the government's case.
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