As spiritual events go, it was an unusual request.
“If there’s anybody here who’s a member of law enforcement, you don’t have to identify yourself, just please leave,” the Rev. Timothy Tipton told a crowd at Denver’s Oriental Theater. “This is a private event.”
Thus went a stop on the Cannabis Church Revival Tour, a three-event swing along the Front Range last week promoting the religious use of marijuana and its potential as a legal defense against pot prosecution. The tour was organized by the Rev. Roger Christie, founder of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, as a way to spread awareness about his church and its affiliates. But Christie said his visit to Colorado had, in part, a more specific purpose: to reach out to people disgruntled by new state medical-marijuana laws they think are too restrictive.
With two laws that place tighter regulations on medical-marijuana patients and dispensaries poised to go into effect next month, some marijuana activists have begun discussing what they believe is an alternate pathway to legally using marijuana — even if courts have generally not agreed with them.
Christie touted religious use of cannabis as a legal refuge for marijuana users of all stripes protected by the First Amendment — as long as they are sincere.