The first story was very biased by our local paper the Eastern Arizona Courier. The source was the DEA Task Force Officers and other Law Officers that have worked so diligently to violate our constitutionally protected freedoms. I will post it when I get a chance.
This started a flurry of media coverage.
Arizona Daily Star July 9, 2006 with it's punny headline Pot_church_ takes_a_hit (cache) Which generated 160 comments at the time this page was composed and also conducted a poll:
A couple is claiming they use marijuana for spiritual enlightenment. Does the government have the right to stop them?
No, religious freedom is more sacred than illegal drug laws. 65 % Marijuana is illegal. End of story. 28 % Wait - what was the question? 7 %
Total number of votes 934
GET RELIGION July 10, 2006 LEAFY GREEN SACRAMENT (cache)
A good analysis of the AZ Star Story. With Comments.
COMMENT: "In case our leaders have forgotten, the first amendment states, that gov. cannot, I repeat cannot, make law against any religious establishment. The very idea that gov could so called make sure a church is worshipping God in the way the gov deems is absolute tyranny and unconstitutional. We in America need to start putting leaders in jail for life that abuse or misrepresent the Constitution of the US. This would assure that tyranny doesn't take hold in America."
ARTICLE BY REPORTER THAT WAS AT EVIDENTIARY HEARING TO DETERMINE RELIGIOUS SINCERETY ON MOTION TO DISMISS
Friday, August 25, 2006 Suspects Say Pot Is Part of Faith(article text) By Scott Sandlin Albuquerque Journal; Journal Staff Writer
WorldWide Religious News (WWRN) All Continents - Native Religions August 29, 2006 S. Arizona couple defend religious use of marijuana (cache)
ABOUT.COM Agnosticism / Atheism From Austin Cline, Your Guide to Agnosticism / Atheism. FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
Couple Claims Marijuana is Sacrament in their Religion (cache) ***
Eastern Arizona Courier, Adam Gaub, Assistant Editor, did another biased article after the Albuquerque Journal article quoting only what was supportive of prosecutions side and ignoring that Bagli as well as admitted Haoma could be cannabis used in the ancient practices of Zoroathrusta, that modern Zoroastrians don't know what plant really is Haoma!
When I get a chance I will post the text of his article here as if it is of any value when an editor doesn't report the story but rather their personal biases to suit their agendas, whatever that may be.
Arizona Daily Star, Oct. 9, 2006, Pot-using_ church_loses_its_founders (cache) Two step aside, saying charges hinder duties
Guardian Unlimited, UK, Oct. 9, 2006, Ariz._Pair_Resigns_Pot_Church_Leadership (cache)
Las Cruces Sun New, Oct 10, 2006, High priests may be smoked (cache)
Geraldo at large and now in video archives 'Drug_Church' aired 10-31-2006
He calls us a "dopey duo" and filled his program with puns showing his bias against us and any other non-mainstream religion. Evidently he doesn't believe in Religious Tolerance, or Tolerance of Cultural Diversity, nor does his supposed "expert on religion" Dawn Perlmutter. The program resulted from what was left after all the cutting, pick, and choose, from a 7-hour interview. 7 full tapes were recorded. We started around 12:30 and the producer and film crew left close to 8:00 pm. The forgetfulness-footage was taken when they had asked me a question then stopped me in the middle of it while a tractor, semi trucks, and some noisy cars went by, then the interviewer/producer John Jay didn't repeat the question, he just said "continue". RFRA was talked about, as was 7-hours worth of cannabis religion topics discussed. That was a little low putting in those thrashed rooms and not mentioning that was how they appeared after the Government agents got done searching. The DEA TFO's were just downright destructive and even broke some irreplacible family heirlooms from the mid 1800's. As far as the program goes, "It was humorous, we're not mad." It was a lot of exposure, even if we look like a "dopey-duo", we still retain our human rights and should get lot's of visits to our website where more of the story can be told. It did close on a good final point, and on the actual program, Geraldo did say I made a good point. We were told it would not be biased, it would help our case, and Geraldo was behind us. So there you have them at their word, and we all know "a person is as good as their word!"
The segment of the Geraldo show about us can be viewed at http://www.geraldoatlarge.com/video-archive.php
If his bias upsets you, or the fact his "religious expert" doesn't have a clue about international human rights treaties, International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 or the recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision No. 04-1084 related to controlled substances,the UDV Church (cache), "drugs", and the human right to use them in religion, or the fact that credentials of Geraldos chosen Expert, Dawn Perlmutter are not as easy to find on the internet as the U.S.A. v. Quaintance Defense Expert on Religion, Cultural Anthropologist Deborah Pruitt Ph.D., given the fact Geraldo's people were provided with her information, then let him know by writing him at email@example.com
"Good thoughts, good words, good deeds" May peace be with you and yours'.
E.C. Danuel Quaintance dan&mary's Monastery-HEMPorium, http://danmary.org Church of Cognizance, http://haoma.org
I'm just annoyed at how dopey that expert on religion was. She didn't look dopey, which is why it does so much harm. She was spouting pure nonsense and given respectability. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that the drug laws do not supersede religious rights and are not higher than other laws such as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it was just downright lies. At least it was Fox News, so people have fair warning on the quality of the information. I hope you can get some positive results from visits to your website.
One Louv, Rev. Carl Olsen Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church
KENS 5 TV San Antonio Express, TX - Nov 9, 2006
(Cached copy of Window Media File attached with above print story - 13.41 MB )
Jennifer's Alternative Religions Blog By Jennifer Emick, About.com Guide to Alternative Religions since 2002
Friday links: Entheogens Friday January 26, 2007
(The judge's reasoning that the religion was created to justify marijuana use strikes me as a little disingenuous, because I imagine it's much easier to smoke marijuana when one isn't doing so publicly as a church.) . . . . . . Marijuana, by far the most controversial, is much less dangerous than alcohol, but while alcohol is uncontroversial as a sacrament in the world's largest religion, even the most cautious and reverential marijuana users can find themselves facing long prison sentences when caught.
SEE the full article at: http://altreligion.about.com/b/2007/01/26/friday-links-entheogens.htm (cache)
REASON MAGAZINE Spiritual Highs and Legal Blows The power and peril of religious exemptions from drug prohibition Jacob Sullum | JUNE 2007 Print Edition
Herrera may be right that the Quaintances were only in it for the pot. But if so, they went out of their way to call attention to themselves for no apparent reason. After Dan Quaintance founded the church in 1991, he filed a "declaration of religious sentiment" with the Graham County Recorder's Office, launched a website, and openly discussed his beliefs. Local authorities were aware of the Quaintances' religious practices but never took action against them, seeing no evidence of drug trafficking. The quantities of marijuana involved in their case and in the prosecution of another church member who was arrested in Missouri a week before they were pulled over in New Mexicoâ€”172 and 338 pounds, respectivelyâ€”are large for recreational smoking but not out of the question for the uses to which Church of Cognizance members put the plant.
This is a very good article that gives additional background and a brief history and the perils of the War on some Drugs. A copy of the full article is online at http://www.reason.com/news/show/119721.html (cache)
BRAINSTURBATOR "The Church of Cognizance: Sign Me Up" By "The Good Doc" May 12,2007, and last updated July 10, 2008. A nice review of the CoC. Thanks Good Doc! Our main website has had some hit's as a result of your article.
They are considerably more sophisticated than the media makes them out to be, which will not come as any surprise to most readers. After all, Timothy Leary is still "That guy who fed kids acid" to this day. The Church of Cognizance is typically reduced to joke headlines like "Pot Church Takes a Hit."
See the whole article at http://liquidwet.net/articles/the_church_of_cognizance_sign_me_up/