Sacrilege: Wisconsin Officials Crack Down On Rastafari Church Using Marijuana As a ‘Sacrament’

Marijuana is still illegal in Wisconsin, but a church that recently opened its doors in Madison may have found a loophole.

Two men operating the Lion of Judha, House of Rastafari church have accepted donations to distribute marijuana to parishioners since March. They say about 6,000 people have signed up to become church members since then.

Jesse Schworck and Dylan Paul Bangert say openly using and distributing marijuana as a sacrament is a religious and inalienable right and is not breaking any laws.

“We all use cannabis to meditate and also for the religious purpose for uplifting our mind and our body and our spirit,” Schworck told CBS affiliate WISC.

But city officials disagree and are trying to stop it.

“They are claiming to be a church,” Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy said. “I have not seen any documentation or anything that supports they are, in fact, a church. Even if they are a church, marijuana is illegal in this state. You can’t sell it. It can’t just be 24/7 and you can smoke weed and that’s our religion.”

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