Is “church” the right thing to call it when marijuana is their main sacrament? Apparently, it still applies, because the name of the congregation is the Vault Church of Open Faith. It is located in Jurupa Valley near Riverside, California. And Vault Church was just busted by local law enforcement for operating an illegal marijuana dispensary.
The Cannabis Regulation Task Force confiscated marijuana from the church’s property and also took a large sum of cash from the church sanctuary, which had been converted into an inside grow operation.
The church is a member of the Association of Sacramental Ministries, a growing denomination of “cannabis churches.” The website says:
The Association of Sacramental Ministries (ASM) is the all-encompassing and governing body of only sincere and legitimate cannabis churches that exist across the United States. Based in Southern California, ASM and its member churches hold cannabis as an entheogenic and sacred healing sacrament that is central to their beliefs and has the ability to directly link oneself’ to the Holy Spirit – or other Divine power they seek – through religious and spiritual rituals.
ASM and its members also believe that Cannabis – being used as a sacrament amongst all major religions for over 7,000 years – holds key to creating everlasting peace and end thousands of years of war and suffering between religions worldwide.
The sacred scriptures of the ASM include the 9 Ephiphanes and the 12 Determinations.
Church members protested outside during the police raid, claiming that law enforcement was violating their First Amendment rights. Being in possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal in California if purchased in a heavily regulated industry, but marijuana dispensaries are not allowed in Jurupa Valley or Riverside.
[Editor’s Note: HT CBS Los Angeles]