Laws across each state regarding cannabis differ. If you are caught with product, here is what you can expect. Please note that if you are caught with any product and your product is confiscated, you are placed under arrest, or you face any issues with your cannabis please call or text us immediately at (808) 280-9752.
For an officers' reference:
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, Pub. L. No. 103-141, 107 Stat. 1488 (November 16, 1993), codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb through 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-4 (also known as RFRA), is a 1993 United States federal law that "ensures that interests in religious freedom are protected." The bill was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on March 11, 1993. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Ted Kennedy (D-MA) the same day. A unanimous U.S. House and a nearly unanimous U.S. Senate—three senators voted against passage—passed the bill, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law.
RFRA was held unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, as applied to the states in the City of Boerne v. Flores decision in 1997, which ruled that the RFRA is not a proper exercise of Congress's enforcement power. However, it continues to be applied to the federal government—for instance, in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.. These cases did not consider whether Congress was violating the Anti-Establishment Clause if it carves out exemptions based on religious laws from federal laws and regulations that it itself has authorized. In response to City of Boerne v. Flores and other related RFR issues, twenty-one individual states have passed State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts that apply to state governments and local municipalities.
To determine if an officer or law enforcement officer is infringing on our member's right to cannabis, an officer only has to apply the "Sherbert Test."
The Sherbert Test
In Sherbert, the Court set out a three-prong test for courts to use in determining whether the government has violated an individual's constitutionally-protected right to the free exercise of religion.
- The first prong investigates whether government has burdened the individual's free exercise of religion. If government confronts an individual with a choice that pressures the individual to forego a religious practice, whether by imposing a penalty or withholding a benefit, then the government has burdened the individual's free exercise of religion.
- However, under this test not all burdens placed on religious exercise are constitutionally prohibited. If the first prong is passed, the government may still constitutionally impose the burden on the individual's free exercise if the government can show
Limiting of the Sherbert Test
The Supreme Court sharply curtailed the Sherbert Test in the 1980s, culminating in the 1990 landmark case Employment Division v. Smith. In Smith, the court held that free exercise exemptions were not required from generally applicable laws. In response to the Smith decision, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) to reinstate the Sherbert Test as a statutory right. RFRA purported to restore strict scrutiny analysis to all free exercise cases in which the plaintiff proves a substantial burden on the free exercise of his or her religion. However, four years later, the court struck down RFRA as applied to Constitutional interpretation. In City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997), the court found that RFRA, as applied to the states, exceeded Congress's power under Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. But the ruling did not necessarily limit RFRA's effect on interpretation of federal statutes. Using a parliamentary procedure known as unanimous consent, both the House and the Senate re-enacted RFRA's provisions in 2000, in conjunction with adding a similar statutory test to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).
Without addressing RFRA's constitutionality, the Supreme Court has held, in Gonzales v. UDV, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), that RFRA applies to other federal statutes. In UDV, the court applied the statutory Sherbert Test created by RFRA and found that the conduct in question—use of a Schedule I drug in a religious ritual—was protected under the First Amendment.
Cannabis posession laws at the state level can be found below. Please note that we will always legally defend our members and our organization from prosecution. If one of our members is arrested, incarcerated, or denied cannabis as part of their religious belief or medicine we will automatically sue any officer, agency, department, or entity that was involved.