Speakers lined the front of Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light discussing marijuana’s potential health benefits. The speakers also touted the benefits of legalizing marijuana in Alabama. This is not the first church gathering to discuss marijuana in Alabama. Unity Church in Birmingham held a forum in January, which brought an audience of about 30.
The church’s president, and her husband, both use marijuana regularly for medicinal purposes, Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. The church was founded in 2015. It is claiming that it has a “legal exemption for its members to smoke marijuana and ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms and peyote cactus.”
President of the church, Janice Rushing said, “I smoke cannabis on a daily basis for my pain. If I did not, I’d be on pain pills.”
Sherrie Saunders, church member and former U.S. Army medic, used a cream created by Janice Rushing.
Saunders said, “I had an ungodly facial rash.”
Rushing said, “We made a cream that completely got rid of that rash.”
Rushing says that marijuana may help ease the symptoms of bipolar disorder and PTSD. Another churchgoer mentioned having heart issues and sleep apnea.
Saunders said, “That could be something that cannabis could help. The medical establishment took away cannabis so they could sell us pills.”
Prior to prohibition, American Indians valued marijuana for its medicinal benefits for over 90-percent of sicknesses experienced.
Saunders said, “A woman in Nicaragua showed me how to cure cancer with cannabis.”
Chris Rushing, Janice’s husband, stood at the pulpit preaching his sermon intertwined with beliefs in natural, hallucinogenic plants.
He said, “That is God’s way of turning our brain on.”
He touts not only marijuana, but peyote and mushrooms as having significant medicinal benefits that may help treat addiction and depression. The church already has religious exemption for using “magic mushrooms” and peyote cactus. Their use, according to Chris Rushing, in religious ceremonies is a sacrament.