Feds Note Marijuana Reform Helps To Address Religious Discrimination In Other Countries, While Ignoring U.S. Policy

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The growing number of countries that are moving to repeal harsh penalties against marijuana use are helping to reduce religious discrimination against Rastafarians and other groups, the U.S. State Department noted in an annual report released on Wednesday. But while the federal government is again making it a point to outline ongoing cannabis-related discrimination in some foreign countries and territories, the latest edition of the Report on International Religious Freedom declines to recognize the inherent discrimination that exists in the U.S., where marijuana remains federally illegal. “Religious freedom is a human right; in fact, it goes to the heart of what it means to be human—to think freely, to follow our conscience, to change our beliefs if our hearts and minds lead us to do so, to express those beliefs in public and in private,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a briefing about the report. “For many people around the world this right is still out of reach.” The new State Department document discusses cannabis policies in more than a dozen nations and how they intersect with religious liberties, including by noting that a growing movement toward legalization and decriminalization is helping to reduce discrimination that has been prevalent in the past. Here’s a breakdown of what the report found: Antigua and Barbuda This country is one that is enacting reforms that are leading to a reduction in feelings of religious discrimination connected to cannabis. It decriminalized marijuana “for any use” and the new law “recognizes the government’s responsibility to uphold the religious rights of persons of the Hindu and Rastafarian faiths,” the State Department said. Further, members of these faith groups are allowed to “apply for a special religious license to cultivate the plant within their private dwelling, use the plant for religious purposes within their private dwelling…

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Source : Feds Note Marijuana Reform Helps To Address Religious Discrimination In Other Countries, While Ignoring U.S. Policy

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