Native Americans Denied Religious Rights

If you cultivate cannabis as spiritual medicine, using it to offer up prayers, you are still subject to arrest and prosecution. But two Native American brothers whose crops were raided last summer passionately disagree – because the name of their tribe, Tuscarora, literally translates to “People of the Hemp.”

“The soldiers got your brothers.”

The women who lived next-door gave Ross Johnson the news. They can be forgiven their assumption. The cops arrived heavily armed, a group task force of 20 federal and local law-enforcement officers – dressed in either camouflage or black, supported by a Border Patrol helicopter. They blocked roads, crept through the woods and surrounded the property of Crandy and Tracy Johnson, all in an effort in to raid their garden, which consists of just 43 cannabis plants.

Ross rushed over to his brothers’ homes, which are next-door to each other, but was turned away. Cops were hauling away plants and searching inside the houses, despite the fact that the warrant issued by the town judge specified a search of only the property’s exterior.

Crandy, a roadman (ceremonial leader) in the Native American Church, seethed as the cops moved into the room where he keeps his vast assortment of spiritual paraphernalia – feathers, hides, herbs, antlers and bones. Skins and buffalo heads hang on the wall, adorned with sprigs of sage and cannabis. The young cops in camo handled the artifacts roughly, calling out triumphantly as more buds were found.

“You should watch what you’re doing,” Crandy said sternly. “You’re not supposed to be touching this. I can’t be responsible for what happens to you.”

The young cops hesitated, unsure of the gruff, white-haired Indian. “I only touched this stuff. Is that okay?” asked one.

“This is a church,” Crandy explained. “If you violate it, I can’t tell you how the spirits will react.”

Another offered nervously: “Hey, I didn’t touch anything.”

Crandy snapped back: “You’re not supposed to be here! This is a violation of our inherent religious rights!”

The county sheriff then got in Crandy’s face: “Just stand here and shut the fuck up! We don’t give a fuck about your religious rights!”

That sentiment has been pretty clear for a few centuries now.

Read the rest on my blog at

or the original story from High Times

Look for my video on this later when I see what the trial outcome was