Man Claims Constitutional Religious Right to Smoke Pot as a Sacrament

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | May 2, 2014 | 11:52 AM EDT

A South Dakota man is claiming that he has a First Amendment right to smoke marijuana.

Zephaniah Thompson is a "Christian Naturalist" who claims that smoking pot is one of the sacraments of his religion.

KOTA Territory News

Thompson was recently charged with possession of marijuana - but, he feels that the charges violate his ability to freely practice his religion.

"I believe that everything that God put upon this Earth that is seeded and fertile is here for our use and purposes," said Thompson.

However, attorneys for the state are arguing that the Constitutional right to freely practice one's religion does not entitle that person to break the law.

"Freedom of religion isn't an automatic get-out-of jail-free card," said Pennington County Deputy State's Attorney, Patrick Grode.  "If you start down that path, where does it stop?"

While Thompson is arguing that his freedom of religion entitles him to the right to use marijuana, he hopes that his story will be the start of a far greater movement.

"My hopes are that when this comes to an end there will be enough like-minded people, with a solidarity of like-minded people that are on the list with their voting districts that are willing to get out to the polls and change an illegal law," said Thompson.