Hasselt and Maribor, January 17th, 2014.
The Bishop of Rome
His Holiness Pope Francis
Dear brother Francis,
Herewith we, the Mambo Social Club of Hasselt (Belgium) and the Cannabis Social Club of Maribor (Slovenia) have the pleasure to greet you and express our best wishes for your health and well-being. Although the Catholic Church wages a war against us, we come in peace.
We are cannabis social clubs, set up to protect the rights of cannabis consumers and producers and help establish cannabis policies that benefit society as a whole. Our members are responsible adult citizens who organize the cultivation of a limited amount of cannabis to satisfy their personal needs and provide alleviation and healing for the ill. Our experience shows that alternatives for peace will be successful if given a fair chance
We have come to address you in a moment of great expectation now that president Mujica of Uruguay has decided to stop the war on drugs in his country. By proposing a system of controlled consumption, cultivation and distribution of cannabis president Mujica has had the courage to abandon the failed 50-year old policy of prohibition.
At long last the war on drugs is questioned because of the social problems it generates in terms of public health, monetary costs and violence. Our concern is that the rights of the consumers of the controlled substances are not considered, nor the fact taken into account that the origin of their consumption is spiritual in nature. In the future, when governments will have taken effective control of production and distribution of all mind altering products, the plight of the consumer might well be worse if the contempt for his person persists.
Contrary to the prevailing mercantile view of marihuana, many consumers consider it a tool for spiritual adventure. Our quest to make sense of this world is not an aberration on our part, it just signals the aberration of contemporary civilization that we consumers are trying to deal with.To condemn us for our need to step for a moment out of this everyday mindset cruelly turns us into scapegoats for society’s failures. How is it that the Church of Christ condones this never ending oppression? Are we to believe that Christ inspires this policy of hatred?
Inebriated by the effect of marihuana, we consumers temporarily leave our mind behind. The historian Flavius Josephus remarked that in the ecstatic experience, “when the Holy Spirit enters, there is no room for the mind.” Contemporary marihuana consumers might not ascribe any longer to the idea of a Spirit coming from above to posses us, but in the moment of our ecstasy we also feel our minds leaving us, while our innermost feelings rush to the fore. At this moment of rapture we encounter the other as never before, as taught by Jesus of Nazareth when he told us to love our neighbour as ourselves. This is the big revelation which the cannabis consumers – each in a unique personal way – experience.
Seen from this perspective, marihuana becomes a means for reflection, as it was in prophetic times. Far from inducing to spiritual depravity it leads to understanding. There is however a big reluctance with many marihuana users to emotionally engage with the message of Christ, as we have come to know this message not for the love towards one’s neighbour but for the terrifying ways the Church has tried to impose that love. The horrors of the Church’s reign, exemplified in the Witch Hunts - precursor of the contemporary crusade against drugs users - has perturbed the appreciation of that message to such extent that recently even European political leaders, at the moment of writing their Union’s constitution, were unwilling to recognize the Christian origins of our civilization.
In March 2000 Pope John Paul II asked forgiveness for the sins of the Church throughout the ages, saying ""Christians...have violated the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and shown contempt for their cultures and religious traditions..." With these words in mind, we ask you to reach out to today’s contemptuously tolerated marihuana users, whose rights are violated daily, and remember that we too are the Church’s neighbors, those who Christ wants you to love.
We live under a regime of tolerance under which, at any given moment, arbitrary decisions undo all our achievements and ruin our lives, as the members of our clubs are experiencing in person. For this reason we are immensely pleased about the fact that starting in Uruguay, cannabis consumers will finally gain legal protection. We have organized this campaign for the nomination of President Mujica for the Nobel Peace Prize as a means to give him a unified message of support from cannabis consumers and our allies among politicians and academe. Although you yourself have publicly endorsed prohibition, you also have indicated that you wish to return to basic human values of modesty and commitment to each other, rejecting material greed. We therefore hope for your support of president Mujica’s humane policies and the promise of decent treatment it offers for all cannabis consumers. We desire that you will give your blessing to our campaign and let your voice be heard in support of President Mujica’s experiment for peace and solidarity; “desiring with supreme ardor” the Church’s acceptance of mother nature's plants for the healing of her children's minds so that the marihuana induced ecstasy might lead to a contemporary understanding of the beauty of the message of Christ: forget your attachment to material objects, forget yourself and find happiness in your neighbors.
We have the pleasure to invite you, brother Francis, to unite with us and nominate José Mujica Cordano for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
We look forward to your reply and thank you for your benevolent consideration.
Mambo Social Club Cannabis Social Club Maribor
Hasselt, Belgium. Maribor, Slovenia
Michel Degens Sanjin Jašar
PS. Nominating procedure