Pubdate: Sun, 06 Sep 2015
Source: Trentonian, The (NJ)
Copyright: 2015 The Trentonian
Author: Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman


TRENTON - Does marijuana have any connection to religious scriptures 
and priesthood?

Anne Armstrong, a self-described Originalist Judeo-Christian who 
hopes to influence Pope Francis and President Barack Obama, says the 
cannabis flowering plant is indeed mentioned in the original Hebrew 
language editions of the Bible as a key ingredient in an oil mixture 
for priests.

In Exodus 30:23, many English-language interpretations of the Bible 
refer to the herb in question as "sweet-smelling cane," but 
Armstrong, 55, of Providence, Rhode Island, said the correct 
Hebrew-to-English translation would be "cannabis" as she chilled 
Saturday afternoon in the rear courtyard behind NJ Weedman's Joint 
restaurant off East State Street.

"The drug war in our country has done so much harm," said Armstrong, 
who recently founded a Rhode Island-based congregation called the 
Healing Church. Holding the Bible in her right hand, Armstrong said, 
"The purpose of this book is to show us how to love each other all 
over the world and get along."

Those very scriptures detail how Jesus retreated to a desert for 40 
days of fasting to prepare for his mission of spreading the gospel. 
Armstrong, accompanied with three members of her congregation, said 
her group is following the example of Jesus.

The Healing Church members left from Providence, Rhode Island, on 
Aug. 14 via walking and driving, crashed at Trenton this weekend with 
their buddy Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion, and are planning to continue 
forward to arrive in the nation's capital Sept. 22 to wrap up their 
40-day spiritual retreat that will coincide with the anticipated 
arrival of Pope Francis on American soil.

Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive in the United States Sept. 22 at 
Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, and to meet with President Barack 
Obama at the White House on Sept. 23.

"The president used cannabis," Armstrong said. "He said so in his 
book (Dreams From My Father)."

Saying that cannabis is the sweet-smelling cane mentioned in Exodus 
30:23 and highlighting the significance of the scheduled White House 
meeting between President Obama and Pope Francis, Armstrong added, 
"It's in the Bible, Obama has used it, so even if all they can do is 
bless it, they can come out and tell everyone to stop fighting all 
over the planet."

Forchion, 50, founder of the up-and-coming NJ Weedman's Joint 
restaurant and sanctuary across from Trenton City Hall, on Saturday 
said he was happy to host his Healing Church friends for the weekend 
and wishes them well on their retreat to Washington, D.C.

The anticipated Philadelphia arrival of Pope Francis is scheduled to 
occur on the weekend of Sept. 26-27.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom