Monthly Archives: June 2015

Ancient Bongs Found in Russia

russianbong

A recent archeological finding in Russia has shed some more light on the historic use of marijuana among the nomadic Scythian people. Two artifacts that were confirmed as bongs and some smaller objects, all composed of solid gold, were found in a burial site in Southern Russian. The bongs were found with a thick residue and were used to smoke a powerful combination of cannabis and opium. They were used by the Scythians who ruled in large areas of Eurasia for a period of over 1,000 years.

The bongs are 24 centuries old

The bongs were found to be approximately 2,400 years old and were very detailed in their designs, featuring pictorial representations of animals and people. They were found in a large grave mound in Southern Russia in the Caucasus Mountains, one of the regions where Scythians lived between 900 BC and 400 AD. The bongs were possibly used during ceremonies and were found in a chamber filled with 7 pounds of other gold artifacts including bracelets and neck and finger rings.

The finding backs up Herodotus’s claim

Ancient Greek writer Herodotus described how Scythians used cannabis in their ceremonial practices, and the finding certainly backs up his claims. He once wrote, “Scythians used a plant to produce smoke that no Grecian vapour-bath can surpass…” Antonn Gass and Andrei Belinski are two historians from the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation who believed that the bongs were “beyond doubt” used to smoke both opium and cannabis at the same time. They may have also been used to brew the mixture together as well.

A once in a decade archeological finding

The finding is considered to be one of the best ever by many archeologists. Gass mentioned, “these are among the finest objects that we know from the region.” The bongs were not revealed to the public until the group had fully searched the burial mound to check for other possibly more valuable artifacts.

Each bong tells a different story with its pictures. One bong shows an older warrior slaying younger warriors and may be a description of the wars that the Scythians fought with neighboring Persia. Another bong depicts mythological creatures including a stag and griffons attacking a horse.

The Scythian people were known to be fearsome warriors, and they were one of the first groups to master mounted warfare. However, they were not the first group to use cannabis, as other evidence has found that it was cultivated as long ago as 8,000 BC or even earlier. Agriculture is thought to have been first developed around 10,000 BC.

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First Church of Cannabis: A “Higher” Calling

first-church-of-cannabis

The first church dedicated to worshiping the social aspect of marijuana use has been launched in Indiana known officially as, “The First Church of Cannabis”. Bill Levin, the church’s founder, insists that the church is not dedicated to worshiping marijuana itself, but the interpersonal connections that are created when the drug is used.

Levin said that the church does not distribute marijuana, however it allows members of the church to smoke inside the location. The church currently does not have a building but is raising funds to open one in the near future. The First Church of Cannabis was created on March 26 after the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed in Indiana.

The church was recently approved for tax-exempt status

Levin recently celebrated the church’s approval by the IRS for 501c3 status. The status designates the church as a non-profit organization with the same tax status that traditional churches and places of worship receive.

The approval will allow Levin to obtain donations without federal tax liabilities and he posted his excitement at the news on his church’s Facebook page on May 26th saying, “Our NOT FOR PROFIT 501 C3 status came in today… WE ARE 100 % a LEGAL CHURCH… All say HALLELUJAH and SMILE REAL BIG!”

Marijuana remains illegal in Indiana

Although the recreational and medical use of marijuana in the state of Indiana is not legal, the appreciation of the drug is. Levin does not believe that he will get into trouble because he is not selling the drug. He recently set up a Go Fund Me page which has received over $15,000 in donations from around the world. He has also received numerous donations from local donors and marijuana enthusiasts.

Levin said that he founded to church in order to test the limits of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the same act that triggered protests from gay rights groups because of the fear that it would allow businesses to discrimination against homosexuals.

The church is about treating people with kindness

Levin mentioned that the church does not have any spiritual practices, and that it focuses on treating people with kindness and follows some of the basic tenets of other major religions in the world. He said that old scriptures have nothing to do with the church and that he is not affiliated with the Rastafarians, who embrace marijuana usage as a part of their spiritual practices. Levin did mention that he has learned from the religion and that he “borrowed a bit from every religion.”

The first service is planned on July 1st, 2015 once the law goes into effect at a location that has not yet been announced.

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