Religious Truth Petitioner Nazari essay example

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A PRISONER'S RIGHT TO SMOKE MARIJUANA BRUNSWICK DIVISION BRUCE TOWNSEND, a / k /a Ras Lazarus Azar el Nazari, Plaintiff, vs. UNITED STATES BUREAU OF PRISONS; JESUP F.S.L. ; ROBERT McFADDEN, Warden; D.L. HOBBS, Warden; KATHLEEN HAWK-SAWYER; RONNIE HOLT, Regional Director; PAUL KENNEDY, Regional Chaplain; B.O.P. RELIGIOUS COMMITTEE; Ms. VICE, United Manager; Mrs. CHALFONT, Case Manager; Lt. B. RULES; Lt. DUNLAP; Assist. Warden RUIZ; E. WILLIAMS, Case Manager, Chaplin O'NEIL, and JESUP STAFF KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, (Claim purse~nt to 28 U.S. C 1331 and '; 1361 that Defendants acting under the color of Law deprive Petitioner of Religious Right) Petitioner Lazarus Na~are comes now pro se to move this Honorable Court to grant this petition for 1st Amendment Religious Freedom Right and to remove the cruel and unusual to Petitioner by religious restraints to his spiritual consciousness pursuant to section 5 of 14 Amendment. Petitioner Lazarus Nazari has been incarcerated since August 18, 1997 for conspiracy. Petitioner Laz anis Nazari's (F.S. I) report clearly states Petitioner is a Rastafarian.

The Government never contested this fact as documentation support the claim that Petitioner is a Rastafarian of the (Bobo Shaiiti order of Melchizedek). The Rastafarian (13 o bo Shanti) are strict vegetarians and keep the Sabbath as the Ancient Essene Quran Sect of the Dead Sea Scrolls. CIVIL ACTION NO. : CV 204-. 045 The Honorable Marcus Garvey, Prince Emi, and [la ile Selassie are revered as the Trinity (King, Prophet, and Priest). In the flo ly rita us of Ny~binghi, the chanting of songs with the beating of the (congo's) drums is the raising of the spirit of God in man assisted by the sacramental herb (marijuana).

(See Exhibit (A) P.S.I., Exhibit (B) Newspaper) (See Mircea ~adeEncclediaofReliion 96-97 (1 9 (~~9); Rastafarian religion is among the 1,558 religious groups of American Religions 870-71 (1991); Standard description of the religion the use of marijuana in cult iq ceremonies designed to bring the believer closer to the divinity and to enhance unity among believers. Functionally, IUarijuana~known as Ganja in the language of tile religion~operates as a sacrament with tile power to raise the partakers above the mundane and to enhance their spiritual unity. I. 'Free Exercise of Religion an Unalienable Right " Petioner Nazari as will be call here in-after, asserts that while in Prison, inmates retain their right to exercise their rel' beliefs. Petitioner contends that Bureau of Prisons denies the basic rights of conscience to Rastafarian. Pursuant to Equal Protection Under the Law, requires that all persons similarly situated be treated alike.

Within the Bureau of Prisons, religious diets are recognized for Jews, Muslims and so forth. But the Rastafarian Dietary Tenets are challenged at every door. Resulting in a total denial of equal pt~ to Religious Tenets-Just as there is a Baptist or Methodist, Sunni or Shia, Orthodox Jew or Non Orthodox Jew, so is their Twelve Tribes and the Bobo Shanti Rastafarians. The Twelve Tribes eat fish and the Bobo Shanti are strict vegetarians. The diet of the 'Bobo Shaiiti' is called 'Ital', it consist of organic vegetables with soy products as dairy and meat substitutes. The word 'Ital' is the religious word for Vital, meaning living to puri~ the conscience and flesh from carnal ways.

The Vow of the 2 Nazarite is the vow of separation and to deny the purifying diet is denying the belief to separate one S self to God, which is an everlasting wound to the mind and soul (psyche). (See U.S. vs. Schwimmer, 279 U.S. 644,655). Petitioner Nazari assert' it is unequal protection to provide the Jews and Muslim the equitable opportunity to religious diets and not the Rastafarians. Their meals are fixed away from the common prep area, the Rastafarian is not given this, even though it has been explained that our meals must be cooked without animal bi-products and non-meat utensils and trays should be provided that are not used by meat eaters. How long must we go suffering such un square conditions? (See City of Cleburne vs. Cleburne Living Center, 473 U.S. 432 (1 985).

The Fifth Amendment includes equal protection component, which requires that the federal government accord every person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the Law. The equal protection clause essentially requires that all persons similarly situated be treated alike. Threshold requirement of equal protection claim is a showing that government discriminating among groups. Reasonable opportunity has not been given to the Rastafarian to exercise under Free Exercise Clause to a Religious Diet, for the Bureau of Prison doesn't have one allotted to Rastafarians. Petitioner Nazari notes for this court that cop-outs, BP-9 and BP-8's have been filed only to be unresolved. (RFRA) Religious Freedom Restoration Act requires that a law (Bureau of Prison) that work~ a burden on an individual's ability freely to exercise his religion must be justified by compelling government interest and achieve that interest by burdening as little religious freedom as possible.

For Bureau of Prison to provide Kosher an Halal meal and not soy products, which are cheaper, is far from restricting compelling government interest. To state this is a minority request would make this a ~in or financial change. (~ee 42 U.S.C. 82000 bb-l (b) ) In essences, RFRA re-establishes the Sherbert standard 3 that the U.S. Supreme Court supplanted in Smith. Congress itself said as much, declaring it purpose in enacting RFRA: [T] o restore the compelling interest test as set forth in Sherbert V. Verner... and to guarantee its application in all cases where free exercise of religion is substantially burdened; and... to provide a claim or defense to persons whose religious exercise is substantially burdened by government. (See, ~er tv. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963); also see, Wisconsin V. Yoder, 406 U.S., 205 (1987) ) Petitioner Nazari, also contends that the Bureau fo Prisons al~o denies Free Exercise of Religion upon not sufficiently providing the appropriate dt " us (congo's) to hold Nyhabinghi Ceremonies when Native Americans are provided sweat lodges and Jews candles and grape juice and Muslims rugs for pray.

Also, the Nyhabinghi Ceremonies are held in an outer 12 post Tabernacle with 6 inner post. This is set outside just like the sweat lodge. The purchases made for these religious group to provide equitable opportunity is not allotted to Rastafarians. Denying the Foundation of the Ceremonial Tenets. Purchases of electronic keyboards and piano's are made which are basically used by Christian Communities. The (B.O.P.) has dealt unequally.

Rastafarians contend Petitioner are denied the equitable opportunity to observe the (Sabbath) Friday evening to Saturday Evening as proscribed with fasting, due to Bureau of Prisons denial to recognize. Petitioner asserts that a bag lunch given after last meal on Saturday will provide equitable opportunity to keep the fast as Muslim are given on Ramadan. Ramadan last a measure of 30 days never effecting orderly running. The question must be answered how can once a week for the Rastafarians effect the orderly running? (See Sher~ert vs. Verner, 374 U.S. 398 (1963); Mr. Justice Douglas, concurring, 'The result turns not on the degree of injury, 4 which may indeed be nonexistent by ordinary standards. The harm is the interference with the individual's scruples or cons~i enc~an important area of privacy which the First ~end " men fences off from government.

' ) (See J'~ vs. C.I.R., 921 F 2d 588 (5~ Cir 99 1); 'Protection of free exercise clause extends to all sincere religious beliefs; courts many not evaluate religious truth'.) Petitioner Nazari contends that foundational pillars to the Rastafarian belief such as tile Diet, Drums for Nyhabinghi, and Sabbath Day are being' denied, substantially burdening free exercise of religious worship. Petitioner Nazari hereby invokes the Is' Amendment, S~ Amendment, and l 4~ Amendment to enforce the Equal Protection Clause itself with Protection of Free Exercise Clause. To extend Bureau of Prisons rules and regulations to recognize the Tenets of Rastafarians. (See Meachuin v, Fari o 427 U.S. 215, 49, 96 S. Ct 2532 (1976); 'The Court has the Right to determine whether an inmate is being deprived of a 'State Created Right' or 'Liberty Interest' granted him by a rule, statue, or regulation promulgated by the government.

' ) (See K~g~~, . Moran 384 U.S. 641 (1966) ) In Sand in vs. Conner, the Supreme Court required that the prisoner allege that a specific regulation or statue has created a protected liberty interest. The Court will grant due process protections to such alleged protected liberty interest only if the restriction or deprivation either created an 'atypical' and 'significant hardship' on the prisoner by subjecting him to conditions different from those ordinarily experienced by large numbers of inmates serving their sentences in the customary fashion. Petitioner Nazari presses oil upon these grounds that significant hardship is received to spiritual conscience upon depriving the opportunity to worship sincerely upon tile foundation of Rastafarian tenets. (See Dettmer vs. Landon, 799 F. ~d' 929, 93 1-32 (4~ Cir 1986): (Also see Martinelli V. Dugger, 817 F. 2d 1499 (11th Cir 1987) ) The courts decision 5 today in this instant case can either be the beginning of the ripple effect to slowly erasing the just amendment or another pillar case to support the constitution of the United States. lIe Sacramental Her biA Holy Tenet of Nyhabinghi Ceremony Petitioner Nazari comes now to press this argument that it is an 8th Amendment violation of cruel and unusual punish merit to deny a man the scruples or clear conscience to his First Amendment of Religious Freedom. Petitioner Nazari contends that it is not a question of is marijuana a part of the Rastafarian Religion, but as a tenet, can the Bureau of Prisons or any other government body deny religious use.

For the B.O.P. currently will provide peyote to Native (Indian) Americans, but upon the Rastafarians statutes burden the free exercise of religion putting substantial pressure on an adherent to modify his behavior and to violate his beliefs. (See Thomas vs. Review Bd. Of Ind. Em lo ent Sec. Div., 450 U.S. 707, 71891981), When such statues are enforced, it 'results in the choice to the individual of either abandoning his religious principle or facing criminal prosecution.

' Petitioner contends to be criminally prosecuted is far more than an inco nv it is a substantial burden. Such a burden can not be conceived to be the lightest possible burden on religious freedom. As an Inmate, when such request for Sacramental herb is made, you can be sanctioned to (SHU) special housing unit or called for several urinalysis or transfer in what is called diesel treatment until such a request is given up. Petitioner Nazari contends that the drug statues and (B.O.P.) policies concerning drug statues and the Religious Departrnent's~ acceptance that it is not a denial of religious freedom to deny the Rastafarians the use of marijuana, must be viewed as a Fourteenth Amendment complaint.

'For, no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or proper; i~ without due process oT laws; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the ~ of the Law. 6 Petitioner Nazari asserts that equal protection of Law encompasses Religious Freedom and this cannot be denied without due process of the Law. Upon this ground Petitioner n 6 w upholds that there is nothing held in this petition intended (l to undermine the general applicability of U.S. Drug Policies, but the reasonable standards in which they are held should not be impairing upon the free exercise of religion. As it has been held in several cases, we are not seeking to distribute. Petitioner seeks to possess for religious purposes without facing prosecution. (See Bauer, 84 F. 3d at 1559 holding that prosecution for distribution of marijuana does not burden defendant's religion as a matter of Law.) In Batter, it was held that the defendants could use RFRA to defend against his prosecution for simple possession of marijuana, but not against the charges of conspiracy to distribute.

(See Guerrero V. People of Game 9th Circuit CRA-99-025) Petitioner Nazari cites Civil Right~ sec. 18 6 241... 'If two or more persons conspire to injure oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any state, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the constitution or laws of the United States or~because of his having so exercised the same'. Petitioner Nazari contends that this statue defends free exercise of Religious Freedom from being oppressed by those who stop ~he enjoyment of this right.

The drug policies of this B.O.P. and United Sates of American unfairly oppress the Rastafarian Religion and must be changed to remove such substantial burden. Within the Guerrero case, the question was posed that future courts will have to solve whether a prosecution for importation of marijuana substantially burdens one's religion is a legal question to decide. Petitioner Nazari contends on importation of Religious, property is protected in Statue ~ 8 6247, Damage to religious Property; obstruction of persons in free exercise of 7 religious belief. This statue 4 p holds in section (1) ). The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the offense is in or affects interstate or L~. For subsection (a) stated: Whoever, in any of the circumstances referred to in subsection (b) of this section (1) intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property, because of the religious character of that property, or attempts to do so; or (2) intentionally obstructs, by force or th~cat of force, any person in the enjoyment of that person's free exercise of religious beliefs or attempts to do so.

Accordingly as this statue states any person, which includes Rastafarian right to free exercise of religious beliefs. Subsection (B) addressed the interstate and foreign commerce. Conceding to the fact that if a Christian Church had its ceremonial wine destroyed or confiscated upon importation it would be considered a violation of Free Exercise of Religious Beliefs. Just as the Native (Indians) American can import peyote or receive it for their religious beliefs. A Rastafarian must be given some opportunity equally free of the duress of threats or being kidnapped to prison or as in the instant case threaten with Special Housing Unit. The Congressional Findings (Section 2 of Pub. L. 104-155) of this statue held the following: (3) changes in federal law are necessary to deal properly wit this problem (5) Congress has authority, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, to make acts of destruction or damage to religious property a violation of Federal Law.

(6) Congress has authority, pursuant to Section 2 of the 13 Amendment to the Constitution, to make action of private citizens motivated by race, color, or 8 that interfere with th (ability of citizens to hold or use religious property without fear of attack, violations of Federal criminal law. ' As petitioner Nazari has stated prior in this petition he is not seeking to disannul the Drug Laws, but the relief to order marijuana from certain vendor where it is legal or order seeds to g~w. Within either of these means i~t can be established by the Government way to register the yield or purchased amount allowing Petitioner to maintain religious belief free of threat and the government the ability to control and monitor. The courts have found it legal to possess marijuana (Ganja) but with no legal means o~ reasonable means to acquire it. We are then again faced with Thomas V. Review Bd. of md.

Eni ployment Sec 9 Div., 450 U.S. 707 (981),'. .. the choice to the individual of either abandoning his religious principle or facing criminal prosecution. ' Petitioner Nazari contends that (R.F.R.A.) was created to a Ward the appropriate relief in such instances of substantial burden~ of Religious Freedom. (See Worldwide Church, 227 F. 3d at 1120; also Sutt an, 192 F 3d at 833-34. Congress derives its ability to protect free exercise of religion from its plenary author it) ' found in Article 1 of the Constitution; it can carve out a religious exemption from otherwise, generally applicable laWs based on its power to enact the underlying statute in the first place.) (See Gillette vs. United States, 40 (13.5. 437 (1971), upholding statutory protection from draft laws for conscientious objectors.) As the ~. F.R.A.) applies to the instant case (See Kikumura, 242 F 3d at 959) where it held that Congress derives its ability to apply (RFRA) to Federal Prisons from its Article I authority over the Federal criminal justice system.

(See Christians. 141 F. 3d 861) (See ~i~~vs. Boll, 774 F. Supp 1333 (D. New Mexico 1991) ) Petitioner Nazari offers here the least r~strict ive means of fi ri~gA that compelling governmental interest against [his] religious use of marijuana (ganja). 9 As held in Guerrero the court cannot pass on the importance of marijuana to Petitioner's religion. (See Smith 494 U. S, at 887...

' Judging the centrality of different religious practices is akin to the unacceptable 'business of evaluating the relative merits of differing religious claims'. ' (quoting. S.V. Lee, 455 U.S. 252 (1982) ) ) The B.O.P. has yet to prove the difference in peyote for the Native Americans and marijuana, for there is no factual proof it wi'~ll affect the orderly running of the prison. For the Government to take any viewpoint against marijuana as a drug, is also a bias viewpoint that can be considered as endorsing other religious custodi against Rastafarian. (See American Life League vs. Reno, 47 F. 3d 642 (4' Cir 1995) ) As a Rastafarian it is contended that marijuana has no more affect than people that meditate while burning in~~else which many claim helps them relax and enter in the spiritual unity. Rastafarian burn Frankincense and Myrrh I n the Tabernacle but in the Temple of Self (Body) marijuana is the sa~ ra mental incense that must, that shall, be burned in the Temple of Rastafari. Petitioner conc lu (Ies that to deny him this right is cruel and unusual punishment that causes a significant hards 1~ip that subjects him to conditions different from those ordinarily experienced by large numbers of inmates. For many take their sentences as time to realign themselves again with God's plan or with their religion as rehabilitation from past mistakes.

This is the conscience choice of'~ach individual and an important area of privacy which the First Amendment fences off from ~i government (See Sherbert vs. V emer) for to deny the availability of religious property is to deny the Free Exercise of Religious Belief. (See 1 8~247 [Civil Rights Statute against obstruction of persons Free Exercise of Religious Belief) ) (Also See 18&242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law) (See ~vs. Boll, 774 F Supp 1333 D. New Mexico 1991) (See McCabe vs. 9 A rave, 827 F~2d 6, 34) 10 Conclusion of Relief Petitioner Nazari has no plain, adequate or complete remedy at Law to redress the wrongs described herein, except the unalienable right of Free Exercise of Religion be given to Rastafarians 9 Petitioner Nazari has been and will continue to be irreparably injured by the conduct of the defendants unless the courts grants the declaratory and injunctive relief which petitioner seeks for several administrative grievances have been filed to receive no response. Wherefore, Petitioner Nazari request that this court enter a judgment granting: 1. A declaratory judgment that the defendant's acts, policies, and practices herein described and complained of violated Petitioner's rights under the United States Constitution. 2. A preliminary and penn an'~nt injunction which: a) Prohibits defendants; their successors in office, agents and and all other persons in active concert and participation with them from denying Petitioner's Religious Rights described herein. b) Prohibits defendants, their successors in office, agents and employees and all other persons in active concert and participation with them from transferring Petitioner to any other institution, without Petitioner's express consent, during the pending of this Law Suit, or otherwise retaliating against Petitioner in any way. c) Require defendant's (Warden Hobbs) to submit within 90 days of this court's order and declaration of the unconstitutionality ~n dant's regulation governing procedures dealing with the Rastafarian beliefs and a list of proposed procedures and criteria that comply with this court~'s declaration a~id (~d, er and~the First, Fourteenth, and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

113. Petitioner Nazari respectfully requests such other and further relief that the court deems to be appropriate and just. Petitioner Nazari ask that this motion be viewed liberally pursuant to (Haines vs. Kerner). Respect~lay submitted this day of in the year of 2002. Witness~otaryDateBruce Townsend aka Lazarus Nazari 09879-021 pro " se Jesup Federal Satellite Low 2650 Hwy 30 l South Jesup, GA 31599.412.