Native American church, known for using peyote and marijuana, to open branches in former O.C. pot shops
A national Native American church that courts have allowed to possess and distribute peyote will soon open branches in three former Orange County pot shops, where they plan to use and dispense marijuana and other illegal drugs as part of religious ceremonies.
What’s more, church members say almost anyone can join the religion and partake in its hallucinogenic sacraments, regardless of whether they have Native American heritage.
Representatives from the Oklevueha Native American Church, which claims over 200 branches nationwide, said they recently signed leases in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Westminster, targeting former marijuana dispensary storefronts where landlords don’t mind having pot on the premises.
And as much as those cities have fought to boot the church’s pot shop predecessors – conducting a police raid on one last week in Costa Mesa and receiving a court order Wednesday for another to shut down in Huntington Beach – several federal court rulings might make the cities powerless in preventing the church from storing and distributing drugs at those same locations.
Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.