Czech Republic does not recognise Cannabis Church as religion


Central Europe


Dušan Dvořák who led the committee of the Cannabis Church that appealed an earlier rejection of its request to be recognised as religious community. Photo Facebook, Dušan Dvořák

The Cannabis Church does not classify as a religious community in the Czech Republic. That was ruled by the Supreme Court in the country on Friday.

Earlier, the Ministry of Culture had decided the same, but representatives of the Cannabis Church appealed the decision, CT24 reports.

Dušan Dvořák, the spokesperson of the preparatory committee of representatives of the Church. Photo Facebook, Dušan Dvořák

Dušan Dvořák, the spokesperson of the preparatory committee of representatives of the Church, promotes the healing effects of cannabis. In the past, he was already imprisoned for cultivating the plants.


The Supreme Court argued that the Cannabis Church lacks any traditional features of a religion. “It lacks a relationship to the metaphysical or sacral world, does not solve existential questions, focuses only on a specific aspect of life (the benefits of cannabis) and does not contain an understandable ethical system”, the ruling states.

The judges furthermore expressed the assumption that the primary goal of the community in seeking registration as a religious community was to obtain legal protection for cannabis users, Idnes reports.


Already in 2016, the Cannabis Church started to seek official registration as a religious community. The preparatory committee then applied to the Ministry of Culture, which rejected the request three years later. It ruled that its belief could not be considered religious.

The Church then presented its request to the Municipal Court in Prague. However, the judges there pointed out that the beliefs of the Cannabis Church lack metaphysical aspects, do not speak about fundamental questions of life or contain an ethical system and do not offer a comprehensive worldview. They only relate to a partial element of human existence, namely the usefulness of cannabis, according to the judges.

Broad interpretation

Dušan Dvořák from the Cannabis Church argued in the cassation process that international law has no generally accepted definition. He pleaded for a broad interpretation of the term, which, according to him, does not necessarily include the belief in gods. The Cannabis Church, he said, believes that cannabis connects the world through cannabinoids. Dvořák also compared the effects of cannabis to the healing power of Jesus.

The judges of the Supreme Court did not follow his reasoning. “The Christian faith sees the source of Jesus’ healing power in God, whereas the Cannabis Church is based on the belief in the healing effects of cannabis, whose healing potential is based on its composition”, the ruling reads.



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