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Help R Ben Defend Religious Use of Psychedelics

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Rabbi Benjamin Gorelick helps members of his Denver-based congregation, The Sacred Tribe, explore connection to self, community, and G-d through the ceremonial use of sacramental psychedelic mushrooms. But in February 2022, Rabbi Ben was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance, a first-degree felony with a minimum eight-year prison sentence.
 
This came as a surprise to Rabbi Ben and his congregation: They had done extensive work to meet the federal guidelines for use of psychedelics in religious ceremony; the state of Colorado offers protections for religious ceremonial use of other psychedelics ; and Denver decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms in 2019 . Since decriminilization, Denver officials only reported 5 psilocybin-mushroom-only cases and in April 2022, Colorado Governor Jared Polis told Reason magazine that when it comes to natural, sacred substances like psilocybin, “I generally don’t think that things like that should be dealt with through a criminal setting.”
 
The arrest followed a routine fire inspection that Rabbi Ben assented to, as any legitimate organization would in the interest of public health and safety. Now Rabbi Ben is on the front lines of an upcoming and precedent-setting trial around the use of natural psychedelics for religious purposes.
 
Not only is the congregation’s leader facing significant prison time (a mandated minimum of eight years), another employee was arrested, they were thrown out of their ceremonial space, and The Sacred Tribe’s carefully cultivated mushrooms have been destroyed. The congregation’s sense of safety and connection has been badly damaged. With their lease terminated and documents seized, it’s unclear when or if The Sacred Tribe will be able to resume all its usual operations.
 
As Rabbi Ben's court case moves forward, there are a few ways to help protect The Sacred Tribe’s right to religious freedom. A petition is currently circulating to encourage the Denver District Attorney’s office to drop its case against the Rabbi, but it remains to be seen how the criminal justice system will respond. 

Last but not least, donating to this GoFundMe will support Rabbi Ben’s and his employee's legal defense fund and his fight to protect The Sacred Tribe’s right to religious freedom. Thank you for your support!
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Donations 

  • Danny Sherman
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Debbie McHugh
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Clayton Berger
    • $20 
    • 2 yrs
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Fundraising team (3)

Rabbi Benjamin Gorelick
Organizer
Denver, CO
Mifneh LKedusha
Beneficiary
Amber Hayes
Team member
Amy Bliss
Team member

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