Thanks for your reportage on the Temple for Advanced Enlightenment. Reactions on Web posts show that Maine has yet to achieve a tolerant, diverse culture. The Rev. Kevin Loring is a brave pioneer treading in the steps of Vin de Louria, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Stop the snickers. Loring may not yet be of equal stature, but in his time and place he walks the same path.
The prejudice and hatred against “druggies,” “stoners,” “potheads,” etc. is a direct legacy of the same directed against blacks, Latinos and gays. The first cannabis prohibition laws specifically targeted these groups at a time when white people (supposedly) did not use cannabis.
Approximately 20 percent of Mainers use cannabis for spiritual, therapeutic, creative, experimental, social and recreational reasons. Many of these are patients who break no state law under the Maine Medical Marijuana Law. They are not criminals. All of them are people.
If you stood up for equality in the case of blacks, gays, women and others, you should stand up for Loring and his community of faith. As a Unitarian, I feel that this young man represents our principles: The worth and dignity of every person, justice and compassion, acceptance, respect, reason and science, Earth-based traditions.