The Doctrine of Santa Maria (Saint Mary
, Mother of God
) is a Brazilian religion that consists on the ritualistic consumption of massive amounts of Cannabis sativa
, followed by long hours of prayer to the Virgin Mary
Frequently this doctrine is associated to the Santo Daime, which also mixes Catholic mysticism and the consumption of ayahuasca, a powerful hallucinogen.
Since religious production and consumption of ayahuasca in Brazil is completely legal, a lot of people believe that someday the Doctrine of Santa Maria will be decriminalized based on the same principle of cult freedom. Cannabis is illegal in Brazil, as ayahuasca was a few years ago.
It's interesting to notice that the believers smoke Cannabis during the entire day, even before hard work in the farms. This is used as an argument against the theory that associates marijuana to amotivational syndrome.
It's not uncommon to hear reports that users achieve a high degree of concentration and expanded consciousness after long sessions praying the Rosary and smoking pot. Most of the believers see the recreational use of Cannabis as bad and unrespectful.
The Doctrine of the Santa Maria and Santo Daime as known today were originated at the beginning of the 20th century in the region of the Amazon forest, but today is quite spread across the entire country. Despite of that, it's still seen as some kind of underground, bizarre subculture, and heavily attacked by more orthodox communities.