Stitched on her tunic, over the Virgin’s abdomen, is a conical, four-petaled flower—a symbol of an Aztec deity, or perhaps a sign of fertility and/or the divine, depending on the source.
In nature, four-pointed flowers include pine cones, hops—and cannabis, points out Anne Armstrong, a devout Catholic based in Rhode Island. That’s a cannabis flower on the Lady of Guadalupe, Armstrong and her cannabis-centric church group insist, an argument they’re willing to make in court.
Armstrong converted to Catholicism in 1991 and is a staunch believer in the oldest branch of Christianity. When Pope Francis visited Washington, D.C. last year, Armstrong was there. Armstrong is also “one of the leaders of the Healing Church“—a brand of Catholicism that “uses marijuana and its derivatives in religious rituals,” according to the Providence Journal.