Dr. Sebi, a herbalist known for his controversial claims of curing many cancers and diseases using natural herbs, is coming to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the summer solstice and discuss the legalization of marijuana.

The June 22 event at the Thurgood Marshall Center is sponsored by the African Wholistic Health Association and Ababus 6, a promotional company. The 89-year-old’s followers and supporters will hear lectures by several natural healers about the importance of cleansing and healing our body, mind and spirits naturally.

In an interview from Honduras, Sebi discussed marijuana in the U.S. and why its legalization is forthcoming.

“As far as the issue of marijuana is concerned, there should be no issue,” he said. “If it is an issue than all other herbs that are natural should be an issue. Marijuana is a sacred and natural plant. It comes from the family of the carbon chain. It is known genecology as a native plant from the lily of the valley. I recommend it. I thank God for having produced it because it helped me with my asthma as a child.”

Dr. Kokayi Patterson is the founder and executive director of AWHA, a health association whose mission is to promote wholistic health philosophies, concepts, ideologies and practices in the community. Patterson said he learned the importance of marijuana as a healing agent from Dr. Sebi in the 1970s.

“Once marijuana is legalized, in D.C. and across the U.S., natural healers will be able to address more chronic illnesses and diseases with simple applications,” Patterson said. “As certified professionals, we want to be able to get a sense of security in our community so that we can eliminate the police brutality and intimidation as a result of a natural healing substance being illegal.”

In December, Uruguay became the first country to fully legalize the sale, possession, distribution and cultivation of marijuana.

“You should see the people there. They are so peaceful. They are not running around crazy as many opponents of marijuana in the U.S. would have you to believe,” Sebi said. “If you legalize marijuana in D.C., nothing will change. It will continue to be D.C.”

On June 10, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first-ever hearing regarding marijuana legalization and the conflict between state and federal laws.

“It is important, especially at a time of budget constraints, to determine whether it is the best use of federal resources to prosecute the personal or medicinal use of marijuana in states that have made such consumption legal,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said in a statement. “I believe that these state laws should be respected.”

According to information presented in the hearing, marijuana is illegal in approximately 107 countries.

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) introduced legislation in early June to legalize the use of marijuana nationally.

“My bipartisan amendment is very simple. It would move our country in line with industrialized countries around the world that long ago recognized the importance of industrial hemp as a natural resource, an agricultural commodity, and a versatile component in thousands of commercial products,” Bonamici said at the hearing.

Sebi said the illegality of marijuana in the U.S. and the practice of arresting individuals—especially Blacks—for using it has run its course. The pressure America has placed on other countries to keep it illegal is diminishing, he added.

“I am willing to debate with the top scientists in the U.S. about how and why marijuana is not harmful as a natural plant,” Sebi said.

A referendum to legalize marijuana in the District will be on the November ballot. Organizers turned in the 25,000 required signatures in early June, and are continuing their efforts to educate the public about marijuana while collecting additional registered voters’ signatures.

“So go ahead DC, legalize marijuana, nothing will change,” Sebi said. “D.C. will still be D.C.”