greenbuddha Posted September 13, 2013 Report Share Posted September 13, 2013 US HI: Religious Freedom Defense Quashed In Marijuana Case Get Active Subscribe Support Us URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n467/a10.htmlNewshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htmVotes: 0Pubdate: Thu, 12 Sep 2013Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)Copyright: 2013 Star AdvertiserContact:http://www.staradvertiser.com/info/Star-Advertiser_Letter_to_the_Editor.htmlWebsite: http://www.staradvertiser.com/Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/5154Author: Ken Kobayashi RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DEFENSE QUASHED IN MARIJUANA CASEA federal judge Wednesday rejected the religious freedom defense raised by Hawaii island cannabis advocate Roger Christie to his marijuana-trafficking charges.U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi ruled that the prosecution had established that the practices of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, led by Christie, posed a substantial risk that marijuana would be distributed to people who were not members of the ministry and those people would use marijuana for nonreligious purposes.The judge held that the prosecution showed that the marijuana laws are the "least restrictive means" to halt the distribution of "mass quantities of marijuana to non-adherents" of Christie's ministry.Christie and his wife, Sherryanne, raised the defense under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act that seeks to prevent government interference in a person's free exercise of religion.A ruling in favor of the Christies would have led to the dismissal of the charges against them.Kobayashi's decision clears the way for the Christies' federal trial scheduled for Oct. 8.Christie, 63, who has become an icon among marijuana advocates, maintained that cannabis is a sacrament and an integral part of the ministry.He was arrested in July 2010 and has been held without bail for more than three years awaiting his trial.Christie, his wife and 12 others were charged with marijuana trafficking related to Christie's Hilo ministry.His wife has been free on bond.Most of the other defendants have pleaded guilty or will be pleading guilty to marijuana charges in the case. MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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