Hello out there,
Aloha. This is another segment of the history of the THC Ministry (as far as I remember it:) in order help clearify my being denied bail, my legitimacy as a Cannabis sacrament Minister, our suggested donation for services and sacraments process, my State “immunity from prosecution” as a legal “Practitioner”, and our many defenses. Please post this wherever appropriate. Mahalo.
I joined the Religion of Jesus Church in 1993 when I was a partner in the Hawaiian Hemp Company in Pahoa. There became two existing State of Hawaii court stipulations that confirm the Religion of Jesus Church is “bona fide” and that the two specific members involved were sincere about using ‘marijuana’ as their sacrament. One stipulation is for Dennis Shields from 1996, and the other is for Jonathan Adler (R.I.P.) a few years later. I appreciated that they used Cannabis their “sacrament” and were brave enought to say it in public and on the record.
I interned with Pastor Ray Christl at his church home on Maui in the late 1990’s. Ray was passionate about helping people who needed help. He took the risk and I was pleased to assist him. God gives us the permission to do what needs to be done as “good Samaritans” to help our neighbors who need it. Remember, we get our Rights from God. Government is sworn-in and paid with benefits to protect our natural, human, God-given Rights.
When Ray was eventually arrested one night by M.P.D. I was there. I think this was 1997. The arresting officers told me plainly that because I had a church I.D. card in my stash bag (that I had just made on the computer) that I was free to go! Two other members who were already handcuffed told the officers they also had church I.D. cards in their wallets and to please look. They, too were immediately let go because of having brand new church I.D. cards in ther wallets. :-O One Police Lieutenant stayed behind and visited with me for a while after all the other officers had taken Pastor Ray to jail. We spoke freely. He told me that if he wasn’t so long on the job and close to retirement that he would be doing exactly what we were doing. I took note.
I attended some church services with the Founder of the Religion of Jesus Church Jim Kimmel at his church farm on Dairy Road on Maui. Pastor Jim hosted Sunday services and members used Cannabis ‘religiously’. It was a beautiful thing. After church fellowship if we needed sacrament for the week ahead we could donate for some. Ministry services and Cannabis sacraments by donation. Simple as that. I took notice of how it worked. Years later I applied that method to the THC Ministry.
After I received my ordainment from the Religion of Jesus Church through Rev. Dennis Shields in June of 2000 I also received my license from the State of Hawai’i specifically as a “Cannabis sacrament” Minister to legally marry people. I took a few months to pray about it and to develop my Ministry plan to provide Ministry services and Cannabis sacraments to members and to legal medical marijuana patients. I created The Hawai’i Cannabis THC Ministry as my own way of serving my community with “TLC” and “THC” in September of 2000.
Activists, patients and families in Hawai’i were lobbying for medical marijuana for many years as a compassionate step forward. Many good-hearted people took part on the big effort that finally worked with the Hawaii State Legislature passing our new law and Gov. Cayetano signing it on June 14th, 2000.
As the spokesman for the Hawai’i Hemp Council in the early 1990’s I had asked for, and received, a strongly supportive letter for ‘medical marijuana’ on his letterhead from Senator Dan Inouye (R.I.P.). Thanks Dan. Of course I made many copies of it and submitted it to every elected official and law enforcer I could find. I also secured a $15,000. grant for a public opinion poll of Hawai’i voters. It confirmed that 63% of registered voters favored medical marijuana for Hawai’i. Ten days after giving the poll to the Governor he publically came-out in favor of medical marijuana and he supported a bill all the way through the State Legislature. Thanks Ben.
Soon after being licensed to legally marry people with “Cannabis sacrament” I received front-page publicity from the Honolulu Advertiser. Associated Press picked-up the story which went all over the country and I was soon busy doing radio talk shows in different cities. I spoke openly and honestly. A couple from Phoenix heard me on the radio and came to the Big Island to be my first legal Cannabis wedding. My girlfriend at that time and I had a beautiful Cannabis hemp bed and breakfast in Nanawale Pahoa called The Sanctuary. A TIME Magazine reporter / photographer stayed with us to report on the wedding and paid us well for the access. For some unexplained reason the story and photos were never published. The wedding ceremony went well.
For a few years I set-up a booth on weekends at the Hilo and Pahoa farmer’s markets to serve “we the people” who wanted to join the THC Ministry. I made occasional visits to people’s homes, and to hospital rooms with Ministry services and Cannabis sacraments. Never had a complaint or any hum-bug.
A giant leap forward for the Ministry happened when one of our new members was healed of multiple sclerosis (“MS”) and a speech impediment in 90 days time. We were both shocked in a good way. He credited the holy anointing oil and both of our Cannabis tinctures with his dramatic improvement. This was February of 2004. As a token of his appreciation he gave me the keys to his second floor oceanfront office in the Moses Building in downtown Hilo. There were ten months left on the lease and he had just remodeled the place with new paint and carpet, a brand new refrigerator, air conditioner, TV and overhead fan. He also gave me a Morgan silver dollar from the 1800’s for good luck. He moved off the island the same day and went back to his family in Florida a healed man. God, that’s great!
I stepped-up my services to the community with increased access and a beautiful professional location. The Moses Building is oceanfront in the heart of downtown Hilo right across from the lighthouse on Hilo Bay.
All the best to everyone,
www dot THC-Ministry dot org
www dot The-Last-Marijuana-Trial dot com