Rev. Roger Christie, leader of the THC Ministry based in Hawai’i, is in jail without bond.
Early on the morning of July 8, agents from the Drug Enforcement Admin. stormed the THC Ministry and the homes of many of its practitioners, and 14 were arrested.
The Ministry, Roger and others had sued in federal court in 2004 to establish their legal right as sincere believers to use their chosen sacrament.
The government responded by arguing that even though the Ministry was engaged in the production and distribution of marijuana, it was not under federal investigation or prosecution. Since the ministry could not prove that arrest and prosecution for use of their sacrament was imminent, the court ruled Christie did not have standing to pursue the suit.
Six years later, the government pulled out the big guns to bust Christie and his flock. Over a period of two years, countless agent-hours were spent on round-the-clock surveillance and wiretaps that captured more than 17,000 telephone calls. The bust was conceived as a big publicity stunt and show of government power. The government even used a huge Coast Guard C-130 military plane to transport the 14 arrestees to their hearings in Honolulu.
Now Christie’s prosecutors are using their power to prevent his release on bond. Christie is a military veteran with a perfectly clean criminal record. There are no allegations of violence at all in this case. Several of his co-defendants were indicted on even more serious charges. All others got bond, yet Christie remains caged. The government argued that the soft-spoken minister is too dangerous to release, even under house arrest with random drug testing and electronic monitoring.
The government says Christie is a “danger to the community” and that no conditions or combination of conditions could “assure the safety of the community.” He remains locked up behind the bars of the Hawaii Federal Detention Center with limited access to telephone, Internet or legal help.
The prosecution says the earliest it can be ready to hold the trial is April 2011. The government, with all its agents and attorneys, cannot put its case together with less than six months of preparation. How is Christie supposed to prepare for this from the isolation of a prison cell? He wants to take full responsibility and fight his case as vigorously as possible. Lack of bail denies him that right. Hopefully, his lawyers can get the court to reconsider and grant him a reasonable bail in the coming weeks.
All fair-minded people who support religious freedom, justice and personal choice of spiritual sacraments need to rally for this cause. Please support the-last-marijuana-trial.com and spread the word. We need your positive prayers and your donations to win this case for Christie, for the ‘Green 14’ and for all the people of the US who value religious liberty and basic Constitutional rights.
To contact Roger Christie, write to him at:
Federal Detention Center
P O Box 30080
Code FBOP #DC,
Honolulu HI 96820