Hello Jeri and friends,
Aloha to thee. Thanks for asking about our specific “religious defense”, and other factors. It’s now Tuesday afternoon on September 24th. We were in a lock-down here 24/7 since Friday because two young guys had a private fight. Mass punishment given to all of us here in 5B; it’s one of the ________ ways they do things in here. Glad to be back online for sure. I’m fine. Things have changed.
OK, the judge ruled July 31st that we (Share and I) were always “legitimate” and “sincere”. She also gave us approval for a first-ever “religious defense” at trial. She also said that she would rule on our RFRA defense soon. That made us feel very positive … for a while.
About ten days ago she ruled AGAINST our RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) defense. Too bad; that would have dropped all our charges immediately and been a HUGE WIN, a giant victory. We all think that the judge was incorrect and made a bad ruling; it’s likely, possibly, hopefully to be overturned for us on appeal in San Francisco some day (18 – 24 months), but we thought we still had the “religious defense” to use at trial. Our lawyers NOW think (strongly) that the judge has also taken away our “religious defense”, but haven’t been able to show us the proof of that, yet. If it’s true, and apparently it is, then we have lost our core religious defense(s) at trial, the main reason I operated the legitimate and sincere THC Ministry for ten very happy years. It’s the main thing we’re advocating and fighting for and now it’s been removed as a factor in a trial. WTFlip?
Last Friday the judge ruled for Share and me that we BOTH get to present a “defense of entrapment by estopple” at trial. If it would be defined in a “jury instruction” by the Judge at the end of the trial we would probably win as it just needs to be “reasonable” to them. This means that I would get to say that the former U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo told me – twice – in person – that I COULD operate the THC Ministry and he had zero interest in investigating or prosecuting us for doing so. This was in 2001 and in 2004. This is my truth and why I felt confident with the federal government about operating the THC Ministry for all those years. Also, Jesse Fourmy, Hilo’s D.E.A. Agent told me “we’re good” when I asked him specifically in 2004. In addition, the local H.P.D. Vice Squad officially visited me in 2005(?) and told me that I had immunity from State prosecution for distributing marijuana, “just keep it private” they told me.
I thought we were free and clear to operate all those years on all levels of law enforcement. All the many government officials who I asked, or who visited me told me so. The unfortunate part of this great defense is that the judge could, and most likely would, rule during some point in the trial that she DENIES it. :-O At that point we would have zero defense to win anything with! We would almost certainly be convicted and then be sentenced to extreme prison time because we fought and lost. Extra charged would be added for testifying and losing! Did you know they do that?
Share and I were offered a new plea deal last Thursday if we will not go to trial on October 8th. 5 years (60 months) in prison for me; 24 months for Share AND (very important here!) we get to appeal all the important issues we’ve made a great record of all along the way: 1. mis-Scheduling of marijuana, 2. suppression of all the wiretap evidence, 3. RFRA, and 4. our “religious defense”.
It’s time today to get the ‘small print’, the details of the plea deal as it’s on a fast-track now. Reportedly Share would get to stay out of prison while we appeal. The appeal will take about 18 to 24 months. Obviously time is on our side as legalization issues get better every week now. I would have to serve the rest of my sentence which amounts to 9 more months in here (FDC) and then go to a halfway house on Oahu for maybe 3 months, then GO HOME about one year from today. (It’s even possible that Share and then I would be allowed to grow and use personal amounts of Cannabis while on “supervised release” or whatever it’s called. The Valrey case is the legal precedent for that Right.) If we win the appeal all our charges are overturned, we win our case and get to re-open the THC Ministry on solid legal ground. If we lose the appeal we would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and hopefully Share could stay out and free during that wait. If we lose there then Share would have to go to prison camp for women for probably 16 months.
With the major issues we’re advocating and fighting for all this time taken away from trial it leaves us with little choice. To keep the important Rights going we need to appeal and taking the plea deal gives us that reportedly rare opportunity. Maybe the latest Eric Holder Directive issued last Thursday can help at the last minute. I’d love to see the official letter to his prosecutors if anyone can send it to me. In the meantime … thanks to you for every positive thought, word and action of kindness and support in our direction. More news as it develops. In the meantime …
All the very best to everyone!
P.S. Do you know about the elixir of vitality? Supposedly the healthiest drink on Earth? Grind-up a small, raw, SEEDED Cannabis flower top ‘bud’ with whole milk, strain-out the pulp and drink the green milk fresh. To your best health! See LEAF on YouTube.com for more.
—–R, Jeri on 9/19/2013 10:21 AM wrote:
Are you still allowed to have a religious defense? I understand that your relig defense is not enough to quash your trial due to the judge saying that there is too much evidence agaisnt it put out by the prosecutors. But if the judge is inclined to give estoppel due to having been told by feds..they told you what they did based on you outlining that you were using cannabis as a sacrament in a relig. So it seems there is a reason for a relig defense. So are you denied a relig defense or not? Other ministers want to know