Judge: Cannabis Minister’s Religion Protected Under RFRA

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On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi ruled that imprisoned Cannabis Minister, Rev. Roger Christie, can present a religious defense at trial.

The court ruled as a matter of law that Christie’s religion is legitimate, his belief is sincere, and that the government’s action was a substantial burden on the legitimate exercise of his religion.

The ruling establishes that the prosecution must now prove at a hearing that Christie’s arrest and incarceration was the least restrictive means of upholding the law — and that the federal government had a compelling interest in prosecuting him.

The Court has yet to rule on Christie’s recent RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) motion. If she grants the motion, the case against Christie will be dismissed. If she does not grant the motion, Christie will still be able to present a religious defense at trial as to the element of the intent to distribute.

Christie has been held in detention without bail at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center since his arrest by federal authorities on July 8, 2010. He is charged with distributing marijuana to his parishioners.

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3 Responses to “Judge: Cannabis Minister’s Religion Protected Under RFRA”

  1. Vicki
    on Aug 5th, 2013
    @ 8:00 am

    The case of Roger Christie will go down in history as one of the most egregious abrogations of a citizen’s Constitutional rights – ever. Murderers, rapists, psychopaths, even cannibals roam free on bail while the Reverend of a Church sits in a dungeon for the crime of seeking God with the help of the herb that He placed here to take care of most of our needs.

    Cannabis nourishes our bodies and our souls, clothes us, inspires ideas and provides the paper to write them on, inspires music and the joy to dance to it, can be used as fuel, and is the most potent medicine available that can cure cancer and a myriad other ills, with no toxic side effects. No one has ever died from taking it.

    Yet, these agents of our Federal Government whom we pay with our hard-earned tax dollars to keep us safe, have seen fit to deny him his Constitutional rights – the very rights that define us as a nation. The rights that once set this nation apart from those such as North Korea or China.

    I ask you, who presents the greatest threat to our safety? Roger, or these misguided agents?

  2. Thomas John Taylor
    on Aug 15th, 2013
    @ 5:19 pm

    Aloha Brother, I send the power of Prayer and know this Evil that condones the imprisonment of anyone because of God’s Holy Smoke is almost defeated by The Truth. Keep Up The Good Fight, you are the Brave Heart. I continue to Paint and remember The Ministry and its Help in my Pain Relief whereas The Gov’t Veterans Administration sends Morphine and Oxy every month to my door in an attempt to cause My Demise because of My Real Self Medication is Illegal, “PUNA BUTTER”. Hemp Oil could become the best alternative to carbon based fuel. SET MY BROTHER FREE!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jonathan Kemp
    on Aug 25th, 2013
    @ 12:08 am

    Aloha Roger et al,

    Let’s thank Judge Leslie Kobayashi for her Charity in opening the legal door to Faith with Hope that we will liberate the Holy Sacrament of my Man, the 1st body surfer, Jesus, the Christ , 1st to walk on water!

    Bless and protect Leslie and Roger and all body surfers, in His Name, Amen!

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