Will Hawaii Marijuana Minister’s Case Go to Trial?

by Staff on July 14, 2011

Founder of The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry, Roger Christie, has been held in Honolulu federal prison without bail for over a year on charges related to marijuana possession and distribution.  Three federal judges claim that Christie – Reverend of THC Ministry and one of Hawaii’s strongest advocates of medical marijuana – is a “danger to society”.  So while infamous bank and bankruptcy fraudster Sukamto Sia was granted “release with conditions” by federal Judge Alan Ezra, and thousands of federal prisoners convicted of cocaine crimes are now eligible for release, Christie remains behind bars.

But Christie and his attorney, First Assistant Federal Defender Alexander Silvert, are standing their ground.  In spite of the fact that some of the Hawaii marijuana growers being charged have already pleaded guilty and several of Christie’s co-defendants are also believed to be considering plea agreements, Christie maintains that he is innocent and protected under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA), as he argues that in his case, marijuana is used as a religious sacrament.  In fact, he believed so strongly that he was protected under RFRA, he operated as a cannabis minister openly in Hilo for 10 years.

It is this openness that may be cited to prevent some of the prosecutor’s alleged evidence into the trial.  Leading up to Christie’s arrest in 2010, federal agents collected information via wiretaps.  But wiretaps, Silvert explained in a recent interview with Honolulu Weekly, are only allowed when they are deemed necessary.  In other words, all other means of collecting information must first be exhausted before wiretaps are employed.  And an open storefront was quite literally an open door to information, rendering the wiretaps unnecessary and as such, potentially preventing them from being used during the upcoming trial.

Even if the information collected via wiretaps is allowed, Silvert believes Christie’s case has the potential to be dismissed entirely, based on the dated misclassification of marijuana.  Marijuana is currently classified as a “Schedule I” controlled substance, which inappropriately puts it in the same category with much more dangerous drugs like heroin, LSD and PCP.  If the drug code is revisited and marijuana were properly reclassified based on scientific evidence of marijuana’s safe and efficient medical uses, Silvert may argue, Christie’s case wouldn’t be a case at all.

If the marijuana minister’s is thrown out and cannabis is finally reclassified under the drug code, could Christie’s case be, as he describes it, the “last marijuana trial”?  Set to go to trial in October, the case is indeed poised to have a significant impact on the future of medical marijuana laws here in Hawaii and across the country.

{ 1 trackback }

Hawaii Medical Marijuana Laws
July 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

DayTripper July 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm

So Rev. Christie’s defense plan is to challenge not one but two Federal laws?? That’s why Pakalolo means “wacky tabacky”. He’ll be an old man by the time the Supreme Court rejects his appeals….

Staff July 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Aloha DayTripper,

Christie’s attorney is considering filing two separate motions: one to prevent the information taken from the wiretaps from being brought into the trial and another to dismiss the case based on the alleged misclassification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance. It will be interesting to see how the case unfolds.

Rcverend rebaT Illumanati July 29, 2011 at 8:52 am

Aloha Day Tripper and All the Corrupted Officials working for the State and Fed in Honolulu, Kahului, Hilo –

Well, its obvious that they have absolutely no Case against Roger. They are certain to lose and that is why I am sure they would probably start water boarding him or something, if it wasn’t for the fact that every single human being he has touched in his lifetime, knows how compassionate he is about his religion, God, and helping people be blessed by the benefits of this wonderful and natural medicine which is definately misclassified. We are watching this case, and watching to make sure no human rights are violated any further than the current state of illegal imprisonment. I recall during the onset of his incarceration that they main Fed-Head stated “we are going to Hold him until they could Gather the rest of their evidence” – What a Crock of Lies… – there is no way you can prove to anyone that Roger Christie is a Danger to the community or society, he is the most humble, honest and incredibly open and compassionate person I know, much like Jesus would be if he were alive today.

I can’t wait to see the lawsuit Roger files against the State of Hawaii. And then when he wins the Election for Mayor of Hilo, that will be great, another reason they are locking him up, people love him so much, they would vote for him for sure if he actually had just a bit more publicity and cash to drive his campaign.

And lets not forget whey the Feds have no problem keeping him locked up while they let go of all the real criminals, murders etc.. He is the only person I know of that has had an honorable discharge after being a conciensious objector to Vietnam. Hmmm… Why would the Federal Government grant that kind of honor to a objector of what we know was a bogus war – could it be he knows 1st hand why and how the Aids Virus was being distributed during that “Conflict” – Could it be he has been working with Professors who can prove that is true based on scientific fact and research… Could this completely collaborates his story… I think so…, he has got more on the Feds than anyone knows, but now you know.

Staff August 1, 2011 at 9:58 am

Aloha Rcverend rebaT,

As is often the case, there are many sides to every story. It will indeed be interesting to see how Christie’s case unfolds, as it may set precedent for future medical marijuana cases (or no more medical marijuana cases, as Christie has stated).

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: