Church Member Demands Trial for Cannabis Minister Detained Over 3 Years, Date Scheduled
Reverend Roger Christie has been detained for more than 3 years without a trial, under federal charges of distributing marijuana to members of his congregation. Arrested July 8, 2010, he has been held without bail as a pre-trial detainee in Honolulu Federal Detention Center for over 36 months. Finally, thanks to a member of his congregation, he has a hearing scheduled.
Mike Ruggles filed a petition of Habeas Corpus with the United States District Court in Honolulu on July 23, 2013, demanding that Rev. Christie be given a court date. “Roger was a pillar of the community and he is sorely missed”, Ruggles said, speaking on the Reverend’s absence. Rev. Christie operated the The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry, founding it in the early 2000s. “Since Roger has been gone, meth use and violent crime has gotten worse, not better. Roger’s influence on the community was more effective than 50 cops on the street.”
A hearing date has now been scheduled – July 29th at 10:30 a.m. and July 30 at 10:00 a.m. – where Reverend Christie intends to present his defense based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The hearing will take place in the Honolulu Federal Building Courtroom of U.S. District Judge Kobayashi, where THC Ministry could potentially regain their pastor.