|Photo: The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry|
|Roger Christie of THC Ministry is “a danger to the community.” That is, if you believe federal prosecutors.|
A Hawaii-based marijuana minister who has for years been preaching the good news about ganja is now under federal indictment, and agents on Friday managed to persuade a federal judge that he is somehow “too dangerous” to be allowed out on bail.
Roger Christie, the founder of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry (THC Ministry), has been ordered held without bail after the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested him, along with 13 current or former employees and growers, on July 8.
Christie and the others are charged with marijuana trafficking offenses related to their alleged distribution of marijuana as a sacrament at the ministry, reports Stop The Drug War.
Christie had already been raided by the DEA in March, with agents “seizing” cash and marijuana, but not arresting him at that time.
Federal agents claim that after that raid, Christie continued his marijuana distribution at the ministry. He and the others were secretly indicted last month.
Christie had originally been ordered held without bail, at federal prosecutors’ request, as ordered by federal Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang. The minister and his public defender, Matthew Winter, last week filed a motion seeking his release, citing the nonviolent nature of his offenses, Christie’s longstanding ties with the community, his lack of a criminal record, and his willingness to abstain from marijuana use or distribution pending trial.
A federal pre-trial sentencing report also agreed that Christie should be freed on bail.
But prosecutors hit back with a 46-page memorandum in opposition. Claiming that Christie started back distributing marijuana after the March raids, prosecutors said that made him “a danger to the community and… no conditions/combination of conditions could assure the safety of the community.”
U.S. District Court Judge Alan Kay on Friday agreed with prosecutors.
Christie will now be held behind bars without bail until trial, because the gentle, pot-smoking minister is obviously “too dangerous” to walk around as a free man.