Church Member Files Writ of Habeas Corpus for Jailed Cannabis Minister

Roger Christie
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Roger Christie

HILO–A member of the The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry in Hilo has filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of his pastor, Rev. Roger Christie, who has been held by the federal government as a pre-trial detainee for over 3 years.

Mike Ruggles, 56, a resident of Mountain View on the Big Island, filed the petition with the United States District Court in Honolulu on July 23, 2013.


Rev. Christie was arrested by federal authorities on July 8, 2010, charged with distributing marijuana to members of his congregation.He has been held without bail at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center for over 36 months.

“Roger was a pillar of the community and he is sorely missed at this time,” said Ruggles. “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.”

Christie founded his Cannabis Ministry in the early 2000s. The Ministry operated openly on the second floor of the historic Moses building in downtown Hilo, right across from Hilo Bay.

Federal authorities conducted an extensive investigation of the Ministry beginning in 2008.

Rev. Christie will argue for his right to base his defense on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act at a hearing scheduled for July 29th at 10:30 a.m. and July 30 at 10:00 a.m. in the Honolulu Federal Building Courtroom of U.S. District Judge Kobayashi.

“Our country was founded on religious freedom,” said Ruggles. “The government wants to shut down his religion. Whose religion is next?”


Submitted by Mike Ruggles. Reach him at






  1. He should not be serving time for marijuana, No one should serve time for marijuana. This is just the feds wasting tax payer money again. And that is all this is.

  2. The members of the Fascist Party and the Collaborationist Party in government have suspended (among others) the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. In Hawaii, it would seem they have been particularly flagrant in abrogating civil rights. Rev. Christie should be freed forthwith and Judge Kobayashi and U.S. Attorney Michael Kawahara removed from office.

  3. Let me see if I get this straight. A man is in jail for making available something that has been used for religious ceremonies for thousands of years. Should you be jailed for something that kills cancer cells, fights MRSA infections, stops Alzeimher's from developing, and useful for PTSD and Multiple Sclerosis. It is marketed all over the world as Sativex by GW Pharm who grows it, extracts out the active ingredients, and puts it into an inhaler. Why is all that ok but not what Roger does? Is it just politics and money. . Corporate protection but stick it to the small guy! Is that what America is all about? Let a little science play into our thinking.. change for what is good for man.. stagnant thinking needs to be thrown out!

  4. "Rev. Roger Christie . . . has been held by the federal government as a pre-trial detainee for over 3 years."

    So much for his right to a speedy trial.

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