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Hawaii island marijuana minister again denied bond

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:46 p.m. HST, Jun 5, 2012


The founder of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry will remain behind bars until his trial on federal marijuana charges.

A federal court judge in Honolulu on Tuesday denied a defense request that Roger Christie be released on bond to a halfway house. 

Federal prosecutors allege the Hilo resident led a major cannabis growing, processing and distribution ring. Authorities contend his 2010 arrest put a major dent in the Big Island's marijuana trade.

Defense attorney Thomas Otake says he's disappointed but plans to appeal. He says Christie's nearly two years of incarceration means that's how long the ministry has been shut down and how long his client has been free of marijuana use.

He argues that makes his client not a danger.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment. 

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