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Hawaii island minister to ask for release in marijuana case

By Associated Press


The lawyer representing the founder of Hawaii Cannabis Ministry will ask a federal judge today to release his client to a halfway house.

A federal magistrate judge in June ordered Roger Christie to remain behind bars without bail until his trial on marijuana charges. He has been held in prison since July 2010.

Court-appointed attorney Thomas Otake says he's appealing that decision to a sitting federal judge. Otake is expected to request Christie be released on bond to a halfway house during a hearing this afternoon before Judge Leslie Kobayashi.

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.

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sailfish1 wrote:
It's been over 2 years now since he was arrested - why does it take so long before he is tried in court?
on August 7,2012 | 06:49AM
jomama wrote:
"major dent in BI marijuana trade"? Why do I doubt it!
on August 7,2012 | 06:52AM
bluebowl wrote:
Doesn't somebody else take over his business if he isn't out of jail.Who is benefiting from his imprisonment?
on August 7,2012 | 07:15AM
kainalu wrote:
Purely political imprisonment. You would have expected this in the deep south 100-years ago, but not in the new millineum Hawaii. The judge is incompetent by my view, if not straight up criminal.
on August 7,2012 | 07:29AM
Macadamiamac wrote:
What happened to the speedy trial guarantee in the Constitution? The same thing that happened to "no search without probable cause and a warrant..." ?
on August 7,2012 | 09:03AM
Teri_Heede wrote:
This is horrific. That is okay though...it will help keep patients, caregivers and small growers intimidated and fearful. I don't believe that law enforcement wants this to go to trial EVER because someone will put up a chart with the dollars expended to lock up and prosecute Roger against the SUPPOSED benefit of...what again?? what did you stop from happening?? I think that this may be a hard sell to the general public. Maybe that is why they don't want to let him out and talk story, eh?
on August 7,2012 | 09:45AM
Kapakahi wrote:
This is an abuse of the judicial system. Roger Christie has unusual ideas, but the prosecutors are upset because he was openly providing marijuana to people who wanted it for "religious" purposes and wouldn't stop. They are using per-trial detention as punishment for his refusal to conform to their dumb laws.

Shame on the B.I. prosecutors. But shame also on the judge for allowing this abuse to continue. Let us remember the judge's name, Leslie Kobayashi. Unfortunately, as a federal judge, she is more immune to local discontent.

on August 7,2012 | 10:49AM
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