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Supreme Court rejects Hawaii church’s appeal over marijuana laws


    A man holds a marijuana bud before smoking it.

WASHINGTON >> The Supreme Court won’t take up an appeal from a Native American church in Hawaii that wants to be exempt from federal marijuana laws.

The justice let stand today a lower court ruling that said laws banning the possession and distribution of cannabis don’t interfere with church members’ right to exercise their religion.

The OklevuehaNative American Church of Hawaii filed a lawsuit in 2009 asking for relief from marijuana laws under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The church’s leader claims his members use marijuana during sweat lodge ceremonies to help regain their relationship with their creator.

A district court ruled that the church didn’t produce enough evidence about its religion other than a strong belief in the benefits of marijuana. A federal appeals court upheld that ruling.

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  • This outfit is not native Hawaiian or Hawaiian. It is a mainland transplant seeking to exploit the vast and highly lucrative local pot trade. It is not a Native American group and the leader claims he is a Native American but the whole thing is a fabrication floated on a cloud of hot pot smoke.

    • true. But it is wrong to condemn this group for being “unHawaiian.” This is the 50th state. We welcome all groups from anywhere. Hawaiians have no special claim for special treatment. This kind of entitlement and identity thinking has been a curse of Hawaiians for decades.

      • allie…why are you still here, bashing the kanaka maolis, shouldn’t you be at Standing Rock, standing with your people? or are they shunning you. Go back to South Dakota and make yourself useful with your own people.

  • So much nicer than seeing a picture of a politician on the home page. Good morning, Mr. Bud, apparently there is not enough evidence to prove you or your religion are real. And the evidence for Scientology? Sic-fi novels written by L. Ron Hubbard? Shows that the word is mightier than the bud.

    • Because they said, “Native Americans” not Native Hawaiians, and the native Hawaiians are called, kanaka mauolis. However, some pothead kanakas are probably members, because you do not need to be “Native American” to be a member. You should check out their facebook page. whoo hoo

      • Native Hawaiians are not indigenous hon. They invaded the Marquesans who were here hundreds of years before the Hawaiians illegally invaded and butchered and enslaved the Marquesans. Hawaiians are indigenous to Tahiti. Check any standard anthropology of Hawaii to verify.

        • allie..go back to South Dakota, hon…they need you there at Standing Rock, we don’t need you here bashing us. bye

  • Don’t worry Native church…the blessing of good timing is on your side. With the entire west coast legal/recreational, it is only a matter of time before Hawaii follows suit. Hawaii is a good follower.

  • Using cannabis to talk to a higher power, maybe even becoming a better human. Great religion for them. Use the Justice department to go after real evils, jeez.

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