VIDEO: Hilo marijuana ministry open after federal raid

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Hilo, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan

THC Ministry founder and director Roger Christie seems to be doing OK after a recent run in with federal agents at his home and downtown Hilo cannabis sanctuary.

On Thursday, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald broke the news that the well known Hilo landmark had been raided by feds with the assistance of local Hawaii police. According to reporter John Burnett, the Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Muehleck said that no one had yet been arrested or charged in connection with the raid, but Muehleck provided no details.

In the above interview, conducted inside the THC Ministry a few days after the incident, Christie confirms the information, and also confirms that raids were conducted on other Hawaii residents’ homes. The common denominater, Christie said, appeared to be connections to the THC Ministry.

Christie also believes the investigation is geared more towards financial and tax issues than the use of marijuana.

Christie says he sees this as the latest challenge in his quest to fully legitimize the ministry, which provides what its members refer to as the sacrament of cannabis. He believes the United States Constitution protects the religious use of marijuana. The THC Ministry has been in operation for years, and has until now seemed to exist legally in the eyes of state and local authorities. Christie points to his state issued license to officiate wedding ceremonies in Hawaii.

The raid comes as the Hawaii legislature considers allowing medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill, which has already passed through the state Senate, would levy a $30 per ounce tax on medical marijuana, and would bring raise an estimated $50 million per year for the financially ailing state. Other laws being considered by the state would eliminate criminal penalties for marijuana possession, and allow medical marijuana patients to have more plants and ounces of the herb.

At the same time, a Clear Creek County Court in Colorado convicted a THC Ministry member of a misdemeanor possession of marijuana a few days prior. Christie says Trevor Douglas, the defendant who tried argue that the marijuana was for religious needs, joined the ministry only after his run in with the law. There is a Colorado chapter of the THC Ministry. Christie says he believes the raid and the Colorado court conviction are not related.

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  1. Thank you Big Island Video News for the timely report from Rev. Roger Christie. It was great to see and hear Roger was respected during the raid. I would like to know about the others, who were also raided, Roger had a meeting with them.
    The article in the local newspaper mentioned the Cannabis Compassion Dispensaries that where moving through the Big Square Building, but a typo put Implementation at 2112. I have been tracking the marijuana madness for many years while living on Kaua’i and that is where I learned about Roger. Four years ago I moved to Hilo to help The Hawai’i Cannabis Ministry located in The Moses Building, I was happy to be able to rent a small office in the back. So, for four years I watched the ministry support the need for the religious sacrament and it’s true history. I went about researching and making hemp art. I made 2 websites mosesinhaled.org and suppressionofgoddessandcannabis.org. I made a Temple with many Goddess of Cannabis Shrines of various sizes. I have moved out and into a house. Now, my main website is growinghempdebate.biz.
    The Motto Question Is: Should We Grow Hemp To Save Our Economy or To Save Our Souls ? This website has many pages because it is all my projects in progress. I am the also the outreach for “The Case for Cannabinoid Research in Hawaii County” and the white paper (draft) was written by C.W. Lucas. Our first copy went to Councilman Greenwell. All of our documents are at hemplocke.wordpress.com This is the next chapter for cannabis’s faulty Schedule I status and its newly recognized medical applications. Thank you, Roger and Peaceful Skies for Prop 1. – The people want the ‘right to privacy’ for marijuana cultivation and use.
    Bless The Buds
    St. Jo B’

  2. Rev. Johnson says:

    Thank you for posting this video my friends.

    Blessings upon you missmemamoses And Rev. Christie. the world needs more good people like you.

    As a fellow Cannabis sacrament minister who has known you for the past two years, Can honestly attest to the upright nature of your integrity that I myself aspire to emulate. Agree totally with the feeling that this could turn out to be an opportunity for growth for this ministry.

    May all the blessings you have given to others be returned to you at this time.

    all the best love and blessings to you!

    Rev. Johnson

  3. Brenda Shoop says:

    It’s truly a relief to hear Roger’s account of the raid. I am proud of the officers involved for being respectful.

    I can see many blessings coming out of this! And Soon!

    Keep up the great work, Roger.

    Your Friend in Christ,
    Brenda Shoop
    Green Earth Ministries

  4. RevK says:

    Its good to know Roger was treated with respect, except being woken up in the wee hours.
    That might have made me mad, too.
    Its definitely a boost to the ministry, especially in light of the unique circumstances.

    I’m not sure what the purpose of the IRS was, since I feel many of their activities are far more illegal then what Roger is doing.
    All I can say is it’s another fine example of the amerikan “disconnect”

    What he has availed to the community through his ministry is unique. The use of Cannabis has been around far longer than we have, back to early civilizations, and used in the preparation of anointing oil around the time of Moses.

    I don’t think one can weight the benefits against the side effects. For every FDA approved drug on the market that proves to be dangerous, this one is consistent in the same effects, with more medical and spiritual properties being discovered every day.

    It would be nice if one of the #1 killers of people (alcohol) would be looked at with more severity regarding the long term effects. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the deaths just in my life time of friends, family etc.

    Its unfortunate to treat a plant, that has so many healing properties with such disregard, while the government can figure out how to profit. You don’t profit from my garden’s tomatoes…why profit from anything one might grow for personal use?

    Thank you Roger for doing your part to make your part of the world a little greener.
    This is not a set back, its a step forward.

    Aloha
    RevK

  5. jsknow says:

    Respect for the Constitution is what’s needed!

    Using Internet Explorer web browser: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/home
    With All Other Browsers: http://jsknow.angelfire.com/index.html

  6. Matthew Wayne says:

    yes its good to see Roger in good spirits about the recent events that have unfolded, and still very proud to be welcomed into his ministry. I look forward to seeing a new level of progression him and his ministry has to offer. Keep standing up for what you believe in.

  7. Hokulani says:

    I commend Reverend Christie on his grace under fire during these raids. I agree that only GODNESS will come out of all of this. The currents of legalization have crested and it is but a short time that WE THE PEOPLE shall prevail. I continue to do my small part in the acceptance of God’s blessed all purpose plant given to us for so many uses.
    Did you know the Bible commands us to “Be JOYFUL in ALL that we do”. God gave us a few substances to help us find our JOY, cannabis being the most sacred of these.
    A hundred years from now, I suspect that historians will scratch their watches and wind their okoles trying to make sense out of the stupidities of the world governments and the vilification of a plant with over 25,000 uses. Who can make sense of this? If there is a second coming of the Messiah, will he/she be waving a hemp plant at mankind and admonishing us for being so dimwitted?

  8. REV. THOMAS JOHN TAYLOR says:

    As A Medical and Religious Practioner I Stand With The THC-Ministry and Roger for the past 2 Decades when I was involved with the Hemp Store in Pahoa and Kawaihai as an Artist. Over The Holidays Roger Allowed Me An Exhibit, In The Moses Building downstairs, and supported me in the Commission of 1 Image and the Purchase of another. He is My Largest Patron on The Big Island Hawaii and supplies me with Sacrament That along with Annointing Oil to alleviate the Constant Pain I have Lived with Since 1991, when I was injured in an industrial accident and recieved 100% Disability Rating from 2 Military Boards of Review. Thank You Roger and the THC-Ministry Staff for you kindness and Generosity. You Are The Frontline Of Intelligence and Sponsers of Religious Freedom in this World. Let Freedom prevail. GOD BLESS YOU AND PROTECT YOU.

  9. I sincerely join you all in prayers and anticipation of greater respect and acknowledgement of our GOD GIVEN right to enjoy our HOLY SACRAMENT in the privacy of our own homes and churches. As we are taught in the HOLY BIBLE, we are to be faithful and joyful in all circumstances. NEVER have I seen a better example of this in living than my spiritual leader Rev. Roger Christie of Hilo. Hawaii’s THC MInistry. In my experiences for many years now, Roger has always conducted himself as a sincere, religious teacher and friend. His faith and encouragement helped get me thru some diffficult times in my life.

    THANK YOU ROGER! I sent you $250 last evening and I am praying others will join me in not only prayer support but financial gifts to help you as you work to continue to earn respect for our human, civil and religious rights as we continue to honor others who think and worship differently than we.

    Blessings and opportunity surrounds us! Let us give what we can and know all is well.

    Rev. Stephen ‘HAHA’ Hunt

    Genesis 1:29 Ezekiel 34:25&29, Rev. 22:2

  10. Shalom and Namaste!

    Great to hear all is well with you Brother! Lord be with you… I pray that all shall continue to go well with you Mr. Christie! Keep up the good fight of faith. — Keshet Israel <

    Shaman Priest and Chairman of
    The Entheogenic Reformation Church
    IamJehovah@yahoo.com
    http://www.zionstation.com

    P.S.

    Anyone wanting to volunteer time to helping me recreate the website please contact me! :)

  11. Reid says:

    It’s an unfortunate thing to happen, but I do think things will be better in the long run because of all of this. I was also found guilty in Colorado and I was not a member of the THC Ministry when I was first arrested. This never came up in my court trial. In fact the judge insinuated that I would have won if I had given the proper statute numbers. Who knows but it seemed I lost because of technicality. For me it isn’t so important whether you win in court or not. It’s that you are standing up for what you believe in.

  12. Reverend Lauren Unruh says:

    Dear Roger,

    I think my email to you may have triggered these raids. I am a political activist and they do their illegal spying on me regularly.

    We met years ago in San Francisco at a NORML conference. I went to the conference purposely for the religious ceremony because I wanted to meet you and be anointed in your church. You had a terrific white suit and hat and I had my girl scout jacket. You might remember me, someone took our picture together.

    The other day I had been blogging all day (like I usually do) and I found an enthusiastic young person of such positive vibe and industry, that I thought she might want to do church paperwork with me to start a new congregation. I know we need three to handle the accounting and I am having a hard time finding just the right people to work with in my community.

    I mentioned to her that I just realized that we could do it online. (I have been working very hard to grow our church and I teach by example. I also didn’t intend on actually collecting money, I just wanted to get the tax ID and teach everyone how to do it.)

    So I offered her the job – on line!

    Huffington Post, she is “shutterbug” and I am “KindOne”, some pot story. I talked about tax issues, the THC Ministry, constitutional law, etc. I lost my nerve and didn’t check back what she said, yet, but I think you got raided. I am kind of good at pushing the envelop of their paranoia. I am sorry about the fall-out in your direction, hearing about it even gives me PTSD, so I was very relieved to see you facing it with such strength, good humor and resolve.

    I also blog regularly in AlterNet under the handle “Sister Lauren”. You might remember my email from March 10, here it is again,

    Dear Roger,

    From this Jim Wallis story,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-wallis/biblical-social-justice-a_b_493875.html

    ” Glenn Beck says Christians should leave churches that use the word “social justice.” He says social justice is a code word for communism and Nazism.

    But since the Catholic Church, the Black Churches, the Mainline Protestant churches, more and more Evangelical and Pentecostal churches including Hispanic and Asian-American congregations all consider social justice central to biblical faith, Glenn Beck is telling all those Christians to leave their churches. Of course, Christians may disagree about what social justice means in our current political context — and that conversation is an important one — but the Bible is clear: from the Mosaic law of Jubilee, to the Hebrew prophets, to Jesus Christ, social justice is an integral part of God’s plan for humanity. ”

    My question is, is it all right with you to claim we too are in favor of “social justice?” I sure thought so, but I’d like you to weigh in on the subject as our church elder. I think it gives our church credibility for it’s ministers to weigh in on moral and religious topics from time to time. Thanks,

    Reverend Lauren Unruh
    THC Ministry
    Pleasant Hill, CA

  13. kimberly says:

    These neanderthalls want us to believe that they have the right to criminalize us while they destroy us and OUR youth with OUR monies! FIRE your public servants ! They represent their corporate bosses NOT the American People! Mccain is trying to put yet another law in calling AMERICANs with dissent “terrorists”??? Whom is really the terrorists? mccain and his campsign for world freedom group started by another retired war monger sold weapons to Iran in the 1980s to fund their death squad/nazi collaberator agendas! DISGUSTING is what OUR government is! Lets ALL ask Obama for grants to bus all americans to DC to abolish OUR Un-American public servants whom HATE youth when we the people PAY them to protect us and our rights and freedoms and our children’s and what do they do? Pass laws for the highest payer! OUR laws. Like Christians have tax free status and use that money to pay OUR reps to destroy American families! mean while the CIA has been bringing horrible , bad drugs into OUR youth’s hands for how long? In Arizona ( the model for the US prison industrial complex) A terrorist attack and in AZ they put tax payers in prison for YEARS for a UA! They want all american rights stripped from OUR youth the freaks!!!!

  14. kimberly says:

    Oh and lets NOT forget Mccain and co are UN-American!

  15. Daryl Scott "The Dangerous One" says:

    Watching the local evening news stations that evening the reporter was speaking about the great strides that were being made in the State Capitol for the Medical Cannabis laws that have been stagnant for 10 years, it looked like Hawaii was finally getting it together to really help the patients.
    After all the good news, without even a breath, the news guys went into the story on the Feds raid on the THC Ministry in Hilo. It’s like they planned on raining on our parade. I’ve known Roger for years & have nothing but the highest respect for him & what he does to make this world a better place for all of us, & shining the light so brightly on the dark deception of propaganda & fear. I would have been pissed if they did what they did to Roger, but as you can see, Rodger takes the high road, & turns lemons into lemonade. My respect deepens.
    I wanted to clarify something I just learned about as I see in “missmemamoses” comment that “there was a typo in the newspaper for the implementation of the Cannabis Compassion Dispensaries that where moving through the Big Square Building(must be talking about the State Capitol, if I’m correct) won’t take effect until 2112″. Actually that wasn’t a typo, it’s the way they write laws in the House & Senate. They put a date a hundred years later than the date today, so that until it passes all the hurdles it has to pass before it becomes law, it can’t be accidentally perceived to be a law that’s on the books now. So hopefully that sheds some light on why the date is 2112 & not 2012. It’s done on purpose for that reason. I learned that recently since I’ve been actively involved in helping to change Hawaii’s Cannabis laws for the better, and encourage you to do the same since your support is needed now as these new laws are moving through the various committees in the State Capitol, your testimony can & will make a difference. Two of the bills that are making their way through the halls of the lawmakers are SB2213 and SB2141. Now is the time!, not next year, now!
    Back to Roger & the Ministry, I believe Roger will come out of this better & stronger. He’s been fighting for our rights for years & is up there with the great fighters for cannabis like Marc Emery, Dennis Peron, Ed Rosenthal, & Jack Herer. Roger has done great work with all the fine folks who are part of the Blue Sky Alliance & have won a major victory for the Big Island through the vote, now the cops need to fall in-line & follow the law, not ignore that part of our democracy, “the People have spoken”. We need to support Roger as much as he’ll allow, as he’d do the same for you. Keep him & the ministry in you prayers, as you’re in his.
    Daryl Scott “The Dangerous One”
    Mana’o Radio 91.5 FM
    Sat. Nites 8PM- Midnite
    Streaming world-wide 24/7 @
    http://www.manaoradio.com

  16. Gina K says:

    Excellent video. May the Ministry prevail.

    It was wrong of them to disutub people in their sleep, when COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY.
    SO WRONG.

    Also, as someone with a MUM card, and someone who is ALSO a THC Ministry member, it is frustrating to think that these agencies actually expect ‘records’ of donations from church members. Members do not want to risk arrest, and the ministry protects our anonymity!

    I believe that the State needs to FINALLY realize the ABSURD waste of taxpayers money on NOT legalizing marijuana – for those over age 17, an age when the brain is no longer overly sensitize to the drug. There should also be legal blood levels established, just like alcohol, IMHO.

    STATE RUN DISPENSARIES will give taxpayers money to use for our public EDUCATION system!!!
    That is where ALL proceeds should go.

    This is the 21st century, ‘for God’s sake!’
    WE ALL need to speak up…

    The majority of those aged 30 and younger believe in legalization.
    It is ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.

    Let’s do it NOW…,Hawaii,
    and set a great example of how a state can get out from under the recession debt,
    and truly move forward, in a sane manner!

  17. Karen Yukie Yamada says:

    See politicalpoidog-blogspot.com about my experience as a terror crime victim
    survivor of wire/drug terror. Maui groups advocating for medical marijuana have
    not been able to differentiate the different agendas with this issue. Some are
    clearly medical patients, others lunatic addicts, some enterprising professionals
    who see $150.00/visit bonuses for increased patient flow, others are wanting to
    maximize profits on farm land, and some are looking to control the taxed revenue
    from dispensaries with “well-positioned” individuals.

    If medical marijuana is to be legitimate, the public needs to know the history of
    how it came to be used and dispensed by physicians in other states for specific
    medical needs.

    Those who want to legalize the weed entirely have an uphill battle with the way
    all drug trafficking groups have been linked on Maui.

    Yukie Yamada

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