Christie's marijuana plea strategy

SUBHEAD: Roger Christie, founder of The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry enters a plea on marijuana.

By John Burnett on 28 September 2013 for Hawaii Tribune -
(http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/pot-preacher-pleads-guilty.html)


Image above: Roger and Share Christie before his three year incarceration without bail. From (http://files.hawaiinewsdaily.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/rogershare.jpg).

The founder of a Hilo ministry that openly promoted marijuana use as a sacrament pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to possession of almost 300 pot plants but reserved the right to appeal his case based on religious grounds.

Roger Christie, who founded The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry entered a plea to one count of conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess marijuana and two counts of failing to file tax returns, for the years 2008 and 2009.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 22 at 2:45 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi, and Roger Christie faces up to 20 years imprisonment on the marijuana charge, with a mandatory minimum term of five years. The maximum term of imprisonment on each tax offense is one year.

As part of the plea deal, Christie will forfeit his Wainaku apartment and $21,494 confiscated by the feds during a raid in 2010. Other marijuana-related charges were dropped in return for the plea.

Christie’s wife, Sherryanne “Share” Christie, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess marijuana. Share Christie, who appeared in court holding a white purse adorned with an embroidered marijuana leaf, also reserved the right to appeal her case on religious grounds. She could receive up to 20 years in prison.

“Roger and Share are not giving up their fight today. They’re simply taking their fight to a higher court,” said lawyer Thomas Otake, who represents Roger Christie.

His client decided to plead guilty, Otake said, after Kobayashi ruled against allowing a defense based on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which allows certain Native American religions to use the hallucinogens peyote and ayahuasca as sacraments.

Otake said the ruling put the Christies at a disadvantage and they decided to take the case to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Federal sentencing guidelines could allow Roger Christie to be released from custody in about six months, with credit for more than three years he has served while being held without bail, Otake said.

Share Christie, 62, has been free on bail since 2010, when federal agents arrested the couple and 12 other people. She’ll remain free on bail while she appeals. She and her lawyer, Lynn Panagakos, left court without commenting.

The charges stemmed in part from wiretaps on Christie’s business and personal telephones, as well as the searches of his home and safe deposit box.

Federal authorities said they seized 3,000 plants with a retail value of $4.8 million during raids on the Christies and their co-defendants three years ago. They also said they recovered nine firearms.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kawahara, said there was little religion in Roger Christie’s ministry.

“We believe, and from the undercover wiretapping investigation that we did in this case, that the religious idea is merely a front that camouflaged a long-term marijuana trafficking operation,” Kawahara said.

Under Christie’s “express” orientation to the ministry, started in 2009, new members just showed their ID card, paid the full donation price for marijuana, then walked off with their “sacrament,” he said.

Otake said Kawahara’s claim contradicted the judge’s ruling, which he said accepted the church as a legitimate ministry but stated that the government had a compelling interest in regulating it.

Roger Christie’s cause has received national attention, with marijuana advocates saying his pretrial detention without bail was unconstitutional. Some called him a political prisoner in the feds’ “war on drugs.”

During Christie’s incarceration, voters in Colorado, where Christie was born, and Washington, have passed initiatives legalizing adult personal use of marijuana.
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1 comment :

  1. You can never win their court. It’s RIGGED! Justice can only be found in the People’s Common Law Grand Jury!
    http://nationallibertyalliance.org/site/contact.html
    “The Constitution is a common-law document, as is the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta,”
    Once established, common-law grand juries may investigate, and then hand over a presentment to the local sheriff, Altman said. “They take it to the district attorney, and the district attorney is then supposed to follow through and take the case to court,”
    A de jure common-law grand jury acts independently of prosecutors in its investigations. It has subpoena power and can bring what is called a presentment to a prosecutor, as referenced in the Fifth Amendment.

    http://nationallibertyalliance.org/judicial/common/law.html

    http://nationallibertyalliance.org/jurist/docs/FORM%20A%20GRAND%20JURY.pdf
    FORM A GRAND JURY – HOW TO GET STARTED!

    http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/pvcright.htm People’s rights vs citizen’s rights

    Here’s a possible scenario for the Christie’s freedom: they could do a pro per (*)counterclaim (only Plaintiffs can prevail) and demand to be heard by People’s Common Law Grand Jury (Court of Records) of their peers (**). In Common Law, if there is no corpus delicti (injury/damage), there is no crime. It’s that simple.

    The other option: keep getting a BAR attorney who doesn’t represent the clients (*) and continue to contract with the Admiralty/Maritime/Statutory jurisdiction whose codes/statutes DON’T apply to sovereigns; pay extortion fees and fines; go to jail.

    *(2009) Corpus Juris Secundum (C.J.S.) legal encyclopedia, volume 7, section 4 for the answer: – An attorney’s first priority is to the courts and the public, not the client. As a client, you are considered a “ward” to the court. A ward is anyone who is considered as an infant or as an adult who is NOT of sound mind or intelligence.”

    **If 100+ people register to be Common Law Jurists, 25 would be selected to hear their case (http://nationallibertyalliance.org/pages/registration.html)

    http://nationallibertyalliance.org/pages/private.html
    Step by Step instructions on how to establish and run a Common Law Grand Jury in your County.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia “court decided that Warren was not entitled to remedy at the bar despite the demonstrable abuse and ineptitude on the part of the police because no special relationship existed. The court stated that official police personnel and the government employing them owe no duty to victims of criminal acts and thus are not liable for a failure to provide adequate police protection”

    http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/ra-oath.shtml hold public officials to their Oaths of Office

    Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55pjFKalOVc What?! “Sovereign Man” walks out of court, scares off the judge?!?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50cB5yhKR98
    The Big Plantation – Full – The UNITED STATES is a Corporation PROOF

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