HONOLULU — The founder and director of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry and 13 associates are facing federal marijuana charges. Federal authorities told a news conference Friday that Roger Christie led a major marijuana growing, processing and distribution ring. Christie says he uses marijuana as a sacrament. But authorities say neither his ministry nor state medical marijuana laws protect him from federal prosecution. Federal officials seized 3,000 plants, with a retail value of $4.8 million. Four Big island residences are facing forfeiture. The defendants were arrested Thursday and flown to Honolulu. Authorities say six were released on bond. Christie and seven others remain in custody pending detention hearings next week.
Source: The Associated Press. 9th July 2010