In late November 2000, Church of the Universe Reverend Michael (Tarzan) Ethier of Sturgeon Falls, Ontario was found guilty of possession of cannabis, possession for the purposes of trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia, and breaching the conditions of his probation. He was charged after police found that he had sent medical marijuana to the Church of the Universe’s head mission in Hamilton, Ontario.
In court, Ethier’s lawyer argued that the search warrant had the wrong address written on it and was illegal. The prosecution countered that although the address was incorrect, it was the same address given on Ethier’s identification. The judge ruled that although the address was wrong it was “as correct as possible” given the circumstances, and that the warrant was valid.
Although Ethier remains in jail on a seven month sentence, he has fired his lawyer and is mounting a prisoner’s appeal with the help of the Church’s Tetrahedron High Council, Reverends Michael Baldasaro and Walter Tucker. The prisoner appeal is a process by which those in jail can act as their own counsel, request probation and file an appeal without cost. Ethier is expected to be out of jail in two or three weeks.