Imprisoned Religious Cannabis Minister Roger Christie Responds To NORML

Roger Christie is a minister and founder of the THC Ministry in Hawaii, a church that provided cannabis to its members as a religious sacrament for 10 years until it was raided this year by the DEA. Christie was arrest and charged with possession and sale of marijuana with 13 others on Hawaii’s Big Island and denied bail.

Head activists from the marijuana legalization group NORML, Allen St. Pierre and “Radical” Russ Belville, have published recent articles (here and here) critical of Christie and the judicial battle for the religious and spiritual use of cannabis in US courts – one article referring to the fight for recognition as “a fool’s errand”.

Activist and cannabis historian Chris Bennett wrote this response to what he felt was an unfair treatment of Christie and uninformed swipe at those fighting for religious and spiritual cannabis freedoms.

Cannabis Culture has been in contact with Christie from behind bars and presents his response:

1.) Why I live and breathe and work and fight for sacramental Cannabis is because it’s MY TRUTH. My truth leads me to my actions in this big and important part of my life. I knew the risk of being public with my sacramental use. I remain steadfast in my personal and professional spiritual/religious convictions.

2.) a. I’m not a “self-styled Minister”, I was trained and lived as a Practitioner in Religious Science for six years. Then I joined the Religion of Jesus Church in Hawai’i, a church that has multiple stipulations from Hawaii State courts as being “bona fide” where its members were “sincere in their use of marijuana as a sacrament”. Hawaii v. Shields, and Hawaii v. Adler, etc.

b. After being a member of the Religion of Jesus Church for seven years I was ordained as a Minister to further the mission and the teachings. I created the THC Ministry as a non-demoninational organization according to my evolving personal spirituality.

c. My ordainment was legal enough for the State of Hawaii to license me for life specifically as a “Cannabis sacrament” Minister to perform the marriage ceremony. It’s the first such designation in the USA that I’m aware of, and that state recognition effectively legitimized my ordainment and my mission.

d. As a Minister I perform legal weddings, conduct baptisms, funerals, and offer counseling and communion fellowship with members. Try performing a funeral for three hundred people in a large family ohana in Hawai’i and then tell me you’re not a real Minister.

3.) a. I sought recognition (Declaratory Relief and Permanent Injunction) in the US Federal Courts in 2004 when I told them in writing that I operated a therapeutic Cannabis Ministry requiring large amounts of Cannabis in order to make the holy anointing oil and tinctures, etc. I didn’t ask their permission, as the Creator gave me the right to do this. I asked that they respect my Ministry rights according to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the law. They let me operate for over four happy years after that constructive notice with zero investigation on their part.

b. I feel I’m in a better position now because I’m not asking for anything from the prohibitionist US government except a fair trial with a jury of my peers to decide if I’m guilty or innocent of the charges against me beyond a reasonable doubt. Could I win? Of course I could! What would that look like? Immunity from prosecution to operate the THC Ministry.

I’m putting my faith and my life in the hands of the jury system of the USA to nullify the charges against me. See for details.

4.) I only know of one other person in jail in the THC Ministry. This member of ours lost his case because the Judge refused to hear his religious defense. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth was NOT allowed to be heard in that court.

All the best to everyone!
Roger Christie, Founder
THC Ministry

Click here to go to the THC Ministry website

Click here to go to NORML’s website



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  4. Brother Brian on

    I second that.

  5. Brother Brian on

    I second that.

  6. Reverend Unruh on

    Because it would be the honest thing to do.

    Lawyers are supposed to defend their clients, not pass judgement on their nutty religious ideas. The LAW is we have the right to practice our religion, whatever that is, WITHOUT congress or any of it’s arms, telling us we can’t.

    In order for the lawmakers to limit our religion they have to PROVE it is harmful. That has never been done with pot, so they just lie about it.

    Now NORML comes along and says “we have to go along with the lies” and when we ask why, they say we are crazy.

    If they think that is a good legal defense, a proper use of their law degrees, well then I say I see it differently. I see they are for some reason all white and jewish and the folks they are refusing to help, even throwing under the bus are all colored. As in black or red like me.

    I for one have a serious problem with that, and being a witch with a plan I paid in advance. I gave the jew three pieces of silver. I paid my passage. Another jew took my three children and my ruby slippers, we still have not settled, but as far as paying for my people to be free. That debt it paid. That war is won. It is Juneteenth already. Here is the law, the cops need to learn how to follow it. I suggest nailing them with class action law suits to clarify their thinking,

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    That is the law of the land, they need to follow it.

  7. Reverend Unruh on

    The Federal Court is corrupt.

  8. Reverend Unruh on

    The laws prohibiting marijuana are federally unconstitutional because they do not make an exception for religions use.

  9. Rev Unruh on

    I posted a link to this story here in my comment,

    Narcotics officer, a drug suspect, released on bail

    “Contra Costa’s top drug officer made bail” … yeah that’s right our ‘top’ officer was [finally] caught selling stolen drugs from the evidence locker. Like duh.

    I think it has been common knowledge for years.

    What does this say for my chief of police?

    It is a small, small town.

  10. from Puna on

    Unfortunately, the 9th Circuit Court in SF denied Roger bail a fifth time.

    The Feds contend that he is a danger to the community, and no set of conditions can be met that would allow him bail before the trial, which is currently set for April 26, 2011….

    A danger to his community? No, he is a political prisoner…the Feds fear his words and deeds….

  11. Anonymous on

    Why should NORMl take any notice of Jack Herer? – they thought he was crazy.

  12. Anonymous on

    NeverGetBusted, KopBuster and the BarryCam team wants to give a shout out to Roger.

    Sounds like Roger has his stuff together and I bet he convinces the jury he is non-guilty. I’m impressed.

    You are doing your time well Mr. Christie! You are definitely an honorary KopBuster! Peace to you sir from Austin, Texas.

    Barry and Candi and Team

  13. Chris Bennett on

    Jack Herer on the religious use of cannabis and cannabis history (1995)
    Here is what the Founder of the modern hemp and marijuana movement, Jack Herer, had to say about the potential and relevance of the religious history of cannabis in his forward to my own partially co-authored book, Green Gold the Tree of Life: Marijauna in Magic and Religion, and it should be noted that I would say that at this time, this line of research was still in its infancy:
    Twenty three years ago, I began the study of Cannabis sativa, marijuana, as hemp in industry, medicine and religion. One of the big surprises for me was how virtually every religion of the Old World, from early Pantheism to Hinduism; from the Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Esssens; the Jewish, Christian, Moslem, Sufi, Theraputae of Egypt, to the Bantus, Zulas, Hottentots etc. of Africa; all used cannabis/hemp for fiber, food, oil, medicine, and as one of their sacred religious catalysts. For the majority of our ancient ancestors cannabis was the most important sacrament to commune with their gods….
    Hemp drugs were a ritual link with the gods themselves. For example the incense burners of the Jewish temples, filled with cannabis, hash oils, etc., would swing back and forth into parishioners’ faces causing them to perceive things much differently. Hemp as incense was cooked and eaten or heated and smoked.
    Throughout my studies of the religious pasts of marijuana for THE EMPEROR, I wondered how far someone could go in telling the myths and religious use of psychedelic substances, e.g., magic mushrooms, cannabis , blue water lilies, mandrake, etc. Lynn and Judy Osburn (the main editors of THE EMPEROR from 1990 on) and Chris Bennett have done the most important and remarkable job of delving into the history of the sacramental use of cannabis, and proving that indeed virtually all our religions were based on drug induced initiation. To initiate one with cannabis or magic mushrooms was the rite of passage in most sects.
    No one has done a better nor more comprehensive job of proving the importance, indeed the necessity, of cannabis in religion. No where has more scholarship been done to prove that hemp was the number one or two sacrament for the majority of humanity’s religions. Today this knowledge of hemp as a sacrament has been forgotten or censored out of most organized religions. Some ignorant religious leaders even run around saying that cannabis is so bad it must be wiped from the face of the earth…. With the proof of cannabis ingestion as magic in religion… coupled with the comprehensive information about hemp’s 25,000 uses as earth’s number one plant, it won’t be long until millions throw of the yoke of religious repression against the plants of the gods.
    Love Jack Herer, October 30, 1995

  14. Anonymous on


  15. Anonymous on

    two things I wanna comment on. Isn’t a church suppose to be a non profit business? If so, why was THC Ministry charging street prices?

    I also think a plant shouldn’t be controlled by either state or church! I’m an ex-felon myself. Also busted by the federal system too like Roger. One thing I know for sure. Roger Christie is not gonna have his day in court! Feds don’t hang on to you unless they have a better than 95% chance of conviction. Plus, the feds will not allow you mention medical cannabis in their court room, or use it as a defense.

    Speaking of the 14 others busted with Christie. Things must have really changed when I arrested by the feds. Because when I was in, the only drug cases that got bail….turned on the neighborhood! Are these 14 turning in their neighborhood for a chance to go home. Or do you think they will use their “get outta jail cards”, so they can avoid prosecution.

  16. Indigenous on

    The simple truth is in the federal US Code.

    The word is “nondrug”

    It’s there. Look it up

    It deals specifically with the religious use of what is considered a drug, and is used to describe indigenous peoples’ entheogen use, namely Native American Church peyote use.

    The Native American Church is currently appealing a Federal District of Hawaii court’s dismissal of it’s lawsuit to obtain the same right to the NONDRUG use of cannabus as they currently have for the NONDRUG use of peyote.

    So far, every federal religious cannabis case has failed, and the failed churches usually argue “if the indians can use peyote, we should be able to use cannabis”

    This leap of logic ignores the crucial first step, ie, if the Indians can use peyote, why can’t THE INDIANS use cannabis.
    Native Americans are actually afforded special rights, not based on their race, but rather on their political status.

    PLEASE, Tell NORML to give the Native American Church some respect.

    And, sorry, but Roger’s case is done. The Federal Court has already previously ruled that The THC Ministry is not a valid religion and will so rule in Roger’s case. He will be absolutley barred from mentioning cannabis’ religious history, much the same way a defendant is never even allowed to mention the therapeutic qualities of cannabis in Federal Court because of the absurd lie the federal system embraces that cannabis has zero medicinal use.

    He, sadly, is unlikely to taste freedom any time soon, with or without NORML.

  17. Chris Bennett on

    Hi Chris,

    Aloha. Thanks for writing to me that this episode is nearing, or is at an end. Looks like you ended with your integrity intact and made a peace offering. Good on ya.

    For the spiritually-minded I understand that the ultimate war is always the one within. ‘Treating others as we want to be treated’ is one of the oldest, simplist and most effective methods of living in integrity, ending the war within and moving-on in harmony with others like Allen and Rus.

    With love and respect, Roger

  18. Anonymous on

    Does this mean that Hempfest is cancelled?

  19. MOL on

    I think you need to point a finger at the U.S. Gov’t before blaming Norml for “torture and conspiracy”. Your emotion is getting in the way of cognitive thinking. Let’s just all focus on getting this shit legal and stop whining. We all have the right to claim cannabis for ourselves without interference from anyone. Until complete legalization happens none of us will have complete freedom.

  20. Reverend Unruh on

    The Rapture is scheduled for May 12. I suggest we own it.


  21. Reverend Unruh on


  22. Reverend Unruh on

    Because this is a war and it actually has two sides to it.

    On one side are people who want to legalize weed because it is their religion, and on the other side there are lawyers who are making money off of these people’s misery. They have friends who make big money dealing illegal drugs. They have friends who destroy people who get in their way. It is a network.

    Guess what. There is a lot of money to be made in weed.

    If it was recognized as the religious sacrament it is, all the federal laws about it would evaporate, and the price would go way, way down. Like free.

    So we are having an argument about it.

    That is how things are decided in the law. With arguments. The down side for losing this argument for the crooked dudes at NORML is to lose the gravy train they have been riding for 40 years. I don’t think it has occurred to them yet that I am perfectly serious about charging them with torture and conspiracy.

    I think they are still in denial about that.

  23. Reverend Unruh on

    I will NEVER forget being baptized into the THC Ministry; it was as important an event to me as my own wedding or the births of my children. Roger was a Christian minister at that time, but I asked him to baptize me as a Native American. I was honored and pleased to be able to find a church that I could join, trilled to meet him.

    That was at a NORML conference in San Francisco, I think in ’05. I remember meeting Dale Gerringer there and he said, “Oh YOU are kindGSL.”

    I was there for religious ceremony and had my silver blessed by another marijuana minister the day before. I am a real witch, the silver was a gift, and I wanted it blessed for my own future ministry.

    Later I blogged about how inclusive Roger was that he could even welcome a Native American witch like me into his church. A lot of other people were rejecting of my ‘spirituality’, they say it is not a region. I actually never expected to join a church. I thought Girl Scouts was my religion. Girl Scouts make a point of accepting everyone’s religion, and I really liked that. Roger’s is the first church I ever wanted to join.

    I think the fee was just fine, in fact I was just about to send away for it. I think that might even be why he was arrested. I was planning a trip to visit him, as a religious sabbatical. For religious instruction. The feds know all about what I am doing too, they bug my every move. I think they put a chip in my arm and can’t wait to get a scan of my pudenda. to share with their friends.

    I think they are sick, torturing, peeping Toms. That is what I think of them. I have absolutely no intention of giving up any my freedoms to them!

    Thanks for this blog, and Roger’s well wishes.

    I feel a lot better knowing he has support and is alright. I was starting to get really upset about it after I discovered this latest backstabbing move by Russ the destroyer.

    I don’t know about other people, but for me this stuff is terrifying.

  24. Reverend Unruh on

    Thank you.

  25. Reverend Unruh on

    And I also think it is a conspiracy to commit ethnic cleansing – and that the media is in on it. I hope Russ goes to prison for his part in it.

    I just heard yesterday that conspiracy to commit torture carries a 20 year penalty.

    That would be just about right for what these crooks at NORML are doing to us. I was brutally raped and the perp had the law’s strong arm permission. Everyone tells me that I will never see justice.

    I just don’t accept that.

    I think we are fast heading toward judgement day, and our world can either be destroyed by likes of loser Russ, or saved by the rule of law.

  26. Reverend Unruh on

    That you think my religion is up to your approval.

    Or that my constitutional rights need to receive your rubber stamp.

    But what I really find offensive is how you joined in to a conspiracy to deprive my people of those rights, and because of your attitude my Best Friend brutally raped me.

    I have a lot of damages and I plan to sue.

    From my perspective NORML is a group of lawyers who pretend to defend potheads while what they really do is repeatedly throw us under the bus. I call it a conspiracy to commit torture. Would you like to meet some of my homeys in person?

    Because the kind of guys who support me are sick of this shit and some of them are huge.

  27. renney b. on

    this debate is not for the weak hearted, i have been reading for a while now and though a little surprised at what is coming to light i cannot say that i am confused… recreational, medical and spiritual cannabis users debating which path is right in our fight to legalize marijuana; am i getting this right or has the powers that be successfully turned us against each other… i followed the election of prop 19 in california and was also surprised that it did not won and that even on obamas watch cannabis users are still being persecuted… however, i must stick to the point and try to understand, what is this dilemma we are facing in this movement to set free cannabis and the cannabis culture… it seems like the war is really heating up; marc is in jail, roger is in jail, michelle is dead and so many others are being rounded up for babylons captivity of our hearts and minds… when is this madness gonna end; the day must be coming soon as the saying goes ‘it always darkest just before dawn’… so my brothers and sisters in the fight for freedoms cause take heart and be brave for soon and very soon babylon kingdom will fall… let us not fight against each other but fight to secure the peace and love the world needs so badly ; cannabis freedom is long overdue… consider this like the pains of child birth or growing pain, but from what i am seeing redemption time is now… hold on roger and marc freedom is coming for all, peace and love to the worldwide cannabis culture. from; renney b.

  28. Anonymous on

    It was Keith Stroup that ratted out President Jimmy Carter’s aid just as marijuana was set to become legal in 1978. Like he didn’t snort the coke too! If marijuana had become legal then, as now, all those folks at NORML, that make a good living “trying” to get it legal would have to go to work instead of sit in their DC offices and party-hearty at the expense of the members.

  29. Jean Marlowe on

    Cannabis is your right as a human being. Your own body’s endocannabinoid system is working overtime trying to protect your body from toxins in your food, water, air and environment. We need to supplement, supplement, supplement with cannabis.
    Roger is merely showing the respect needed of a sacrament and plant used in the “Holy Anointing Oil”.
    Cannabis is holy and that is why the war wages on in this corrupt world.

  30. Chris Bennett on

    Who needs faith when you have knowledge? “I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.” AC
    The religious experience of 20 years ago that led to my current path
    a little on my cosmology
    on the cannabis apocalypse

  31. Anonymous on

    P.S. Trevor Douglas never sent me any donation. I gifted him with a Cannabis Sanctuary Kit as a token of my appreciation for his sincerity, his courage and his personal ‘mana’ in speaking-out for Cannabis sacrament. A $250. gift – one of many we were happy to bless people with who needed it or deserved it. (Just to help make a complete and accurate record of my activities and motives.)

    God that’s great that I was criticized in High Times! The obvious ‘blessings’ are occuring as you just reported to me. We are safe, we are loved and all is well. And so it is.

    P.S. I’m a spiritual guy because spirituality is ‘practical’ to me. It helps to solve problems like nothing else can do. Forgiveness, confession, making amends, blessing, prayer, redemption, atonement, etc., etc. Great stuff! Can do miracles with it.

    Happy fullmoon!


  32. Anonymous on

    Stop using Einstein to support religion. One of Einstein’s most eagerly quoted remarks is, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” But he was not using it in the sense thiests would like it to be. Einstein also said very clearly later on,

    “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

    Believe in god if you want to, but there is no rational foundation for it. If you are free thinking enough, ask yourself why you believe, and what exactly it is you believe in. Do you believe a religious text (bible, quoran?) Have you actually read it? I suspect you’ll find that you believe because you were taught to believe, or want to believe, not because it makes any sense to believe.

    Faith is the suspension of reason, plain and simple.

  33. Pete on

    Russ, I love your work but you are making a mistake here. Is this really what you think this debate is about?

    I’m disappointed because I feel your comments are coming across as emotional and petty. No one is saying that you have to be religious, just asking that you start helping and stop hurting those who do choose this path.

    I’m a huge supporter of NORML and love your show, but I’m blown away by how childish you sound right now.

  34. Anonymous on

    Why does it matter who got hurt more? If that is your measuring stick, then you are sick. Support NORML & Roger, but let’s get that disclaimer back up on his website like he wants. Then NORML will stop complaining once they feel people are adequately informed of the risks… What is so wrong with that? Nothing.

  35. Chris Bennett on

    I think Russ’ statement that “Supposing that I need to join your “God club” to avoid prison for marijuana use… that’s offensive” is really the core of the issue for him, and likely Allen.
    But, how can I criticize since NORML has now done more than anyone to draw attention to Roger’s plight! I think if we were to do a count on supporters of Christie vs. NORML based on these articles, we would see the numbers rise a little in Christie’s camp and drop a little in NORML’s – this whole debacle has hurt the “Godless” folks at NORML’s credibility in a greater way than it has harmed Roger’s. Go figure!

  36. Chris Bennett on

    Allen and Russ make some valid points among some others I disagree with, and I respect their search for truth.

    Russ is quoting early writing on my website from BEFORE we had any reported negative incidents with our i.d. cards that I knew about. That particular information is not supposed to be on there now as it is false information. We’ve HAD a disclaimer on our website’s homepage from my lawyer Steven Strauss for many years. When we remodeled the site I hired a web guy to do the work and it might have been misplaced? I can’t view the internet so I can’t verify if it is still on there today, or not. (Mike – can you check on this asap, please? Mahalo.) Regardless, I must and I do take responsibility for it. I have offered my personal license number on all of our member’s i.d. cards and plant tags as I felt I had enough state ‘immunity from prosecution’ because of my sincerity, my ordainment in a court-stipulated ‘bona fide’ church, and my lifetime valid license from the State of Hawaii as a “Cannabis sacrament” Minister. I thought all that provided enough ‘reasonable doubt’ in the minds of any jury in the land that heard it. I still feel that way.

    As far as I know, we have had 113 successes with our i.d. cards and Kits ‘under arrest conditions’ reported to us and catalogued in our ‘testimonials’ section. Two new reports of success with our i.d. cards came to me from Ohio just one week ago from our Rev. Nathan Lester.

    1.) Trevor Douglas was NOT a member when he was ticketed for Cannabis. He officially joined us AFTER the incident. I personally know and like Trevor.

    2.) Michael Lineker has his OWN ministry and did NOT present a THC Ministry defense. His arrest began when he was reported to have tapped-into a public electric line for his grow-room power, triggering an investigation and effectively negating the sincerity and truthfulness needed for a ‘religious defense’. I know Michael and I like him and his wife. I found out about the electric matter when I asked him about what triggered his arrest. I wish them well.

    3.) Steven Swallick was a THC Ministry member with Sanctuary Kit who also was reported to have tapped into public electric lines to power his grow room which triggered an investigation and arrest. I don’t know for a fact if this is true, I just heard it reported as true. His Judge refused to allow a ‘religious defense’. I have talked with Steve many times and I like him a lot. I don’t know what officially led to his arrest. Our Ministry method apparently failed in his case, but he was NOT given a fair or honest trial, either. He is the ONLY other THC Ministry member in jail or prison that I am aware of. I wish him well.

    4.) Dan and Mary Quaintence are NOT members of the THC Ministry now or ever. They apparently led a lifestyle that looked insincere to court witnesses as ‘religious’. They failed in their effort to win a ‘religious defense’ for their own Church of Cognizance. I wish them well.

    5.) As far as I recall Bruce and Brenda Shoop were NOT THC Ministry members when they were arrested and did NOT present a THC Ministry defense. I like Brenda and her husband Bruce. I wish them well.

    State v. Blake in Hawaii states that in order to present a ‘religious defense’ to marijuana charges a person must be sincere and legitimate. In my opinion, sincerity comes from good manners, truthfulness and respect. Legitimacy comes from a valid connection with a ‘bona fide’ court-stipulated church or Ministry, and a valid license from a state or federal government authority. I was ordained in a ‘bona fide’ church and have a lifetime license as a “Cannabis sacrament” Minister by the State of Hawaii.

    Robert George Henry became a member four months AFTER his arrest, as Russ mentioned, effectively negating his ‘legitimacy’ as a member of the THC Ministry, and likely invalidating any effective ‘religious defense to prosecution’. I wish him well.

    We have had two successes out of two experiences with baptising newborns (born at home without official birth certificates) and re-uniting them legally with their birth Mothers. Our official baptism paperwork with Ministry seal allowed the Mothers to apply for and receive an official birth certificate from the State for their child. This new-found legitimacy allowed those single Moms to receive state-sponsored benefits like health care and food stamps.

    We’ve also had success in years past with assisting low-income THC Ministry members to stave-off eviction from government-subsidized housing over ‘marijuana charges’. Since 9-11, government policies have changed making this harder, if not impossible to achieve.

    All the very best to everyone,

    Roger Christie, Founder

    THC Ministry

  37. Chris Bennett on

    Chris Bennett

    Nov 21 2010, 12:02 pm
    (released 11/09/10)

    It’s Time 4 Enlightenment!

    As Roger Christie sits behind bars
    on the Hawaiian Islands, the remaining members of
    the Green-14 struggle to draw attention to
    the injustice that could soon happen to us all
    if we don’t fight for our right to take Time 4 Hemp!

    Musical artists featured:

    Oai Starr
    Yusuf Islam

    Click here to listen to or download:

  38. Chris Bennett on

    You mean the same path NORML has been stringing folks along with for 40 years Russ? Well i’m there with you, its a long haul, but i am also a spiritual user of cannabis, and there are laws regarding religious freedom, and i think I am going to take a crack at that, as i feel called to do that, as Roger Christie did, and others before him, and others after… i wish us all success. Lets just try not tear each other down so much anymore in the process.

  39. Chris Bennett on

    you don’t Russ and maybe you can provide an affidavit to the Government against spiritual users of cannabis to really make your case, and take it up a notch from hurting Roger’s and the other 13 members of the THC Minstry’s case by NORML’s calling their church a ‘pot store selling weed’ in the media.

  40. OGK on

    Man I gotta tell you if I was part of NORML which is a toothless organization and then I had attacked another marijuana fighter such as Roger and then got bitch-slapped by a scholar and author who has by himself brought the world news to realize that cannabis is a spiritual and religious sacarament then maybe I would have a little humbleness and STFU or at least apologize. But geeez Russ Belville you still have the dumbassedness to come on here and say stupid crap to people. Like try to learn how to read- nobody said you have to “join a god club” you don’t even understand what religious use means because you don’t understand what Bennets books are about nor do you understand religious freedom. How would you feel Mr. NORML OUTREACH PUFFED UP EGO if you were in federal prison for growing weed and some lame-o who is supposed to be against marijuana prohibition is slamming you? You boys at NORML have always been pompass and blowhardy, but this is gettin ridiculous. Look at how you are. You are siding with the pigs against a dude who grew weed and helped people on the islands and is now a political prisoner. I would say that for those of us who love freedom, you are ABNORML and on the wrong side The only good thing to come out of this is that NORML will lose a lot of donations

  41. Russ Belville on

    Supposing that I need to join your “God club” to avoid prison for marijuana use… that’s offensive.

  42. Russ Belville on

    The defenders of THC Ministry want to turn this in to a “NORML hates religion” game and that’s not at all what I have ever written. My two objections have always been:

    1) Selling people a Get Out Of Jail Free Card with the guarantee their religious use argument would lead to “Zero arrest. Zero court. Zero jail. All good. We have had a total of ZERO negative experiences.” is a fraud on cannabis consumers.

    2) The courts are never going to decide there is a religious right to use cannabis because then there would suddenly be 26 million newly religious people in America.

    The logical reason to mention all this is to convince religious adherents that their best path to full realization of cannabis liberty is to broaden their scope to include atheists like me. Though now I suppose many of them do want to see me in prison.

  43. Chris Bennett on

    Good Saturday morning, Chris,

    Aloha. Thanks for what you’re writing on the blogs. I’ve seen some of it, and hear it’s another great opportunity to educate the choir to be able to sing this song.

    An idea; Keith Stroup, and Rick Cusick, Publisher of High Times, were arrested TOGETHER for ‘public use of marijuana’ at the Boston Commons Hemp Rally a few years back; 2004, 2005. I heard they were arrested, charged and chose to fight their cases in court. Here’s Keith, leader of a lawyer’s group for just this subject getting to put his legal skills and the support of ALL his lawyer associates, to the test! My point is; please use Lexus/Nexus or other legal system and look-up, or have a lawyer friend with access, look-up Keith’s personal legal defense of his use of ‘marijuana’. It’s a court record and I’m feeling that it’s going to really help this particular argument. If nothing else, it will be a template for a “recreational use” defense in court that he should be GIVING to ALL his members on his website in stead of having each defendant pay over and over and over again to lawyers for the very same thing. That should be worth the price of admission! :-} Massachusetts v. Stroup?

    What hasn’t been mentioned, yet is the fact that my Ministry was designed so that each member had MY state Ministry license number on ALL their i.d. cards, plant-tags, etc. My point was that if any member got arrested anywhere that those plants identified in advance with my tags and my license number were MY plants! That I would be brought into the case and help to win it. Further evidence of my sincerity and strength of conviction that I was supporting each and every member all the way 24/7/365.

    THC Ministry membership provides ‘assurance’ and ‘insurance’. Assurance that a new member with a Cannabis Sanctuary Kit would be educated into this vast knowledge of and association with the millions spiritual users from all time, including the saints. Insurance that they would enjoy a built-in religious ‘defense to prosecution’ for the rest of their lives 24/7/365 as we provided templates of Motions for a Religious Defense used in court saving thousands of dollars of lawyer time. Virtually all Cannabis users, with the exception of medical, have ZERO defense! They don’t know what to effectively say or do if confronted by law enforcement, or their family, for that matter. “I smoke recreationally”? Good luck. We provided solid education of what to say and do, backed by my willingness to testify in their favor in court. All for the value of one hour’s lawyer time, $250. Membership was free to low budget people who asked for it. We built ‘mana’, inner spiritual strength, inside each member so they can give cogent answers to family, friends and law enforcers, if necessary for the rest of their lives. What’s that worth? Priceless, in my opinion.

    Have fun with that and have a terrific weekend. Full moon? Must be nice.

    All the best to you!

    Roger aka, “One of the happiest guys in federal prison.”


  44. David Carlson on

    Lets deal with the facts, ok? Keith Stroup, NORML’s founder, narked out President Carter’s drug advisor because he was angry at him and Carter, and because of that Carter, who was going to legalize marijuana federally, changed his mind and did not legalize it. Now you tell me, Jack, how that fits in with your comments because I too have read High in America and Stroup admits what he did. The guys who run NORML are arrogant twits and everybody who has met them knows that. They have not in 40 years achieved much of anything other than their lawyer affiliates have made bank off of all the people arrested, and they go on tv and act like they are realll important, They suck just like MPP sucks and they are DC insiders who are corrupt and dumb just like most of the DC lobbyists. NORML has had nothing to do with why medical cannabis is legal. Roger Christie’s religious argument is about the entheogenic aspects of marijuana, it is not about whether you believe in “God” or not. The fact that Saint Peeaire and the other NORML fatheads have to diss the man while he is in prison shows you who NORML is. Get real dude. Chris Bennett and Roger Christie have done a hell of a lot more for cannabis legalization that Stroup and NORML ever have.

  45. Avraam Jack Dectis on

    Einstein thought that the existence of G-d was obvious.

    Most people do not seem to consider him weak minded.

  46. Avraam Jack Dectis on

    Keith Stroup, NORML’s founder, founded the first marijuana legalization group in the world in 1970 and has been fighting to get marijuana legalized since then. He does not suck.

    NORML has been fighting for marijuana legalization when it was really illegal everywhere. They do not suck.

    Washington DC, on the other hand …..

  47. Chris Bennett on

    That is it in a nutshell Ben. Now they have opened up a whole new can of worms, and from the comments in their articles, obvioulsly offended a lot of people who should be supporters. It was strategically a bad move, and offensive.

  48. Chris Bennett on

    You mean no exceptions like the medical marijuana exemptions that have been the only real victory of the cannabis reform movement? LMAO. You clearly miss the point, freedom of religion laws exist, and exemptions have been granted for substances banned by the CSA. Nationwide decrimilzation or legalization, requires the whole country vote with a positive outcome on the matter. Do you really think that is going to happen durring Obama’s watch? or anytime soon? NORML has been “trying” for 40 years…. But, again, as i stated, the laws regarding Freedom of Religion, already exist, in the US Constitution and the Canadian Charter, and exemptions have been granted for substances banned by the CSA. Your secularist views that “religion shouldn’t have any influence in the law” are simply your own “pipe dream” as religious views clearly already have an effect on the law.
    Religious users like Roger and I do not see a victory in our cases as the end of the road, and we are also working for the total liberation of the Tree of Life.

  49. Ben Masel on

    It’s understandable that NORML’s national office does not want to devote their energy to a strategy they see as unlikely to be productive, but there’s NO logical reason to go out of their way pick this fight.

    Ben Masel, VP Wisconsin NORML

  50. Reverend SAM on

    NOTICE: FOLLOW THE FEBRUARY 7, 2011 G13 JUDGMENT RELEASE ON FACEBOOK!/event.php?eid=121373607919535

    The Tree of Life is the biblical name of Marijuana, Cannabis, Hemp, Chanvre, etc. and Reverend Christie has maintained contact with the Church of the Universe over the years via

    In 1979 I attended NORML’s Conference in Washington D.C. and heard Hugh Heffner’s daughter who was representing Playboy Magazine tell everyone how useless and what a waste of time they were and that Playboy was pulling all support.

    I never attended a more useless event and found that NORML Canada to be just as useless, headed and started by Lawyer Clayton Ruby and others like him some 31 year later and nothing has changed and not one lawyer anywhere has done a thing. Sort of like the defence of Brother Marc Emery, Lawyers charged big and in the end, nothing!

    All the beast to you in Hawaii and to you Brother Marc … we hope and pray for your release back to Canada, notwithstanding our spineless leaders.

    All one can do is plead not guilty and as scarry as it seems don’t use a lawyer and please watch the Church/Reverend Strysky G13 Mission Trial and Judgment to be released in Totonro on February 7th, 2011.
    FOLLOW IT ON FACEBOOK!/event.php?eid=121373607919535

    Be well and prosper.

  51. Jayelle Farmer on

    While I respect the stand of Roger Christie, i have to agree with the 2 articles by Allen St. Pierre and “Radical” Russ Belville. The Campaign for cannabis legalization has always been an issue of civil rights – spiritual use, medical use, whatever use are means of USE – we need a level playing field across the board for ALL cannabis users – with no exceptions.

    It is unfair that one sector of the cannabis community can be legal through a card, yet non-card holders continue to be sent to prison. We need to campaign for equal civil rights for ALL cannabis users, and not just get comfy by having a card. If we continue with this “comfy” attitude by doing this, then MMJ law may remain the only law for cannabis, maybe forever.

    It is unfair to trap cannabis in the medicine cabinet when probably the majority of cannabis users in this world are so-called “recreational” users. I will personally campaign for equality for all cannabis users until this objective is achieved by regulated law.

  52. Anonymous on

    for not wanting to support such a wacko argument. I’m sorry, but religion is comfort for the weak-minded. NORML is trying to effect real change in our laws. Let this guy work his ridiculous fight to legalize cannabis through worship, but don’t put your faith in this type of thing for fixing American’s cannabis prohibition problems.

    This guy will do time in prison. He probably got away with it for so long because Hawaii law enforcement had better things to do than focus on his little THC ministry.

  53. Anonymous on

    I saw through NORML a long time ago and stopped giving them my money or having any faith in them. It’s a vicious thing to do to slag a man who is in federal prison for marijuana. MORML is as corrupt and dumb as most other political orgs in Babylon, also know as Washington, DC. They are egoheaded twits who write bullshit and profit off prohibition. Read the book High in America and you will see that their founder was a nark who screwed us out of getting marijuana decriminalized at the federal level. Boycott NORML. They suck. Victory for Roger Christie!!