• 14 Jul 2010 /  feature, news, politics 61 Comments

    (Editor’s note:  A version of this story appeared in the July 14, 2010 edition of the Big Island Weekly.)

    The indictment and arrests of 14 people said to be associated with The Hawaii Cannabis (THC) Ministry were met with mixed reactions from those in the marijuana community who believe the first amendment right ensuring freedom of religion extends to marijuana.

    While there were 14 people arrested, the public’s focus seems to be largely focused on Roger Christie and his ministry, which boasts, “We use cannabis religiously, and you can too.”

    The Rev. Dennis Shields, of The Religion of Jesus Church, ordained Christie as a “cannabis sacrament” minister in June of 2000. Today he views Christie as a “Jimmy Swaggart type,” referring to the former televangelist who was involved in a high-profile 1988 sex scandal, or an Elmer Gantry, the false prophet described in Sinclair Lewis’ 1920s satirical novel.

    Is he persuasive enough to make people drink the Kool-Aid? “Near that,” Shields said, referring to the late Jim Jones, founder and leader of the People’s Temple, and the one responsible for more than 900 Temple members perishing in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. “I don’t think he has much of a moral compass,” Shields said of Christie.

    “(Christie’s) schmoozey and suave and hits on women,” Shields described, adding his disapproval that Christie uses language he came up with for his own Religion of Jesus Church to sell “sanctuary kits” over the Internet for between $50 to $250. Shields noted the U.S. Postal Service is involved in the federally-led investigation for the fact that sanctuary kits were sold to mainland residents over the Internet.

    Shields himself was involved in four years of legal drama regarding the religious use of marijuana. He noted he has been “convicted of my convictions,” spending $25,000 to defend himself for a misdemeanor charge related to nine ounces of “oldey-moldy pot I neglected to throw away.” He ultimately received a suspended nine-year jail sentence and a year of probation for the misdemeanor.

    “I feel for those going, ‘Oh my God, this is a fascist state, this is a police state.’ But two wrongs don’t make a right,” Shields said. “On the one hand, the government’s wrong. On the other hand, you cannot hide behind a religion falsely, creating a wrong to correct the other wrong.”

    Meanwhile, the Rev. Nancy Harris, of Sacred Truth Mission, is in the throes of being prosecuted in state court for one count of commercial promotion of a detrimental drug and two counts of paraphernalia, and she is using the religious use of marijuana defense.

    She has called for Shields and all of those who believe in the religious use of marijuana to “band together, not bicker among ourselves.”

    “This is an example of a government machine (prohibition) that has gone berserk, and is mowing down the citizens. Even if cannabis were dangerous, it would have to be very dangerous indeed that we would prioritize its prohibition over our freedoms.”

    Posted by Tiffany Edwards Hunt @ 9:14 pm

    Tags: , , , ,

61 Responses

  • PF Says:

    I’m really too tired to get this. Shields is Konagold?
    judge ye not for ye shall be judged?

    minister? really of the who’s a what’s gezues? dunno
    but yea sounds like Swaggert vs. Jim Baker,
    try aloha

  • Jeff Brown Says:

    Greetings in the name of the Most High Rastafari
    It is a historical fact that many different religions have utilized cannabis as a spirtual sacrament over thousands of years. I wrote Marijuana and the Bible which goes into this in some detail. Google Marijuana and the Bible. Cannabis is a Godly creation from the beginning of the world and has been used as a healing herb,spiritual intensifier, food, clothing, paper, lamp oil etc. By far the most benefical plant on the planet.

  • Jeff Brown Says:

    Blessed are the peacemakers for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Those of make war against cannabis are not of that Kingdom and are intent on keeping the status quo going.

  • Darren Says:

    Truly a …puff-piece if ever there was.

    Significant constitutional rights at question; cannabis and its apparent threat upon the Fed’s social engineering agenda vs. community self-determination, and we hear one guy’s assessment of Christie’s personality? And are we to take it on faith that the Rev. Shields is of the more righteous type?

    Maybe it sells ads and all, but it’s really quite beneath the legal issues being weighed here, no?

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Darren, consider me your very own puff to pounce on and criticize. I’d love to see you attempt some journalism and write a piece that presents BOTH sides. Know that my task wasn’t to present an opinion as is so GENEROUSLY given here on a regular basis — largely from those who do not want to provide real names or last names. The story behind the story is that it was difficult to find ANYONE to speak on the record and be willing to provide their first and last name. I got what I could, and I planted a seed so people would reach out to me and tell their story when they are willing and able.

    Just out of curiosity for those in the know: when did Roger’s ministry ALlEGEDLY transition to what I surmise was a dispensary?
    A decade ago he was infusing Grand Marnier with marijuana, making little tinctures.


  • Darren Says:

    Tiff, as always its nice to know that journalistic observations are welcome here. Sorry if my comments appeared as cutting or what not. Sort of hard to not riff on “puff”-piece when reading a post like this. To be sure, I should have gone with “less relevant” rather than “beneath”. But really nothing personal, you know — more about writing and public discourse and such.

    Keep up the good work and write it like it wants to written!

    Darren Schmidt

  • Tom Burnett Says:


    “Significant constitutional rights at question; cannabis and its apparent threat upon the Fed’s social engineering agenda vs. community self-determination.”

    That sounds suspiciously familiar. What, exactly, is the fed’s ‘social engineering agenda?’ Does it include equal rights for gays for instance?

    “Maybe it sells ads and all, but it’s really quite beneath the legal issues being weighed here, no?”

    Well, maybe. What legal issues ARE being weighed here?

    I’d think that instead of concentrating on Roger Christie, everyone should work on getting James Weatherford elected. That seems like a better means to an end. And then get someone else with an open mind elected and get these silly laws revoked.

    Someone please fact-check me. Hemp has many more potentially beneficial products than cotton, but hemp is illegal because some people like to smoke it. I can see hemp cloth becoming a huge industry here, but no.

    Tobacco, which is DIRECTLY responsible for millions of deaths a year and Billions in medical care isn’t illegal in private places but an adult who smokes tobacco in a private vehicle containing a minor is committing a crime.

    Mongoose are illegal to own, but rats aren’t. One cannot buy ducks from the mainland for coqui eradication because they are considered to be ‘game’ birds…so people shoot Nene instead. If I had a pond I’d rather have ducks. They are about a thousand times smarter than chickens and quieter. Geese are like big, quacky pit-bulls.

    Shooting a feral pig rooting up your garden at night is ‘illegal hunting’.

    Giving gay couples who already live together the right to share insurance benefits would destroy the moral fabric of the state.

    Why not just pass a county resolution which says nature isn’t illegal. Since the police department is employed by the county, they can be told not to work with federal agencies. Without HPD manpower, there will be no federal actions of any sort, period. The DEA doesn’t have the manpower. They will just leave.

  • PF Says:

    Observation, I believe the defense from Shields/Gold was something like ‘it was just 8 moldy ounces I forgot about”…

    like 3,584 grams?
    @ $10 a gram? $35k? funny math?
    or if sold by oz. @ 400. $3.2k
    what a stash to be able to “forget” about 8 ozs. LOL

  • Dave Smith Says:

    I guess this is as good a place as any to note that there has been low-flying helicopter surveillance going on for at least the past two days in Orchidland.

    A dark gray (too dark to observe any numbering), fairly heavyduty, rotorless-boom chopper has been doing low circles around my neighborhood, including some just now over the lot behind ours at certainly no more than 250 feet above the ground. Yesterday afternoon it was doing the same thing on the other side of our road.

    I work from home and find this intrusion extremely distracting and a major nuisance. It’s so low and loud it’s also driving our dogs nuts.

    It doesn’t look military, but I’m not up on that. Perhaps the DEA has a new chopper on the island?

  • Kim Jordan Says:

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I believe the “hemp” used for rope and cloth is not the same plant as that which “pot” is harvested from. Related, but not the same.
    I remember hearing an arguement against legalizing “Hemp” …. you could hide “pot plants” in with the “hemp” plants.
    Just curiosity.
    Both should be decriminalized.
    Otherwise, someone might get caught growing and hiding “hemp” in their pot patch!
    Seriously though … with the ‘problems’ understanding the low priority, this could actually become one of those “I’s” someone forgot to cross!
    Just saying…..

  • Thomas Says:

    Dave that is the DEA helicopter and we have a some good video and pictures being put on disk. They have been around all week and were here in early july as well. We are in contact with the ACLU and others about this if you have photos let me know. Also you should contact the Mayors office they seemed interested here is the contact persons e-mail. “Bobby Command”

    That goes for anyone else as well try to get photos or video and try to get the buildings in the shot as ACLU is most concerned about flights over homes.


  • Thomas Says:

    the e-mail didn’t show up here it is again….

    Bobby Command….rcommand@co.hawaii.us

  • PF Says:

    Kim you really should read up more on hemp/cannabis/pot and why NO, you would not hide your buds in with hemp to be cross pollinated and made useless as medicine, as in no THC content.

    And you did catch what Tom said. THC can be bought from Long’s in Keaau legally. So the whole this plant vs that plant is all foggy delay. Indica/Sativa/hemp/fibers/oils/seeds all of it is a gold mine the gov. doesn’t want to share and lies to keep it to theirselves under all kinds of names.

    Thanks to the internet people are getting the truth and not the TV propaganda/Good Morning Amerisheeple.

    Here’s a good site for information, un biased they’re Canadian. THC Toranto Hemp Company


  • Tom Burnett Says:

    The second helicopter based on this island is a black McDonnell-Douglas 622 twin NOTAR. It has been on ops in the Orchidland area for a couple of days.

    The DEA is legal to fly under 1000’AGL on ops.

    I don’t believe the government distinguishes between hemp and the THC-producing varietal. More’s the pity. We could develop an industry that made clothing that doesn’t rot instead of going from sugar to poor.

  • PF Says:

    Right that Tom, and I could drive my truck for FREE on hemp oil. Burn hemp oil instead of natural gas and I already use it for oil painting. Long list of uses.

    And a true story*, a hemp shirt soaked in oil kept my engine in my truck from blowing up during the Keaau Lights Parade a few years ago. My “then” mechanic left it under the intake manifold to help prevent rust until we got the headers on, etc. when we came back to it, he had forgot about it. It rode in that spot for 5 years keeping oil, like a sponge, on top of the block. Keeping more oil up there, that would normally drain down to the oil pan.

    When the radiator ran dry during the parade, with an infant on board, the oil soaked hemp shirt kept that motor running all the way back to HPP. We rebuilt the top and found the shirt, with the leaf buttons still on it. I still have it. Gonna frame it.

    This island “could” be a green model for the country, the planet. It’s unique in that we have a growing climate that is perfect for hemp 365 days a year. We could supply our own fuel, our own electric for the island for free. Export Medical Meds globally. Hello,
    we do happen to be in Puna arguably one of the best locations in the world. Like Napa is to a grape?

    Why is it like I said before??????????

    “…. You can have a prescription for synthetic THC, Marinol/(Dronabinol-generic)
    And evidently $$$$ value for DRUG companies, a month prescription is $3456.94 or a plant. Roger wasn’t makin that much. Want to talk about crooks? Try Watson Pharma Inc.

    since 1985…….yet there is another story behind this….

    BUT IT’S A SCHEDULE 1 DRUG BECAUSE IT HAS NO MEDICAL VALUE???? Right all those little baby plant of Roger’s had no medical value but pumps up the plant count. Serious over kill.


    You want to see a picture of a real drug lord? try 12.5 Billion, CEO of Abbot Laboratories, Parent co. of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, maker of Marinol/ Dronabinol.


    Yep patents are held by DRUG COMPANIES for a compound THC found naturally in Cannabis, What A DRUG DEAL!
    What a coubtry!
    WELL WTF IS IT? yes or no? WE KNOW, THE GOVERNMENT LIE$$$$$ Drug Companies won the drug war.”

    WE should be able to be self reliant if we choose.
    Do we HAVE to keep that OIL RIG stuck in our consumer veins?

    Drug companies are making BILLIONS, read the links.

    “Like minds” ain’t enough of them, (sigh) :(

  • Kim Jordan Says:

    Not my ideas … just an excuse I heard used in an arguement against the right to grow hemp for rope and cloth. But, don’t let it get around …. those helicopters might start dropping hemp seeds as they fly over our houses!

  • Brian Jordan Says:

    Tiffany stay objective. That why I admire you. Some people just don’t want to hear anything they disagree with. My problems have been adolescent use and the violation of our 4th Amendment rights. What is considered overlook since by Hawaii State Law we own our air space. I would hardly call a helicopter at 75 ft a normal overlook platform. Also if plants are hidden in with other plants This is violation of Federal Law “Cumbridge” has been a part of a mans castle since English common law. So while I believe in privacy. I don’t believe in endangering young minds. Which I’m sure will cause the usual everyone should smok no matter what age. So much for Socrates and all things in moderation. So much for adults watching out for our youth. Poor Hillary she’ll be crushedd when she finds out The whole village doesn’t give a rats ass about raising our children.

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    @Kim: He wasn’t pointing at you. :-)

    @PF: ‘Like minds’. I am not PRO pot; I don’t advocate it. I am simply against it being illegal because the entire premise of banning things is stupid and I hate stupid. That falls under a friend of mine’s definition of ‘like minds’. Yours too, apparently.

    If pot didn’t exist I wouldn’t know the difference, but as I get older and I have more pains…(and trust me, I don’t like taking Vicodin for pain every day) – if I ever quit doing the things which require drug screening…and if I ever stop carrying a firearm…I’d try some to see if it helped. I wouldn’t smoke it. I don’t like smoking. But the leaves ought to be edible. But if if DID help, I would plant a couple of plants and not worry about it.

    The marijuana, which is prescribed for pain and nausea is natural and Vicodin is some chemical crap. But I can buy Vicodin for five years for what it would cost for one ounce of pakololo.

    The fiber is useful and the oil…Ok, now I remember I have HEARD of hemp oil, but I sort of equate oil to olives. I wouldn’t know where the oil came from in hemp.

    I have never seen anyone who used pot and was violent and I have been around the block. Alcohol, ICE, PCP…I have seen people get crazy. One was crazy enough to stand 12 feet from me, shoot at me five times and miss five times. Meth.

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    “Some people just don’t want to hear anything they disagree with.”

    LALALALALALALA! I can’t hear you!

    Airspace in the US controlled. The states may own the air, but they have nothing to say about the airspace.

    If a helicopter is at 77’AGL over my property, it had better be performing an emergency autorotation. I accept that as necessary. Otherwise, just like everyone else, he better have called me first or I will have PTSD moment.

  • PF Says:

    Tom, you know I know you don’t advocate it, yet. because eventually a smart person realizes all aspects of a given and reassess. That too can change. You know I know stuff I ain’t sharing, but the reality of it is every ‘Victory’ garden, will need to grow herb and hemp. Now I have a few pains myself, I can tell you the THC is nicer to your liver than those Vic’s. Or other pharma narcs.
    I have scripts for both. At certain times they each have their specific uses.

    For a country’s government to prohibit by law it’s citizens to obtain and use medicine is ludicrous.

    True Story: A few months ago I quit COLD TURKEY, Lorazapam, for sleep. 1st it was 1 5mg per night.
    Then 2. after a couple years 3. Couldn’t sleep without them. Hooked the Pharma got me.

    Then I help a friend with a project and they paid me in butter. Yep the Puna Butter. So I made cookies.
    I didn’t take my 3 pills that night and instead had a few cookies before bed. Slept like a baby. Woke up with NO grogginess, nothing adverse whatsoever.

    The following night again cookies, no pills, the following night cookies not pharmaceutical DRUGS.
    Now I need nothing and sleep fine. Although this blog has put me to sleep a couple nights.

    Pot is Safer than so many other legal substances it’s ridiculous.


    Here’s what some women have to say about it.
    Women’s Marijuana Movement

    Aloha Nui Loa

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    @PF: It’s funny you should mention that. I take Lorazepam for sleep. It’s supposed to stay in your system only a few hours, but that hasn’t been my experience. It is also SUPPOSED to be a fairly light-duty drug, but I am a researcher and it is pretty nasty stuff. I take a much lower dosage than you started with but I still feel like it is making me stupid. (OK, MORE stupid.)

    I don’t know what Puna Butter is.

    I am not opposed to drug testing by employers. Even if drugs were legalized, if I were an employer, I would make darn sure to drug test because what you do on MY time and with MY equipment is my business. That seems perfectly reasonable. What seems unreasonable is the concept of banning things in the first place – which only has the effect of making people want to try them. “Just say no” and “abstinence” are two of the biggest jokes in the country.

    I do know that my part-time job at Kam School requires random drug testing but it only grosses me about $1,200 dollars a YEAR and I suspect that my job is going to disappear entirely next year because of budgetary constraints. I think budgetary constraints have already hit the drug-testing program. I have been there almost seven years and I have never been tested, although I volunteer all the time.

  • PF Says:

    @Tom, you should try Marinol over the Lorazapam, for sure. Natural is better, butter, lol but! THC is better than opiates for sleeping anyway. Not as good for pain as if you were gonna stich a wound tho. :(

    All drugs have their place/use and with regulation they’re a little harder to be gotten by kids. How many adults lock up their medicine cabinets?

    (Editor’s note below)

    For the record, I have zero interest in pharmaceuticals, and I drink chamomile tea, spritz my pillow with lavendar oil, and read before bed.

  • PF Says:

    Yes Tif and you’re 30 years younger.
    Sleep is quite easy to have when you are young.
    I used to be able to sleep for 12 hours.
    Lucky to get 6 consecutive hours now.

    I’m sure Tom is up at odd hours and all hours if those Lorazapam pills are missed. But getting through the night up and down all the time makes for a lousy next day.

    I wish chamonile tea and lavendar, melatonin or other mild sleep aids worked but when you have sleep impairments that cause depravation, trust me you will look for that which lets you sleep through the night.

    Good thing is you can reprogram your body as I did with the natural way. Us older folks need glasses too reading isn’t so fun as it used to be.

    And Tif, I’m sure the diaper patrol all throught the night keeps you tired, so CAN’T see how you’d have a hard time falling and staying asleep. 😉

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    For the record, a lot of us have no interest in pharmaceuticals. I spent an extended combat tour in the Nam and a career as a Forensic scientist looking at what sick, sadistic bastards will do to other humans if they get the chance.

    You can get the basic idea by looking at any forensic profiling textbook but even those are edited and do not convey the stench or the roiling of maggots in a ripe body. “Criminal Profiling” by Brent Turvey is an industry standard. I still have a first edition in storage.

    It’s not a matter of being interested in pharmaceuticals. It’s a matter of remaining sane in an insane world; of being able to sleep without waking up screaming because you know they are still out there and you know what they are doing to someone, somewhere, but you can’t catch them; and of making those things disappear for a few hours that you don’t want to remember but always will.

    And of all the things I saw, I could never take myself out of the scene like Pathologists must do because profilers have to be ‘present’ at the crime in order to understand the criminal.

    PTSD doesn’t begin to describe it. That said, there is no excuse for not being able to deal with it one way or another. If Chamomile tea and a lavender spritz do it for you, that’s what you need. It may not work for everyone.

  • Brian Jordan Says:

    Tom I’m agree with you I don’t want a helicopter over my property either. These Helicopters I beleive still represent a violation of what is truly overlook.
    Oh and Tom like it not your a Marine FOREVER. The only 2 ex Marine are Lonetree and Oswald.
    :)):):): I hear you

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    THREAD HIJACK! There are no clouds over HPP at this second. The International Space Station will become visible about a thousand miles out in the direction of Midway NNW (azimuth 326) at a brightness of -2.2 (very bright) beginning at 8:27 pm. It will transit to it’s brightest point at 8:32 (azimuth 50) and become invisible at 8: 32 (azimuth 135 – almost over Maui)

  • Greg Says:

    How does a Marine pilot know he’s made a “gear up” landing?…………..

    By the excessive amount of manifold pressure it takes to taxi off the runway…………………

    (old Army aviation joke:-)

    No fooling, thanks for serving guys.

  • Buddah Belly Says:

    Dear Big Island Chronicle Readers,
    I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just start by asking how a person who calls himself a reverend can spread such filth? Comparing Roger and Cannabis to Jim Jones and his Kool-Aid? Calling him schmoozy and suave, and hit’s on women? Sorry, Rev. Shields has no morals or compass for that matter, and printing those opinions like they are the truth is a very sad thing.

    Next up is the question that has been frying me all day long: How much taxpayer money has been spent on protecting us from the Green 14? Let me see if I can even fathom the amount it cost for 13(yes, I counted) Federal, State and Local agencies to surveil the THC Ministries for the last how many years? Add that to the wages of the judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and the 12 grand jury members needed to indict them. Add that to the cost of the phone taps, the prison stays, THE JET FUEL AND PILOT AND OTHER COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE C-130 THEY HAD TO FLY SUCH DANGEROUS PRISONERS IN. Now we’re talking folks! Are you glad they spent a couple million of your hard-earned bucks to get that very dangerous pot dealer off the street?

    Who is going to protect the residents of Hawaii from the insane actions of the Federal Government?

    Rev.Dave Zeissler is going to be starting a vigil at the THC Ministries on Tuesday (July 20) at noon. He would like all concerned folks to stop by and donate their time when in Hilo. Friends for Justice and other organizations will be calling for a mass gathering on Wednesday, September 8th at the Courthouse in Hilo. That is the day of the trial in Honolulu, and since we can not all afford to fly over there, we need to stand strong and proud over here. We are all children of whatever God you enjoy, and the devil is alive and well in Hawaii.

    Peace and Love from Pahoa!

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    Fact checking BB: The minimum crew for a C-130 is a pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer and loadmaster. A typical crew in Hawaii is 6. The aircraft burns about 200 gal/hr of JET-A @$4-5.gal. Cruising speed is ~290 KIAS.

    Adding the engine time and disposables, two takeoffs and two landings per mission, it cost a substantial amount more than it would have to simply put them all on a Hawaiian flight with one officer escorting each.

    It was a pretty big deal over there: http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2010/07/10/marijuana-ministry-in-hilo-busted-by-feds/

    It might be interesting to find out if Robin Dinlocker is ‘new’ to the office and might have an interest in making a big play as the new sheriff in town.

  • Thomas Says:

    Buddah belly that was a good synopsis of the crazy cost spent on a guy who openly conducted his activities. 13 agencies for 2 years, and we can’t even get a 911 response for a violent crime. It demonstrates the priorities of our government. There is something very wrong with an allocation of such resources for this, while we can not fund education, employment, and help our people keep their homes. The politicians at the county, state, and federal level all bear responsibility for this abuse of the taxpayers monies. They are complicit or ineffective as its there job to fix this and they won’t or can’t.
    A few have tried but they need to do more. We need to fire them if they can not do better than this after 80 years.

    We will be hemorrhaging cash for years, lets not forget the cost of the trials, this looks like there are a number of constitutional issue that need to be adjudicated.

    All these alleged rich kingpin marijuana barons have qualified for public defenders, if the government can prove they were making million or eve hundreds of thousands how can they qualify for public defenders. Seems like quit a contradiction on its face. Either they are rich or they are not, which is it? If they aren’t why do this? If they are how did they qualify for public defenders? It could take many years for this to work its way through the courts as who ever loses is likely to appeal. Its way past time to put an end to this moronic policy.

    Regulation and a reasonable tax would save tens of millions in surveillance, enforcement, adjudication and prison. It would raise tens of millions in tax revenue and move millions more into the mainstream economy through jobs and the economic activity it generated in the community, nursery supplies ect.

    For Brian and many others worried about access for kids, regulation would move marijuana off the street where adolescents get it now without oversite, to dispensaries, pharmacies or other licensed business.

    Right now its easier to get marijuana than beer for many adolescents, that is a result of the policy that has been in effect for over 80 years.

    Regulation means age restrictions, (I.D.) to buy it, driving restrictions, and other controls. Right now you have unrestricted sales. The money saved in enforcement cost and generated in taxes could fund inspectors, honest education and treatment, for all kinds of drug abuse, that would reduce that abuse, using anywhere from 10%-50% of those funds would make a huge difference and leave tens of millions for other community needs. It just makes $en$e to say no to this failed policy.

    This is being done in other places and has shown better results than our policy.

    Stand up for common $en$e and just say no to more of this stupidity and failure.

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    I just….er…dreamed…something describing the operation in rough detail. That report should be available to the Defense on Monday through the disclosure process. It may not include all exculpatory evidence but it contains the names of the witnesses to the investigation who will present evidence. No names should be redacted.

    I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV but I did pretend to be a psychic once. It is very likely, on the order of 99%, that Roger will be convicted at this trial and have to take the case to appeal. I actually have some logic behind that as well…Roger was not allowed bail. That’s a very bad sign for a non-violent crime.

    If all of the defendants are convicted, they will probably all do time because it’s a RICO (criminal conspiracy) case which carries mandatory minimums.

    The Prosecution will allow some or most of the co-defendants to plead out in exchange for testifying against Roger and, probably, a couple of others.

    I am a registered Independent but I can tell you that if the Republicans score well in the state election and, for instance, get the Governor’s office again, this is going to continue. They think marijuana is as bad as civil unions. Neither of the Democratic candidates are worth a darn either, but it might at least be possible to get a bill through saying that anything which is grown in Hawaii for use in Hawaii and doesn’t cross state likes is legal in Hawaii and the federal government has no jurisdiction.

    The candidates were pretty clear on their responses to 444. Abercrombie, who I don’t like, actually read it and recognizes that ‘civil union’ and ‘marriage’ are not synonomous. He would have signed it into law.

    Hannemann (who I don’t like either) weasels. http://www.religioustolerance.org/hommarhi8.htm

    Aiona is a religious fanatic.

    I’d think you would have a better chance with Abercrombie on this issue than with anyone else. I know everyone in Puna wants to vote Green Party, but voting your conscience only makes sense if you aren’t tossing your freedoms out with it. Vote for someone who can win and, among those, pick someone who will at least listen to both sides before being paid off.

  • PF Says:

    PROOF of the corrupt “War on Drugs” is right here.

    “The investigation was conducted by a joint team of Drug Enforcement Agency, the Hawaii County Police Department, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Postal Inspection Service, and Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, the Coast Guard, the State of Hawaii Narcotics Enforcement Division, the State Department of Public Safety and the Hawaii National Guard Counter Drug Unit.”

    Where a summons would have sufficent.

    Who’s gettin PAID?

  • Kim Jordan Says:

    Thomas ….
    We agree! Regulation!
    Decriminalize for adults and make it harder for the youth.
    Kim (and Brian)

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    @PF: I find it almost impossible to believe all those agencies somehow got a finger in this. OK, the DEA I get. They have to justify their existence. But walking into Roger’s business isn’t that hard since it’s a public place on the main street, the doors are open and walking in doesn’t require an SRT team.

    HPD? They shouldn’t be involved. Doesn’t our county pay them to enforce the SPIRIT of the law and not the letter of the law and doesn’t our county have marijuana at the bottom of the enforcement list…right below smoking in a car with a minor present?

    BATF? FBI? US MARSHAL? Customs/Border Patrol? COAST GUARD? NATIONAL GUARD?!?!?!?!?!

    I suppose they had to fly in a load of Marshals to guard the prisoners in the C-130. The Kiska probably had to be ready to shoot a 30MM fire mission at downtown Hilo in case the raid went bad. I suppose the Border Patrol had to stop reinforcements from coming to the fight from over the border in Puna.

    I’m as pro-law enforcement as they come. But, you know, this isn’t downtown Miami or the Cali Cartel we are talking about. This isn’t Chicago or Detroit or LA. This is Hilo, Hawaii, where the police commit as many murders as the civilians.

    A summons would have done exactly the same thing and no one would have fled the country. Is NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT CAPABLE OF STANDING UP AND SAYING “THIS IS CRAZY”?

    If I hadn’t seen that list, I would have probably forgotten about this sooner rather than later. But there is no excuse for involving the US military against US citizens on US soil. None.

    Everyone who had even a passing connection with this circus ought to be fired.

    You know what is interesting? I know someone who has a permit to grow marijuana and a Federal Firearms License at the same physical address and they had to perjure themselves on the ATF application about their marijuana use and sales to get it. The DEA knows it. HPD knows it. ATF knows it.

    So now we are talking multiple REAL felonies, guns and drugs, welfare fraud, no telling what else…and they do nothing. But they can mount a military-level response to get Roger Christie.

  • Nikolaus Says:

    If the feds priorities are to continue to villanize those actively fighting for our liberties, and not to pursue those compromising our health, freedoms, and pursuit of happiness- then we need to eventually act accordingly. Our freedoms are quickly being eroded- and if someone finds a way to make money while fighting for our civil rights- good for him. The fact that no bail was set and they concidered sending Roger to a half way house to be held shows things havent changed. They try to sway public opinion with these idiotic actions that we pay for. Sept. 8th at Hilo coarthouse is a oprituinty to express our rage against the machine and I’ll be there. It’s hard to believe that the decisions we make here on the BI, influence and is being watched by the whole world- but its true. Proven medicine, fuel, food, fiber and tool to peak outside the box- what a threat- really. Those trying to control our reality and poison us through food, air and water have found that the sacred herb in question very well could be there biggest threat. It may make you want to put down the real drugs, question the status quo, grow your own food, be creative, imagine a more pono reality, care about the environment we depend on, question putting animal genes in crops and not testing the GMO and the proven cancer it causes, put down the bottle or the remote. Now that is a threat if you know their real agenda.

  • PF Says:

    yea the National Park Service? Immigration?
    Their illegal aliens, (used for pickin in the fields???) camping in the Ntl. Park???

  • PF Says:

    Good information from an ex-federal judge, LISTEN UP


  • PF Says:

    and for the Jordan’s this one is obout the kids…..

  • Greg Says:

    How about a “flash mob” demonstration where people are tweeted to a Federal building(Downtown Post office?) at a certain time and all light up then quickly disperse before the Feds can react?

    Anyone with experience organizing this type of demo?

    I don’t even smoke, but I’d try and show up to support something this disobedient. (I’d also wear a hat and shades:-O)

  • PF Says:

    Lies by Drug Free America

  • Rev. Nancy Says:

    Why so many agencies? One reason is that EACH AGENCY will claim the number of busts, plants, and grams in their competition for government dollars.

    Quite amazing that so many people spent so much time investigating what Roger was openly proclaiming.

    Perhaps religious freedom v. marijuana prohibition does need a day in court. Perhaps this is the day, or one of them. But why did they deny bail? The government’s brief explains:
    In addition, as indicated on the Ministry’s website,
    Christie was a long-time supporter of the “lowest law enforcement
    priority of cannabis ordinance” (hereinafter “marijuana
    ordinance”), which was approved by the voters of Hawaii County as
    an amendment to the Hawaii County Code in the November 2008
    general election. While arguably Christie’s support and advocacy
    of the marijuana ordinance was merely an exercise of his freedom
    of speech, this superficial observation is not accurate. In
    truth, Christie had a hidden agenda in supporting the marijuana
    ordinance, namely, to enhance his marijuana sources of supply.
    Section 5 of the marijuana ordinance purported to make the
    cultivation, possession and use for adult personal use of
    cannabis (marijuana) the lowest law enforcement priority in
    Hawaii County; the ordinance did not apply to the distribution
    and sale of marijuana. The marijuana ordinance’s definition of
    “lowest law enforcement priority” also stated that:
    The Lowest Law Enforcement Priority regarding possession or
    cultivation of Cannabis shall apply to any single case
    involving 24 (twenty four) or fewer Cannabis plants at any
    stage of maturity or the equivalent in dried Cannabis, where
    the Cannabis was intended for adult personal use. [emphasis
    Christie’s view was that with the marijuana ordinance’s
    enactment, it was now lawful for each person in Hawaii County to
    cultivate up to 24 marijuana plants, and in a telephone call with
    “J”, Christie explained his
    thinking and strategy to use this ordinance to his benefit to
    alleviate his supply problems, as follows: “and so I’m thinking
    how to step it up another notch, uh, forward, and that’s to, like
    for instance, your situation or somebody else’s, let, let some
    people know that the Ministry needs more herb, but our new law
    passed in November allowing 24 plants per adult, in private, at
    home.” The following discussion then occurred later in this
    J: Um, yeah, so the use’s and all that, but the supply,
    yeah, that’s the thing, that’s the key thing.
    Christie: That’s the trick, you know, I’m allowed to
    have a farm, but I’m too busy to have one and I don’t
    have the finances to have one, so if somebody else has
    a location, then I’ll be happy to, you know, put my
    stamp of approval on it and, uh, you, you know, make,
    make it happen now.
    * * *
    Christie: Yeah, so what I, I wanted to express here,
    too, is that besides the Ministry, just, you know,
    doing our, our simple, you know, daily sacraments and
    services, because ballot question 1 [that is, the
    marijuana ordinance] was approved, it’s 24 plants per
    adult here. Um, it’s private at home, but there’s no
    commerce allowed with it.
    J: No commerce allowed with it.Christie: Right, it’s not allowed to be grown for sale.
    So this, this is [where] the Ministry comes in. I
    think my license allows me to accept offerings of that
    backyard produce.
    J: Uh, huh.
    Christie: And then offer something back to the, uh, to
    the, to the grower. So…
    J: Okay.
    Christie: So I’m, I’m just, I’m exploring this
    possibility here, how to take people’s backyard profit
    centers, or the potential profit center in somebody’s
    backyard, and turn it into, you know, make it more
    legit through the Ministry, and that the Ministry would
    make medicine, we would weigh it and grade and process
    it and make medicine and sacrament with it, and provide
    it under a, a Ministry label to Ministry members.
    * * *
    Christie: … [y]ou know, like you have a little bit of
    property and other people have a little bit of
    property, and you know, maybe wanna tend to, you know,
    have a whole cultivation situation, uh, if there’s
    extra [that is, growing in excess of 24 marijuana
    plants] and you’re looking for another choice of what
    to do with your extra, I think you can offer it to the
    J: Right.
    Christie: And that, that we will offer a check back to
    the, to people. It won’t be black market prices,
    J: Right, right.
    Christie: You know, because we’re looking for sincerity and we’re looking, you know, to break the black market on this one.


  • PF Says:

    and lie by the drug czar

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    The whole thing is bullshit. I don’t smoke anything and I never will. But I need to know how to get a license to grow. If everyone in the county does that, there ought to be 2.4 million legal plants. If a bunch of people wanted to go together and sharecrop, what would stop them?

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Well, Tom, rather than taking pharmaceuticals to help you sleep, you might consider having a doctor prescribe you herb. Or, you could have an herb prescription for PTSD… I’m not sure what ails you.

    If you have no interest in smoking or fermenting or making marijuana cookies or brownies and you simply want to grow it, you might want to inquire with state Department of Public Safety about registering as a caretaker. This I believe allows you to grow a certain number of plants.

    Of course, you do run the risk of Department of Public Safety providing the media or the DEA with a list with your name on it. As was demonstrated in the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry case, the Feds aren’t necessarily too keen on the state law conflict and may trample right over the medical marijuana law to bust you.

    Incidentally, if you look to the right, one of this blog’s sponsors is Dr. Charlie Webb of the MUM Clinic. He could potentially serve as a resource to you, whether you want to seek out a medical marijuana license or a caretaker’s license.

  • Tom Burnett Says:
  • Tom Burnett Says:

    @Greg: Do you really believe the government would be upset about something like that? I am not being sarcastic; it just seems top me so petty that they wouldn’t even come over to see what’s going on.

    Ummmmm….unless they has a C-130 ready to go.

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Sorry, Tom, blog foul. I accidentally erased your comment when I went to post a reply about you fermenting marijuana.

    In any case, I think you’re on to something. We could start a brewpub in Puna, bottle it and ship the marijuana beer all over the world.

  • Darren Says:

    Let’s hope the discussion of decriminalization of cannabis can move beyond the inclusion of professional middlemen (MDs) to prescribe for it. No offense to you or your sponsor but this is akin to prescribing for ibuprofen or chamomile. Professional cartels establishing their exclusive right to grant legitimacy to community participation is a very real parallel issue that we’d be wise to remain aware of as well.

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    Hi Tiff: No worries. I didn’t save it though, so it’s gone. Re’ marijuana beer: The product would be perfectly legal. The ingredients, not so much. And that’s the gist of the whole marijuana thing. Hemp cloth is legal and much better than cotton but you can’t grow the raw ingredient.

    Hemp rope doesn’t rot but you can’t possess the hemp fiber to make it. And the laws are stupid, but after they are established for a generation or two it’s almost impossible to change them. People are creatures of habit and don’t like change.

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    @Tiff: Thank you for the reference but I’m not interested in medical marijuana enough to drive to Kona for a prescription. I doubt I’d drive to Kona for a briefcase full of hundred dollar bills.

  • Tom Burnett Says:

    @Darren: Discussions can move anywhere. What matters is the citizenry’s ability to impose it’s will on the government it elects and pays to carry out it’s wishes.

    If the thread is hijacked, an instant solution is at hand. When the government is hijacked, no solution is possible because the same government which is responsible for elections is also responsible for counting the votes.

    In congress ONE legislator can kill a bill. That’s not right. At the county level, all the decisions are made behind closed doors in order to keep the sunshine laws in the dark. How can anyone re-elect any incumbent when we all know what is going on?

    I cannot stress enough that plants, created by nature, cannot be illegal – but they are. The very fact that is even possible makes me wonder how people’s minds work…of if they do at all. I think we should make garden slugs illegal. Chickens, which can theoretically carry Avian flu should be illegal.

    Plants? No. Not even poppies or coca. In their natural state they aren’t harmful. Only after they are chemically adulterated….like food…are they bad.

    The plants aren’t harmful. It’s human greed which is harmful and I could understand it if we were immortal. But no matter how much money you have, you are going to get a dirt nap sooner or later and the people you left your billions to are going to fight over it forever and piss on your grave.

  • Thomas Says:


    You can see Dr. Conner in Hilo, 961-4722 or the mobile Dr. Baiko 854-6335, when he is around. I have my license although I am not using it or growing any at the moment. I got mine from my primary care physician in Hilo Dr. Earnest Bade, a well known Hilo doctor. I think some of the doctors are giving them if you qualify, although many are afraid because of implied threats, or they are not knowledgeable on marijuana as medicine. Mine is for arthritis my doctor has been treating me for this for many years so knows my history. He recommended it because the anti-inflammatory pills like Vioxx, Celabrex, Diclofenec, ect. are so dangerous and can cause liver, or kidney failure, and heart attacks. I have been afraid to use marijuana even though I know its safe and did use it years ago because I do not want another swat raid at my home. I am working on a lawsuit against the county and state over this issue and hope to get that going before the pharmaceuticals kill me. I may make it a class action law suit as many others have ask to be included. I do not understand how a judge with no medical training can over rule a trained licensed doctor and force a person to take a pill that can kill him when a doctor says its dangerous and recommends marijuana, as a safe alternative. These judges say unless there is no other medicine you can use you can not use marijuana or they will throw you in jail. The alternatives almost invariably have serious, very dangerous side effects including organ failure and death. There has never been a documented death from marijuana side effects. Its crazy judges do this but both judges Hara and Nakamura in Hilo do so routinely. Its likely someone will die or suffer serious harm, as a result if they have not already. My lawsuit will seek to hold them and the county, and state responsible for such willful negligence, and endangerment, as well as put an end to judges or probation officers making medical decisions unless they are licensed doctors. I do not go to a plumber to get my car fixed and a judge has no business making medical decisions, that endanger a persons health or life, because they for some reason do not like a particular doctor. If there is a doctor doing something wrong then charge them otherwise butt out of the patient doctor relationship.

    A lawyer/judge saying they know more than doctors and putting defendants lives in danger because they are worried they might get high on the medication they use is outrageous, and shows the hysterical nature of these laws and the people imposing them. They would rather have you take a narcotic like Vicaden, Percaset, even Morphine or Oxycontin all of which are highly addictive and very dangerous than allow you to use a safe drug like marijuana. Its classic reefer madness with judges overstepping their expertize in a very dangerous way. I think its ripe for litigation and hope to move forward soon on it. When the government starts telling doctors that a judge is more qualified then them to make these decisions that is in my view a police state. In particular there are 4 doctors these judges do not accept as experts. The most amazing part is they issue by far the majority of licenses and treat thousands of patients. They are the ones documenting the histories of so many patients. That in any other situation would have them considered specialist or experts. No one here has more experience than them least of all a judge with no medical training. The whole marijuana war is waged on hysteria, misinformation and lies. That in its self shows its a scam, its about money nothing more, lets put an end to this so we can move on. I look forward to growing acres of hemp to see what we can make with it locally. Maybe me and Tom B and many others can make a living on our farms once we put an end to this persecution that is the war war on marijuana, our neighbors, friends and families. Vote out anyone who will not put an end to this, and do not vote for candidates like Fred Blas, Inishi, Ikeda, Enriquez, Yoshimoto, and mayor Kanoi that want to continue this. Hoffman, Yagong, and Ford better wake up and do the right thing or see ya later. While we have lots of serious issues this is a big one encompassing the budget, civil rights, freedom, and crime, and to pretend its a fringe issue for hippies is no longer going to work. This effects us all in some way, fix it or get out of the way.

  • Buddah Belly Says:

    @ Greg, I think your tweeting idea is great! Unfortunately I have to take a random drug test for the next 5 years, so I most likely will be abstaining from the light-up… I do not know how to text or tweet, but I want to keep working on all angles of the September 8th action, so if you or anyone else interested wants to get on our contact list, please email FriendsforJustice@gmail.com

    Until we meet again….

  • Thomas Says:

    This is a highly decorated officer that was in the thick of it for decades. He understands the war on drugs better than most. Read his credentials and then what he has to say.

    Check out the picture at the top of the story, that is a lot of people are we really gonna lock them up.

    An Interview with Major Neill Franklin


    Major Neill Franklin is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, Major Franklin retired from the Maryland State Police in 1999 where he held the position of commander for the Education and Career Development Command and the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement.

  • Big Island Chronicle » Blog Archive » Letters — Free Roger Christie And Decriminalize Marijuana Says:

    […] am writing to you in support of Roger Christie and the decriminalization of cannabis/marijuana. Roger was arrested by federal agents on July 9th […]

  • Casey Casseday Says:

    You see these outrageous seizure figures in every single arrest. $5 million worth of immature stem stock? You can’t smoke the dirty heavy roots either, if they are reporting 3000 plants, it is likely 2800, two inch clones with a potential street value of a full grown plant. It sounds as though Mr. Christie got a little comfortable but, lord (Jah) forbid he have faith in the system designed to protect him from prosecution. Even here in California, those with permission to grow for themselves and chronic patients are completely still at risk. The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (C.A.M.P.) seizes bigger and bigger crops and amounts (mostly BS) every year. It obviously isn’t working if their numbers continue to go up, but it’s also hard to say if that’s just indulgence in the real value of the amounts. Regardless of quality, the officials give the little plants the highest possible street value of the dankest dank. I’ve been documenting this important topic in American politics/medicine . . and now religion since 2005 and would love to hear anyone’s comments on our Marijuana Documentary. It’s available on HULU.com for FREE! See what it’s like to be an outdoor marijuana grower, doing it on their own land, with legal permission, but still under federal scrutiny.


    Casey Casseday
    Producer, The Green Rush

    HULU embed:

  • dusty akers Says:

    just to let the world know that dennis shields is a total (censored for inflammatory and potentially libelous characterization — Tceh) he swindled me to the tune of 2grand, i supplied him with a transmission, all brand new and he just ripped me off for it this fat f— does nothing but swing his big fat ass and big mouth around like most loud mouths do all the time pretending to be a peace and freedom dude…all the stuff that happens to him, he deserves and then some…never trust this lazy ass make believe reverand..he does the marijuana advocates a disservice…

  • Maxie ONeill Says:

    This is in regards to Roger Christies response letter posted January 28th 2011 at 12:24pm referencing the Sanctuary Bed and Breakfast. Christie has no business, authority or permission to speak on my behalf. He was a disruptive and devastating force in my life at that time (2000-2001). I was entrenched in an exhausting divorce and a new resident to the Big Island. Roger smelled the vulnerability and proceeded to jeopardize my house, property, finances and general well-being claiming he and his “trustie” Sanctuary sign and plant tags would protect everything.

    Christie wishes me all the best??? I could have been the one arrested and losing my assets! His “current” guinea pig,….I mean girlfriend, is paying that price now. Roger never thought of the Green 13’s best interests as any priority. He could have set up his pot shop on his own land, testing out his own Sanctuary Kit 10 years ago without involving anyone else. Roger chose to put 13 Hilo residents at risk and brought them down.

    Luckily, the Sanctuary B & B was short lived as I shut it down and booted Christie off my property. He is a dangerous FRAUD selling worthless ink on paper he can’t back up. Go to the NORML website blog to read more on this. I am all for legalizing cannabis for adults. For me, it is not about exposing a pot peddler. It’s about exposing a predator. Don’t feel sorry for Rog, he is loving the attention.

    I wish you all the best in Federal Prison…. GOD THAT’S GREAT!

    Maxie O’Neill
    Recovered Guinea Pig

  • Elmira Nakamori Says:

    Hello, I enjoy your weblog. Is there some thing I can do to obtain updates like a subscription or something? I’m sorry I am not familiar with RSS?

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    I believe you can subscribe to read all the entries and comments. Certainly you can “like” Big Island Chronicle on Facebook.
    Mahalo for your support!
    With aloha,

  • dusty akers Says:

    pakalolo is something all of us need to take a different look at and all that represent it need to be true to the cause and be the kind of people that maintain a moral and ethical life style and be beyond reproach..but dennis shields is a thief and liar and con man as he ripped me o the tune of 3000.00 as he called me friend and stole a new transmission he ordered from me and just plain lied when it came to paying for it…i was a 30 year kamaina and this act by him was my send off as i moved off the island….

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