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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 13, 2010

Home, office of marijuana advocate raided on Big Isle

Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Roger Christie, director and founder of THC Ministry, stands next to a bulletin board in his downtown Hilo office.

Tim Wright

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HILO, Hawai'i Marijuana advocate Roger Christie said his home and offices have been raided by federal agents and Big Island police.

The founder and director of The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry said records, cash and marijuana he uses as a sacrament were seized Wednesday.

Christie said he knows of about half a dozen similar raids on the Big Island.

He told The Advertiser yesterday that he does not know what prompted the raid, which he said involved Internal Revenue Service officials.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Tom Muehleck said Thursday no one was arrested and that no charges were filed.

Christie maintains the cultivation and enjoyment of cannabis is a fundamental human right provided by God and protected by the First Amendment.

The day before the raids, a member of the ministry was convicted in Colorado of misdemeanor drug charges. The judge in the case said the man's beliefs didn't rise to the level of a religion.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that a police log for Wednesday showed 12 report numbers indicating police assistance to outside law enforcement agencies between 4 a.m. and just past 3 p.m. Five incidents occurred in Puna, four in South Hilo, and one each in North Hilo, Hāmākua and Ka'ū.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that all were related to the federal operation.