Roger Christie allowed to use religious defense

By JOHN BURNETT – Tribune-Herald staff writer
A Hilo cannabis minister who’s been jailed for three years without bail while awaiting trial will be able to use religion as a defense to federal marijuana distribution charges.
U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi ruled during a July 31 status conference that Roger Christie and his wife, Share, “may rely upon their religious beliefs to counter the element of ‘intent to distribute’ in … charges alleged against them,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kawahara wrote in a motion requesting reconsideration or clarification of that ruling.
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