Thanks to Tony Newman and AlterNet for pointing out several noteworthy, incremental shifts that happened in drug policy during 2010. There is one MAJOR victory that bears special mention because it is happening right NOW. The wrongful imprisonment-without-trial of Reverend Roger Christie, in Hawaii, is less than obvious and fundamentally relevant to much more than just the drug reform movement. Currently in process, the outcome of this crucially decisive contest depends on people's awareness of what's really happening, clearly visible in the truths that have already been revealed by it.
'Mahalo' to Sister Lauren for reminding people of the sacrifice being made by Reverend Christie, a True American Hero of 2010 who is spending this Christmas in federal prison. Imprisoned since July 8th, Roger Christie has been denied bail five times, is not allowed visitors and has had his trial postponed until April 2011 ! Does this not register as outrageous on every patriotic American's Constitutional Richter Scale?
Formally recognized for his work as a "peacemaker" by the Hawaiian community he has served for the past quarter of a Century, Roger is nevertheless being maliciously characterized as a "danger to his community" by the court, using mere slander to suspend the Constitution, cancel religious freedom, and over-ride due process of law. Several elected officials, community leaders, and many people on the Big Island and elsewhere have written letters of support for Roger, calling for his immediate release from prison.
That Roger is being extrajudicially punished proves how effective he has been in establishing a potent First Amendment religious transcendence of Cannabis prohibition statutes. In fact, most religions acknowledge the spiritual legitimacy of "every herb bearing seed" rendering prohibition of any herb beyond the rightful jurisdiction of any court. Considered objectively, it is obvious that the Cannabis plant is an herb, not a "drug." The legal and practical distinctions are significant.
Drugs don't make seeds. Herbs make seeds. Cannabis agriculture happens to be both unique and essential for three very specific reasons (nutritionally, ecologically, industrially). Cannabis is therefore logically and morally essential, valuable beyond the moral accountability of any court.
For the past ten years, Roger has applied for and received government licenses and permits in a sincere attempt to legally codify the THC Ministry, while openly making sacramental Cannabis available to church members on Main Street in Hilo. Roger has been effective as any single individual activist alive, in educating the public about the nutritional values of Cannabis seed; blocking the federal funds for helicopter eradication in Hawaii; making marijuana enforcement the lowest priority for Big Island police, and actively mitigating the hard drugs epidemic, exacerbated by the scarcity of marijuana in Hawaii (NIDA report,1991).
That the federal court system has suspended due process to keep Roger from being able to defend himself shows that his righteous, direct defense of our basic human rights is a threat to the incumbent outlaw political regime that has usurped control of the United States government. Not only are both the State and Federal Constitutions being shredded in Hawaii, everyone's fundamental human right of free religion is being shamelessly attacked in the name of a failed, counter-productive so-called "drug war" [sic]. In truth the war on Cannabis and spirituality is a war on free market organic agriculture and our freedom of choice.
Unfortunately, the enormous significance of what Roger has achieved seems to have been lost on the funded elements of the drug policy reform groups, who have yet to contribute meaningfully to Roger's defense. Unlike the charlatans and "drug dealers" he has been wrongfully compared to by some, Roger has no financial spoils with which to defend himself or his co-defendants.
The federal court system in the U.S. has been revealed as an unobjective lackey, fronting for the corporate corruption it protects. If you really want to make a difference in ending prohibition, then please help support Roger.
If you can, please send Roger a letter to let him know that he has your appreciation and support.
Send you letter to:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
PO BOX 30080
Honolulu, HI 96820
The Cannabis Charity Education and Defense Fund is a non profit organization established to help people like Roger Christie and the Green 14. Please donate to them by using the form at
You can also write a letter of appeal to the newly elected governor of Hawaii, Mr. Neil Abercrombie. He is the point-person in Hawaii whose responsibility it is to uphold the Constitution. A "pre-trial pardon" is certainly in order, and a fair consideration of what's happened here is required.
It remains for the drug policy reform community to maintain whatever momentum still remains from the widespread agreement on "legalization" congealed by Prop 19. I am calling on DPA, MPP, NORML, DPFA and others who can afford to, to act on this now. There is strength in truth, but it requires unity. As in any "tug-of-war" the side that pulls together at the same time, is undeafeatable.
for meaningful holidays, in peace,
This is my comment on "Top 8 Drug Stories of 2010: Momentum Is Building to End the Failed Drug War"