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Hawaii’s marijuana minister gets 5 years in prison

April 28, 2014 - 10:37pm

HONOLULU — A Big Island man who openly used his ministry to promote marijuana use has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for having 300 pot plants as part of a distribution ring.

Roger Christie of Hilo said Monday at a sentencing hearing that he looks forward to appealing. He pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess marijuana plants.

Christie says his religion is based on helping people heal through the “sacrament” of medical marijuana.

U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi also sentenced Christie to four years of supervised release, a mandatory minimum.

Christie’s wife, Sherryanne Christie, was also expected to be sentenced Monday following her husband’s hearing.