Hilo's 'pot minister' speaks out after prison release

Hilo's 'pot minister' speaks out after prison release

HILO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Roger Christie was released from federal prison two weeks ago. After more than four years locked up for selling pot, you might think the first thing he did when he was free was light a joint, but he didn't.

"I'm stoked to be on the cannabis road," said Roger Christie.

Reverend Roger Christie ran the THC Ministry for six years in Hilo providing marijuana to his congregation for a donation. But he says authorities who once said he was legit turned on him. But that's behind him now.

"I feel like a cannabis Rip Van Winkle. I'm waking up from a 50-month purgatory," said Christie.

He says he used marijuana every day before getting busted, but hasn't for four years while incarcerated and still hasn't been high since his release.

"I have the opportunity to but I choose not to because I do my best to maintain my integrity and be a non-violator," said Christie.

He gets drug tested every week and was tested just this afternoon. Fail a test and its back to the joint. Prison that is.

He plans to go the four years of his probation without using cannabis, although he is appealing to get the term reduced. As for what it will be like when he does get high?

"That's going to be a joyous day. That's my sacrament. It's like a step ladder to heaven. It's called getting high and some churches call God the most high. We like to get high because it's a measure of spiritual elevation," said Christie.

Since he's not using his lungs to smoke, he was using his breath to support medical marijuana dispensaries.

"We're after a bigger prize than just sneaking a smoke of marijuana. We're after full legalization," said Christie.

He is living in a halfway house on Oahu and plans to be co-host on the radio show hosted by Jeff Davis the Libertarian candidate for Governor.

Christie can return to the Big Island in November and will reopen his ministry but without the marijuana.

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