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Church Member defends Marijuana use
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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:40 pm    Post subject: Church Member defends Marijuana use Reply with quote

I just saw the on cannabis News it might be a landmark case it one of our own thats gonna take it to the limit.
Church Leader Defends Marijuana Use
Posted by CN Staff on June 09, 2003 at 07:21:25 PT
By Jamie Swift, Journal Reporter
Source: King County Journal

Auburn -- There's a church here that provides marijuana to members of its congregation for physical and spiritual healing. At least there was until police raided it a little more than a week ago.
More than 200 plants were confiscated, along with all the church's lamps and other equipment for growing marijuana. The Reverend Lee Phillips is not pleased. He said the government has no right to ``steal from the church'' and ``defile our temple.''

The church is a one-story house at 2711 N St. S.E., where Phillips lives with his wife of two years, Lori Phillips.

Lori, 45, has a doctor's note to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, which has been legal in Washington since 1998. Lee is ``mandated'' by the Religion of Jesus Church to grow, smoke and share cannabis with people in need of physical or spiritual healing, he said.

Phillips, 52, has helped heal ``hundreds'' of people at his home-based church the past four years, he said. Some are hurting physically, others emotionally and spiritually.

``It takes some of the pain away,'' Phillips said. ``God doesn't want any of us to hurt.''

Phillips says the Valley Narcotics Enforcement Team had no right to raid his south Auburn home, confiscate his plants and marijuana-growing equipment and take his wife to jail for the night.

By doing so, Phillips said, police have forced Lori to suffer and infringed on the couple's Constitutional right to freedom of religion.

``This house is a church,'' Phillips said last week, sitting in the one-car garage of his south Auburn rambler. ``In this building we heal, we counsel, we hold church. People come to us for what we offer them.

``I have no choice as a reverend of this church but to use cannabis and share it with those who need it.''

According to the Religion of Jesus Christ bylaws, which can be found on the Internet: ``Because Cannabis brings us closer to God and our Heavenly Father closer to us, it helps us to achieve greater growth of our soul. Cannabis is and always will be a spiritual aid -- this fact is proven over and over again throughout history.''

``The government can't tell you how to practice your religion unless they have a compelling state interest,'' Phillips said. ``I don't see how we're bothering anybody.

``The use of the sacramental medicine is done only in the confines of the church -- never in public view.''

The couple's church is registered with the state as a nonprofit organization called The Center for Healing and Spiritual Renewal.

Detective. Jim Miller, who led the VNET investigation of the Phillips couple, said his team was not aware when they raided the home that Lori Phillips had a doctor's note to use marijuana to ease symptoms of her condition, Hepatitis C.

Miller also didn't know Lee Phillips is registered in Hawaii as an ordained cannabis sacrament minister and is a reverend in the Religion of Jesus Church, founded in Hawaii more than 40 years ago.

Miller knows now, but he still thinks VNET was right in busting the couple for producing such large quantities of pot.

``She may have permission from a doctor,'' Miller said, ``but she doesn't have permission to have over 200 plants.''

And as for the issue of Lee Phillips' religious duty to share what is called the ``Holy herb'' in his faith, that will likely be settled in the courts. Maybe even the U.S. Supreme Court.

First, the couple must be charged with a crime. Miller said the investigation could take up to three more months. Criminal charges could include possession and distribution of narcotics, plus potential money laundering charges.

Phillips, whose employment consists of being leader of his church, said the many people who seek healing at his church are not asked to pay for their marijuana.

He declined to reveal how much money his church receives in donations from its members but he did say it's enough to provide for his family and to assist church members with paying their bills or buying food.

Miller said what the couple is doing is ``the same as selling dope. Having 200 plants is tantamount to marijuana for sale.'' The street value of those plants is between $200,000 and $400,000.

The marijuana is not used to make money, the Phillipses insist. Lee Phillips said he was insulted that the narcotics officers broke down his front door and tore apart his church ``like it's some kind of crack house.''

Lori Phillips said the officers could have approached her or her husband in a less aggressive way and either would have willingly invited them inside the house and showed them Lori's doctor's note to use marijuana for Hepatitis C, a chronic disease that slowly damages the liver, often causing liver cancer.

``My jpints ache all the time,'' she said.

Lori was the only one home during the raid. She was handcuffed and taken to the Kent City Jail, where she stayed overnight. Lee turned himself in.

This wasn't Lee Phillips' first marijuana arrest. Most recently, he was arrested in Auburn during a traffic stop for possession. The charge was dropped, he said, after he explained that the marijuana was medication for his wife.

The couple is represented by Seattle attorney Jeff Steinborn, who has a Web site at -- http://www.potbust.com

``These are not just druggies growing pot and selling it to children,'' said Steinborn, adding that he sees validity in the couple's religion.

``In many respects, I feel the same way,'' he said. ``Throughout religion, mystical experiences have been altered states of consciousness brought on by the use of some substance.

``These folks aren't just nutcases.''

Said Phillips: ``I don't want the public to this we're some crack house on the corner. Inside this house, we're doing some good work.

``I'm not just a guy who's into weed and hiding behind religion.''

Source: King County Journal (WA)
Author: Jamie Swift, Journal Reporter
Published: June 09, 2003
Copyright: 2003 Horvitz Newspapers, Inc.
Website: http://www.kingcountyjournal.com/
Contact: letterstoeditor@kingcountyjournal.com

Related Articles & Web Site:

Religion of Jesus Church
http://www.hialoha.com/konagold/church/

Jesus Used Cannabis Oil, Writer Says
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread15357.shtml

Jesus Used Cannabis To Heal Ailments
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread15122.shtml

Cannabis Linked To Biblical Healing
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread15121.shtml
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Ferre
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is exactly why it's of such great importance for us to "spread the word" and to become, as a religion, just as common as the other world religions are.

It's a shame that other churches have more respect from authorities than ours!!

I want to see them "bust" into a Christian church ..or "bust" in to a mosk or synagoge!! What's the freakin' difference???!!

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Echo
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The legitimity of the Church didn't stop them I see Confused .


Razz ``My jpints ache all the time,'' she said? Razz


If they make it despite the 200 plants, there's hope. mediw hemp bloem dove herb spinnin

Echo

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what ever happened to the church being the house of god, younuts now where can i find sanctuary. uh
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Rev. Chazman
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has there been any update to this case yet? Anyone know?

Peace
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The GanjaCat
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like the wrangling will take some time, but it's good to know that there are people out there fighting for OUR rights to carry on what we are doing.

I think 200 plants is about OK for an indoor SOG, that would only be 8 m2 under 4 x 1000w lights & the value would be in the order of €30,000 per crop or €150,000 per annum (at Dutch wholesale prices) which I reckon is about right for a 2-person healing center to be fully self-supporting.

It's also about what I have planned for my 'Sacramentorium' in fact.

So please, someone, keep the updates on this one coming.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The church is a one-story house at 2711 N St. S.E., where Phillips lives with his wife of two years, Lori Phillips.

And herein lies the problem. Because it does not have a steeple, it cannot possibly be considered a church, right?

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The GanjaCat
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very good question, with possible implications for all of us.

What legally constitutes a 'church', as in a place protected under the various HR's on freedom of religion?

I know it will be different for all of us, being international, but perhaps we can start putting together some sort of 'global guidelines' and develop a common strategy for the re-inforcement of our spiritual defences.

It's hard for us poor stoners to get that organised, but it's probably the kind of thing that will be needed to 'bullet-proof' our Article 18 protections.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the US the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 helps define what is protected by the first amendment of the constitution. This protects the free exercise of religion and applies to all federal and state law.

Everyone in the US should have a copy:Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993
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The GanjaCat
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the kind of thing I had in mind, well done!

I've posted the full text as a sticky herehttp://www.thc-ministry.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3077#3077

So perhaps that's the place to continue adding to the knowledge-base.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:51 am    Post subject: Case update as of January 7th, 2004 Reply with quote

Aloha,

It's my pleasure to inform you that Rev. Lee and Lori Phillips just moved to Hilo in December! They are friends of mine from the late 1990's here on the Big Island. I recommended that Lee be ordained back in 2000 and I helped him to get licensed to marry people in Hawai'i at that time, also.

When they moved back to the Seattle area they were ministry members with all the necessary paperwork to protect their activities. They incorporated in Washington State and proceeded to run their cannabis ministry until the arrest last spring.

* As for an update on their case: the police and prosecutors have agreed in writing to drop all charges and return all of their confiscated property IF Rev. Lee and Lori don't sue the police! :-}

Lee and Lori are now happily living in Hilo. They bought a three acre property and are preparing to build a custom home / greenhouse on it.

The ministry works! Again and again we 'win' cases without going through court to a jury trial. Our paperwork is really good and tight. Prosecutors always drop charges rather than face us in a fair fight in front of a jury.

For those wondering if they need to get a Cannabis Sanctuary Kit, here is another example of the kit working under arrest conditions where nothing else on Earth will do the job this well and this easy and this powerful.

By the way, they don't need a lawyer to fight this case. The right paperwork does the job. Fortunately they had our paperwork IN ADVANCE of any trouble. It worked like insurance, only better!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats fantastic news. Glad to see some things are working out for people.

Peace
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the update on the Phillips. Hadn't been able to find anything out online about what happened to the case. Glad to hear things worked out so well for them---Hawaii sounds like paradise!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear bout the case and i keep getting excellent links from this Forum
love
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