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GOVERNOR CANDIDATE GUILTY

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The420Guy

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HILO -- Jonathan Adler, religious marijuana user and Natural Law Party
candidate for governor, has been found guilty of commercial promotion of
marijuana.

Adler, 50, was charged with possessing 89 marijuana plants and marijuana
paraphernalia in 1998. Adler contended that religious freedom under the
Constitution allows him to use marijuana.

In handing down a written verdict yesterday, Judge Greg Nakamura noted that
Adler is a reverend in the Religion of Jesus Church and that Adler sincerely
believes in the church.

Nakamura also noted that the church requires its believers to use marijuana
at least once a year, usually on Aug. 21, which they believe to be the true
birthday of Jesus.

But Nakamura said Adler had provided no evidence during a one-day, nonjury
trial in January that the church requires Adler to engage in commercial
promotion of marijuana. Possession of more than 50 marijuana plants is
considered evidence of a commercial activity.

The state has a "compelling interest" in controlling commercial marijuana,
Nakamura ruled.

Nakamura made no ruling on simple possession of small quantities of
marijuana for religious use, since that was not an issue in Adler's case.
The state has not established any amount of marijuana which might be
permitted for religious use.

Adler has a state medical marijuana card, which allows him to have up to
seven marijuana plants for medical use. Adler says he uses marijuana to
treat his asthma.

The judge set sentencing for Aug. 26 and required Adler to report to the
local probation office by Friday.

A jury trial of Adler on the same charges last year ended with a hung jury.

Adler still faces separate charges related to allegedly possessing 55
marijuana plants in 1999.

Adler filed nomination papers April 1 to run for governor as a candidate for
the Natural Law Party. He previously had sought to run as a member of the
Green Party, but was rejected by party leadership.

"When he is sentenced for that felony crime, he cannot run" for office under
state law, said Rex Quidilla, spokesman for the state Office of Elections.
"Our office will be monitoring the situation."

Neither Adler, nor his Natural Law running mate, lieutenant governor
candidate Daniel Morimoto, could be reached for comment.


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Pubdate: Wed, 26 Jun 2002
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Contact: letters@starbulletin.com
Copyright: 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Website: Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Hawaii News, Sports, Weather and Entertainment
Details: Overload Warning
Author: Rod Thompson
Bookmark: Overload Warning (Spiritual or Sacramental)
Bookmark: Overload Warning (Cannabis)
 
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