Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana News

Cannabis Ministry member jailed

A man who claimed a religious right to use pot was ordered to start
serving his sentence for dealing drugs.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
mmiller@patriot- news.com

A midstate man who failed to avoid a drug conviction by claiming he uses
marijuana for religious purposes was 20 minutes late Monday for his date
with a Cumberland County jail cell.

When he arrived, Robert George Henry asked President Judge Edgar B.
Bayley for a 30-day delay to prepare himself for prison.

"This has gone on for long enough," the judge replied.

Sheriff's deputies handcuffed Henry and led him away to start a 9- to
23-month jail term.

Henry, 49, of Fannettsburg, Franklin County, went to prison more than a
year after Bayley convicted him of dealing drugs and driving while under
the influence of marijuana.

His imprisonment was delayed while Henry made unsuccessful appeals.

Henry was arrested by state police in October 2007 after a trooper said
he spotted Henry's car weaving in Newburg. Henry admitted he'd been
smoking marijuana, police said, and a marijuana plant, several bags of
the drug and $1,800 in cash were in his car.

In challenging his prosecution, Henry claimed his marijuana use gets him
closer to God and is therefore shielded by the religious freedom
protection of the U.S. Constitution.

He said he belongs to the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, which promotes
sacramental marijuana use, and is an ordained-by- mail minister of the
Universal Life Church.

It took Bayley 30 seconds to dismiss those arguments during a 2008

Senior Assistant District Attorney Derek Clepper said Henry's trip to
jail was overdue.

"It was offensive to use religion as an argument for breaking the law,"
he said. "Most religious people say you should abide by the law."

http://www.pennlive .com/news/ patriotnews/ index.ssf? /base/news/ 1252971626\
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