GUAM WANTS REVERSAL OF RULING ALLOWING MARIJUANA RELIGIOUS USE

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HAGÅTÑA, Guam (October 4, 2000 – Hawai‘i Public Radio)---The Attorney General’s Office on Guam is asking a federal appeals court to reverse a lower-court ruling allowing the use of marijuana for religious purposes.

The Guam Supreme Court last month upheld a decision to dismiss marijuana charges against a man who smokes marijuana as a part of his Rastafarian religion.

The Attorney General’s Office last week asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to review the decision.

Chief Prosecutor Dianne Corbett says it’s not known when the court will make a decision on the request.

The decision by the Guam Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling dismissing drug charges against Benny "Rasta Ben" Guerrero, who was arrested in 1991 at the Guam airport with more than seven ounces of marijuana.

Guerrero says marijuana use is a required sacrament of the Rastafarian faith.

Justices found the government infringed on Guerrero’s right to the free exercise of his religion as protected by law.

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