By Steve Elliott
Photo of Joy Graves by Scotta Callister/The Blue Mountain Eagle
Two Oregon activists who was busted for a 13-plant cannabis patch last June are arguing that charges should be dismissed on the grounds of freedom of religion.
Attorneys for Joy Graves and Raymond Martin argued that it wasn't an illegal marijuana grow, but rather a sacramental cannabis garden protected by the law and used in the rites of their branch of the Oklevueha Native American Church, reports The Blue Mountain Eagle.
Martin's attorney, Robert Raschio, and Graves' attorney, Timothy Gassner, argued that the case conflicts with their clients' right to religious freedom. But Deputy District Attorney Matthew Ipson said that state law prohibits marijuana grows within 1,000 feet of schools as "a statute of general applicability."
In court filings, Ipson argued the state’s interest in restricting marijuana near schools is compelling, and that “the statute is applied equally without regard to religious beliefs or affiliation.”