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MJ News: Canadian Marijuana Church SeizedTopic: Religious Issues
Contributed by skip on Saturday, April 26 @ 18:01:32 UTC

Church of the Universe leaders imprisoned
by Al Sweeney, CHCH News
Perhaps the most well known marijuana activists in our region are going to jail.
"The Church of the Universe" on Barton street is now under new management.
It's been seized by the government. The two reverends who sold marijuana here as a sacrament in their church, have started serving prison terms.
Police took over the building late Friday afternoon following a court order by a judge, and the judge came down hard.
He sentenced Michael Baldasaro to two years for selling marijuana, and he gave Walter Tucker a year in jail.
The two men lived in their church, and this case made history in Hamilton. It's the first time that a residence has been seized and will eventually be sold off under the drug law.

"So now we're inspecting the premises, seized property management is here, they're the people that are going to manage the property (during) the forfeiture process, just here to ensure the property's secure, make sure there's nothing of value in the property that could go missing, change the locks, board the property up make sure it's secure.
This will send the message that if you're going to carry on trafficking in drugs, growing drugs, in your premise or residence, it can be forfeited as offence-related property."
-Bob MacDonald, Hamilton Police

Now one of the aspects of this case is Baldasaro and Tucker are well-known in Hamilton. They may have been selling an illegal drug but they were friendly and very well-liked by a lot of people. They said they sold marijuana out of compassion to help people.
But the judge didn't buy their church argument.
He said the church was actually a marijuana convenience store, run like a prohibition-era speakeasy, disguised as a church.
The two reverends being characters, there was a very touching scene in court as this case came to an end. Baldasaro as we said got two years in jail, Tucker got one year. But Tucker asked the judge to give him two years as well so that he could spend the time with his friend. The judge ignored his request.
As the reverends were led away to start serving their jail terms, they called out 'bless you' to the court. They say they're also going to be appealing.

Associated Topics

Legal IssuesMarijuana ActivismMedical MarijuanaMJ NewsPotsonalities

"Canadian Marijuana Church Seized" | Login/Create an Account | 4 comments | Search Discussion
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Re: Canadian Marijuana Church Seized (Score: 0)
by anonymous on Sunday, April 27 @ 08:03:15 UTC
(User Info )
 Originally Posted By: chrisbennett
This has to be one of the greatest travestis of "Justice" I've seen in a Canadian pot case. This Judge is guilty of a hate crime, this was a "witch trial". I sincerly hope that the Church is burnt to the ground before it is handed off to the highest bidder.

My heart goes out to the good Reverends. This is madness.

I agree with all your points up till the last one, on which I'm neutral, because I advocate peace. But if the church was burned down, I wold accept that as I accept the good that was done there.

To me, Morality (the system) impedes spirituality (the practice). But in the secular sphere, I believe in the principle of harm reduction. I like the idea of home and sanctuary, but property is problematic to me. This makes it less important than the land it rests on. So if a designer needs to get hired to put up a new building, so be it.

by anonymous on Sunday, April 27 @ 08:05:57 UTC
(User Info )
I attended court today to hear all the details. I have also attended at previous parts of the trial.





1. The cops take a year of spending our tax dollars to investigate the Reverends after the Reverends reported an armed robbery attempt upon themselves. THIS IS THE HELP THEY GET WHEN THEY CALL!

2. In separate under cover buys, the police obtain $30 of weed from one Reverend and $40 of weed from the other. AFTER A WHOLE YEAR, THIS IS ALL THEY COULD OBTAIN!!

3. The police execute a search warrant and discover several pounds of completely budless and virtually leafless stems and branches. ALL THEY FIND IS 'SHAKE'!! VALUELESS!

4. The police and the Crown decide to DESTROY the "shake" as a matter of "standard procedure" and do NOT present it as evidence to the court. They decide NOT to include this weight of so-called "analyzed as cannabis sativa" in the charges that were brought BECAUSE THIS WOULD GUARANTEE A JURY TRIAL which the Crown wished to avoid! THIS IS DIRTY TRICK #1 which was reported merely as "tactical reasons" in the Spectator.

5. This weight of shake, that was not presented during the trial phase of the case (to avoid facing a jury), was allowed to be considered during the sentencing phase! WHAT HYPOCRISY! IN MY OPINION, DUE PROCESS WAS DENIED TO CHALLENGE THIS EVIDENCE. This is Dirty Trick #2.

6. The weight involved was then used as one of the reasons that a harsh sentence would not be "disproportionate"! Dirty Trick #3.

7. Since a heavy sentence was now allowable, property forfeiture was added to the punishment as well as confiscation of all money seized at the residence and in the church and in their bank accounts!!! Dirty Trick #4.

8. Since forfeiture can only be applied when danger to the community can be demonstrated, the Judge reasoned that storing a supply of illegal cannabis provoked the armed robbery attempt and thereby constituted a danger to the community! Dirty Trick #5. This too is hypocrisy because it is PROHIBITION that made that supply so attractive as a valuable target.

Reverend Michael Baldasaro is 58 and got two years. Reverend Walter Tucker is 75 and got one year and, bless his soul, said boldly to the judge, "You gave him two years, you should give me two years, I am just as guilty as he is. It doesn't seem fair." The stone-faced [Orwellian] 'Justice' Cavarzan remained unresponsive. Brother Michael said, "I am disappointed in you, your Honour, but not unexpectedly disappointed."