A Rastafarian church has claimed its rights were violated after its marijuana plants were confiscated by police.
Reverend Heidi Lepp, of the Sugarleaf Rastafari Church, said: “They’re not respecting my church — and it’s not fake and I’m not hiding behind anything.”
Days after police in Livingston, California destroyed the plants, Reverend Lepp filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Vern Warnke, claiming he violated her religious and civil rights and that the confiscation was a hate crime.
“He’s violating the law by raiding my churches or discriminating against it in any way.”
Sheriff Warnke said: “The individual filing the lawsuit is a drug dealer and doesn’t like the idea that I don’t care that they’re hiding behind a religious claim. If it’s illegal, it’s illegal. There’s no getting around legality by calling it a religion.”
He added that the plants are being sold for profit as they are above the legal limit.
“When you deal with individuals with more than 12, you know they’re doing it for profit. They’re dealing, they’re playing the sympathy card and saying, ‘oh nuns can do it, the church can do it,’ it’s lipstick on a pig. Call it what you want it’s still drug dealers.”
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