The city of Newport Beach, California, has filed suit against a church for allegedly operating an illegal pot shop, but the church claims its use of marijuana is a form of religious expression, KCBS-TV reported.
Newport Beach police conducted an undercover operation and inspection of the Church of the Holy Grail earlier this year and found evidence that it was operating a marijuana dispensary without a state license and in violation of “numerous City laws,” according to the suit filed June 25.
The church said its marijuana business is not illegal, but rather a form of religious expression, according to court documents. . .
The city issued an administration citation that advised the group to cease its operations. Cristian L. Peirano, an attorney for Holy Grail, responded on the same day to the city’s citation.
“In this letter, Holy Grail asserts, inter alia, that its use of marijuana is a lawful exercise of religion,” Peirano wrote in response, according to the court documents. Peirano did not respond to KCBS’ request for comment Sunday. (Read more from “City Says Church Is Running an Illegal Pot Shop; Church Makes This Ridiculous Claim” HERE)