Court orders Rastafari house founders to stay away from church, THC for personal use
MADISON, Wis. – The founders of a Rastafarian church in Madison are out on signature bonds awaiting a court appearance after being arrested on tentative drug charges.
Although Jesse Schworck and Dylan Bangert say their Lion of Judah, House of Rastafari Church is a cannabis sanctuary exempt from laws prohibiting marijuana because of religious reasons, the state will argue otherwise.
The two were arrested Wednesday after police executed a search warrant. Bangert is facing potential charges of THC delivery and maintaining a drug trafficking place. Schworck is facing those charges as well, along with disorderly conduct and battery while armed.
„It’s a nice area, everything’s close, the corner store and stuff,” said Rob Nielsson, who lives down the block from the church on West Mifflin Street.
The church on the corner might not be open for a while.
“I wasn’t surprised at all, just because of how open they were about it,” Nielsson said. “The guy was out here handing out cards and stuff, saying it was a weed church.”
In court Friday, the two were granted signature bond on the condition that they stay away from the 500 block of West Mifflin Street. Despite their attorney’s request that they be allowed to possess marijuana for personal religious use, the court commissioner ordered they not possess any controlled substances, including THC, without a licensed physician’s recommendation, as part of their bond conditions.
Dylan Bangert and Jesse Schworck, founders of the Lion of Judah, House of Rastafari have been released on signature bond after being arrested on possible drug charges. The judge denied their request to possess THC for religious reasons. The church is boarded up. @WISCTV_News3 pic.twitter.com/Lp5g1F3e5H
— Madalyn O’Neill (@news3madalyn) May 31, 2019
„It’s not an unreasonable request that in exchange for that, the defendants comply with Wisconsin law which is essentially what they’re being asked to do,” court commissioner Jason Hanson said.
Schworck and Bangert are scheduled to be back in court Thursday morning.
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