Pubdate: Wed, 19 Nov 2008
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Jackson Hayes
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)
Bookmark: (Spiritual or Sacramental)


Church of the Universe co-founders Michael Baldasaro and Walter Tucker
are hoping the date of their next court appearance is a sign of success.

They were told earlier this week the Ontario Court of Appeal will hear
the appeals on their marijuana trafficking convictions and sentences
next year on April 20.

"The fourth month on the 20th day," Baldasaro said with a wispy laugh.
"It came right out of the blue, 420."

The number 420 is popular in cannabis culture and April 20 has become
somewhat of a holiday for marijuana enthusiasts.

Baldasaro and Tucker, who use the title reverend, were found guilty
last November of multiple counts of trafficking marijuana and
sentenced to two years and 12 months, respectively.

Despite being released pending appeal, neither man is permitted to
return to their Barton Street church because it was ruled an
"offence-related property."

They have also been ordered not to associate with each

Their plan is to appeal the bail conditions they consider too strict
to the Supreme Court of Canada, saying they hope to file a notice in
the next few days.

Both men, neither of whom are strangers to court, founded the Church
of the Universe at a Puslinch rock quarry in 1969.

Their theology borrows from various religions but essentially
advocates for the legalization of marijuana. Cannabis is their
sacrament and they believe hemp is the tree of life.
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