• South Carolina prisoner suing to smoke pot in jail, says his religion requires it

    By: Shelby Lin Erdman, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    CHARLESTON, S.C. -

    A prisoner is suing the South Carolina Department of Corrections, contending the agency has violated his religious freedoms by refusing to allow him to smoke pot or wear dreadlocks.

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    Inmate James Rose, 41, filed the federal lawsuit last week, contending the agency has violated his constitutional rights by not providing him marijuana “as part of the Rastafarian religious practice,” according to The Associated Press.

    Rose also claims officials in the state prisons department held him down and shaved his head, cutting off his dreadlocks, after he asked for marijuana in April of 2017, the AP reported.

    He is arguing he should be allowed to grow dreadlocks to an “unlimited length” as part of his religion.

    Rose is seeking $1 million in damages and said in the filing, “The injuries I’ve sustained related to the events were migraine headaches, psychological trauma, mental anguish (depression), panic attacks and nightmares,” according to the AP.

    Rose was convicted of murder in 2013 and is serving a life sentence after his conviction in the killing of the son of a Lincolnville town council member.

     

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