SC inmate wants to be supplied marijuana, says it's part of his religion

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A South Carolina inmate is now suing the Department of Corrections, saying they violated his religious freedoms by not allowing him to smoke marijuana.

James Rose, 41, is serving a life sentence at Lieber Correctional Institute following a 2013 murder conviction. Authorities say he was involved in an execution-style murder of the son of a town council member in Lincolnville.

In the lawsuit, Rose stated the Department of Corrections violated his constitutional rights by not allowing him to practice his religion by growing his hair to an unlimited length or by giving him marijuana as part of the Rastafarian religious practice.

“I grew dreadlocks as a practice of my Rastafarian religion and asked to be accommodated with marijuana as part of my religion and practice,” he stated in the lawsuit. “(the) defendant forced me to cut my hair and refused to accommodate me with marijuana.”

Rose went on to say guards jumped on him and held him down in restraints to physically force him to get a haircut. “…enforcing an illegal hair grooming policy rejected by the United States Supreme Court,” he said.

The inmate stated he sustained injuries during the event like headaches, psychological trauma, mental anguish, depression, panic attacks and nightmares.

Rose said he wanted $1,000,000 in punitive damages due to the use of excessive force to “maliciously and sadistically cause harm.” He also requested the right to grow his dreadlocks, and be supplied with marijuana as a religious practice.

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