The state Court of Appeals has sided with a Rastafarian, ruling that his right to religious expression trumps his conviction in Ramsey County District Court of a drug paraphernalia offense for carrying a glass pipe.

Judge Jill Flaskamp Halbrooks wrote that the teenager has a "genuinely held belief in possessing a cannabis pipe." Therefore, Halbrooks continued, the prosecution had "failed to meet its burden" of showing that it had a "compelling state interest" in enforcing the statute in this case.

Paul Walsh