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Rastafarian church in Madison reopens after being raided

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A self-styled Rastafarian church in Madison that police raided after it dispensed marijuana that leaders described as a sacrament has reopened, but without the cannabis.

Jesse Schworck and Dylan Paul Bangert opened the Lion of Judah House of Rastafari in March. The Dane County Narcotics Task Force then raided the establishment in late May.

The Madison natives were subsequently charged with maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Bangert also faces one count of delivery of marijuana, while Schworck faces three distribution counts.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky ruled Monday that 39-year-old Schworck and 23-yaer-old Bangert could return to the church.

Both men say that police and the city are encroaching on their right to practice their religion.

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