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February 2006
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Supreme Court rules in favor of religious use of hoasca tea

Via TalkLeft (and thanks, Daksya)
In a unanimous decision (without Alito participating), the judges ruled that the government could not prevent the Uniao do Vegetal (UDV) church from utilizing ayahoasca (which contains the hallucinogenic substance DMT).

In their first religious freedom decision under Chief Justice John Roberts, the justices moved decisively to keep the government out of a church’s religious practice. In the decision, Roberts wrote that federal drug agents should have been barred from confiscating the hoasca tea of the Brazil-based church and that the Bush administration had failed to meet its burden under a federal religious freedom law to show that it should be allowed to ban “the sect’s sincere religious practice.” [Link]

The case was ALBERTO R. GONZALES, ATTORNEY GENERAL, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. O CENTRO ESPIRITA BENEFICENTE UNIAO DO VEGETAL ET AL.

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