Feb 21, 2006


Back in November, I posted about O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, a Brazil-based church that holds as sacred the drinking of a tea that contains a component - hoasca - that the Bush Administration considers an illegal drug. The case was to be heard in front of the Supreme Court.

I thought that this case was significant, because it was the first religious freedom case to be heard by newly minted Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, who wrote the court opinion. [Scalito took "no part in the consideration or decision" in this case.] You can read the opinion in its entirety here (if you have a lot of spare time and the interest), but basically it's saying that the government's desire to have a uniform application of the Controlled Substances Act violates a person/group's religious freedom under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (The Peyote Exception). Furthermore, the opinion states that the government didn't even submit evidence that would show the damage that would be caused if the tea was exempt from the CSA.

Basically, the government failed to make its case.

Thanks to Catherine at Poverty Barn for the heads up. I love closure, especially when it works out the way I'd like it to.

1 comment:

Tom Harper said...

I was surprised at the Supreme Court decision. Pleasantly surprised. I was sure the conservative justices would all fall in line behind the Biblethumpers and the gung-ho drug warriors. Reason and logic prevailed, for once.