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Non-Indian peyote case could head to Supreme Court

The state of Utah is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of non-Indians who claim the right to use peyote.

In June, the Utah Supreme Court said the state couldn't bar non-Indians from using the drug. The court said all Native American Church members, regardless of race, are protected under a federal exemption.

Other Native American Church practitioners do not feel the same way. They believe non-Indians are abusing the sacrament of their religion.

Federal law allows peyote for members of federally recognized tribes. A man in Utah who claims Indian heritage but it not enrolled in any tribe was busted for possession of the hallucinogenic.

Get the Story:
Peyote, Indian Religion and the Issue of Exclusivity (The New York Times 8/14)

Get the Decision:
State of Utah v. Mooney (June 22, 2004)

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