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Supreme Court reviews case compared to peyote

The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing a religious freedom case that has drawn comparisons to the Native American Church's use of peyote.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a religious group in New Mexico to use hoasca, a sacred herbal tea, for ceremonies. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal, also known as UDV, originated in Brazil, where the tea is legal.

UDV says its members should be allowed to use the tea because the federal government allows Native American Church members to use peyote. Both hoasca and peyote are classified as dangerous drugs under federal law.

The Bush administration filed a petition to overturn the 10th Circuit decision. The Supreme Court will review the petition on Friday and announce whether it will take the case next week.

Get the Story:
High Court Asked to End Religious Teatime (The Legal Times 4/14)

UDV Decisions:
En Banc (November 12, 2004) | Panel (September 4, 2003) | Federal Judge (September 12, 2002)

Peyote Decision:
State of Utah v. Mooney (June 22, 2004) (7/12)

Relevant Links:
Uniao do Vegetal -
Ayahuasca -

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