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Utah man sues county for return of seized peyote

A self-proclaimed medicine man who founded a Native American Church has sued a Utah county for the return of peyote seized during a 2000 raid.

James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney said the property belongs to him in light of a state Supreme Court decision that found the state couldn't prosecute him for possession of peyote, a hallucinogenic drug. The court said the peyote use is open to any Native American Church practitioner regardless of race or tribal membership.

Mooney has claimed Seminole, Creek, Choctaw and Cherokee ancestry but is not an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe. Other Native American Church leaders fear his case may open up use of peyote to non-Indians.

Get the Story:
Church founder sues for the return of peyote seized in Utah County (The Salt Lake Tribune 4/28)
Medicine man files lawsuit against Utah county officials (AP 4/28)

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

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