Editorial: Supreme Court opens peyote to non-Indians

"House Bill 60, which would allow members of federally recognized Indian tribes to use peyote for religious services, is on his desk awaiting his signature.

The bill was drafted to target one man: James Warren "Flaming Eagle" Mooney, leader of the Oklevueha EarthWalks Native American Church. Mooney has been in the legal cross hairs at various levels of government for five years because he allows non-Indians to join his church and participate in peyote ceremonies.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a New Mexico church could use hallucinogenic tea in its religious services. This would seem to give Mooney a legal basis for conducting peyote services at his church again.

In light of that, the feds' conditions for dropping the vendetta appears to be a face-saving move. U.S. attorneys now don't have to admit to pushing a constitutionally dubious case. It seems they were able to read the handwriting on the wall and cut their losses."

Get the Story:
Governor should veto peyote bill (The Provo Daily Herald 2/25)

Supreme Court Decision:
Gonzales v. UDV (February 21, 2006)

Utah Peyote Bill:
Controlled Substance Amendments (HB 60)

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