Case compared to Native American Church
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A trial is underway in federal court in New Mexico on whether a Brazil-based religious organization is simliar to the Native American Church and should therefore be allowed to use a hallucinogenic tea.

The church, called O Centro Espírita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, uses a tea called hoasca. Hoasca, like peyote to the Native American Church, is used as a sacrament.

And like peyote in the United State, hoasca is protected by law in Brazil for church participants. But U.S. Customs agents seized a barrel full of the tea so a New Mexico leader of the church sued to have it returned.

Besides the feedom of religion issue, there is also the question of whether the tea will harm participants. The government's witness from the National Institute on Drug Abuse said there are risks from using it.

Get the Story:
Experts Debate Risks of Hallucinogenic Tea (The Albuquerque Journal 10/30)

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