January 12, 2002

High court to rule on peyote use


Source: Stephen Hunt
The Salt Lake Tribune

The Utah Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether non-American Indians can use peyote legally during religious ceremonies.

American Indians are allowed to use peyote for religious purposes in conjunction with bona fide ceremonies of the Native American Church.

The issue arose from the prosecutions of two self-styled medicine men charged with drug distribution: James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney in Utah County and Nicholas Stark in Weber County.

The men say the U.S. and Utah constitutions guarantee freedom of religion to everyone — regardless of tribal ties — meaning everyone has the right to participate in the ceremonial use of peyote…Read Full Story

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