Anthropology

…legal strategy…csa [controlled substances act]

After determining that the UDV’s settlement and resulting exception were too intrusive, three Santo Daime churches based in Oregon sued the DEA, seeking protection under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act rather than an exemption to the CSA. The decision in the 2008-9 case, Church of the Holy Light of the Queen v. Mukasey, ruled in favor of the Santo Daime congregations. The Oregon churches now have legal protections to use the sacramental brew and can extend that status to affiliated churches.

“Other churches could follow UDV and enter into a similar agreement that would allow them to import, possess and use ayahuasca,” says attorney Jack Silver, who was part of Santo Daime’s legal team. “The problem we have with that approach is it validates the entire CSA and empowers the DEA. Our argument was that the bonafide use of ayahuasca is exempt from the CSA to the extent that it infringes church member’s rights under the 1st Amendment. The district court agreed. As such we believe the better approach is to sue under RFRA rather than seek an exception from CSA.”

Original Article (Lucid News):
Shamanic ceremony leaders join forces to shape legal strategy through the sacred plant alliance
Artwork Fair Use: dbking