Utah Supreme Court Rules Peyote Ok For Non-Tribal Church Members

August 14, 2004

Source: The New York Times


On August 14, 2004 The New York Times reported, "peyote, a small cactus whose buttonlike tops can cause hallucinations when eaten, is considered a sacrament and a deity in American Indian religion, and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was designed to make a legal exemption for its use in religious ceremonies by Indians who are members of tribes. But a unanimous ruling this summer by the Utah Supreme Court allowed members of the Native American Church who are nontribal members to use peyote as well. The court ordered the case remanded to a lower court for reconsideration, but the state is considering an appeal to the United States Supreme Court."