"PORTLAND, Oregon. — A church in Ashland can import and brew a hallucinogenic tea for its religious services, under a federal court ruling issued March 19.
"Judge Owen M. Panner issued a permanent injunction that bars the federal government from penalizing or prohibiting the 'Church of the Holy Light of the Queen' from sacramental use of 'Daime' tea."
The suit was filed under the 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act'.
It is a 1993 United States federal law aimed at preventing laws which substantially burden a person's free exercise of their religion. The bill was introduced by Howard McKeon of California and Dean Gallo of New Jersey on March 11, 1993.
The law reinstated the Sherbert Test, mandating that strict scrutiny be used when determining if the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing religious freedom, has been violated. In this, the court must first determine whether the person has a claim involving a sincere religious belief, and whether the government action is a substantial burden on the person’s ability to act on that belief...
Selected reader comments from the USA Today report :-
"Me thinks perchance the judge is overstepping his authority just a wee bit. Perhaps a little to much tea sampled as part of the research for the case."
"Yeah every day I see evidence of that. (Especially when I read these boards and I'm assuming the folks posting don't have any experience with hallucinogens.) If you haven't tried it don't knock it. But you will only experience 'god' while under the influence if you are expecting it.
Otherwise just like with LSD, peyote, mescaline, etc, you will have an experience that is reflective of your subconscious. No training is required. However having someone with you as a 'babysitter' is recommended."
" 'What happens to some people's minds when they go to law school?' I believe that if there are enough wrong interpretations of the Constitution, the U.S. will self destruct."
"How long do the effects last? Is it safe for them to drive motor vehicles after the services? If they are arrested for DUI will their 'puke' lawyer file another law suit?"
"The Brazilian 'Church of the Holy Light of the Queen' bible translators use a centuries old tradition of passing down Bible verses orally. Sadly, the 'telegraph principle' once again took hold, thereby explaining their scripture's entry for John 14:6 'no one comes to the Father except through tea'.