Update on the udv case in the US
- AyAhUaScA wIlL bEaT tHe BuSh AdMiNiStRaTiOn!!!
Newsbrief: Supreme Court Puts Hold on Religious Ayahuasca Use
Two weeks ago, the New Mexico-based US branch of the Brazilian church Centro
Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (UDV, or Union of the Vegetable) won
in federal appeals court the right to use the Amazonian hallucinogen
ayahuasca in its religious rites
(http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/363/udv.shtml). On Wednesday, the Bush
administration was back in court on the case, seeking and winning a stay
from the Supreme Court blocking the church from using its sacrament until
they have heard the case.
The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver had ruled that the church
would probably win its case, and granted a temporary injunction barring the
government from suppressing its ayahuasca rituals in the meantime, but
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer granted the government a temporary stay
to give both sides more time to file arguments with the court.
"Compliance with the injunction would force the United States to go into
violation of an international treaty designed to prevent drug trafficking
worldwide, which could have both short- and long-term foreign relations
costs and could impair the policing of transnational drug trafficking
involving the most dangerous controlled substances," acting Solicitor
General Paul Clement wrote in a court filing.
The case arose when federal agents raided the Santa Fe, New Mexico, offices
of the church's US branch in 1999, seizing 30 gallons of ayahuasca tea.
Unfortunately for the feds, the leader of the US branch, Jeffrey Bronfman,
is an extremely well-heeled heir to the Seagram's whiskey fortune. Bronfman
sued, and so far, he and the church have won every round.