Skip to main content.
A non-profit service providing academics, religion professionals and other researchers with religion & cult news

Religion news articles about religious cults, sects, world religions, and related issues

Home | About RNB Related: Cult FAQ | Cult Experts | Apologetics Index | Cult Information Search Engine
More articles about: Peyote:

Judge Rules Peyote Use is Legal

Sep, 22, 2004
Jed Boal (reporter) • Friday September 24, 2004

A Utah County man today celebrated his right to religious freedom. The Native American Church leader fought for his right to use peyote and the Utah Supreme Court agreed.

Four years ago James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney was thrust into a struggle that pitted religious freedom against US drug laws. Mooney argued his peyote ceremonies were protected by law. Utah County charged him as a drug dealer, but Mooney won.

James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney’s Oklevueha Earthwalk’s Native American Church has few members today. But they held a sacred pipe ceremony in front of the federal courthouse. They smoked legal herbs to honor their attorney and the Utah Supreme Court.

Mooney is grateful that the state has given up on prosecuting his case after the high court ruled unanimously in his favor.

James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney: “This is a stand for me. This is who I am. This is what I do. So whatever they throw at me, makes no difference to me.”

Four years ago, deputies raided his church in Benjamin and seized thousands of peyote buttons. Mooney and his wife were jailed and charged as drug dealers. Mooney stood up for his religious rights, but it took a toll on his family and his church.

James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney: “Everyone has been so terrorized with the threat of arrest and imprisonment if they partake in these ceremonies.”

Native Americans consider peyote sacred medicine, and the ceremonies are protected by federal law. The Utah Supreme Court said the ceremonies are protected even if church members are not Native Americans.

Kathryn Collard, Mooney’s Lawyer: “We have to fight for our constitutional rights in every age. A lot of us take those rights for granted.”

Mooney says it was never a fight or a battle, it was a stand for freedom.

James “Flaming Eagle” Mooney: “We can worship as LDS Mormons worship, without the fear of somebody invading their temple and arresting their temple president. That’s what happened here.”

The US Attorney has warned Mooney he could still be charged federally and the Utah County attorney’s office may approach the legislature about restrictions on peyote. Mooney and his attorney say they will continue to take a stand for his religious freedom.

info Original content is © Copyright Religion News Blog. All rights reserved.
    Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

share this article Share this article

tag Related Articles

arrow Topic(s): Peyote

Comment Comment

Join Religion News Blog at Google+ to comment, share, and follow.

RSS Feed Follow Us


Religion News You May Like This As Well

Why are you not using Nozbe?

Don't you need to get things done?

Religion News Search Search Religion News Blog