Judge Rejects Religious Defense for Marijuana Use

A man isn’t entitled to use Arizona’s religious-freedom law to overturn his conviction for possessing marijuana while driving, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

The unanimous ruling rejected Danny Ray Hardesty‘s argument that he was entitled to use the same defense allowed for peyote use in Native American sacramental rites.

Hardesty said he belonged to a church whose main religious sacrament is allowing individual families to establish their own modes of worship.

“Hardesty’s mode was to smoke and eat marijuana without limit as to time or place,” the court opinion noted.


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This post was last updated: Sep. 9, 2009