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Freedom of religion issues getting flogged by Bush

I’m no big fan of mind-altering substances (even caffeine gets to me), but I’m wondering if Bush would have been fighting hard over a TEABAG if some fundie winger church that supported him was on the other side of the argument. Breyer Blocks Use of Church Hallucinogen. (LATimes):

The Bush administration on Wednesday won a Supreme Court stay that blocks a New Mexico church from using hallucinogenic tea that the government contended was illegal and potentially dangerous.

The government has been in a long-running legal fight with the Brazil-based O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal over hoasca tea, brewed from plants found in the Amazon River Basin.

The church won a preliminary injunction in a lower court, and the Supreme Court was asked to intervene.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, acting on behalf of the full court, granted a temporary stay to give both sides time to file more 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 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver found that the church probably has a religious-freedom right to use the tea.

The Bush administration plans to appeal, but wants the church barred from using the tea in the meantime.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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