Saturday, January 30, 2016

Suit Seeks To Bring Marijuana Under American Indian Religious Freedom Act

Courthouse News Service reported this week that Oklevueha Native American Church leaders James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney and Joy Graves filed suit in an Oregon federal district court on January 15 against the federal government and the U.S. Postal Service.  The suit claims that federal authorities illegally seized 5 ounces of sacramental marijuana mailed to a church member in Ohio last December. Plaintiffs claim that their use of marijuana is protected by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.  National leaders of the Native American Church do not recognize the Oklevueha branch, nor do they agree with its claims that marijuana (as opposed to peyote) has sacramental use.  In 2013, a Hawaii federal district court rejected a claim under RFRA by Mooney. (See prior posting.) That decision is on appeal.