Thursday, May 17, 2007

Can Children Use Peyote In Native American Religious Ceremonies?

While the use of peyote in Native American religious rituals may be protected by statute at the federal level and in many states, a family court in Leelanau County, Michigan faces a more difficult question. May Native American parents give their minor children peyote in religious ceremonies? Wednesday's Leelanau Enterprise discusses the case. The Leelanau county prosecutor is asking the court to take jurisdiction over five children who were given the hallucinogen after the Tribal Court of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians failed to asset jurisdiction in the case. In a similar 2003 case, a Michigan family court judge ruled that a 4-year old could not ingest peyote, but that he could when he is fully aware of the implications, is physically and emotionally ready, and has the permission of both his parents.