Sunday, February 05, 2012

O Centro Files Land Use Lawsuit Against New Mexico County

O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal (UDV), the religious group that in 2006 won in the Supreme Court the right to use hoasca-- sacramental hallucinogenic tea (see prior posting)-- has now filed a land use lawsuit against Santa Fe County, New Mexico. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the federal lawsuit, filed on Thursday, grows out of the county commission's 3-2 denial of UDV's application to build a new temple to replace its current facilities that it has outgrown.  The complaint (full text) in O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal (UDV-USA) v. Board of County Commissioners of Santa Fe County, (D NM, filed 2/2/2012) charges in 8 counts that the county's denial violated the 1st and 14th Amendments, various provisions of RLUIPA, and the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act. [Thanks to Eric Rassbach via Religionlaw for the lead.]