The Religious Use of Controlled Substances
Santa Rosa Criminal Defense Attorney
The Controlled Substances Act has an exemption related to religious use of certain substances, including the non-drug use of peyote in the Native American Church. All tribes all are exempt from prosecution for the use of peyote in religious rites under federal law, but could still be prosecuted at the state level. No other religious group was given an exemption in the Act, but various cases have been taken to the Supreme Court to allow for the use of certain controlled substances for religious rites. These include a Brazilian sect that uses a specific tea called hoasca which contains DMT, a Schedule I drug. The Supreme Court came to a decision that the sect was sincere in its use of the tea in its rites, and the sect was then barred from prosecution.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Your Rights
Other religious groups have filed cases for religious use of controlled substances under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime and were using the substance as part of your religious rites, legal action can be taken to fight for your religious rights under the constitution. Addressing rights issues under constitutional law takes specific skill and a deep understanding of how to best present a case and seek to be barred from prosecution. As advocates for your constitutional rights under this act, our Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyer at Law Offices of Joe Rogoway, P.C. has the skills as a trial attorney that are necessary to take your case to court and fight for you and your religious freedom.
These can be complex cases and gaining a favorable verdict in court will require exceptional skill. We are committed to assisting religious groups that use controlled substances are part of their religious rites, and in seeking to have their constitutional rights upheld through court action. If you are facing criminal charges related to the use of a controlled substance that is part of your religious rites, it is advised that you contact Joe Rogoway to discuss your options with regard to taking the case to a higher court. In cases of cannabis the legal aspects of your case must be carefully managed if you hope to get your religious rights restored. The issue of cannabis use is still not resolved in favor of those who practice a religion that includes its use, such as the Ethiopian Zionist church, Hindu gurus and others that use cannabis in practicing the rites of their religion.
Contact a Santa Rosa criminal defense lawyer from our firm to discuss your case.