Newsbrief: US 9th Circuit Rules Religious Marijuana Use on Federal Lands Okay 5/31/02

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items

more...

recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!

In a case involving a Hispanic Rastaman bringing marijuana to Guam, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has ruled that the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act precluded the US government from prosecuting people who possess marijuana on federal lands for religious reasons. The court reasoned that under the RFRA, Congress had the power to create religious exemptions to laws it had originally passed, in this case the Controlled Substances Act.

Unfortunately for defendant Bennie Toves Guerrero, also known as Ras Iyah Ben Makahna, who had been arrested at the Guam airport and charged with importing five ounces of marijuana and 10 ounces of seeds, the court ruled that he could be prosecuted for importing marijuana. "Rastafarianism does not require importation of a controlled substance, which increases (its) availability," the court said.

But the ruling's ramifications could be wide. The court's reference to the "federal realm," specifically the territory of Guam in this case, could apply to federal prosecutions on other federal property, such as national parks, San Francisco federal public defender Barry Portman told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The ruling, which is in line with rulings by two other appeals court, applies to the entire purview of the 9th Circuit, including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, California, and eight other Western states. If extended nationwide, the ruling could apply to federal territories across the country, including Washington, DC.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #239, 5/31/02 Editorial: Skating on the Edge of Propriety | New DRCNet/StopTheDrugWar.org Merchandise Out -- Discounted Purchase Available | DEA Forges Alliance With Women Legislators Group to Wage War on Club Drugs, Terror | DEA Raids Another California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Even as Advocates Gear Up for Day of Action Next Friday | FBI Ends Drug War Role to Concentrate on Terror War | Western Australia to Cite, Not Arrest, Marijuana Users Under State Government Plan | National Drug Intelligence Center Gives Partial Response to DRCNet FOIA Request on "Drug Menace" Web Sites | Report Charges Taft Administration Subverts Election in Ohio, Allies with PDFA and CADCA in Effort to Defeat Initiative | Newsbrief: Seven Up Pulls "Prison Rape" Commercial Under Threat of Boycott | Newsbrief: Feds Use RICO Against Virginia Oxycontin Doctor | Newsbrief: US 9th Circuit Rules Religious Marijuana Use on Federal Lands Okay | Newsbrief: Cannabis Cafe Vows to Open in England, Another in Scotland | Newsbrief: Tennessee Town Pays for Drug Raid Killing | Newsbrief: Oakland Rogue Cops Go on Trial | Newsbrief: Will Foster Arrested on Minor Parole Violation in California, May Face Return to Oklahoma Prison | Newsbrief: Swaziland Row Over Rasta Royals | Newsbrief: Marijuana Advocate Sues Over Hawaii Aerial Eradication Program | Newsbrief: Ed Thompson Does Weedstock, Says Legalize It | Newsbrief: British Magazine "The New Statesman" Calls for Drug Legalization | Newsbrief: Weird Scenes Inside the Pretoria Ford Plant | The Reformer's Calendar
Mail this article to a friend
Send us feedback on this article
This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Subscribe now!
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]