Supreme Court upholds injunction for UdV

The Supreme Court voted unanimously to affirm the preliminary injunction allowing the UdV (the American branch of a Brazilian church that uses the hallucinogenic mixture called ayhusca as its sacrament) to worship without interference from Federal drug enforcement authorities. The Chief Justice wrote the opinion.

That means the church can continue to operate while the case-in-chief goes back the the District Court for trial on the merits. I was an expert witness for the church on the question of the risk that the sacramental mixture would be diverted into illicit channels. Since the case is ongoing, I shouldn’t comment on it. But the decision repays close study by those interested the interaction of religious freedom and the drug laws.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: