Protected by the Supreme Court of the United States
Our spiritual practice is protected under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act of 1993 (“RFRA”) and further bolstered by the Supreme Court Ruling Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006).
This ruling, which involved an Ayahuasca Church, stated that the United States government is required to demonstrate a compelling interest in a court of law in order to interfere with an individual’s sincere free exercise of religion. With regards to our sacraments, these compelling interests are participant safety and prevention of diversion of the sacraments. As long as our sacraments are served in a sincere religious context, with measures to ensure safety and prevent diversion, it cannot be interfered with by any government agency.
Since this ruling, many entheogenic churches have formed across the USA and have operated publicly for many years. Subsequent rulings from lower courts have conformed to the Supreme Court Ruling. Also since the 2006 ruling, the safety profile for our sacraments has been further bolstered and is widely considered to be safe given certain parameters.
We are deeply grateful to those who have fought the legal battles necessary for it possible for us to serve our sacraments, specifically the NAC (Native American Church), the UDV (União do Vegetal), the Holy Light of the Queen Church.
If you are interested, here is more reading on the relevant law: