Check the article “Religious Freedom and United States Drug Laws: Notes on the UDV-USA” in:

This article is a summary of the legal case of the United States branch of the União do Vegetal, which sued the US government after federal agents seized its supply of hoasca in 1999. The government claimed that hoasca is illegal because it contains DMT, a prohibited substance. The UDV argued that the government’s action was an illegal infringement of religious freedom. The article traces the trajectory of the case through the American federal court system, detailing the principal arguments used at each stage by the UDV and by the government. It ends with the government’s appeal to the Supreme Court (following three defeats in the lower courts), which will be heard in November, 2005. The article concludes with some reflections on the significance of religious drug use in the context of United States culture history.

Matthew David Scott Meyer ( is a PhD candidate in the University of Virginia in Virginia, and a researcher of NEIP – Psychoactives Interdisciplinary Study Group (, a center for study of psychoactive substances that brings together scholars in the Human Sciences affiliated with various institutions to promote joint reflection on the topic.

Comments are closed.