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N.M. religious group can have toxic tea

SANTA FE, N.M., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Recent inaction by U.S. Supreme Court means a Santa Fe, N.M., religious group can drink its psychedelic tea, the group's lawyer said.

"The UDV (O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal) is now able to practice its religion again," attorney John Boyd of Albuquerque said regarding the high court's Dec. 13 decision not to hear a Justice Department appeal.

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The government objected to U.S. District Judge James Parker's 2001 decision it could not confiscate UDV's toxic tea, the New Mexican reported.

Boyd called the case "profoundly important in terms of the government's ability to control our lives," asking: "What is the limit of government's ability to regulate and proscribe the lives of its citizenry if nobody is getting hurt? Who's working for whom here?"

The Christian Legal Society, the National Association of Evangelicals and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. all filed briefs supporting UDV.

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