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Law | National
Self-described medicine man seeks return of peyote


A self-described "medicine man" from Utah wants the federal government to return 15,000 peyote buttons.

James "Flaming Eagle" Mooney runs the Oklevueha Native American Church but is not a member of a federally recognized tribe. Federal charges against him and his wife were dropped as long as they agreed not to possess peyote.

Mooney says he is entitled to use the hallucinogenic for ceremonies. But the U.S. Attorney's Office says it is illegal for him to have the drug.

The state brought charges against the Mooneys but they were thrown out by the Utah Supreme Court. The decision said the state's law on peyote use was vague.

Get the Story:
Native American church's items are returned (The Salt Lake City Deseret News 7/29)

Utah Supreme Court Decision:
State of Utah v. Mooney (June 22, 2004)

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