Hawaiian church can pursue RFRA claim to permit use of cannabis

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Oklevueha Native American Church of Hawaii v. Holder, (D HI, Dec.31, 2012), an Hawaii federal district court, in a case on remand from the 9th Circuit (see prior posting), permitted a church’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act claim to proceed to challenge enforcement of the federal drug laws. The suit was brought by a church that uses cannabis in its religious ceremonies and by a spiritual leader who founded the church. The court however dismissed plaintiffs’ claims under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the equal protection clause and the 1st Amendment’s free exercise clause. Turtle Talk blog has links to the pleadings in the case.