PHOENIX — There's no constitutional right to use marijuana for religious purposes, according to a new Arizona court ruling.
The state Court of Appeals' ruling in State v. Hardesty upholds the conviction and sentences of Danny Ray Hardesty in Yavapai County for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Hardesty's appeal contended that he was entitled to use marijuana under religious-freedom protections of the state and federal constitutions.
The Court of Appeals acknowledges that courts have ruled that use of peyote for a bona fide religious belief is a defense to prosecution.
But the court's ruling says marijuana use is more pervasive and that the uniform ban on possession and use is a legitimate restriction imposed by government.