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Ariz. court: Man has no religious right to smoke pot

By The Associated Press
08.04.08

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.


Related

Hawaii high court snuffs out man's religious arguments for pot use

But dissenting justice says privacy rights guaranteed by state constitution should allow people to smoke marijuana in their homes. 10.01.07

Religious liberty gets boost in hallucinogenic-tea case
By Tony Mauro Chief justice's maiden First Amendment opinion is clear victory for free-exercise clause. 02.22.06

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