A church of magic mushroom fans sued the police over drug seizures

Anna Kholodnova

The Church of Magic Mushrooms in Oakland, USA sued local police over a 2020 raid that it says violates the groupʼs constitutional and religious rights. During the rave, drugs worth $200 000 were confiscated from parishioners of this church.

Vice writes about it.

Church of the Magic founder Dave Hodges said his organization has 60,000 members who pay $5 a month in exchange for the "sacrament" of herbs and mushrooms. It is a local branch of followers of the Church of Ambrosia, which advocates safe access to psychoactive substances in order to have a "direct experience of communion with God."

In its lawsuit, the organization cites the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. This law allows certain groups to use illegal drugs. Currently, in the USA, churches of Brazilian origin and churches of Native Americans have such permission — there they use ayahuasca and peyote cactus.

  • On June 7, the Cabinet of Ministers supported the draft law on the legalization of medical cannabis. In addition, the Ministry of Health noted that they are ready to ensure the full production cycle of cannabis-based drugs in Ukraine: from cultivation and processing to full production. On June 10, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) registered a government draft law on the use of cannabis for medical, industrial and scientific purposes.
  • The draft law provides that Ukrainian patients will be allowed to buy, store and use medicines based on medical cannabis, and doctors will be allowed to prescribe them. Businesses will be able to cultivate and grow medical cannabis on the territory of Ukraine and produce medicine from it, transport and sell it on the territory of Ukraine. Scientists will be able to study this plant, which will stimulate innovation in this field.
  • However, in order to grow medical cannabis, you will need to obtain permission from the police to use the premises and a special license. It will also be necessary to conclude a contract with a testing laboratory for drug quality control or to have a laboratory on the territory. It will be necessary to ensure the access of the National Police to its facilities for the selection and examination of product samples.
  • On June 14, the Verkhovna Radaʼs Committee on National Health, Medical Care and Medical Insurance supported the governmentʼs bill on the legalization of medical cannabis in Ukraine. It was recommended to adopt it in the first reading.