HEROIN DEALER TRIES ‘RELIGIOUS FREEDOM’ AS HIS DEFENSE, SENTENCED TO 27 YEARS IN PRISON

Source: World Religion News

POSTED BY DEREK WELCH

Timothy Anderson, a heroin dealer from St. Louis, Missouri, claimed he should be permitted to sell the opioid. His argument was that if he was not allowed to do so, his criminal prosecution will violate the 1993-passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This law prohibits the United States Government from needlessly burdening an individual’s religious exercise. Anderson did not deny any of the drug related charges brought against him. He had no intention to stop selling drugs either. He put forward the argument that he sold heroin as a student of mysticism and the esoteric. Anderson claimed he had made a religious and completely non-profit group so he could distribute heroin to “the sick, lost, blind, lame, deaf and dead members of God’s Kingdom.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Eighth Circuit Court rejected Anderson’s appeal. Judge Gruender said, “We note that a reasonable observer may legitimately question how plausible it is that Anderson exercised a sincerely held religious belief by distributing heroin.”

Anderson’s arguments could hold water. It was previously ruled by the Supreme Court, per the religious freedom act; ayahuasca, a Schedule 1 drug of the narcotics pyramid, can be imported by a New Mexico sect of a Brazilian religion. This drug contains dimethyltryptamine, a hallucinogen. A New Mexico sect used this extracted compound as an ingredient of sacramental tea.

The U.S. Government has also given its permission to Native Americans for the peyote drug. Both ayahuasca and peyote are schedule 1 drugs. It is long believed to be in the top of narcotics pyramid.

Read more at World Religion News: http://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=37490

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