New Hampshire Supreme Court Supports Freedom for Psychedelic Use in Religious Ceremonies

Last week, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire overturned an earlier conviction of a resident from the North Country, whose charges of psilocybin mushroom possession were filed in 2018. The court ruled that the earlier conviction conflicted with the religion the defendant practices, which is Native American based.

The sitting justices stated in a unanimous ruling that as compared to protections in the U.S. constitution, the right of religion in the New Hampshire constitution was stronger. Under the U.S. constitution, sterner balancing tests are required in the event that the illegal drugs in question are used for religious practices.

The Coos County Superior Court’s decision stated that Jeremy D. Mack had practiced an earth-based religion for years and had become a member of a branch of the Oklevueha Native American Church known as the Oratory of Mystical Sacraments. After joining the church, the resident of Colebrook was provided with a membership card, which permitted him to consume psilocybin mushrooms sacramentally.

The church had limitations that applied to the ingestion of the sacrament, stating that the sacrament was not to be taken around children, when shooting firearms, in public or when driving. Instead, the church strongly recommended that the sacrament be consumed in seclusion.

Mack had been found guilty of possession of psilocybin in 2018 after state police found the hallucinogenic mushrooms during a search for weapons under a confiscation order that involved a different civil case.

Psilocybin has been classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government. This means that the hallucinogenic drug is not allowed to be used in a medical setting and has a high potential for abuse. Other drugs that have been classified in this category include LSD, marijuana and heroin.

The four justices stated that the trial judge who presided over the trial that ultimately led to the conviction of Mack made a mistake in the legal rulings. Echoing an 1868 opinion, one of the justices, Supreme Court Justice James Bassett, stated that in Part I, Article 5, there existed a universal declaration and statement that cited that every individual has the unalienable and natural right to belong to the religion persuasion of his choice, to worship God publicly and privately in the season and manner that is most agreeable to the individual, dictated by reason and his own conscience.

He then added that the Constitution of New Hampshire protected both practices and beliefs while the U.S. constitution protected religious beliefs.

Still on the matter if psychedelic substances, a number of companies are focused on leveraging the emerging opportunities in this sector. For instance, Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN), a Canadian-based firm, has two divisions (Natures Journey Inc. and Serenity Life Sciences), each of which is focused on therapeutic nutraceutical and medicinal psychedelic products respectively.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN

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