Idaho High Court Rejects Free Exercise Challenge To Marijuana Possession Conviction

In State of Idaho v. Fluewelling, (ID Sup. Ct., March 17, 2011), the Idaho Supreme Court rejected a criminal defendant's argument that his conviction for possession of marijuana violated his free exercise rights under the U.S. and Idaho constitutions.The court held that prosecution for conduct that violates a neutral statute of general applicability is not unconstitutional merely because the defendant engaged in the conduct for religious reasons. The court also rejected defendant's argument that his conviction should be reversed because a different state statute that permits peyote to be used in Native American religious ceremonies unconstitutionally grants a preference to one religious denomination.

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