US allows drugs in worship

American Indian soldiers will be allowed to take the hallucinogenic plant peyote as part of their religious ceremonies under new guidelines adopted by the military.

The announcement on Tuesday ends years of distress for Marine Staff Sgt Shawn Arnold, who said he had been told not to practise his faith.

Sgt Arnold, from the Navajo reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico, said he had twice been threatened with court martial because of his religion. Peyote, or mescal, is a cactus with psychedelic properties that grows in southern Texas. Federal law permits its use by the 250,000 Native American Church members. AP - Albuquerque

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