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United States v. Kuch (1968)

  • By: John H. Barnhill
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

The case of United States v. Kuch (1968) established that use of illegal drugs in “religious” practice is not absolute, restricting the efforts of the 1960s drug culture to use religion as a cover for drug use. The case was a deliberate test of the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act and the Drug Abuse Control Amendments of 1965 to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

In United States v. Kuch, Judith H. Kuch, who was indicted on seven counts for unlawfully obtaining and transferring marijuana and for the unlawful sale, delivery, and possession of LSD, argued that she was an ordained minister of the Neo-American Church and that the criminal penalties provided for violating the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and the Federal Food, Drug, and ...

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