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10th Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms Preliminary Injunction
Allowing UDV to Use Ayahuasca
by Erowid
Sep 2003
See also:
10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision
UDV's Ayahuasca Trial Starts (November, 2001)
Federal Court Approves Preliminary Injunction (Aug 2002)
10th Circuit Appeals Court en-banc re-affirms preliminary injunction (Nov 2004)


On Sep 4, 2003, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (Denver, CO) in a 2-1 decision approved a lower court's preliminary injunction granting The Uniao De Vegetal (UDV)-USA the right to continue using ayahuasca in the US while the issue is decided in court.

The text of the appellate decision can be found here.

The appeals decision concludes with :
For these reasons, at this juncture, we hold UDV has demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the claim for an exemption to the CSA for sacramental hoasca use. We find the other conditions for granting a preliminary injunction present as well. Because "a plaintiff satisfies the irreparable harm analysis by alleging a violation of RFRA," Kikumura, 242 F.3d at 963, we conclude the irreparable harm requirement for a preliminary injunction is satisfied. On the balance of the harms and adversity to the public interest, we recognize the importance of enforcement of criminal laws, including the CSA. New Motor Vehicle Board v. Orrin W. Fox Co., 434 U.S. 1345, 1351 (1977) (in a case involving enforcement of the California Automobile Franchise Act, noting a state "suffers a form of irreparable injury" any time it "is enjoined by a court from effectuating statutes enacted by representatives of its people"). Nevertheless, as RFRA a statute enacted by representatives of the people to protect religious freedom " acknowledges, harm ensues from the denial of free exercise and the public has a significant interest in unburdened legitimate religious expression. Given the critical evidence in support of the Government's alleged compelling interests w "in equipoise" and "virtually balanced," we agree with the district court that UDV has demonstrated the balance of harms and public interest tip in their favor. We AFFIRM.
For further information about this issue, see the links above.

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