American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments (1994)

H.R. 4230 PDF

Pub. L. No. 103-344, 108 Stat. 3125 (October 6, 1994)

Public Law 103-344
103d Congress

AMERICAN INDIAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1994

[Congressional Bills 103th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4230 Enrolled Bill (ENR)]
        H.R.4230
                       One Hundred Third Congress
                                 of the
                        United States of America
                          AT THE SECOND SESSION
          Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
 the twenty-fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-
                                  four
                                 An Act
  
 
  To amend the American Indian Religious Freedom Act to provide for the 
traditional use of peyote by Indians for religious purposes, and for 
other purposes.
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    This Act may be cited as the "American Indian Religious Freedom 
Act Amendments of 1994".
SEC. 2. TRADITIONAL INDIAN RELIGIOUS USE OF THE PEYOTE SACRAMENT.
    The Act of August 11, 1978 (42 U.S.C. 1996), commonly referred to 
as the "American Indian Religious Freedom Act", is amended by adding 
at the end thereof the following new section:
    "Sec. 3. (a) The Congress finds and declares that--
        "(1) for many Indian people, the traditional ceremonial use of 
    the peyote cactus as a religious sacrament has for centuries been 
    integral to a way of life, and significant in perpetuating Indian 
    tribes and cultures;
        "(2) since 1965, this ceremonial use of peyote by Indians has 
    been protected by Federal regulation;
        "(3) while at least 28 States have enacted laws which are 
    similar to, or are in conformance with, the Federal regulation 
    which protects the ceremonial use of peyote by Indian religious 
    practitioners, 22 States have not done so, and this lack of 
    uniformity has created hardship for Indian people who participate 
    in such religious ceremonies;
        "(4) the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of 
    Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), held that the 
    First Amendment does not protect Indian practitioners who use 
    peyote in Indian religious ceremonies, and also raised uncertainty 
    whether this religious practice would be protected under the 
    compelling State interest standard; and
        "(5) the lack of adequate and clear legal protection for the 
    religious use of peyote by Indians may serve to stigmatize and 
    marginalize Indian tribes and cultures, and increase the risk that 
    they will be exposed to discriminatory treatment.
    "(b)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, 
possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide 
traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a 
traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by 
the United States or any State. No Indian shall be penalized or 
discriminated against on the basis of such use, possession or 
transportation, including, but not limited to, denial of otherwise 
applicable benefits under public assistance programs.
    "(2) This section does not prohibit such reasonable regulation and 
registration by the Drug Enforcement Administration of those persons 
who cultivate, harvest, or distribute peyote as may be consistent with 
the purposes of this Act.
    "(3) This section does not prohibit application of the provisions 
of section 481.111(a) of Vernon's Texas Health and Safety Code 
Annotated, in effect on the date of enactment of this section, insofar 
as those provisions pertain to the cultivation, harvest, and 
distribution of peyote.
    "(4) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any Federal department 
or agency, in carrying out its statutory responsibilities and 
functions, from promulgating regulations establishing reasonable 
limitations on the use or ingestion of peyote prior to or during the 
performance of duties by sworn law enforcement officers or personnel 
directly involved in public transportation or any other safety-
sensitive positions where the performance of such duties may be 
adversely affected by such use or ingestion. Such regulations shall be 
adopted only after consultation with representatives of traditional 
Indian religions for which the sacramental use of peyote is integral to 
their practice. Any regulation promulgated pursuant to this section 
shall be subject to the balancing test set forth in section 3 of the 
Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103-141; 42 U.S.C. 
2000bb-1).
    "(5) This section shall not be construed as requiring prison 
authorities to permit, nor shall it be construed to prohibit prison 
authorities from permitting, access to peyote by Indians while 
incarcerated within Federal or State prison facilities.
    "(6) Subject to the provisions of the Religious Freedom 
Restoration Act (Public Law 103-141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-1), this section 
shall not be construed to prohibit States from enacting or enforcing 
reasonable traffic safety laws or regulations.
    "(7) Subject to the provisions of the Religious Freedom 
Restoration Act (Public Law 103-141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-1), this section 
does not prohibit the Secretary of Defense from promulgating 
regulations establishing reasonable limitations on the use, possession, 
transportation, or distribution of peyote to promote military 
readiness, safety, or compliance with international law or laws of 
other countries. Such regulations shall be adopted only after 
consultation with representatives of traditional Indian religions for 
which the sacramental use of peyote is integral to their practice.
    "(c) For purposes of this section--
        "(1) the term 'Indian' means a member of an Indian tribe;
        "(2) the term 'Indian tribe' means any tribe, band, nation, 
    pueblo, or other organized group or community of Indians, including 
    any Alaska Native village (as defined in, or established pursuant 
    to, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et 
    seq.)), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs 
    and services provided by the United States to Indians because of 
    their status as Indians;
        "(3) the term 'Indian religion' means any religion--
            "(A) which is practiced by Indians, and
            "(B) the origin and interpretation of which is from within 
        a traditional Indian culture or community; and
        "(4) the term 'State' means any State of the United States, 
    and any political subdivision thereof.
    "(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed as abrogating, 
diminishing, or otherwise affecting--
        "(1) the inherent rights of any Indian tribe;
        "(2) the rights, express or implicit, of any Indian tribe 
    which exist under treaties, Executive orders, and laws of the 
    United States;
        "(3) the inherent right of Indians to practice their 
    religions; and
        "(4) the right of Indians to practice their religions under 
    any Federal or State law.".
                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.
                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Oct. 6, 1994
[H.R. 4230]
Sec. 2 is 42 U.S.C. § 1996a PDF