CLE Course Details

Representing Visionary Churches: Using the RFR Act to Protect the Rights of Churches Under the FCS Act

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Price: $55
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  • Description

    The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) prohibits the DEA from seizing certain previously illegal controlled substances when being used for certain religious practices. Cases in 2006 and 2009, wherein Brazilian churches wherein allowed to use hallucinogenic teas have led to the perception that such Visionary Church activity is lawful, giving rise to a whole new set of clients looking for RFRA protections. These churches often serve well-educated adults who seek powerful experiences through herbal hallucinogenic substances.

    This CLE course will offer insights in the DEA’s strategy, tactics and stance regarding these substances and their use and the whole new area of law being explored by the establishment of Visionary Churches.

  • Instructor Bio

    Charles Carreon

    Charles Carreon was born in 1956, reached adolescence during the psychedelic '60s, and married his wife Tara at 18. In 1974, the couple traveled overland to India, traversing Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan by bus, and spent six months in India, studying Buddhism. In 1978, Charles, Tara, and their three children, moved to rural Southern Oregon, where they spent several years working to build a Buddhist community and temple.

    In 1983, Charles completed a BA in English at Southern Oregon State College, and the Carreon family moved to LA. In 1986, Charles graduated from UCLA Law and joined the LA office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as a litigation associate. Two years later, he transitioned into trademark enforcement and product liability defense for an international firm that merged into Ropes & Gray.

    Leaving the world of corporate defense, Charles joined Mazursky, Schwartz, and Angelo, an LA plaintiff’s trial powerhouse, where he tried several personal injury cases in the Southern California area during his three years with the firm.

    In 1993, Carreon moved back to Oregon, joined the Oregon Bar, and became a Jackson County, Oregon prosecutor. After a year as a prosecutor, Charles became the first Hispanic federal public defender on the Southern Oregon CJA panel, and defended the indigent criminally accused in the District of Oregon for the next six years.

    Charles then turned his attention to the recovery of stolen Internet domain names, and in November 2000, successfully recovered the world's most valuable domain name, Sex.Com, that his client subsequently sold for $14,000,000.00.

    In 2017, Charles became General Counsel to the Arizona Yagé Assembly (“AYA”), and began a practice dedicated to protecting the Free Exercise rights of Visionary Churches that use controlled substances to achieve visionary states of religious contemplation. Carreon is currently prosecuting litigation against the DEA under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on behalf of AYA, seeking a judicial exemption from the Controlled Substances Act to protect AYA’s rights of Free Exercise. He has written several articles on the subject of the Constitution and Free Exercise.