Update: Michigan Family Court Prohibits Boy from Ingesting Sacramental Peyote

November 23, 2002

Source: The Associated Press


On November 23, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "a member of an American Indian tribe said the court system is infringing on his religious freedom by prohibiting his 4-year-old son from being given peyote, a hallucinogenic plant, during spiritual ceremonies. Jonathan Fowler, 35, of Traverse City, testified about his son Friday at a Newaygo County Family Court hearing stemming from a custody dispute with his ex-wife, Kristin Hanslovsky, 31, of Montague. Fowler, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, attends an Indian church where peyote use is considered a sacrament. He credits peyote with helping him to overcome alcoholism and to 'come into contact with God as I know him.' He wants to be able to give peyote to his son during his church's religious services. Hanslovsky objects, saying it could harm the child. The couple split up soon after their son was born in 1998. In October 2000, a judge granted Fowler custody of his son but prohibited him from giving peyote to the child."