DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION AND NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS FUND CONSPIRACY

 

DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION AND NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS FUND CONSPIRACY

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO, O CENTRO ESPIRITA BENEFICIENTE UNIAO DO VEGETAL, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. JOHN ASHCROFT, et al., Defendants.  No. Civ. Oo-1647 JP/RLP, BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OF OKLAHOMA, THE NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA, AND THE NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OF THE KIOWA TRIBE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, TO FILE AN AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINNTIFFS’ APPLICATION FOR A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, C. BRYANT ROGERS, DAVID GOMEZ, ROTH, VanAMBERG, ROGERS, ORTIZ, FAIRBANKS & YEPA, LLP, Post Office Box 1447, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, (505) 988-8979, Counsel for the Native American Church of Oklahoma, the Native American Church of North America, and the Native American Church of the Kiowa Tribe of the State of Oklahoma.

[ix] IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO, O CENTRO ESPIRITA BENEFICIENTE UNIAO DO VEGETAL, et al., Plaintiffs, vs. JOHN ASHCROFT, et al., Plaintiffs No CV 00-1647 JP/RLP, DEFENDANTS’ RESPONSES TO PLAINTIFFS’ FIRST SET OF INTERROGATORIES, FIRST SET OF REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION, AND FIRST SET OF REQUESTS FOR ADMISSIONS.  “GENERAL OBJECTION,Defendants object to any requests that exceed the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Defendants further object to the request as unduly burdensome insofar as it seeks information regarding the actions of “any representative of any branch” of the United States government.  ANSWER: Without waiving these objections and limiting their answer to any efforts taken by Defendants, Defendants respond that they have made no effort in the past two years to contact any person in Brazil or Peru concerning limiting, monitoring, preventing, or interfering in, the use or exportation of Ayahuasca/hoasca/daime, psychotria viridis or banisteriopsis caapi.  INTERROGATORY NO. 6: Have you requested an opinion from the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) regarding whether Ayahuasca/hoasca/daime is covered by the 1971 convention on Psychotropic Substances?  If so, identify the documents(s) comprising the request, the documents(s), if any, comprising the response, and state, in general terms, what the opinion or response provided.  ANSWER:  Defendants have not requested an opinion from the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board (INCB regarding whether Ayahuasca/hoasca/daime is covered by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.  Mr. Frank Sapienza of the Drug Enforcement Administration contacted Mr. Herbert Schaepe, Secretary to the INCB, by telephone in January or February, 2001, to inquire whether the INCB had published any opinion on whether Ayahuasca was subject to the controls of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the Secretary indicated that the INCB had not published any opinion.  INTERROGATORY NO. 7: What efforts have you made, if any, to determine the ethnic makeup of the membership of the Native American Church?  In responding to this interrogatory, provide a brief description of the nature of the efforts, the persons involved, the date(s) of the efforts and the results of such efforts.  OBJECTIONS:  Defendants object on the grounds that the request seeks information not relevant to the allegations in Plaintiffs’ complaint.  Defendants further object insofar as the request seeks information regarding the nature of actions taken by Defendants’ counsel in preparation for litigation, which is protected from discovery under the attorney work product doctrine. Defendants also object insofar as the request seeks information about the substance of communications between Defendants and the Native American Rights Fund (“NARF”) on this issue, which is privileged on the grounds that NARF is serving in the capacity of a consulting expert in this litigation.  Defendants also object to the request as unduly burdensome insofar as it contains no time limitations.  ANSWER: Without waiving these objections, and limiting his answer to non-privileged information, Defendant Marshall responds that DEA has received information regarding the membership rules of certain Native American Churches over the years, including rules pertaining to ethnic requirements for membership.  INTERROGATORY NO. 8: What do you contend is the ethnic composition of the membership of the Native American Church?  Identify the facts, witnesses, and documents upon which you base your contention. OBJECTION: Defendants object on the grounds that the request seeks information not relevant to the allegations in Plaintiffs’ complaint.  Defendants plan to offer testimony on this matter at the upcoming hearing, not because Defendants concede its legal relevance, but because the Court has requested to hear such evidence.  ANSWER:  Without waiving this objection, Defendants respond that their views on the ethnic composition of the membership of the Native American Church, and the facts and documents” pages 7-8.