In State of Ohio v. Sobel, (OH App., June 30, 2023), an Ohio appellate court rejected appellant’s claim that his sentence for drug possession was based in part on his statements about his use of mushrooms as part of his religion. The court said in part:
… Sobel failed to establish that he uses psilocybin mushrooms in connection with a sincerely held religious belief. He described the “Church of Freewater” as consisting of three people providing life coaching to drug and alcohol addicted persons in the manner of Tony Robbins (a noted inspirational, self-help, motivational personality). Sobel does not describe any particular religious beliefs or tenets of the organization, other than to help people “be themselves, through mind, body, and spirit.” Freewater’s core belief appears to be allowing people to believe whatever he or she wants to believe….
Sobel also does not describe how the mushrooms are utilized in furtherance of the religion as part of a rite or ceremony. He only states opaquely, “mushrooms are a holy sacrament and [unintelligible] medicine for myself and for the Freewater organization that helps me with past traumas both immediate and ancestral and tap into the divine knowledge that is only accessible with the aid of these divine teachers.” …
[T]hroughout the proceedings, rather than claiming a religious use, Sobel represented that mushrooms were used to treat chronic pain and PTSD.
Under the circumstances of this case, the alleged belief that was infringed would be most accurately characterized as a personal preference, rather than as a deeply held religious conviction.