Ayahuasca is virtually legal almost worldwide as a sacrament
Almost everyone knows that the religious use of ayahuasca is legal in Peru. But it seems that by the precedence of court desision it's legal in the EU and USA. A case is pending in Canada.
The issue of entheogen use in modern Western culture becomes more significant in light of several legal precedents in countries such as Brazil, Holland, Spain and soon perhaps the United States and Canada. Ayahuasca, which I discuss in more detail in the following section on “plant teachers,” was legalized for religious use by non-indigenous people in Brazil in 1987i. One Brazilian group, the Santo Daime, was using its sacrament in ceremonies in the Netherlands when, in the autumn of 1999, authorities intervened and arrested its leaders. This was the first case of religious intolerance by a Dutch government in over three hundred years. A subsequent legal challenge, based on European Union religious freedom laws, saw them acquitted of all charges, setting a precedent for the rest of Europe (Adelaars, 2001). A similar case in Spain resulted in the Spanish government granting the right to use ayahuasca in that country. A recent court decision in the United States by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, September 4th, 2003, ruled in favour of religious freedom to use ayahuasca (Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, 2003). And in Canada, an application to Health Canada and the Department of Justice for exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act is pending, which may permit the Santo Daime Church the religious use of their sacrament, known as Daime or Santo Daimeii (J.W. Rochester, personal communication, October 8th, 2003)
I don't know if many of you realized this, but I haven't. I have a case pending where I imported mimosa hostilis from outside EU(I've already plead guilty, no incrimination). But I didn't plead guilty to having used it. Now there's still a possibility that they are trying to pin down on me one count of intent to manufacture illegal drug(DMT) or intent to use as an illegal drug(or maybe supposition that I already did use). If that's going to be case, I'll see if I can get a precedence in Finland for that desicion too. But, I don't know how the seriousness of the person is measured; if it's needs to be a wider range of people, which seems logical, with a lot of rituals and paraphernalia, it's not going to work. At this time. But it seems that following the foodsteps of Santo Daime would be surefire way to win a possible lawcase.
Re: Ayahuasca is virtually legal almost worldwide as a sacrament
UK ayahuasca prosecution concludes with a verdict of guilty
Danny Nemu (*) writen especially for this site
On August 8th 2011, a man conducting ayahuasca ceremonies in the UK was found guilty at Bristol Crown Court of producing and supplying class A drugs. Englishman Peter Aziz advertised himself as: “a fully initiated Shaman of 35 years training. He has a log [sic] record of healing incurable illnesses, and producing fantastic breakthroughs in personal growth… He works under possession by Kali, and… (h)is healing ceremonies are often accompanied by spontaneous manifestations of gifts from the spirit world.”
His site further suggests that he can cure cancer, and offers sticks containing the spirits of dragons, dakinis and other entities for £150. His peculiar take on shamanism, which can be witnessed in a documentary called “Trust me I’m a healer”, involves dragon’s eggs from another dimension, chants in Sanskrit and from the Koran, and jumping around the room whilst he giggles and his patients scream.
During his trial, the 51 year old, whose 35 year training regime must have begun when he was 16, invoked Article 9 of the UN Convention on Human Rights, which protects religious freedoms where this does not conflict with the public good. According to the Bristol Evening Post, he also contradicted himself at least three times during the trial concerning the events of ceremonies he conducted in January 2008. He further claimed he thought chacruna leaves (one of the ingredients of ayahuasca) do not contain DMT, although his own website makes it clear that they do.
According to his site, “the legality of ayahuasca is well established”. This was inaccurate, as he discovered last week in court, but confusion about the legal status of ayahuasca seems to be common in the UK, as it is in many other countries. As well as misconceptions amongst practitioners and clients, ayahuasca retreats are still being advertised in national newspapers, and even the government has no clear protocol. Several years before his arrest, Aziz wrote to the Home Office (the department of the British government concerned with law and order) about the legal status of ayahuasca. The official response, dated March 23rd, 2007 concludes that:
“if a plant contains a controlled drug and the courts agree that the material is a preparation or product then it is controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. However, I cannot say with any degree of certainty whether or not anyone would be prosecuted for possessing a plant containing DMT which is in its natural state, as there is a great deal of uncertainty around the issue and ultimately it would be for the courts to decide.”
Aziz’s guilt has, however, been decided. His sentence will be given on September 2nd.
This is the first ayahuasca case to be ruled upon in the UK, and has been little discussed in the international ayahuasca community until now, but researchers and practitioners will be watching the UK courts closely in the coming months. Other defendants currently facing charges include members of the more traditional Santo Daime church. What this verdict means for them, and what kind of a precedent the magician of Dartmoor and his fairy helpers will set, remains to be seen.
Re: Ayahuasca is virtually legal almost worldwide as a sacrament
Furthur update on this story:
A modern-day shaman and self-proclaimed voodoo priest was jailed for 15 months today for using a sacred drink containing a Class A drug at a healing ceremony.
Self-proclaimed 'healer' Peter Aziz, 51, made two hallucinatory brews of Ayahuasca with substances he collected from the Amazon and offered them to clients at a £100-a-day spiritual class.
The potion - made with the leaf of the Chakruna plant which contains the banned drug N-dimethyltriptamene or DMT - was handed to 17 people during a candle-lit ceremony on a week-long religious retreat in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.