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Drug Law Library


Ayahuasca is a psychoactive sacramental used by members of the Uniao do Vegetal and the Santo Daime religions. In Brazil, where these religions have their origins, the religious use of ayahuasca is expressly protected by law. In the United States, ayahuasca is not listed as a scheduled substance under federal or state law. The principle plants used to make ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi, and Psychotria viridis) are also unscheduled.

Nevertheless, despite its status as a bona fide sacramental and the fact that it is brewed from unscheduled plants, chemical testing of ayahuasca may reveal the presence of dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the synthetic version of which is controlled under federal and state law. The question of whether this is sufficient to make the sacred tea, itself, a controlled substance is currently before a US federal court.

See Also:

Cognitive Liberty Top News, April 2005
Includes ayahuasca news item.

Cognitive Liberty Top News, Feb. 2005
Includes ayahuasca news item.

Cognitive Liberty Top News, Jan. 2005
Includes ayahuasca news item.

Law Office of Richard Glen Boire
The CCLE's legal counsel is an expert on ayahuasca and other entheogen law. If you have been arrested or are seeking expert consultation on a matter involving ayahuasca, he may be able to help.

Trial Ordered For Man Importing Amazonian Plants
ATLANTA—Describes the Shoemaker legal case which pits the US government against the vine and leaves used to make ayahuasca, the South American visionary tea used for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.

Canadian Court: Shaman Must Give Up Ayahuasca Use and Complete 150 Days Community Service
An Ecuadorean shaman who brewed a potion that killed an elderly native woman on a Manitoulin Island reserve received a one-year conditional sentence in a ruling that gives approval to native healing ceremonies.

Patent on "Da Vine" B. caapi.

EROWID VAULT on ayahuasca


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