On Wednesday a federal judge in Oregon ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) allows followers of the Brazil-based Santo Daime sect to consume ayahuasca, a psychedelic tea containing the ordinarily illegal drug dimethyltryptamine (DMT), as part of their rituals. Guided by the Supreme Court's unanimous 2006 ruling in "a very similar case" involving Uniao do Vegetal, another Brazilian religious group that also consumes ayahuasca, U.S. District Court Judge Owen Panner concluded that RFRA "requires that plaintiffs be allowed to import and drink Daime tea for their religious ceremonies, subject to reasonable restrictions." The church already had convinced the Oregon Board of Pharmacy to exempt it from state DMT restrictions.
You can read the full court decision here (pdf).
It is inspiring to read this good news! I hope that this legal victory will encourage the Santo Daime, as well as the UDV aka Uniao do Vegetal and other “permitted” religious groups who have been granted their constitutional right to use entheogen based sacraments will grow their presence to become more available to those who seek the vine legally here in the US. It is awesome to witness the legal progress being made on the religious freedom front and to see it catching up with the increasing legal tolerance for medical research. I think there is too much emphasis by various organizations pushing for legal exceptions for medical uses and not enough effort fighting for The People’s religious freedom rights.
The movement has come a long way and it is one of my greatest hopes that general decriminalization will come soon, so that all of humanity may benefit from these medicines / sacraments with out having to join a sanctioned church or be afflicted by illness or disease. Having US government agencies and high courts grant permission for certain people the right to use scheduled substances for either medical and spiritual purposes should constitute an admission that these substances are NOT a threat to public safety and do NOT meet the requirements set forth to be Schedule One:
1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
Therefore laws that criminalize safe and natural psychoactives such as Marijuana, DMT, Mescaline, Psilocybin, etc should all be repealed and reasonable forms of regulation should be put in place to help ensure safe use by adults. The whole concept that humans believe they have the right to declare nature illegal is just lame in the first place.