Tag: ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic brew — often referred to as a tea — made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine alone or in combination with various plants. Many people who have used ayahuasca, which can cause hallucinations and vomiting, report they had spiritual ‘revelations’ or ‘awakenings.’

Some religious groups — such as O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (Portuguese for the United Beneficent Spiritual Central of the Vegetable) — use the ‘horrible tasting’ tea as part of their religious observances.

Documentary about a journey to the heart of the Peruvian Amazon in search of a healer who works with jungle plants. Recounts the experience of the preparation of an Ayahuasca’s ceremony.

Church can brew hallucinogenic tea for services, judge rules

Ayahuasca leaves Judge Owen M. Panner issued a permanent injunction Thursday barring the federal government from penalizing or prohibiting the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen from sacramental use of hallucinogenic “Daime” tea.

According to the church’s lawsuit, the tea is the central ritual and sacrament of the religion where members believe “only by taking the tea can a church member have direct experience with Jesus Christ.”

Sect Allowed to Import Its Hallucinogenic Tea

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 — A unanimous Supreme Court decision on Tuesday gave a small religious sect the right to keep importing a hallucinogenic tea, central to its ritual observance, that the government wants to ban as a controlled substance under federal narcotics law. With an opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the decision was one of the most significant applications of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 13-year-old federal statute that requires the government to meet a demanding test before it can enforce a law in a way that creates a substantial obstacle to religious observance. The government

High Court sides with church in hallucinogenic tea dispute

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Tuesday that a small congregation in New Mexico may use hallucinogenic tea as part of a four-hour ritual intended to connect with God. Justices, in their first religious freedom decision under Chief Justice John Roberts, moved decisively to keep the government out of a church’s religious practice. Federal drug agents should have been barred from confiscating the hoasca tea of the Brazil-based church, Roberts wrote in the decision. The tea, which contains an illegal drug known as DMT, is considered sacred to members of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, which has

On docket: religious freedom vs. drug laws

The Supreme Court takes up a case involving a New Mexico sect that could be important for other minority religions. WASHINGTON – In a case with potential important significance for minority religious groups in America, the US Supreme Court this week takes up a clash between the nation’s drug laws and a statute protecting religious liberty. At issue in the case set for oral argument Tuesday is the scope of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The law requires the federal government to justify any measure that substantially burdens a person’s ability to practice his or her religion. But

How Important Is Small Church’s Ritual?

The question is, when is a “compelling governmental interest” really, truly, a compelling governmental interest? At some point in its October term, the Supreme Court will take one more look at that abiding question. This time around, the question goes to the First Amendment rights of a handful of New Mexico citizens who count themselves members of a religious sect known as Uniao Do Vegetal -UDV for short. As part of their semimonthly ritual, they sip a small quantity of hoasca, a liquid derivative of two Brazilian vines. The Department of Justice says the bitter drink is a controlled substance,

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Church Can Import Drug

The Supreme Court accepted a Bush administration request to rule on a clash between religious freedom and drug-control law yesterday, announcing that it will review a lower court’s ruling that blocked enforcement of a federal ban on a church’s importation of hallucinogens. The court said it will hear the government’s appeal of a 2002 injunction issued by a New Mexico federal judge giving an Albuquerque group, O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal (UDV), the right to import hoasca, a psychedelic substance brewed in herbal tea, for use in certain rituals. The judge’s ruling, which was upheld last year by

High court agrees to review hallucinogenic tea case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether a church in New Mexico can continue using hallucinogenic tea in its religious services. At issue is whether use of the tea, which contains a drug banned under the federal Controlled Substances Act, is protected under freedom of religion laws. The Bush administration contends the tea is illegal and use of it potentially dangerous for church members. News in Context A Federal Appeals Court Says A Religious Group Can Import Illegal Drugs (Nov. 18, 2004) Federal Court Rules in Favor of Ayahuasca-using Church (Aug. 13, 2002) Sect leader sues

Court Affirms Church Tea OK

A federal court has ruled for the third time that the Santa Fe-based affiliate of a Brazilian religious sect should get back the hallucinogenic tea its practitioners take as a sacrament. The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled 8-5 for the small religious group, O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal, or UDV, which has waged a 41/2-year legal battle for return of the tea. In a convoluted, lengthy and often esoteric discussion of legal issues, the appeals court upheld the ruling two years ago by Senior U.S. District Judge James A. Parker. Parker ordered federal authorities