Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant brew made from two plants – one is a vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the other a shrub (Psychotria viridis) that contains a psychoactive chemical called DMT in its leaves. Ayahuasca has a purgative and visionary effect and is generally considered to bring spiritual and health benefits. It has been used by tribes of the Amazonian basin for generations. Since 1971 the international Convention on Psychotropic Drugs lists DMT as a controlled substance and prohibits it worldwide. However there are possible frameworks for the legal use of ayahuasca, for the reason of it being a plant preparation, for its indigenous origins and its religious use in countries such as Brazil, Peru and the US amongst others.
Interview with Jeffrey Bronfman
Jeffrey was lead plaintiff and strategist in a 10-year lasting court case that resulted in the supreme court granting his church União Do Vegetal the right to use Ayahuasca (or Hoasca) in their rituals in the US. Jeffrey Bronfman is also a member of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund’s steering committee. The organization together with it’s mother organization ICEERS promotes science, research and education and legal advice in cases connected to ethnobotanicals such as ayahuasca, psilocybin mushrooms, san pedro and peyote.
In this video Jeffrey explains the complex international legal status of ayahuasca as well as the possibilities for the legal use of ayahuasca in the interpretative field between three international treaties controlling psychoactive substances, indigenous heritage and religious freedom.