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Brazil legalizes ayahuasca for religious purposes

By Nnizzle, Feb 9, 2010 | Updated: Feb 9, 2010 | | |
  1. Nnizzle
    The government of Brazil authorizes the use of a hallucinogen for religious purposes
    lula-da-silva.jpg (El Gobierno de Brasil autoriza el uso de un alucinógeno para fines religiosos)

    The drug has been used for many years by natives of the Amazon
    (La droga ha sido utilizada durante años por los indios de la Amazonia)

    The article is in spanish, but here is the "unofficial translation of the first two paragraphs from http://www.dosenation.com:
    The Brazilian government has authorized the use of a hallucinogen used in religious rituals after years of discussion and controversy. The legalization of the drug, called ayahuasca, daime, or hoasca, used by Brazilian Amazonian Indians in their rituals, just appeared in the Official State Bulletin. It's only legal to use the hallucinogen, not to sell it. There are no restrictions; everyone can use it--women, including pregnant women and children, as long as it is during a religious rite. One cannot leave the place of the ritual while under the effects of the drug. This requirement comes from the fact that there have been people under the influence of the drug outside a religious environment that have committed suicide.

    Full article:
    El Gobierno brasileño ha autorizado el consumo de un alucinógeno en rituales religiosos tras años de discusiones y polémicas. La liberalización de la droga, llamada ayahuasca, daime u hoasca, que usaban los indios de la Amazonia brasileña en sus rituales, acaba de aparecer en el Boletín Oficial del Estado.

    Es legal sólo el uso del alucinógeno, no su comercialización. No hay restricciones, todos pueden usarlo: hombres, mujeres -incluso embarazadas-, jóvenes y hasta niños, siempre que sea durante un rito religioso. Pero se prohíbe abandonar el lugar del rito religioso mientras no se hayan pasado los efectos alucinógenos en los fieles. Esta exigencia proviene de que ha habido casos de personas que intoxicadas con esta droga, y fuera del ambiente religioso, han llegado hasta el suicidio.
    Han sido años de discusiones, análisis y polémicas de una comisión de expertos creada por el Gobierno: juristas, médicos, psicólogos y sociólogos, antes de que se llegara a la legalización de la ayahuasca en las comunidades religiosas brasileñas.

    Tanto Eduardo Suplicy, senador del Partido de los Trabajadores, como Fernando Gabera, senador del Partido Verde, han aplaudido la decisión del Gobierno de Lula, alegando que se trata del "reconocimiento de unas religiones verdaderamente brasileñas".

    Las dos religiones más importantes que en Brasil hacen uso del té alucinógeno son la del Santo Daime y la de la Unión del Vegetal. La primera cuenta con 5.000 seguidores y está presente también en Estados Unidos, España, Reino Unido y Canadá. La Unión del Vegetal cuenta con 15.000 fieles en Brasil.

    La parte más polémica de la decisión del Gobierno es que deja la responsabilidad de lo que pueda ocurrir con los efectos de la droga a los fieles de la comunidad, sin que se les exija pasar antes por una consulta médica, como se hace, por ejemplo, con quien quiere utilizar un gimnasio. Porque se trata de un alucinógeno fuerte que puede llegar a causar graves daños en personas que no estén lo suficientemente sanas y equilibradas para usarlo.

    Otro de los temores que se plantean es que puedan surgir nuevas religiones o sectas que quieran usar, por ejemplo, la cocaína o la marihuana en sus ritos. ¿Se les podría prohibir hacerlo después de la liberalización de la ayahuasca para fines religiosos? En Brasil, fundar una Iglesia es cuestión de tres días. Basta tener unos estatutos y reconocerlos ante un notario.

    JUAN ARIAS | Río de Janeiro 08/02/2010

    One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. I know the article is in Spanish, but the first 2 paragraphs give a general idea. I am in class right now but I can translate the rest of it tonight.


  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Interesting. Turtle always thought it was already legal there judging from all the high priced retreats where tourists can go an partake in a ceremony. Wonder if it will become cheaper now- some of the money must have been going for bribes for them to be left alone...
  2. Nnizzle
    Here is my translation, my Spanish is a bit rusty so I had to fudge a few words, but it should be quite readable:
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    Brazil Legalizes Hallucinogenic Tea

    A powerful hallucinogenic tea, brewed from leaves and vines from the Amazon rainforest, has been legalized by the Brazilian government for religious purposes.

    It’s starting a controversy in the South American country.

    The tea is used in the religions of Santo Daime and "Uniao do Vegetal."

    The ayahuasca tea, which means "wine of the souls" in an Andean ancient language, has been used for centuries by indigenous people during spiritual and healing rituals.

    The tea is known for its purgative, nauseating and hallucinogenic properties.

    Its psychedelic active ingredient, DMT, is considered a Class A drug by the U.S. and the U.K. That’s the same label given to heroin and cocaine.

    Brazil's national anti-drug body recently approved the consumption of the drink for religious rituals after decades of studies and talks with religious institutions.

    [Pedro Delgado, Brazil’s Mental Health Department]:
    "The criminalization of the use of the ayahuasca (tea) would be a disaster in my point of view because it would be an oppression against a centenary culture from the Amazon region, and there would also be all the inconveniences of criminalizing a behavior in general. So, we had two options, to legalize or criminalize it.”

    The Brazilian government approved the use of the brew by men, women, even pregnant women, teenagers and children. The religious leaders will be responsible for whoever they approve to drink the infusion and the amount to be consumed.

    Some politicians backed the government's decision, but others fear the measure could trigger the creation of new religions that use drugs such as LSD and marijuana or lead to a widespread use of the ayahuasca.

    The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Brazil says the government must pay attention to the consequences of the approval.

    2010-03-10 08:48


    there is a 2:07 minute news video clip embedded in the news story linked above.
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