Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ayahuasca vs. Cannabis - How Should Governments React?

Both Ayahuasca and Cannabis are plants. Both have long been used as plant medicines.
For anyone who has experienced both, it is certain to say the effects of Ayahuasca are orders-of-magnitude greater than Cannabis, like Niagra Falls compares to your backyard fountain. Both Ayahuasca and Cannabis have never been property studied to determine all of their medicinal benefits, even though there is a preponderance of personal experience to support such studies.

In an inexplicable Catch-22 situation, governments keep both plants on the "Schedule 1" list of most dangerous, banned substances. Their excuse is that no studies exist showing anything different. Of course, being on the Schedule 1 list preempts those studies.

Meanwhile, here's a comparison on how two governments are approaching the issue.
First, how the United States is approaching cannabis:

One pot plant seized from 81-year-old woman
A National Guard helicopter was used in the raid. She used the plant to ease her arthritis and glaucoma and to help her sleep at night. Residents are concerned how the authorities even knew she had a single plant when no one informed them.

Second, how Peru has approached Ayahuasca.


National directorial resolution
Number 836/INC

Lima, June 24 2008-07-14

Having read Report No. 056-2008-DRECP/INC dated May 29, 2008, prepared by the Directorate of Registration and Study of Contemporary Culture in Peru:


That Article 21 of the Political Constitution of Peru indicates that it is
the function of the State to protect the Cultural Patrimony of the Nation.

That part 1, Article 2 of the Convention for the Preservation of
Non-material Cultural Patrimony of the UNESCO, establishes that "it is
understood that ’Cultural Patrimony is defined as the uses,
representations, expressions, knowledge and techniques-together with
instruments, objects, artifacts, and cultural spaces that are inherent to
them---that the communities, groups, and in some cases individuals,
recognize as an integral part of their cultural patrimony’. This
non-material cultural patrimony, which is transmitted from generation to
generation, is constantly re-created by communities and groups, by means of their location, their interaction with nature and their history,
inducing a feeling of identity and continuity and therefore contributing
to promote respect toward cultural diversity and human creativity".

That Article VII of the Preliminary Title to Law NO. 28296

- General Law on Cultural Patrimony of the Nation disposes that the
National Institute of Culture is charged to register, declare and protect
the Cultural Patrimony of the Nation within the confines of its

- That part 2) of Article 1 of Title 1 of the above mentioned Law
establishes that part of the Cultural Patrimony of the Nation consists of
the creations of a cultural community, based upon traditions, to be
expressed by individuals unilaterally or in groups, and that consensually
respond to community expectations, as an expression of cultural and social identity, in addition to the values transmitted orally, such as
autochthonous languages, tongues and dialects, traditional knowledge and wisdom, be it artistic, gastronomic, medicinal, technologic, folkloric or
religious, the collective knowledge of peoples, and other expressions or
cultural manifestations, which jointly comprise our cultural diversity;

That National Directorial Resolution No. 1207/INC dated November 10, 2004, approved Directive No. 002-2004-INC "Recognition and declarations of active cultural manifestations as Cultural Patrimony of the Nation";

That it behooves the National Institute of Culture, in order to carry out
its function as assigned by law, with the active participation of the
community, to conduct a permanent identification of such traditional
manifestations of the country that should be declared as Cultural
Patrimony of the Nation;

That by means of the proper document, the Directorate of Study and
Registration of Culture in Contemporary Peru requests a declaration as
Cultural Patrimony of the Nation the knowledge and traditional uses
associated with Ayahuasca, and practiced by native Amazon communities,
according to the Report prepared by Dona Rosa A. Giove Nakazawa, of the
Takiwasi Center-Tarapoto and submitted by the Regional Office of Economic Development of the Regional Government of San Martin to the Regional Directorate of Culture of San Martin;

That the Ayahuasca plant-Banisteriopsis caapi-is a vegetable species which garners an extraordinary cultural history, by virtue of its psychotropic properties, used in a beverage associated with a plant known as Chacruna-Psychotria viridis;

That such plant is known by the indigenous Amazon world as a wisdom plant or plant teacher, showings initiates the very fundaments of the world and its components. Consumption of it constitutes the gateway to the spiritual world and its secrets, which is why traditional Amazon medicine has been structured around the Ayahuasca ritual at some point in their lives, indispensable to those who assume the function of privileged carriers of these cultures, be they those charged with communication with the spiritual world, or those who express it artistically.

That the effects produced by ayahuasca, extensively studied because of
their complexity, are different from those produced by hallucinogens. A
part of this difference consists in the ritual that accompanies its
consumption, leading to diverse effects, but always within the confines of
a culturally determined boundary, with religious, therapeutic and
culturally affirmative purposes.

That available information sustains the fact that the practice of ritual
ayahuasca sessions constitutes one of the basic pillars of the identity of
the Amazon peoples, and that the ancestral use in traditional rituals,
warranting cultural continuity, is closely connected with the therapeutic
attributes of the plant;

That what is sought is the protection of traditional use and sacred
character of the ayahuasca ritual, differentiating it from Western uses
out of context, consumerist, and with commercial objectives;

That the Manager, the Director of Registration and Study of Culture in
Contemporary Peru, and the Director of the Office of Legal Affairs, being
cognizant of the above information;

In conformity with the dispositions of Law No. 28296, "General Law of the
Cultural Patrimony of the Nation" and Supreme Decree No. 017-2003-ED,
which approves the By-Laws of the Organization and Operation of the
National Institute of Culture.


Sole Article.-

To declare as CULTURAL PATRIMONY OF THE NATION, the knowledge and
traditional uses of Ayahuasca practiced by the native Amazon communities, as a warranty of cultural continuity.

Be it registered, communicated, and published.


Manager of the National Directorate
National Institute of Culture

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