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Misconceptions About Ayahuasca: Legality


There is a plethora of information floating around about ayahuasca, including many misconceptions. Because of ayahuasca’s storied tradition of use in shamanic medicine, ritual, and as a hallucinogenic, people tend to assume that ayahuasca is an illegal drug.

When it comes to legality, however, there are important distinctions to make between ayahuasca and other substances that contain the same hallucinogenic components.

Hallucinogenic Properties of Ayahuasca

Part of the reason ayahuasca has been lumped into the category of “illegal drug” stems from its makeup. Ayahuasca is actually a combination of two sacred plants: the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and a shrub known as chacruna (Psychotria viridis). This shrub is what contains dimethyltryptamine, more commonly known as DMT.

DMT is technically listed as a Schedule 1 drug, and is therefore illegal in the United States. Known for its psychedelic properties, DMT can be used in a variety of different methods.

Although ayahuasca contains DMT, it differs because of its sacred use in shamanic medicine. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has even made a ruling about ayahuasca.

Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled on Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, a case which resulted from a shipment of ayahuasca being seized by U.S. agencies. The group that was supposed to receive the ayahuasca filed suit, arguing that their religious rights (protected under the Religious Freedoms Act) had been violated because ayahuasca is a sacred plant to their religion.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the group in an 8-0 decision, arguing definitively that it was indeed a violation of religious rights.

As a result of this decision, religious groups can now use ayahuasca legally in traditional ceremonies.

Our Ayahuasca Church

Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth in Orlando is entirely legal thanks to this 2006 Supreme Court ruling. We believe in the power of ayahuasca and respect its sacred shamanic nature. To participate in an ayahuasca spiritual retreat ceremony, participants must be members of Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth.

If you’re interested in learning more about ayahuasca and how to participate in a legal ayahuasca ceremony, Soul Quest has a bounty of helpful information online. You can also feel free to contact us or to attend an in-person open house as you consider whether an ayahuasca retreat is right for you.

About Our Spiritual Retreat Center

Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth is a private spiritual retreat center in Orlando. Members can participate in sacred spiritual healing, such as ayahuasca ceremonies, kambo, and rapé right near the Orlando International Airport.

If you’re looking to undergo a total transformation, consider joining our spiritual retreat center.

Soul Quest and an ayahuasca ceremony can be an incredible experience for those suffering from:

  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Existential crises
  • Loss of purpose

Learn more about Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth today and see if a legal ayahuasca retreat is right for you. We hope to see you soon at a retreat in Orlando!