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Legality of Ayahuasca

In recent decades, the use of ayahuasca has spread to the west, where it is becoming popular due to its potential beneficial properties derived from spiritual experiences that it brings. The globalization of the planet and the development of new technologies have allowed ayahuasca to be acquired by importing countries, such as Peru, where its use is traditional. The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), which is the international United Nations (UN) that governs the prohibition of drugs, if INCB has repeatedly declared that there are NO PLANTS (NATURAL MATERIALS) THAT CONTAINS *** IS CURRENTLY CONTROLLED BY THE 1971 SCIENTIFIC SUBSTANCE AGREEMENTS. HEADEFORE, PREPARATIONS (FOR EXAMPLE., DECOCTIONS) MADE WITH THESE PLANTS, INCLUDING THE AYAHUASCA ARE NOT UNDER INTERNATIONAL CONTROL AND THEREFORE ARE NOT SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE 1971 CONVENTION. Chilean court has only positioned itself in the same sense, invoking international treaties, to acquit a couple accused of drug crimes ***. The court also ruled that there is no evidence that indicates that the use of ayahuasca endangers the health of people.

Most of the information found online in the illegality of ayahuasca, as indicated above, is completely false. Ayahuasca, according to the INCB, is not any *** processing or production, so no judge should interpret that. Ayahuasca is also no longer on the list of drugs controlled by the State in many countries. For international and Spanish law, which is governed by the conventions of the first, since ayahuasca is not legally a drug. Therefore, accusations of CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH made people receive ayahuasca from South America Peru, are made against International Law.

From Peru we call on the accused, their lawyers, judges, police, journalists and the general public to know that ayahuasca is not a drug, that ayahuasca is not subject to an audit or by international or national law, that the ayahuasca is a traditional plant to use must be protected, notpersecuted, assuming for many millions of indigenous root that has its roots in the cultural tradition, assuming for millions of Westerners an invaluable spiritual tool, assuming a unique discovery scientific terms, and, ultimately , because it protects it protects the expression of a world of diversity and cultural enrichment.

For this reason, the UN has proposed that ayahuasca is recognized as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity. PERUVIAN GOVERNMENTIN PERU, WE DECLARE THE NATIONAL CULTURAL HERITAGE.

ayahuasca legal

Expert report on the legal status of Ayahuasca.


According to the indications of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), the ancient herbal-ayahuasca preparation used among the indigenous peoples of South America is neither, nor should it be considered as a way of doing, the substance is naturally found in most living beings, including humans, and synthetic itself is banned by the INCB, listed in Schedule I of psychotropic substances under international control under the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971, and published in the INCB Green List, May 2010.

Therefore, according to international and Spanish law, since Spain is governed by international conventions, ayahuasca is not a legally audited drug.

Ayahuasca is the most common term to refer to a mixture of liquid vegetable form with psychoactive effects are not harmful or addictive, consumed for millennia by numerous ethnic groups in South America. Currently and since the 1990s, its use is spreading in urban American and European and Japanese for its potential beneficial properties derived from psychological, transpersonal and spiritual experiences that it brings.

The globalization and the development of new technologies have allowed to acquire ayahuasca to import it from countries where its use is traditional, it is not forbidden the purchase or the consumption in the majority of the western countries, among them Spain. It is also legal to import and / or purchase fresh or dried plant material that produces ayahuasca.

The term ayahuasca comes from the Quechua language, the ethnicity of being from time immemorial, Andean and Amazonian. Ayahuasca comes to mean: 'creeper that takes the place of the dead', since Quechua believed-and believed-that when it is under the effects of ayahuasca it can have visions or some perceptual or spiritual connection with the world inhabited by the ayahuasca. spirits of the ancestors, therefore, their consumption enjoy a spiritual and healing. It is also used as traditional medicine for emotional education, decision making, group healing or individual ailments, etc.

The rich lexicography and vast territory of ayahuasca use, among other variables studied by anthropology, indicate the great deep temporal use in the Amazon basin and in the Andean foothills, old, probably dating back to about ten or twelve thousand years. For example, the same herbal preparation called Zuma Honi language Remo of the people on the banks of the Rapiche River (Peru and Brazil) quichua yagé between the north (Colombia) and the yagé is also the generic term used in Colombia instead of the ayahuasca, is called Honi in Caxinaua indigenous language (Peru and Brazil) known therapeutic use (medicine has highlighted the benefits of moderate consumption for the cardiovascular system, and the use of anesthesia, disinfectant, etc. ..), social and psychological people use disinhibited in celebrations and to tone up certain meetings held, a food ('with bread and wine walks the road', as it was said), a festive use as an intoxicant, and much more. In addition, glucose ferment wine resulting from liquid grape are generically named, it is actually a complex set of names, beverages and effects, also the result of the historical use of depth in the west: no white wine, red and pink, more or less of the graduation, sweet, rough or dry result, with or without fermentation, reserve or youth gas, etc., in addition to the innumerable derived wines: vermouths, sparkling wines, different mixtures, mead.

The current use of ayahuasca has spread from the West thanks to the interest in alternative medicine, ethnic values ​​and shamanism, and the self-examination of human resources, all areas where the use of ayahuasca is useful to induce states Emotional and spiritual healing, introspective and therapeutic. On the other hand, it has been observed that the consumption of ayahuasca follows any pattern of compulsive, nor generates physiological or psychological addiction, both in the cultures of origin and in the West, reason why, without a doubt, it can claim that there is no danger for public health.

Currently, there is abundant literature and scientific information on the effects of ayahuasca in the short, medium and long term, various investigations carried out by independent researchers and official centers by internationally renowned pharmacologists, psychologists, biochemists and ethnopsychiatrists such as Dr. J. Riba (Neuropsychology Foundation, San Pau Hospital), Prof. JC Bouso, Dr. J. Callaway (University of Kuopio), Dr. CS Grob (Department of Psychiatry, UCLA Medical Center, USA), Dr DC Mash (University of Miami School of Medicine, Department of Neurology), Dr. JM ª Fericgla (Sd'EA, ª F JM Foundation, Barcelona, ​​etc.). For a complete review of scientific research articles see the collection of scientific material by JC Bouso and available online (more scientific information, see ICEERS official website [1]).

The basic ayahuasca preparation consists of a minimum of two herbal ingredients, but may include many more varieties of plants to modify the basic effect of preparation.

From the point of view of a vegetable pharmacological and biochemical ingredients to the mixture provides an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase (MAO inhibitors), and the other provides, the substance that provides part of the mixture's psychoactive effect. None of the two components, which are consumed orally alone, produce psychoactive effects.

Usually, but not exclusively, the two plants that mix two Amazonian vines: a) the vine popularly known as 'ayahuasca', which gives its name to the final preparation, botanically Banisteriopsis caapi, is the supplier of the MAOI, b) the sheets of Psychotria viridis or cabrerana Diploterys liana, which provide the final preparation.

The legal misunderstanding currently weighing on ayahuasca (see below the strictly related jurisprudence) comes from plants contributing to the mix. The production and trade of the psychoactive substance known chemically as, is prohibited by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of the United Nations of 1971, which appears in the Green List of the INCB with PD-004 code. But since it is a substance widely spread in nature, the INCB has set the percentage amount that a preparation must contain to be considered prohibited, well above the proportion in which it appears in nature (by the operation of the Control System of Drugs, the official text of the INCB in its 2010 edition, see [2]).

For example, the human body secretes abundant throughout the day and pharmacodynamics has shown that the endogenous substance is a production related repair night dreams. On the other hand, one of the richest specimens production plants is the common cane or reed river, Phragmites Australis botanically, so it does not make sense to prohibit the natural production of a substance that is related to life on Earth.

Therefore, the report of the INCB of 2010 on the situation of drugs in the world, in point 284 is explicit a series of plants and herbal preparations, such as ayahuasca, plant iboga, peyote, fungi psilocíbicos and others that 'are not subject to control under the 1971 Convention or the 1988 Convention', and INCB has been repeated, in a letter sent to D. Loenen, Dir of ICEERS, of 1 June, 2010, signed by J. Lucas, Secretary of the INCB.

In reference to the Spanish Penal Code, in article 368 is punishable by jail says that trafficked with 'toxic drugs, narcotics or psychotropic substances.' Therefore, what you need to know is whether the ayahuasca Spanish Penal Code is considered the drug, narcotic or psychotropic. The same law says that drugs are considered substances in the Schedules of the Vienna Convention of 1961 on Narcotic Drugs: this list does not appear ayahuasca (consult the official website, see [3]).

In addition to the substances included in Schedule I of 1961, there is another attached list, the INCB Green List, published in May 2010, in addition to the above, in accordance with the Vienna Convention 1971 on psychotropic substances. In 1971 the list does not appear ayahuasca (to consult the official website, see [4]).

So, in any of the lists of substances under international control, ayahuasca appears, clearly and legally separating this chemically named vegetable substance, which in turn is audited.

On the other hand, Article 2 of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropics says: 'Unless expressly stated otherwise or the context requires otherwise, the following terms of this Agreement shall have the meanings indicated below: e) By 'psychotropic substance' means any substance, natural or synthetic, or any natural material in List I, II, III or IV ', and none of them appear ayahuasca.

For its part, and for various investigations that have been made, the INCB has made explicit numbering statements for several plants that are not included in the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Prohibited lists, and repeating that only controlled plants are included in the convention. 1961 on narcotics: cannabis, poppy and coca.

In the Cap. II, Section 6 ('plant materials containing psychoactive substances'), paragraphs 284 and 285, p. 51 and 52 of the 2010 Annual Report of the INCB, published on March 2, 2011, mentioned the plants that contain psychoactive substances traditionally used, but do not affect public health and are not audited. Literally, the INCB says:

284 (...) In accordance with the 1961 Convention and that Convention amended by the 1972 Protocol, plants that are sources of drugs, such as cannabis, opium poppy and coca bush, are subject to specific control measures. On the contrary, although some active ingredients with stimulants or hallucinogenic effects contained in certain plants are subject to control under the 1971 Convention, there is no plant currently controlled under the Convention or the 1988 Convention. Nor are preparations (for based on plants containing these active ingredients are under international control.

285. Some examples of these plants or plant materials are (...) ayahuasca, a preparation of native plants from the Amazon basin, mainly the Banisteriopsis caapi (a vine in the jungle) and another plant tryptamine-rich (Psycotria viridis) that contains several psychoactive alkaloids like, peyote ... '

284 (...) In accordance with the 1961 Convention and that Convention amended by the 1972 Protocol, plants that are sources of drugs, such as cannabis, opium poppy and coca bush, are subject to specific control measures. On the contrary, although some active ingredients with stimulants or hallucinogenic effects contained in certain plants are subject to control under the 1971 Convention, there is no plant currently controlled under the Convention or the 1988 Convention. Nor are preparations (for based on plants containing these active ingredients are under international control.

Consequently, and to insist on legal arguments, the INCB specifically says that plants such as ayahuasca, are not prohibited in international conventions, are not included in the lists of the aforementioned agreements. Therefore, and that does not have a specific legislation in Spanish, ayahuasca is not a psychotropic prohibited in Spain.

A consequence of this international law, most Spaniards and Latin Americans have recently been detained by the police and have been brought to justice accused of presumed drug trafficking ayahuasca to receive mail, they have been released without charge.

To mention some precedents that could set a precedent:

1) the Provincial Court, Section Thirty, Madrid, Magistrate Majadahonda No. 4, dated May 5, 2011, announced the decision No. 70/2011 in absolving Alberto J. Varela of the accusation of violating public health for having a significant amount of ayahuasca, yagé has been seized in the terminology used in this case.

1) the Provincial Court, Section Thirty, Madrid, Magistrate Majadahonda No. 4, dated May 5, 2011, announced the decision No. 70/2011 in absolving Alberto J. Varela of the accusation of violating public health for having a significant amount of ayahuasca, yagé has been seized in the terminology used in this case.

2) The Court of Instruction number 27 of Barcelona, ​​guard duties, issued a Resolution of January 18, 2012, Minutes of the guard of 13,323, nullifying the arrest of Fernando Latorre Vázquez accused of an alleged crime against public health Contraband, to follow and stopped by the police while collecting provinientes bottles of ayahuasca in South America.

3) A first example was the ruling in the millennium by the Central Court of Instruction No. 3 of Madrid, signed by Ms. Mª Teresa Palacios, on October 20, 2000, which after reviewing the reports of the experts in charge of the Spanish Agency of Medicines, Minist. of Health, and the National Institute of Toxicology, filed proceedings against the accused as alleged Brazilian drug traffickers have been arrested in Spain entering several liters of ayahuasca for a religious purpose, as they were members of the new Santo Daime church, Brazil and officially registered in Spain.

4) A final case, being the most recent and despite being a trial held in Chile, a country that does not have a tradition of ayahuasca consumption among indigenous traditions and is known for its strongly stance prohibitionist legislation regarding psychotropics. The Fourth Judicial Power, Criminal Trial Court in Santiago, Chile, in Law 229-2011 Deliberation-RIT signed on 20-III-2012 in Santiago, Chile, said doses of ayahuasca that are commonly provided, and according to the experts consulted, only 0.05% of ayahuasca is present, percentage, on the other hand, only about 15 or 20% goes to the systemic circulation, expressing said Court, that the usual dose ayahuasca is not the same as, a substance present in the human body and other mammals. Therefore, it took all precautionary measures filed against the accused who acquitted (Judge Mrs. Ella Morales Espinoza and the ruling communicated on March 28, 2012 / RIT No. 229-2.011 RUC No. 0900858790-3).

Triptamine known as, consumed orally, is not active, is degraded by MAO gastrointestinal tract. Hence the incalculable cultural value derived from the preparation of ayahuasca by Andean and Amazonian natives: sophisticated without having the current knowledge of pharmacology, between one hundred and one hundred and twenty centuries developed a unique drug that facilitates access to the brain, avoiding systemic degradation. It was not until the 50s of the twentieth century that Western science discovered the mechanism of action of ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca is traditionally used as a psychosomatic and the amount of each dose that contains a variable mixture of another, but strangely exceeds 25 mg per dose (1 ml x = 0.53mg, which is at the concentration used to investigate ayahuasca its pharmacology, studies officers carry out in Spain, in the Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona).

We insist that there is a clear legal confusion about the composition of ayahuasca, a confusion that is the basis of current police arrests of alleged trafficking in a substance that is supposed to be prohibited, although it is not.

On the other hand, it must be added that each of the ethnic groups that traditionally prepared and consumed, and even each family has its own recipe for making ayahuasca, adding a few different plants and the effects proportion that can little increase said standard proprción .

The best way to briefly explain the effect of ayahuasca, is explaining that the, which contains the potent substance and that owe their psychoactive effects, is also a substance secreted by our body and is responsible for night dreams. Therefore, the effects of ayahuasca are like dreaming, but with full awareness of the content of the images and the emotional content that stain the dream. For this, and the relatively short duration of its effects ¾ between 1 and 2 hours ¾ be the great potential in psychotherapy.

As already mentioned, ayahuasca has been consumed for about 10,000 years through the Amazon basin by millions of people. They are still taking this psychoactive mixture minus 76 indigenous ethnic groups in the Upper and Lower Amazon and upper reaches of the Andes. Since the early 1930s there has also been a growing Westernized consumption by the new religious syncretism born in Brazil (U. do Vegetal, Santo Daime, A Barquiña), officially registered in several Western countries, including Spain, which in total welcome some 60,000 followers or devotees.

Since the early 1970s, ayahuasca is also being used in the reduction of edge treatments of addiction and compulsive behaviors with remarkable therapeutic success (see: Takiwasi Clinic in Peru IDEAA, Amazon Ethnopsychology Applications Institute, Spanish-Brazilian , etc.).

Some countries of South America have even declared that the ayahuasca National Intangible Heritage, as is the case of Peru (see Official Gazette 'El Peruano', July 12, 2008, Volume XXVI, No. 10.292, Resolution No. 836 / INC RD, National Institute of Culture). The governments of Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia are making arrangements to make similar statements.

Consumption functions

Ayahuasca is part of the sacred rites of the Amazonian and Andean Indians. It is used to make decisions, to heal and heal, to resolve conflicts, etc. You can not explain the culture or life of these people without considering the effect of ayahuasca in their lives. To continue with the comparison, valid but distant, it would be the equivalent in the Mediterranean societies alcoholic beverages. No one can understand the evolution of our religious world (it is not by chance that it is the wine, intoxicating liquid that is transformed into the blood of Christ during the Mass), or our world vacation (champagne for special days, better Sundays drunkenness and village festivals) , nor could he understand the family rituals (the first glass of champagne or wine that the father gives his adolescent son), and many of the football fans reactions crowded or could not understand our traditional way of life without understanding the psychoactive wine central paper effect. In this sense, ayahuasca plays a similar but much deeper existentially in those Amerindians.

Geosocial location

Paleobotanical studies have been unable to locate the geographic origin of each plant in the ayahuasca and, precisely for this reason, it can be deduced that since prehistoric times plants have been transported and manipulated by human beings living in the Amazon basin. This, in addition to the multitude of vernacular names that have the mixture, gives an idea of ​​the depth of cultural and historical use.
At present, the consumption of ayahuasca was also registered under the new religious forms or freely cited, cited in the Latin countries and also in Spain, Holland, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Non-traditional uses
Rituals (religious syncretism)

Since the 1930s, Indian shamanic consumption is also worth mentioning the use given to ayahuasca important religious syncretism was born in Brazil. The first was founded by Raimundo Irineu Serra. During his stay in the jungle at the service of the Brazilian army, RI Serra learned the use of ayahuasca by the indigenous peoples themselves. Upon his return to ritual civilization he created a new way of eating and taking advantage of these psychotropic effects and founded the religion called Saint Daime. The Santo Daime is a typical and interesting religious syncretism came out of the crossroads between the religious and healing Christian practices and indigenous Amazonian shamanism. The followers of this religion, now more than 20,000, consume sacred psychotropic drugs and sing their hymns, while experiencing the mystical state and structuring in the immersion mixture.
Currently there are several more religious syncretism whose central practice of ritual consumption of ayahuasca: Uniao do Vegetal, A Barquiña, etc .. All these cults have been approved by the various governments of Latin America and currently enjoys great social prestige. Even the Uniao do Vegetal, syncretism of an urban nature, together with leading figures of Brazilian artists and intellectuals. There have been several doctoral theses and other scientific research on these new religious cults that allow them to move away from the idea of ​​sects [5].


From the knowledge of the effects of ayahuasca by scientists in the 1950s, interest in the study of this mixture has increased, to unravel the way they act in the body and mind, and find applications in psychotherapy and in other fields of human activity.
In this sense, from the work done in Brazil by the research teams of the United States (in particular the team led by the psychiatrist Dr. Ch Grob, University of Los Angeles, USA, in 1995, and the team pharmacologist from Dr. J. Callaway, University of Kuopio, Finland) also from the work done by the undersigned and his team in Ecuador between 1992 and 1997, and from the research conducted in Peru by the French physician Dr. J. Mabitt , who has founded the Takiwasi center in Tarapoto, to help addicts with treatments based on the effect of ayahuasca, of all this, then, we can say that, despite not having the statistical results yet final, psychotherapy using the Ayahuasca as a means to break the resistance of patients have highly beneficial effects observed.

Current scientific research.

The first news in our societies of the existence of the mixture of vegetables, ayahuasca, comes from studies conducted by the ethnobotanical Spruce in the basins of the Upper Amazon, in the first half of the 19th century. Later it has been the subject of many studies carried out by anthropologists, botanists, pharmacologists, doctors and biochemists.
In the USA. an important scientific conference was just held, promoted by the psychologist Dr. R. Metzner, dedicated exclusively to the treatment of ayahuasca. Among other renowned researchers, Dr. J. Callaway, Dr. R. Yensen, Dr. D. McKenna, etc. have attended this event. The results of the congress have been collected in the book Ayahuasca (Thunder Boca Press, New York, without the need for translation into Spanish).
Currently, an important research pharmacodynamics of ayahuasca in Neuropsychology Hospital de Sant Pau Foundation of Barcelona is being carried out. The provisional results of this study is to throw more prominent, among other things, the hepato-toxicity of this plant mixing last point that needed a clarification on the physiological effect of ayahuasca in the human body.

The most important results that have emerged from scientific studies can be summarized in these chapters:

- In psychological terms, ayahuasca opens certain contents of the, therefore the unconscious human dream visions that appear often, while under its effect, which usually lasts between 1 and 2 hours.

- The ability of Ayahuasca to open the unconscious becomes a substance of great potential in psychotherapy that activates the anterior cingulate cortex area of ​​the brain, an area where old memories are stored in the subject. In fact, several studies have been applied to him, using ayahuasca to treat addicts and bipolar under a protocol similar to psychoanalysis.

- From the opening of pleasant unconscious experiences occur but more difficult to bear (traumatic memories can be released) is totally unlikely playful or compulsive use of this psychotropic.

- After thousands of years of consumption in the Amazon is not a single fact of misuse, for poisoning or accidents as a result.


Although trade was banned by the Vienna Convention of 02/21/1971, when included in Schedule I, and ratified by Spain on 2/2/1976 instructions (RCL 1976 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ 1747 and 1943) is not only supervised ayahuasca, but contain a certain amount of, but does not explicitly prohibit the vegetable mixture in the aforementioned international conventions.
On the other hand, there is no objective reason to support that supposed prohibitionist legislation. There have been cases of abuse or addiction to this substance is not toxic, it does not produce dependence (on the contrary, its use has been verified as an excellent remedy for the treatment of other dependencies) and not a single case of crime associated with consumption of the ayahuasca.