other narcotics news: hallucinogens as spiritual benefit, not scourge
In 1958, Hofmann was the first to isolate the psychoactive substances of psilocybin and psilocin from Mexican magic mushrooms (psilocybe mexicana) which were among a variety of sacred plants used around the world to invite ecstatic and spiritual experiences.
The United States Supreme Court is now considering an appeal brought by the New Mexican chapter of the Uniao do Vegetal, or UDV, which uses the outlawed ayahauska brew in its ceremonies and cites the Eleusinian Mysteries as a precedent for a psychoactive Eucharist.
The New Mexican branch of the Brazil-based church had won a preminary victory and the right to continue brewing tea with the hallucinogenic plant in late 2004.
Disclosure: I neither endorse nor condemn use of drugs, whether currently legal or illegal, for spiritual or other purposes. Personally I have been buzzed on alcohol about a dozen times and have had no other experiences with substances generally considered mind-altering. I have chewed coca leaves which were mind-altering only in the sense of "My government has declared war on people who grow THIS?!?" As many Bolivians say: La hoja de coca no es droga– the coca leaf is not a drug.)
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