Santo Daime wins Ayahuasca court case

Good news for Oregon members of the Santo Daime religious movement. On March 18, 2009, a federal district court ruled in favor of the Santo Daime branch, that uses a DMT-containing brew (ayahuasca) in their ceremonies.

District Court judge, Owen Panner, found that the U.S. Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects the Santo Daime's use of ayahuasca as part of their sincere religious practices. Panner based his verdict on an earlier court rule from 1996 by the Supreme Court, in which Uniao do Vegetal, another Brazilian religious group that also consumes ayahuasca, was granted to import and drink the tea for their religious ceremonies.

Santo Daime's entheogenic sacrament, ayahuasca, has been used for millennia in South American indigenous cultures. It is one of the traditional tools of the shaman in South America, and in many regions is to this day a common medicine used for finding and treating various ailments as well as for its vision-inducing effects, which are said to be profound and life-changing.

Due to the 'tea' containing DMT - a substance considered a class A drug in most countries - Santo Daime has found itself the center of Court battles and legal wrangling in various countries.

Read the full court ruling here (PDF)

More information about ayahuasca can be found on ayahuasca-info.com.