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Ayahuasca Defense Fund

Ayahuasca Defense Fund Annual Report: 2017-2019

27.02.2020

Three years have passed since we launched the Ayahuasca Defense Fund, thanks to financial support from the community. Since then, we’ve doubled our efforts to respond to the growing prosecution of ayahuasca practices worldwide, as well as engaging on other legal and policy issues related to traditionally-used plants such as peyote, San Pedro, coca leaf, and others.

Thank you to our community – for believing in us and pulling together to enable this important work. It is an honor to report that we have had a tremendous impact on the lives of dozens of people.

Step by step we are making progress

Our promise was to educate the community about the legality of these plants and to be there for people prosecuted for practices with ayahuasca and other plants. And that’s what we did. We committed ourselves to turning legal challenges into opportunities, educating judges, public health officials, and the community. We have created a legal resource with country-by-country information based on careful research and a suite of educational resources, including webinars. And importantly, we have been supporting people – offering moral, technical, and other support to defendants in 56 cases (mostly ayahuasca, but also a few for San Pedro, peyote, iboga, coca leaf, and psilocybin mushrooms.

Our support has impacted the lives of defendants in many countries: the US, Canada, Israel, across Europe, in a few Latin American countries, and South Africa.We are seeing progress. In several court sentences, judges have concluded that ayahuasca is not illegal − or that its legal status is unclear. Notably, a few judges credited their decisions to the scientific evidence presented showing that ayahuasca is not toxic, lacks abuse potential, and that it does not pose a threat to public health. In one case, a judge took it a step further and recognized that ayahuasca had, in fact, been beneficial for ceremony participants that testified.

Ayahuasca Defense Fund: continuing our efforts

Despite these advances, as governments and border and customs agencies become more aware of these globalizing practices with traditionally-used psychoactive plants, we foresee that there could continue to be an increase in the number of arrests and legal incidents. In the last year, as you’ll find described in this report, we have noted new trends in countries like the United States, Russia, and Argentina.

We hope we can count on the continued support and solidarity of the community as we tackle these legal challenges and build a world where psychoactive plant practices are valued and integrated parts of society.

Read our 2017-2019 Annual Report:

ICEERS_ADF_annual report 2017_2019_v6

Download report

Categories: ICEERS , News , Ayahuasca , ADF