Ayahuasca has become increasingly popular among Westerners who seek spiritual enlightenment. It’s also becoming increasingly illegal in many countries around the world.
In this article, we will explore whether ayahuasca is legal in Canada. We will also examine how ayahuasca fits into Canadian drug laws.
Ayahuasca is a powerful psychedelic brew made from the Amazonian plant Banisteriopsis caapi. It contains DMT, N, N-DMT, harmala alkaloids, and beta-carbolines. These compounds cause hallucinations, vivid dreams, and feelings of euphoria.
How is Ayahuasca used?
The first recorded use of ayahuasca was by indigenous tribespeople in South America. They used it as part of religious ceremonies. Over time, these rituals became associated with shamanism. Shamanism is a form of traditional medicine practiced throughout the Americas. Shamans use hallucinogens such as ayahuasca to enter altered states of consciousness.
Shamans believe that entering these altered states allows them to communicate with spirits and deities. This helps them heal themselves and others.
Today, ayahuasca is widely available as DMT online. Many people purchase it as a recreational substance. Others buy it as a sacrament during religious ceremonies.
There are two main types of ayahuasca: tea and pills. Tea is usually brewed from the leaves of B. caapi. Pills contain the active ingredients found in the tea. Both forms of ayahuasca are psychoactive.
Pills are often sold under names such as “ayahuasca tea” or “ayahuasca extract.” Some companies sell both tea and pills. However, most sellers only offer pills.
Is Ayahuasca Legal in Canada?
Ayahuasca is illegal in Canada, and a Schedule III drug containing the banned substance, DMT. Ayahuasca laws are not strongly enforced for personal use but focus more on trafficking and other dangerous drugs.
On the other hand, the Canadian government allows its use in ayahuasca form through —56 exemptions for qualified ayahuasca churches (see also Religious Rights).
Likewise, Ayahuasca is banned in Canada because DMT is classified as a Schedule 3 drug, and its use is punishable by up to three years in jail. However, although the resulting drink is illegal, buying the plants used to make Ayahuasca and making your own at home is still possible.
Ayahuasca is made from plants containing banned hallucinogens harmaline and dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. Ayahuasca is banned in Canada because it banned hallucinogens dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and harmaline.
In practice, this means that in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries governed by the 1971 Vienna Convention, you are not breaking any laws as long as you turn your ayahuasca plants into tea and consume the DMT they contain. Ayahuasca always uses a plant that contains DMT, making it illegal. In the early 1970s, many countries around the world made DMT illegal.
You May Also Like: Are Shrooms Legal in Canada?
Is DMT Legal in Canada?
In Canada, DMT and harmaline (the two main psychoactive ingredients in Ayahuasca) are classified as Class III drugs, which means they can send you to jail for up to three years. This means that the law considers both DMT and Ayahuasca to have a high abuse potential and no recognized medical value. Possession or importation of DMT or any substance that contains it is punishable by 20 years in prison.
See Also: DMT vs LSD
Ayahuasca Church Exemptions in Canada
After a lengthy legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that UDV members in the United States could legally use Ayahuasca as a religious sacrament. Unfortunately, Canada does not offer legal protection to ayahuasca users, except religious groups such as the Sundaime, Montreal Seu, and União do Vegetal, which Health Canada has approved to use Ayahuasca in their religious activities. We made an exception in principle; however, this exception does not mean that the use of Ayahuasca or the sacrament of sundaes is legal in Canada. Any import or activity using Ayahuasca or Santo Daime will be considered illegal in Canada, except in Section 56 of Health Canada.
In June 2017, the Church of Santo Daime Seu du Montreal received a religious exemption from using Ayahuasca as a sacrament in its rituals. As Vice News reported in September, the Church of Manitoba became the sixth religious institution in Canada to receive government approval to import and use psychedelic ayahuasca legally. The latest exception adds to Canada’s growing number of officially recognized psychedelic religious institutions, making Winnipeg’s Luz Divina Universal Lighting Center the sixth church. This exemption allows groups of people to legally consume Ayahuasca in the form of hallucinogenic Daime tea and practice their sacraments without fear of interference from law enforcement.
Another church licensed to perform psychedelic ceremonies legally is UniAPSo do Vegetal, which has fought alongside Santo Daime for its right to perform ayahuasca ceremonies for religious reasons. Here, the sacrament is better known as tea from plants, but it is the same drink as Ayahuasca. Since the law exercises more control than their American counterparts, all potential retreat participants must join the organization’s ranks before participating in a spiritual ceremony. As with Daimyo, only church members can participate in the Daimyo ceremony.
Que de Toronto is a profoundly religious affair, one of only four Santo Daime churches in Canada with the legal right to hold a sacred ayahuasca ceremony. Rich in history, Daime (Ayahuasca) combines ancient spiritual practices from South America, Africa and Europe.
The “church” in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Luz Divina Center for Universal Enlightenment, is the latest to achieve this status among new-age organizations using hallucinatory Daime tea, also known as Ayahuasca, for spiritual ceremonies, in Vice News. Health Canada, the country’s health department, has granted at least six group exemptions since 2017 in Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg — after a decade of church efforts — to allow them to import and consume banned substances without the right to seek help, the MP said.
After all, several cases have been of law enforcement raiding illegal ayahuasca retreats. Joining these churches will allow you to use Ayahuasca legally. However, both groups focus on drug withdrawal and other lifestyle changes, not casual ayahuasca use. However, you will probably only like this option if you share the religious beliefs of these churches.
Ayahuasca Retreats in Canada
The Ayahuasca retreats in Canada are a great way to explore the power of this sacred plant medicine. The ayahuasca retreats in Canada offer an opportunity to learn about the healing properties of this powerful Amazonian plant and its ability to help you heal from your past traumas and discover new ways to live more fully in the present moment.
It’s not uncommon for people who have experienced trauma or abuse to feel disconnected from themselves and others. These feelings may manifest into depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, PTSD, etc. Ayahuasca helps us reconnect with ourselves and reintegrate our lives back into balance.
Ayahuasca retreats in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, are held in beautiful locations such as the mountains, forests, beaches and islands of British Columbia. There are also retreats in Montreal, Toronto, Ontario, Winnipeg, Manitoba and Regina, Saskatchewan. You can find an Ayahuasca Retreat near any large city in Canada. Each retreat offers different experiences depending on your choice of ayahuasca retreat. Some are more traditional, while others are more experiential.
If you want to experience ayahuasca in a safe environment, then the best place would be a retreat center where you can get professional guidance and support from qualified staff. If you want a more authentic experience, you should consider visiting a remote location to immerse yourself in nature and practice self-care.
The legality of Ayahuasca Across the Globe
Where is Ayahuasca legal? Most places have it classed as a controlled substance, but some countries have it legalized for possession.
Importing, possessing, selling, distributing or consuming Ayahuasca is illegal in the United States because the DMT in the plant is considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance and can result in up to 20 years in prison.
In both Portugal and Spain, possessing Ayahuasca is decriminalized, but importing, selling or growing beer is illegal and can lead to arrest and prosecution. However, taking Ayahuasca at a ceremony in a country where the psychedelic drink is banned is possible. A quick online search will find your ads for ayahuasca experiences and retreats in many European countries, including opportunities in the UK, despite the rather strict legal situation.
DMT is a controlled substance in Chile, and there are no specific laws on the legal status of Ayahuasca. However, there have been arrests of people using Ayahuasca, which is not prohibited. Many countries ban the sale, storage, transportation, and cultivation of Ayahuasca because the psychedelic drink contains the DMT compound.
While growing the ayahuasca vine is not illegal in Australia, DMT is considered Schedule 9, banned. In addition, while possession of non-DMT plant materials such as B. caapi is not illegal, any preparation containing DMT is classified as a Class A drug, making it illegal to produce your Ayahuasca in the UK and other countries to import or distribute it.
There are a few records of Ayahuasca or any other deadly psychoactive substance, but that doesn’t seem to affect decisions made by the US Supreme Court and other governing bodies to ban their use. The ayahuasca experience is safe, profound, and sacred in the proper set and setting. Still, it is illegal in many places due to the main chemical known as DMT, which is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances.