Ayahuasca has been recognized as a religious sacrament in various countries around the world, but as it stands, only two churches—the Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal and Santo Daime—can import and use ayahuasca in the US without risking grave legal consequences.
Since last year, Customs and Border Patrol has confiscated this sacrament from dozens of other ayahuasca churches. One such group is the Church of the Eagle and the Condor (CEC), an Arizona-based organization that incorporates teachings from the Pachakuti Mesa, Navajo/Diné, and Peruvian Shipibo traditions.
The members of the CEC assert that the seizure of their medicine violates religious freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution. In collaboration with Northern California’s Chacruna Institute of Psychedelic Plant Medicines, they are working to make the importation and sacramental use of ayahuasca legal for churches like theirs.
Along with freeing up the use of ayahuasca as a legitimate religious practice under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, they aim to shed light on the motives for the seizure of ayahuasca at the border, as well as to request that confiscated ayahuasca be given back to churches such as the CEC.
The CEC and the Chacruna Institute are working to raise $100,000 for this cause. Those who are interested in donating can find more information here.