Why is DMT and ayahuasca illegal?

DMT is not illegal because of any scientific research which states that it is dangerous, or because there have been committees which have investigated its effects.

DMT is illegal because of a United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Drugs in 1971, that all countries signed except East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Kiribati, Liberia, Nauru, Samoa, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

DMT is illegal because LSD was made illegal in the United States in the 1966, which then catalyses the United Nations blanket ban on all psychotropic compounds in 1971. The United Nations convention put LSD and DMT into the schedule 1 category, even higher than morphine or amphetamine (which are in Schedule 2), stating that compounds in schedule 1 pose a serious risk to public health and have no therapeutic value – and yet, no evidence for these claims and resulting legislation were ever made.

Shaman ayahuasca ceremony

Amazonian shaman holding ayahuasca brew

LSD is not as dangerous as many people think it is, with extremely few people taking it dying, compared to the very large numbers of people who are taking it globally.


However, the establishment in the United States clearly considered LSD dangerous due to its culturally destabilising effect, because under its influence the baby boomers began to reject the status quo, and protest against foreign wars, and so LSD was perceived to promote social unrest and upheaval.

There are no reported deaths from anyone smoking DMT and neither have I heard of anyone becoming physically injured from smoking DMT. DMT is non-addictive and no physical harm has ever been shown to be demonstrated with the administration of DMT. So why is DMT still illegal then? I would say it is still illegal because it is presumably easier and convenient of governments to maintain its illegality, and there is a lack of lobbying to make DMT legal. DMT is illegal because “drugs” are illegal and most governments maintain a redundant and backwards policy against “drugs”.

At the crux of why psychedelics like DMT are illegal, is the very misinformed mainstream view, which is that the states that people experience under DMT are invalid, aberrant, “hallucinations”, which are presumed to lead people away from reality and into a potentially crazy state. However, many of us perceive that actually DMT shows us a more expansive reality, even the essential nature of reality, and that perhaps it is the gulf between this reality and ideologically materialistic and narrow minded views of what reality is, which is perhaps the real issue here.

But is smoked DMT dangerous? I think it can be, if people do not respect it, do not know what they are smoking, or are trying to “get out of it”, which is perhaps even most people. However, I believe DMT is self correcting, and some people who are disrespectful in their approach to DMT can experience an explosively overwhelming state, which tends to be unpleasant for those seeking a purely recreational experience.

That being said, “Changa” (DMT infused into herbs) can be recreational to some degree for many people, and the lighter DMT smoking experiences can clearly be very enjoyable. It should not be a bad thing, that people are finding enjoyment, transcendence and pleasure in this state, and it may well be that the good feelings and experiences that people have, can be inspirational and healing on different levels.

As DMT is a primary constituent in Ayahuasca, churches like the UDV and the Santo Daime have managed to argue for religious freedom in countries like the United States and The Netherlands. This means, as I am told, that non-Brazilian church ayahuasca drinkers in the United States are not expecting to being arrested by United States law enforcement, because Ayahuasca use has in a sense, already been legitimised by these churches practice.


Ayahuasca being prepared

So if you are living in a country like Australia, the only reason DMT is illegal is because Australia signed a convention in 1971, a convention which made a moral judgement against DMT, that DMT is bad for society and that DMT is dangerous for the individual and being a schedule 1, is thought to have no medical or therapeutic effect.


However, those with experience with DMT, understand that the opposite is in fact true. Yes, DMT can be overwhelming and unpredictable, but with practical understanding and consequent right use, its effects appear overwhelmingly positive for individuals and human society.

Research into DMT is beginning to bear this out, and scientific research into Ayahuasca has long shown significant health effects. Earlier this year, through lobbying the TGA, the Brazilian church UDV, made to the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia, costing quite a large sum of money, regarding their proposal to legitimise the religious use of Ayahuasca containing a very small amount of DMT. The issue here is that first of all, the TGA do not represent Australian federal or state laws, they are a federal regulatory body. Even if the TGA relegated DMT to a less severe schedule than Schedule 9 (total prohibition), the state laws in Australia would still be in effect (schedule 1). Also Australia, does not protect religious freedom and you do not have a right to practice your religion, if it involves ingesting a tea containing a scheduled alkaloid.

So why did the UDV make this submission? When the TGA is not known for their progressive policies, largely being perceived as regulatory and bureaucratic body known to move as quickly as cold molasses. Nobody really knows this, obviously apart from the UDV in Australia.

Upon receiving this submission, there was no piqued interest by the TGA in Ayahuasca, no flights to Peru to drink Ayahuasca or signs of a thorough investigation of the argument. I believe the text of their judgement shows a lack of reading on the subject of Ayahuasca and also I think shows a lack of respect of the practices of the UDV, and moreover, a fair hearing of this matter.

Those of us who have some knowledge of the TGA and how they work, couldn’t really see any major progression here whatsoever. We do know that the UDV church, as part of their policy, wants to be able to practice their religion without breaking local laws. That being said, it appeared to many, that the TGA were somehow proactive in changing their scheduling, except that they had no choice in the matter upon receiving the submission and the reportedly 5 figure sum the application cost.

Around the time the TGA’s submission was announced by the TGA, I was approached by a journalist from SBS television, who wanted to a do a piece on Ayahuasca and discuss its illegality or illegality in Australia. The piece was very well received, and I think many in the wider community became aware of ayahuasca and understood it was not just “drugs”.

This piece spawned a lot of coverage on the internet, and I think especially communicates that bringing public discussion to this topic is of utmost importance to changing the status quo.


I was well aware that this submission by the UDV would not likely lead anywhere, and mentioned this to the journalist. He asked me whether I would consider giving people ayahuasca on camera and I immediately agreed, and thought it was a great idea. Many people communicated to me that it would be unwise to trust a television journalist, but because of many things the journalist said to me, I trusted where he was coming from and worked with him to create the most effective story we could.

Recently the TGA released their judgement to not change their classification of DMT down from the schedule 9, which was not really very surprising. What is surprising however, is how generally uninformed and morally prejudiced their judgement is.

At the end of this article, you will find my submission to the TGA I submitted the day I was the filmed by the SBS television film crew.

As for Ayahuasca’s presumed illegality in Australia, I believe it is something of a grey area. Only one man I am aware of in Australia has been charged with ayahuasca. At the time of his arrest, he was sent to jail, and given a very high bail. At the court date, because of his very good references and a good lawyer, he managed to not receive a conviction, and I even heard the judge apologised to him. So this is some sort of precedent in Australia regarding Ayahuasca and as far as I know no other people have been charged for ayahuasca.

It does not make sense that law enforcement in Australia start sending in SWAT teams to Ayahuasca groups, and this is not happening anywhere in the world as far as I know. So why would it suddenly start happening in Australia?

Some people in Australia say that Ayahuasca is going to be tolerated until someone dies and then the screws will be tightened. Ayahuasca can be dangerous, but people forget that so can be rock climbing, so can all sport. A very dangerous sport is Equestrian Eventing when people regularly die riding horses over large jumps. An estimated 2.68 people die globally from eventing ever year.


20 people die every year in Australia from riding horses, and two teenagers died in Australia earlier in 2016 eventing. Does this mean that riding horses and eventing should be banned because it is dangerous?

Considering that sport does not offer a true remedial effect or any essential human transformation that would make the risk truly worthwhile, I think we need to consider the risks associated with ayahuasca are well worth it, probably considering the risks are much less severe than in many sports, where people are injured and hurt themselves ALL THE TIME. The worst that can happen to most ayahuasca drinkers is they may vomit over their white clothes. Some mention has been made of a few Ayahuasca deaths in Peru in the last four years, but they sound like freak accidents often not even closely connected to Ayahuasca itself.

But what about the mental effects? Don’t people regularly go mad and lose their mind? No, they don’t, for a short period they may “lose their mind”, but I’ve always seen people come back. I do believe that ayahuasca can open doorways to realities and beings that can be truly problematic for many people, but it is very rare to hear of people being admitted to mental hospital after drinking ayahuasca, though I have heard of that happening. In fact, if Ayahuasca was just causing hallucinations, and bringing people to a crazy, mentally contorted, mind melding and unnatural state, you would expect the mental hospital to be much more full of people who have drunk ayahuasca.

In countries like the Netherlands, there is an official attitude of tolerance, whereby people advertise ayahuasca quite openly on web sites and pamphlets.


Perhaps for Australia, this is the best result that could be hoped for in the meantime. I would suggest law enforcement are already well aware of the use of ayahuasca in Australia, and have yet to make a move, suggesting it is not a law enforcement priority to arrest ayahuasca drinkers. I would suggest that if you went to your local Police station and told them you were drinking ayahuasca at home by yourself or you were facilitating an ayahuasca group down the road, they may well ridicule you a little bit and not take “the bait”. I know of a guy who did just that, and told the old sergeant at his local police station he had a large amount of mushrooms in his freezer at home, upon which the sergeant took him aside for an hour and explained how police operate in the real world.

It would appear to me, that officially changing the laws in Australia may represent a long road. This is because, I think there would need to be a consensus that DMT is part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage, which I believe it is. It is worth noting that the Acacia is Australia’s national floral emblem, and that the green and gold are Australia’s national colours. There is also no doubt by many people in the know, that indigenous Australians utilise Australian Acacias and their predominant alkaloid, DMT, in their ceremonies which is part of their traditional culture.


Acacia leaves rich in DMT

And what is happening in places like Australia, is that new cultures and traditions have been arising related to DMT, something that I have been deliberately encouraging for many years. No religious actions or justification is necessary, because at the end of the day, you drink the tea and experience its effects – nothing else is required, as the effects are just so profound in and of themselves.

Probably what needs to occur, is that more scientific studies are carried out with DMT and Ayahuasca, to pedantically determine safety and its true psychological and mental effects. Dr Rick Strassman’s scientific studies on injected synthetic DMT, show no negative health effects and only unusual psychic effects, which scientists have difficulty explaining based on a purely materialistic paradigm.

We also need to consider that Ayahuasca has a strong tradition of safety in all of Amazonia, and also in the UDV and Santo Daime churches in Brazil and right throughout the world. In my option, the TGA decision is poorly thought out and disregardful of the information and evidence which already exists.

Below is my response to the decision made by the TGA committee.


The committee advised that the current scheduling for DMT remained appropriate.

While the evidence of toxicity of N,N-dimethyltryptamine consumption at low concentrations is lacking, at high concentrations N,N-dimethyltryptamine has been reported to have marked psychotropic responses as well as common physical effects such as diarrhoea and vomiting.

Ok, what is wrong with a psychotropic response? Why is it presumed that the psychotropic response is an undesirable feature? except as a theoretical, institutional prejudice against altered states?

Diarrhea and vomiting is as they say, a feature, not a bug! Ayahusaca is often called “la purge”, and the vomiting is considered a literal purging of toxicities from within the body.

There is a lack of safety data regarding consumption of low doses of naturally occurring DMT at concentrations of than 0.25mg/mL used in a religious context. It is unlikely that psychoactive effects occur with DMT in the absence of harmaline alkaloids of which concentrations probably need to be approximately 2%;

Low dose is pretty the same as average dose, apparently the UDV were trying to sneak one in on the TGA, as if low dose was somehow going to be Ok.

The potential interaction with other foods and common medicines (such as SSRI antidepressants) presents a significant risk that needs further investigation. To what extent that they are problematic at low concentrations is unclear. Further safety studies are required for low dose toxicity.

For one thing, it is doubtful that anyone (especially the UDV church) is going to give ayahuasca to people with SSRI’s. I have carried out some tests on extremely willing guinea pigs, and found there to be no toxicity. What kind of safety studies would be then required? The giving of ayahuasca to people with SSRI’s in an official study?

No information was provided on how brewing the tea would ensure levels of DMT would not exceed 0.25%. International evidence suggests levels of 0.25% would be exceeded.

In this respect they are correct, 0.25% is not effective to provide a psychotropic response, as it is too low, even for UDV brews. What were the UDV thinking?

Potential for abuse has been reported and is likely to be similar to other compounds such as mescaline, peyote etc. Risks of dependence are unknown when used at low concentrations.

Where is this potential for abuse reported? What on earth could they talking of or referring to?

Whatsmore, what is the potential for abuse with Mescaline and Peyote? What does abuse mean in this context?

There is no known risk of any dependence with ayahuasca at any dosage. One would think it has demonstrably positive effects and many people made submissions to the TGA backing this claim up with scientific studies.

DMT and harmala alkaloids should be considered as entheogens together in the same application.

Yes, they are considered entheogens. And so where is it stated that an entheogen should be innately categorised negatively and prohibitively? Many people in this day and age consider entheogens to be healing medicine, indeed the word entheogen means to generate the divine within. So here is the implication that generating the divine within is to be prohibited or is dangerous. Where is the evidence of this danger? Is generating the divine within prohibited?
It appears so chaps!

This reminds me of the UK Psychoactive Act of 2016 banning psychoactive substances, which highlights the effects of psychoactive substances. The bill states a psychoactive substances can be identified because it will give hallucinations, changes in alertness, perception of time and space, drowsiness and mood or empathy with others. Since when did being able to empathize with others become undesirable? Perhaps in prepubescent British public school life is where this idea is seeded and then implemented with its practices of fagging, where the aim appears to create rigid, unsympathetic bullies, who are incapable of empathy.


It is unclear that the proposed use justifies the public health risks of this substance.

Well, the point is, the proposed use is common in Brazil where the UDV has many thousands of members. What are the public health risks? What public health risks have been demonstrated?

Perhaps the TGA should know that in 2001, in a Dutch court, the judge declared, “Ayahuasca doesn’t represent any danger for the public health in the way as it is used at Santo Daime’s Churches”


Perhaps the TGA should have actually looked at the extent scientific studies investigating Ayahuasca.

One meta study has this to say about Ayahuasca’s safety:

“Experimental studies of acute ayahuasca administration to healthy volunteers [Riba et al. 2001, 2003, 2006; dos Santos et al. 2011, 2012; de Araujo et al. 2012; Palhano-Fontes et al. 2015; McKenna and Riba, 2016] and mental health assessments of long-term ayahuasca consumers [Grob et al. 1996; Barbosa et al. 2005, 2009, 2012; da Silveira et al. 2005; Doering-Silveira et al. 2005; Halpern et al. 2008; Fábregas et al. 2010; Bouso et al. 2012, 2015; dos Santos, 2013] suggest that this preparation is quite safe.”


The only communicated public health risk is that of combining SSRI’s with ayahuasca. I know every ayahuasca facilitator I am aware of, sure as hell do not give ayauasca to people taking SSRI’s. This is like saying that pharmaceutical MAOI’s are a public health risk, when it says on the box of MAOI’s to avoid certain certain foods high in tyramines.

The TGA did not specifically mention this could possibly be an issue. However, a lot of people may not know that the warnings and potential health risks associated with tyramine containing foods, arise out of the observed complications that people can experience with pharmaceutical MAO inhibitors, and may not as readily apply to Ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca ceremony

An ayahuasca ceremony taking place

The UDV likely only care about their religious use of ayahuasca, and it is very doubtful that the UDV or the Santo Daime are going to take hold in Australia to any large degree above and beyond the Brazilian community and a few Motley Crue who are attracted to singing in Portuguese and the very formal and structured nature in which these churches drink Ayahuasca.

Regardless, the UDV are barking up the wrong tree with TGA it seems to me, yet though this maneuver seems to have pushed forward public discussion in Australia. Seeking religious use may not be viable way to legitimise ayahuasca and entheogen use in Australia, as the Australian constitution does not necessarily provides a right to practice your religion.

“Section 116 of the Constitution allows any individual who is subject to a law prohibiting the free exercise of their religion to challenge the validity of that law in the High Court. However, in previous cases the High Court has taken a very narrow view of this Section. As such, laws that may incidentally impose some restriction on religion, but were not made with the express purpose of prohibiting religion have been found to be valid.”


Some will say the government doesn’t want us to drink ayahuasca, because the pharmaceutical companies do not want to us to be truly well. This is a self defeating point of view and one that is not generally accepted in mainstream parlance. Because the mainstream parlance is predominant, the only way forward is to demonstratively prove that ayahuasca is useful in promoting well being, alleviating depression, anxiety and curing social ills, issues that pharmaceutical medication cannot treat. Rather than just bowing down to a self negating point of view, in changing public opinion and demonstrating effectiveness, usefulness and science, the research must proceed, and the case can be made, in such a way that it will eventually succeed.

At this point, it may be worth us lobbying the UDV and Santo Daime to prove that ayahuasca is not toxic or dangerous, and tackle the government with court cases that take this issue even to the high court if necessary. This is perhaps the only way that public debate is going to be pushed forward and a sane judgement is brought to bear on this matter. I know Santo Daime people in Australia have been talking about this sort of action for over a decade.

The UDV and the Santo Daime have both the finances and the will to make such court cases to the highest courts in the land, but as they have no necessary right to practice their religion, the way they must do this, perhaps is under a general proof and right that humans have to ingest a sacramental tea. So perhaps they must open the door for all of us. Whatever the case, this door must be opened. How can it cannot remained closed?

Individuals like myself see massive benefits in individuals from the use of DMT and ayahuasca in new cultural forms which do not adhere to tradition or religion. More and more people in all levels of society, are finding great value in DMT and Ayahuasca. This culture is not going to go away. Even presuming the storm troopers crack down on it, the people will just go even more underground. In Australia, DMT trees are prevalent enough, that DMT cannot simply be “banned” or “criminalised”, and doing so is just not sensible.

The question to the increasing numbers of highly intelligent and conscious people who believe in the value of DMT, as an essential nutrient for humanity in realising the essentially expansive nature of reality, is the need to ask what each of us can do. I tend to think and have never thought the presumably illegal component should be a factor in preventing the sharing of soul medicine from plants. More than the legal aspect, I think individuals would do well to ask themselves without fear: who needs this medicine? Who can make benefit of it? Especially Ayahuasca could be more widely utilised in countries like Australia, and its benefits more widely spread in the community.


Proposal to amend the entry for N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in schedule 9 to allow exemptions for naturally occurring DMT in very low concentrations and liquid form for religious purposes. The quantity of DMT found per serving of the tea is approximately 0.25 mg/mL.

Comments on Proposed Amendment on N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) by Julian Palmer.

Julian Palmer ayahuasca dmt articulations

Experienced plant medicine facilitator Julian Palmer

I’ve been working with Ayahuasca in Australia for many years, facilitate Ayahuasca groups, am very intimate with the Australian Acacia trees, many which contain DMT and have written a book about DMT, Ayahuasca and other psychedelics called “Articulations: On The Utilisation and Meanings of Psychedelics”.

Regarding the legal issue with Ayahuasca in Australia, to my knowledge only one man has ever been arrested with Ayahuasca in Australia some years ago. And the brew he was caught with only contained a small amount of DMT, and no conviction was recorded. This being the case, and the DMT in Ayahuasca being in a tea form and not in an extracted form, people like myself who work with Ayahuasca in Australia, perhaps perceive it more of something like a grey area, which law enforcement has not pursued as an problematic issue in Australian society. The opposite is clearly true, as people are gaining much benefit and healing from Ayahuasca, it is not a drug of addiction or dependence and right throughout Amazonia has a long history of significant use, and is rapidly increasing in popularity around the world in the context of healing and shamanism.

I would also like to point out that the reason DMT is a prohibited compound is because the United States ban of LSD in 1966 catalysed a blanket ban of all psychotropic compounds in the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, not from any significant research or inquiry into the nature and effects of DMT.

As this fax from the Secretary of the Narcotics Board of the United Nations makes clear, none of the plants involved in the making of Ayahuasca tea are presently specifically controlled:

“No plants (natural materials) containing DMT are at present controlled under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Consequently, preparations (e.g.decoctions) made of these plants, including ayahuasca are not under international control and, therefore, not subject to any of the articles of the 1971 Convention.”


Presumably, this also includes the Australian Acacia, of which many species contain DMT.

Firstly, I should point out based upon my own research, proposing a limit to the amount of DMT per millilitre does not appear to represent clear and useful policy. 250 micrograms per ml, is a very small amount of DMT and is effectively useless in an Ayahuasca preparation to my mind. 100ml would then contain 25mg of DMT which basically does pretty much nothing to most people most of the time.

500 micrograms (or 0.5g) per ml is a more reasonable ratio of DMT in Ayahuasca tea. Even then 100ml (a big cup in the ayahuasca world, where 30-50ml is often a typical dose) will need to be drunk in order for there to be beginning psychoactive effect, of 50mg of DMT. And 200ml (100mg) will be required to obtain significant effects, with 300ml being required for many people equalling 150mg of DMT. I will often use 150-250mg of DMT in tea form per person, and these dosages I believe represent the deepest states where individuals can truly connect with a sense of the sacred and meaningful. In that case, I would need 600-1000ml per person as per the present amendments in order to bring people to deep visionary states, which is simply not viable due to the large amount of liquid the individual would need to drink.

Also this statement, “DMT in very low concentrations” is surely an implication that higher doses of DMT are undesirable? People such as myself who have much experience with DMT, would say under dosing is not taking full advantage of the states that DMT can take people: the true “work” as it were. Although higher doses can catalyse deeper states in an appropriate setting, even with the higher doses, if a good facilitator is present, there is no necessary danger to increasing the DMT dosage. My main complaint with the Ayahuasca scene in Australia and the world, is that many facilitators are not dosing their DMT high enough, with large numbers of people, with people not experiencing the fullest benefit of the medicine. This is a global problem to my mind.

Many of us do not believe that obscure Brazilian churches (who are the extent religious practitioners of ayahuasca) have an exclusive right to drink ayahuasca, because their practice is religious and ours is not, as if religion is “higher” and more valid reason for being able to access such plant medicines? Their practices I do not believe are relevant for the greater majority of Australian people, and are primarily cultural relevant for Brazilian people with a Christian orientation.

People like myself have been working to create a tradition or way that works in Australia. The way I facilitate ayahuasca for people is very simple. You need to ensure people have place to sit up and lie down, and play music, burn incense and allow them to experience the medicine. In this place the people can surrender very deeply to the interactive work of the medicine.

People who take ayahuasca in Australia, do not expect to be arrested or taken to jail for experiencing plant medicines which have serious and conscientious usage all over the world. Therefore, decriminalisation, whereupon we are not liable to be criminals is very obviously the only sane way forward, and this proposal to the TGA at least marks a potential change in the legislation.

I also believe there is a large potential industry here, and potential tourism potentials. DMT and Ayahuasca are in a sense, like Bungee jumping or parachuting, and many are attracted to experiencing the unusual and potentially extreme inner states they can catalyse. Ayahuasca is largely safe when drunk correctly and with a careful and considered intention, but every now and then accidents happen. For a safe culture to proceed, decrimalisation would allow a safer culture to proceed, because as Ayahuasca becomes more and more popular, there are liable to be more and more accidents.

In the event of decriminalisation, then there can be a chance at openly educating practitioners, the carrying out of the necessary research and give Australia a huge potential foothold in an industry that could potentially be worth tens of millions of dollars per year. This could be an enormous boon for Australia, with another primary industry emerging in the coming decades, the growing of acacia trees for their DMT. I should point out Australian acacia trees contain the highest DMT content in any known plant, from which the most plant matter can be sustainably harvested. The only competition that Australian acacias have is Mimosa Hostilis which grows in Brazil and requires the DMT is harvested from the root bark, when the phyllodes or leaves from Australian Acacia can be sustainably harvested in large quantities over a long period of time.


DMT molecule (N,N-dimethyltryptamine)

Over the last 15 years I have seen that the use of DMT and ayahuasca is rapidly increasing all over the world, and more and more people are finding great human benefit from drinking Ayahuasca. Psychotherapeutic use of DMT, which allows surrender, deep internal psychological processing, is very commonly said to be 10 years of psycho-therapy. Limiting the usage of DMT to a religious organisations, undermines the extent and breadth of this profound work.

At this time in Australia, and the world, Ayahuasca is increasingly gaining traction in society, and yet nowhere in the world that I know of, are governments sending SWAT teams into ayahuasca ceremonies, arresting and jailing ayahuasca facilitators and users, as this is not a sensible or sustainable governmental policy. In the Netherlands for example the use of ayahuasca is tolerated and practitioners openly advertise, and nowhere in the world is ayahuasca use considered a problematic issue issue in any society.

What must proceed at some point is a sensible government policy, which does not criminalise people who are seeking healing and increased awareness through the use of such plant medicines as Ayahuasca. As Australia has the highest number of DMT containing plants in the world with many dozens of acacias containing DMT, according to underground researchers, with the acacia being the national floral emblem, and one of the most vital and informed cultures of people using psychedelics on the planet, perhaps Australia does have an obligation to be at the forefront of this movement.

It would behoove the Australian government in its different sectors to actually truly innovate a sensible policy on such matters, not unending red tape and regulation, or permits and permission slips, but plain decriminalisation and plan for a sustainable future, which I believe must include people sensibly and the conscious utilisation of plant medicines such as Ayahuasca.

I am also responsible for the invention of Changa, which is a blend of herbs which are smoked, typically containing Ayahuasca and naturally sourced DMT, which is now a global phenomenon. I believe its potential for abuse is relatively low, being non-addictive and in my perception, its effects are largely positive and beneficial for people. If Changa were sold from the shops, I can only see this is a “good thing”, increasing the psychological, emotional well being and happiness of the populace. If people in Australia could legally smoke DMT, this could open up service industries, if this is not in sight for the next few years, we need to think now about what we are doing for future generations, in the next few decades. Whatsmore, we need to think about protecting sensitive acacia populations, and how decriminalising DMT in general, would push this agenda forward and open a large potential export market in the coming decades, as nowhere in the world are acacia phyllodes specifically scheduled.

My observation is that DMT especially in Ayahuasca tea, does bring people to be inspired to live their lives. What is being addressed are core issues, like feeling unmotivated in life, not having direction, feeling there is no colour or meaning in life. I have also had a couple come to my group, who had issues with domestic violence, and this issue was solved from one weekend of Ayahuasca. As far as I know, no therapy or medication is effective in treating this issue.

Ayahuasca is not a mere hallucinogen, the effect is one of clarity of mind and one woman described it as an initiation into being itself. I have it on good word from an initiated Aboriginal man from the Northern Territory that Aboriginal people in that part of the world utilise a plant medicine that I am told contains a preparation of Acacia which lasts three days, AS an initiation. Perhaps, Australian culture needs to look at initiating our youth into the nature of being and beingness, which is not occurring in our society and seriously think about the possible role that DMT could have in Australian and global society, and create legalisation that seriously reflects the immense value that DMT could have in society.

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