How the DEA is Impeding the Use of Psychedelics by Religious Groups

October 16, 2020 14:20:13

Back in the 1970s, the Controlled Substances Act was passed by the federal government and it, in effect, outlawed numerous psychoactive substances, including psychedelics. In 2009, the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) published Interim Guidance under which interested religious groups could apply for exemption from the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). A close look at the provisions of the interim guidance shows how the DEA is making it difficult for different religious groups to use psychedelics in their religious ceremonies. We highlight some of those infractions.

Determining the Authenticity of Religions

The DEA’s interim guidance compels petitioners to furnish the federal agency with detailed information about the religious group and its beliefs. The presumed reason for demanding such information is that the DEA will conduct an analysis to determine whether the stated beliefs…


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