Why is Shamanism illegal in the United States?

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When the constitution says no law will be passed on freedom of religion. Why is it that one cannot use natural substances like mushroom or ayahuasca in a spiritual setting? Why are these non toxic, non addictive, enlightening substances lumped in with deadly addictive substances like cocaine, heroin, and such? Is it because people are just ignorant about what these substances are and do not know their history of spiritual use, which dates back 1000’s of years? Is it because the ones who have a vested interest in the economic system are afraid of what shamanic substances do to peoples perspective?

12 Comments

  1. Perhaps it is because Shamanism dissolves boundaries and government, religion, and corporations are in the business of creating boundaries?

  2. Shamanism itself isn’t illegal. You don’t really need the substances to practice your spirituality, you can achieve altered states all on your own, it just requires more effort. These substances are just a short-cut.
    But I am of the opinion that all natural substances should be legalized, and thus more safely regulated. By that I mean, legalize them, but put the same laws on it as alcohol: no driving under the influence, etc.

  3. Dear Meera Patel,
    [PART1] “Why is Shamanism illegal in the United States?”
    Shamanism is a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerning Communication with the spirit world through a variety of means (i.e. animism.) (Eliade, p. 1,2,5) There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world and several common beliefs are shared by all forms of shamanism. The most common is that Shamans, or practicioners of shamanism, are intermediaries between the human and spirit worlds. (Eliade, p. 3,7)
    Shamanism does not constitute a direct correlation between drug use and its religious practicion. Thus, the United States does not denie the use of Shamanism. [This is called an Aristotlian Deductive Syllogism]
    [PART2] “Why is it that one cannot use natural substances like mushroom or ayahuasca in a spiritual setting?”
    The utilization and inhibitation of a mushroom or ayahuasca is not denied. However, drugs, i.e. opoum, ayahuasca, and Psilocybin Mushrooms are illegal within the borders of the United States, without a verified legal reasoning to permiss it.
    One of these permissiables is a religious or medical purpose. However, you must have Congressional approval to identifiy that as a spiritual, rather than an abused privellege of addiction, purpose.
    [PART3] “Why are these non toxic, non addictive, enlightening substances lumped in with deadly addictive substances like cocaine, heroine, and such?”
    The United States Health and Food Regulatory Committie has banned substances such as Psilocybin Mushrooms for many reasons. One of which is that harmful consequences such as severe anxiety, flashbacks, and even poisioning come from taking Psilocybin Mushrooms. Thus, for this fallicilitation, they are banned.
    [PART4] “Is it because people are ignorant about these substances are and do not know their history of spiritual use, which dates back 1000’s of years?”
    See subsection “[PART3].”
    [PART5] “Is it because the ones who have vested interest in the economic system are afraid of what shamanic substances do to peoples perspective?”
    The economy is the realised social system of production, exchange, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of a country or other area. A given economy is the end result of a process that involves its technological evolution, civilization’s history and social organization, as well as its geography, resource endowment, and ecology, among other factors. Thus, those whom have vested themselves within the “economic system” have actually procured the globalized distribution and re-evaluation of such substances for economic sustiance.
    Sincerly,
    ShaunD

  4. There are laws on the books about using these substances for spiritual purposes by actual members of the communities that always did. There is no way to make it legal of general use in these practices & regulate who else is using it for other reasons.
    BTW, Shamanism is the Siberan name for they’re spiritual & medical leader. In the US that term doesn’t apply. Sometimes their medicine men, but not always.
    Also only about 20% of native culture religious activites include these types of substances. Most, around 80% did not. So of the stuff is mild, but others could be easily misused in the wrong hands. They aren’t cocaine, but they aren’t nothing either.

  5. It is a very good question, for the most part Registered Native Americans can use such substances for Cermoninal purposes only. I follow shamanic or medicine ways of the Sioux Nation, tribe of Ogala Lakotas. Traditionally age old ways of the true Lakota’s is thier preference for NOT using substance’s to enhance their visions of what Great spirit or one of the 6 power’s that be came to them.
    My opinion is that Government has made these substance illegal for the sake of controll. I think it has to do with more how it regulate such substance rather than fear of what the substance do to people perspectives. Reality is a person has the ability to go within and to another realm without such substances.

  6. Shamanism involves drug use, and is not considered a legit religion by the United States of America. Satanism is considered by the US, almost a a cult. But not a religion.
    You premise at the end of the question is correct.

  7. I never got that memo. Shamanism isn’t illegal, but I get your point.
    There are many, many plants that are used for journeys. (Not condoning this to newbies.) Most don’t even know about them.
    Excuse me while I water my angel trumpet.

  8. I know shamans who don’t need those items to obtain enlightenment and therefore do not care about laws against using those items.

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