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is ayahuasca legal

Is Ayahuasca Legal?

The short answer is, it depends where you live and how you use it.

There are 3 legal statuses globally:

  1. Legal within specific contexts e.g. religious use or because ayahuasca is part of the national cultural heritage
  2. Specifically prohibited
  3. Not specifically prohibited, not specifically permitted – a legal void exists

I’ve summarised the legal status of ayahuasca here.

Note: I marked some status as legal because there is no law prohibiting it – use your own discretion):

Links in the Status column are to the specific laws, where I could find them.

Ayahuasca Legal Status
Country Status Related Court Cases
Canada Illegal Religious exemption granted
Gabor Mate told to cease work
USA Illegal Religious exemption granted
Religious exemption granted
Oakland City decriminalises all psychedelics
450kg importer facing 20 years
UK Illegal Religious use illegal
Ayahuasca seized, but case dropped
Australia No law exists
India Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is. Retreat Raided
China Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is.
Netherlands Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is.

Ayahuasca ceremonies tolerated and religious use permitted.
Religious exemption granted
Ceremony raided, charges dismissed
Ayahuasca in luggage, charges dismissed
120 litres seized, sued government
Church sue government to prevent seizures
Brazil Legal
Japan Illegal
Mexico No law exists
Colombia No law exists
Peru Legal
Thailand No specific law exists but other psychotropics are listed
Indonesia No specific law exists but other psychotropics are listed
France Illegal
Denmark Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is. Religious status denied
Import and distribution denied
25kg importer jailed
Finland Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is. The plant ingredients of ayahuasca are on Finland’s “herb list” which means they are treated as a medicine or an illegal drug depending on whether medical use for it is shown. Arrest for online order
Belgium Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is. Illegal importation
Possession and trading case
Argentina No specific law Ayahuasca retreat raided
Ayahuasca retreat raided
Ayahuasca retreat raided
Ayahuasca retreat raided
Rave raided
Church denied religious status
Possession of plants not illegal
Italy Legal Declared a non-narcotic substance
Spain Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is. Religious use permitted. 38 arrests from 2010-2015
Chile Legal Couple Arrested
Accused Acquitted
Sweden Illegal
Portugal Mixed – All drugs decriminalised meaning possession and use is legal. The sale, transport and cultivation of the substance remain criminal offences.
Group denied religious status
Religious use denied
Ayahuasca retreat raided
Romania Legal – For scientific and medical research studies by authorised doctors in clinics and hospitals only.
Ireland Illegal Ayahuasca retreat raided
Switzerland No specific law – 26 states can make their own law. Religious use permitted. Shipment seized
Germany Mixed – Plant ingredients not illegal, but DMT is. Arrest for online order
Ayahuasca legal status case
Uruguay Mixed – Distribution  and selling are illegal. personal use is not. 30 litres seized. The person who transported ayahuasca was not charged, but they confiscated the ayahuasca.
Israel Illegal Importing arrests
Russia Illegal
Costa Rica Legal

Whilst the legal status is complex in most countries, there is hope that ayahuasca use will be permitted in the future.

There are many promising studies (referenced in this post, but if you’re lazy here’s a cool list) where the scientists feel the legal status should be relaxed so more studies can be done.

Ayahuasca seems safer than many things we have legalised, so perhaps at some point ayahuasca may too become legal.

Want More Answers on Ayahuasca?

This answer is part of our "Most Comprehensive Guide To Ayahuasca on the Internet"
100% free and available here: Ayahuasca Info: The Definitive Guide

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