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Peyote in Canada

Peyote in Canada

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"17. Mescaline (3,4,5--trimethoxybenzeneethanamine), but not peyote (lophophora)"

Mescaline is a controlled substance. It is rather unknown in Canada that Peyote is specifically exempt from Canadian controlled substance laws. What was the reason behind this? And is prepared peyote illegal? I will answer these below.

Back in the 1961, when Canada was putting the Narcotic Control Act in place, the bill had begun being publicized, and the native’s of some Indian tribes and communities complained to the government. For decades and perhaps centuries, these native tribes in Canada have imported peyote from Mexico for spiritual use. The government, under Sir John Diefenbaker’s leadership (progressive conservative), surprisingly sympathetically exempted peyote specifically from Canadian law. They did this, without exempting for specific church or organizational use, because they realized if they had done that for peyote, then they would have been obligated to do so for other drugs such as marijuana, which they were not up for doing.

In 1996 when passing the Canada Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the government maintained this exemption, keeping peyote legal for the same reasons as the 1961 government had pointed out.

So what does this all mean?

In Canada, peyote is specifically exempt, because it was consumed. However with its main active constituent being mescaline, problems with dried peyote material could arise. Essentially, if one were to prove that the dry material being sold, whether for consumption or not, were to be Peyote, then they would be exempt from any charges.

What are some ways to prove that it is peyote?

A main start would be to keep the dried peyote in pieces that show distinct characteristics of the peyote plant. This could be done by slicing the peyote in pieces, from top to bottom, because the peyote cactus is easily distinguishable due to its relatively small size. If you were to look at fresh peyote, and then look at the dried peyote, and see that it’s quite similar, only different colours (due to the lack of moisture)

If the dried peyote were in powdered form, then the only way to distinguish it, would be to scientifically analyze all the powder and compare all of the chemicals found in it with the chemicals normally found in peyote. This would be more expensive, however an effective way in proving your case.

Obviously if the powdered material was just mescaline and cactus tissue then it would be considered illegal, because it is not peyote, peyote isn’t just mescaline and tissue. It has 50+ other chemicals.

So conclusively, peyote in all forms is considered legal if you can prove that the form of peyote you have prepared or not is or was at one point peyote.

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