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Is Peyote Endangered?

topic posted Mon, November 21, 2005 - 1:05 PM by  kimcloud
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Greetings,
What are the current ecological issues regarding Peyote collection in Texas? Peyote is either harvested by peyoteros, or wildharvested right? How does this effect the ecological status of Peyote? Peyote is "illegal" to cultivate, right? How does the Native American Church get Peyote? Isn't it ironic that they can't grow their own?
Curious,
Kim Cloud
posted by:
kimcloud
California
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  • RJ
    RJ
    offline 92
    Yes, peyote is endangered especially in the US. There are only a few legal peyoteros left, and the land where it grows in South Texas is being destroyed for cattle, and development. Tribes from all over the United States travel to the peyoteros. Which is also taking a great toll on the cacti.
    Check out this recent article: seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/...9.html

    Maps Article: www.maps.org/news-letter...3121ter.html

    Peyote is illegal to cultivate or consume unless you are apart of the Native American Church or if you declare that it is apart of your religious duty. However only five states allow the use by non natives...AZ, NM, CO, NV, and OR. Please check out this website. I am also a member of the Peyoteway Church.
    www.peyoteway.org

    Hope this helps.

    Peace
    Cosmic B.
    • My question is still out: Is Peyote Endangered? Meaning, does L. Williamsii qualify as a federally endangered species. This article (2003) says that peyote is not endangered.
      www.maps.org/news-letter...13121ter.pdf

      Yes, Peyote is "threatened" but not endangered. This term should not be used loosely.

      I believe that conservation must begin today, before it reaches endangered! The wild harvest in South Texas is unsustainable. What does the NAC want to do? Is it illegal for them to cultivate Peyote?

      The Peyote Way Church has a great greenhouse effort! This is a smart conservation technique. Is the use of peyote legal for the Peyote Way Church? Is cultivation legal? Not a federally recognized religion, right?

      I'm interested in pursuing this topic further.
      Do you have any other resources? I live in the Bay Area, CA. Where is the local NAC in the San Francisco area?

      Thanks!!!
      • RJ
        RJ
        offline 92
        Hello Kim, I did a search on U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. Nothing came up for Lophophora Williamsi.

        www.fws.gov/endangered/
        Also this site: www.endangeredspecie.com/states/tx.htm

        Imternational Game and Fish came up with some:
        But the articles only mentioned it...
        search.fws.gov/search/s

        What is interesting is that the Mexican Goverment declared Peyote endangered in 1991...

        I do not have much contact with NAC, and could not find much info on NAC in Cali.. but I believe there is a Church in downtown Phoenix. I will have to give them a call sometime next week after the Holidays. I would also like to get ahold of Game and Fish and see what they have to say, as well as a S. Texas local Uni...

        AMERICAN INDIAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT
        AMENDMENTS OF 1994
        www.nativeamericanchurch.com/law.html

        I am not home right now, so I apologize for the scramble. Your posts have been very stirring, and helping me learn alot. Thank you.

        Cosmic B.
        • Thank you Cosmic for your response... Good information. I also did the fws.gov search and did not find L. williamsii on the endangered species list. Perhaps we should refrain from using the term lightly?

          Even though grandfather peyote it is not "endangered," peyote is certainly a threatened species. The continual harvest, from such a small area, (I speculate) is detrimental to the species. Unfortunately, the federal gov't (Fish & Wildlife Service) won't deal with peyote until it reaches a critical point. Then what? Restrict it's use all together because it has reached an endangered status? Do you think that the NAC wants to stay "under the radar" and not make a fuss over peyote, in order to continue using it.

          This is a very complex issue.

          The only scientist I have found working on the conservation issue is Dr. Martin Terry of The Cactus Conservation Institute. He is also a professor of biology at www.cactusconservation.org/CCI/....html
          He says that peyote is threatened and locally extinct in areas of over harvest. Also, a similar species (star cactus) is endangered because of its over harvest, due to collector's who mistake star cactus for peyote.

          This is such a touchy subject. I respect peyote and I believe that it should be free....

          Is it really endangered in Mexico? How did you find this out?

          Do you have connections to the NAC in Phoenix? I am just beginning to connect with the CA NAC.

          In peace....
          KC
          • Unsu...
             
            Goddess bless you Kim. You are asking all the right questions. When I approached Fish and Wildlife I was told Peyote wasn't their province as Peyote is a "Controlled Substance." It is not that it isn't endangered but that politically it cannot be listed as endangered because it is considered a dangerous drug. Got it? When I approached United Plant Savers they decided to list it as threatened. It was listed as endangered in Mexico several years ago, but that may have been part of Mexico's alliance with the US so that it could not be imported into the US. Also it was about harassment of the Huichol. I propose that non Indians leave the NAC alone. If you are interested in the peyote experience acquire some plants and grow your psychedelic. The experience you gain will be pure and not distorted by the cultural and racial prejudice faced when an outsider tries to participate in an NAC ceremony. Seeds and plants are available from other countries and occassionally plants are sold on ebay. Thanks for the kudos on our greenhouse effort--I want to bridge the gap between Native and Non-Native and help anyone who wants to grow peyote legally stand up to government harassment. We Americans think we can use and abuse and there will always be plenty, but it isn't that way. Annie
            • Thank you for the blessings... I believe that I will need them if I continue to pursue this topic....

              I went to the Native American Sunrise Thanksgiving on Alcatraz Island. I made an attempt at finding a CA NAC member. You are right, non-Indians will have a hard time at connecting with NAC. I have Cherokee blood. Nonetheless, I am an outsider. I was warned to be careful of this quest.

              The most important component of this question is the NAC's perspective. Do they want to harvest sustainably, or not? It seems that the next step they are taking, is to create trade with Mexico (endangered in Mexico?). I believe that the NAC has the power to create a sustainable future for the peyote plant if they want to. There is no need to pursue it if they dont.

              In peace and respect, I hope to be a scientific link between the politicians and the Native Americans. It is hard to be a "scientist" working with the Indians. They have been harassed for so long. I truly believe that the NAC deserves freedom of religion and freedom for sustainability. The foundation of much of Native American practice is sustainability. They should have no law limiting this practice.

              How did you approach Fish and Wildlife Service? When? And No, I don't get it.... I don't understand why they wouldn't list peyote as "endangered" just because it is a drug. This is nonsense. It is a plant! All plants should recieve the same federal attention.

              How do we start the movement to promote Peyote cultivation?
              ~KCloud
            • RJ
              RJ
              offline 92
              Anne, I am happy to see you on here. :) Kim's questions really stirred up the stew in the pot. Thankyou.

              "It is not that it isn't endangered but that politically it cannot be listed as endangered because it its considered a dangerous drug. Got it?"

              I can definately get this. Alot of people associate peyote with a negative stereotype....As soon as people hear the word drug, it has already been thrown in the "bad" bin.



              Namaste
              • www.fws.gov/endangered/esaall.pdf

                Endangered Species Act of 1973:

                7. DETERMINATION OF ENDANGERED SPECIES AND THREATENED SPECIES
                SEC. 4. (a) GENERAL.—(1) The Secretary shall by regulation
                promulgated in accordance with subsection (b) determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the following factors:

                (A) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or
                curtailment of its habitat or range;
                (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific,
                or educational purposes;
                (C) disease or predation;
                (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
                (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued
                existence.

                Hm. Sounds like Grandfather peyote might fall under category B and D... and certainly E.
                B: Overuse... but no mention of religion.
                D: Definite inadequacy of existing "methods of cultivation" the word "regulatory" is a fucked up word. It means: Control by rule, subject to restrictions.
                So, I guess it falls under E.

                (b) BASIS FOR DETERMINATIONS.—(1)(A) The Secretary shall make determinations required by subsection (a)(1) solely on the basis of the BEST SCIENTIFIC AND COMMERCIAL DATA AVAILABLE to him after conducting a review of the status of the species and after taking into account those efforts, if any, being made by any State or foreign nation, or any political subdivision of a State or foreign nation, to protect such species, whether by predator control, protection of habitat and food supply, or other conservation practices, within any area under its jurisdiction, or on the high seas.

                Arg. So many words!!!

                What's Texas doing about all this??

                What scientific or commercial data displays the statistics that show a decline? All I can find, is the reference I listed before. The Cactus Conservation Institute. Somebody else must be interested in the peyote decline in recent years in South Texas??

                What are the implications of peyote recieving endangered species status? Does the NAC risk losing peyote? Or do they gain by earning federal recognition for a sustainable cultivation/conservation method which saves it from endangered status?

                Unfortunately, I still don't "get it." Do we really think that the FWS will fail to list peyote as endangered because it is a "dangerous drug." I find this hard to believe. But, I am naive....

                Thank you Anne and Cosmic for you input. All the points that have been made here are valid and beneficial for our understanding of this complex question.

                (Hugs)
                K Cloud
                • So, Is peyote endangered???
                  Ha!
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    RJ
                    RJ
                    offline 92
                    I believe it is. I do not want to get caught up in words. But I look at it like someone walking along in the middle of a train track. The train may be a 2 miles away or 100 feet. Either way they are in trouble.
                    • In trouble....
                      Can we please talk about this?
                      What can be done about it? It really seems to me that if there is a problem with the current peyote harvest, there must be a solution. Is this solution too difficult to attain? Why don't we discuss it?
                      • New Thread:
                        Solution to the endangered peyote problem???
                        Who's got an answer?
                        ; )
                        • RJ
                          RJ
                          offline 92
                          Sounds like a great thread.

                          There is always a solution. Do I know it? Not yet, but I am willing to help.

                          Education most importantly. Spreading the word. Petitioning it to be added to Endangered species list. Contacting Texas Game and Fish and speaking with them. Perhaps even making a trip to S. Texas??? Cultivating the plant. These are just a few ideas. And last of all putting in the effort.


                          :)
                          • RJ
                            RJ
                            offline 92
                            I am so tired. Goodnight. 8}
                            • Unsu...
                               
                              I believe there are steps that can be taken. One is for us to petition the Legislature to relist peyote for religious use--not straight up legalization because no Peyotist wants to see peyote commercialized. By relisting Peyote into a category that fits, we remove criminalization of Peyotists. Greenhouses can fill the gap, but as Peyote takes 12 years to mature, there is no time to waste getting these greenhouses started. Unfortunately there is a lot of superstition and ignorance and fear preventing key parties to this change from making a change. Annie
                              • Annie...
                                Thank you for providing us with so much insightful information!

                                Can you please clarify the legal mess a little bit more?

                                "WARNING! In the United States it is illegal to grow peyote. The religious use of Peyote is protected in five states, NM, OR, CO, NV, AZ. It is an article of faith of this church to grow peyote in response to the crisis of our sacrament and for the religious use of future generations."

                                www.peyoteway.org/peyoteway...20Seed.htm

                                So, peyote is illegal to grow. But, religious use is protected in 5 states, based on religious freedom (1st Amendment). Is peyote cultivation legal in those 5 states too, as a component of the article of faith?

                                Regarding solutions to the peyote endangered problem, you say that we should "petition the Legislature to relist peyote for religious use." Petition the federal government as a whole to "relist" peyote for religious use across the USA? Expand the 5 states to include all 50 states? When was it listed in the past? Why "relist"?

                                Also, are you concerned that the government may raise the issue of "non-Indian" use of peyote as "illegal"?

                                Sorry for all the questions... this is quite the complex topic!
                                Many blessings,
                                Kim
                                • Unsu...
                                   
                                  Kim:
                                  So many questions. Some of these questions have yet to be answered in a court of law and really should be answered by a lawyer, but I can answer a few.

                                  Peyote is listed as a Schedule One Controlled Substance with psychedelic mushrooms, lsd, heroine, cocaine, et al. To be listed as Schedule One, the substance must have no medicinal use, be addicting and cause harm to the public. It is illegal to grow("manufacture") a controlled substance without a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

                                  www.peyoteway.org/peyoteway/T...armed....htm
                                  I don't know about this link. You may need to copy and paste it to visit this webpage.


                                  As for growing peyote, it is a catch-22 situation. The legal protections are thin no doubt. AZ,NM,NV,OR,CO have all exempted possession of peyote for religious use. So, Peyotists with a framed Declaration of Religious Belief have "pre facie" proof of religious intent. However, according to Federal law, possession of peyote is a crime, unless in the possession of someone who can prove 25 % Native American ancestry and membership in the Native American Church. In "Smith vs Unemployment Division of Oregon", the Supreme Court ruled that it was up to the States to decide whether to protect the religious use of peyote. It is an Article of Faith of the Peyote Way Church to grow Peyote. Being an Article of Faith, and therefore "doctrine,"growing peyote is part of our religious practice. Which brings us back to the often paraphrased, "You can take Polygamy from Mormonism and still have Mormonism, but if you take Peyote from Peyotism, you have destroyed a religion."

                                  Anyway, the warning is something of a disclaimer. The laws are confusing and if I were in a state that didn't protect the religious use of peyote, I would hesitate about having more than a few plants. Peyote is the gem of the cactus world and cactus collectors all over the world want at least one plant in their collection. It is best to know the laws of the state you live in .
                                  • RJ
                                    RJ
                                    offline 92
                                    Thought I would add this straight from the horses mouth.

                                    www.DEA.gov Says:

                                    "While peyote produced rich visual hallucinations that were important to the native peyote cults, the full spectrum of effects served as a chemically induced model of mental illness."

                                    Isn't that silly how they tossed the last bit in there.



                                    Peyote & Mescaline

                                    Peyote is a small, spineless cactus, Lophophora williamsii, whose principal active ingredient is the hallucinogen mescaline (3, 4, 5-trimethoxyphenethylamine). From earliest recorded time, peyote has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of their religious rites.

                                    The top of the cactus above ground--also referred to as the crown--consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. The hallucinogenic dose of mescaline is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams and lasts about 12 hours. While peyote produced rich visual hallucinations that were important to the native peyote cults, the full spectrum of effects served as a chemically induced model of mental illness. Mescaline can be extracted from peyote or produced synthetically. Both peyote and mescaline are listed in the CSA as Schedule I hallucinogens.
                                    • These last few posts have really gotten to the heart of this matter. It is an obvious legal runaround:

                                      Cultivating peyote is illegal because it is a schedule 1 controlled substance, unless you live in one of the 5 states that protect religious use or you are 25% Native blood and a NAC member.

                                      Am I interpreting this correctly?
                                      • Other than the NAC peyote gardens in South Texas and the Peyote Way Church's greenhouses, is peyote being cultivated anywhere else?

                                        Does the NAC have a greenhouse project anywhere?

                                        A non-confrontational way to promote greenhouses would be great....

                                        ; )
                                        • RJ
                                          RJ
                                          offline 92
                                          I am not sure of any other places such as the ones in South Texas, or Peyoteway. But I will keep searching along with you.
                                          BTW, you will find this interesting. There was another Peyote garden in AZ that got shutdown I believe. Here are the links. Perhaps Anne can tell us more?

                                          www.peyote.net/

                                          www.peyote.net/archive/press111.html
                                          • Unsu...
                                             
                                            the problme is is that its consumed faster then it grows.
                                            • To continue this tread, I wouldn't be too concerned about it becoming endangered, it is we who are endangered. Recently a friend asked me if I would like to join him on a trip to Wirikuta, this was a few weeks ago. And, at the time I really knew nothing of the medicine or the people, still know very little.

                                              If you know cactus, they are very hardy and reproduce with new off-spring from the original root stock rapidly and usually in numbers. I witnessed a few cacti that had been harvested but the root was left intack and more than one button flourished from where the original button was.

                                              The cacti are very elusive and the desert they grow very very vast, one may not be able to find them as they hide very well but from what I saw and felt I don't think that it will ever become extinct.

                                              Endangered are the ancient ways of people living in harmony with the earth. I had the privilige of be chance seeing Huichol in ceremony on their sacred mountain. Seeing them immediatly I thought these are the 'real' people, this is why the earth still turns, because of the harmony that these people live by. Modern society is so out of harmony with earth cycle, time , vibration that if it wasn't for these humble loving people and others like them all over the globe the earth might do away with us.

                                              The matrix we have created is really of no benefit to the natural world, it is of benefit to the laws and systems we have in place which has nothing to do with natural harmony. And, I feel the earth is generous to us because she/it has no use for this matrix, it is a human construct that benefits humans and the bottom line. Things are changing though and we all know it, it is like we had/have to go to the extreme to find balance, that seems to be the dominating theme of life on earth today in the USA at least.

                                              I have participated in two peyote lodges here in the US and I must say eating the medicine in the desert is not comparable in the least to eating it fresh and wild. I was very very suprised how different it was, really hardly resembled my past two experiences at all.

                                              The medicine is smart, if it needs to protect its self it will go into hiding, we have this idea that plants are stationary but something as powerful as peyote will take care of its self just fine.

                                              • Unsu...
                                                 
                                                I appreciate your confidence, Mark and certainly what you have said is true to a point. The point where i would differ is the statement that it reproduces rapidly from rootstock. Peyote does reproduce from rootstock but I would hardly say rapidly. In a cultivated greenhouse situation it can be induced to grow much more rapidly through grafting to a faster growing species but in the wild this plant is extremely slow growing and can take decades to recover from being harvested even if cut at the root rather than being uprooted.
                                      • the laws are all over the place from state to state. the federal law protects those of us who are members of tribes or over the 1/4 blood ancestry mark, but states are allowed to interpet their laws the way they want. An American Indian could still be charged with illegal possession if it was outside the ceremonial context. My understanding is that Indians have been busted just transporting otherwise legally obtained peyote through states that are very repressive.

                                        Also, many of the NAC members I have talked to don't and won't use cultivated peyote. I think the plant will grow outside of its original range, so there may be a place for the introduction to other areas.
                                        • Unsu...
                                           
                                          "Also, many of the NAC members I have talked to don't and won't use cultivated peyote. I think the plant will grow outside of its original range, so there may be a place for the introduction to other areas."

                                          i have met some that will, but i think the law is even more scetchy on cultivation. it probably will grow if planeted else where but thats tricky buisness.

                                          still what it really breaks down to is that the demand is growing as the church grows and the NAC is one of the fastest growing pan-native american religious movements in north america. as the demand grows this cactus will be more and more endangered.
                                          what it will require is inovation on the part of the NAC, some chapters will have to branch out and embrace other sacred medicines. this is no easy task at all. but i am reminded of one story of how the tradition started with one tribe, people came together and learned from the plant to make a long story short.
                                          i dont see why sanpedro could not be embraced by some break away chapters of the church. i know tradition is important but it will take diversification and adaptation and inovation for these traditions to survive.
                                        • Unsu...
                                           
                                          Actually anyone who carries a CDIB card (A Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) can carry Peyote legally in the United States. As for the rest of your statements that's up to interpretation. Remember that the NAC is not an organized religion so it's all up to whoever sponsors the meeting. The only "official" churches are the NAC of South Dekota: ( www.nacofsd.org/index.htm ) and the Peyote Way Church.
                                          • there are 30 registered NAC's in Oklahoma alone.

                                            "(b)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any State. No Indian shall be penalized or discriminated against on the basis of such use, possession or transportation, including, but not limited to, denial of otherwise applicable benefits under public assistance programs. " This is the tricky clause, because the connection with a bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes. There are States where you must be a member of a NAtive American Church or other Church, regardless of your ethnicity.
                                            • Unsu...
                                               
                                              "there are 30 registered NAC's in Oklahoma alone.

                                              "(b)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any State. No Indian shall be penalized or discriminated against on the basis of such use, possession or transportation, including, but not limited to, denial of otherwise applicable benefits under public assistance programs. " This is the tricky clause, because the connection with a bona fide traditional ceremonial purposes. There are States where you must be a member of a NAtive American Church or other Church, regardless of your ethnicity."

                                              I humbly stand corrected. Thank you for the information :)
                                              • Unsu...
                                                 
                                                oregon state law states that any one with spiritual intention can ingest peyote... of coarse i am not to sure what the law states about growing it. and if you were white and you wanted get some and you were not a memeber of the NAC in oregon you would have to either get some from a member because from what i know you can only buy it from the pickers legaly in texas if your part of the nac or card carrieing native american. so you would have to grow it your self and i dont think that they smile upon that even in oregon. but i might be worng. they may be leanient on cultivation there if its being cultivated to be ingested for spiritual use.
                                                • Legal in Arizona for anyone for any religious purpose, your ethnicity is not an issue there. In Texas you must have 50% blood and have legal papers from your church to even posses it. You can get it from farmers in Arizona without all that hassle.
                                  • Anne, my name is Harley and I contacted you by mail a few years ago. I sincerely appreciate the invitation but I have yet to be able to afford such a vacation. You have my word that we will meet in person someday. Blessed be.
    • If you live in Canada and want to get some very very nice peyote plants 9cm plus you can check out this guy i buy my plants from

      www.cactustown.net
      best prices and plants that i have seen in a long time
      • Peyote is NOT endangered. It is endangered in the areas it's being over harvested in but on the whole,
        the plant is doing quite well. I have friends who do research on the plant populations in Mexico and S. Texas
        and I've seen the data and the photos. It's prolific, but mostly on private property where most people
        can get at it. I've seen peyote growing in solid square yards ! So thick you can't walk without stepping them.
        Don't buy into the doom and gloom of the species, it's a powerful plant spirit - it will undoubtedly survive.
        • Interesting....

          But, don't you think it's ironic that the plant grows abundantly on private property. I think it is especially sad that the Native American Church is required to purchase their sacred plant from private property owners (through licensed peyoteros).

          I would be interested to hear more from you Pilsbury regarding research on plant populations. I recently completed my master's degree on this very topic and found it difficult to obtain statistics measuring populations.

          I completely agree with you that peyote is a powerful plant spirit and will survive; just maybe not in the wild.


  • I tend to agree with Mark. I just got back from Wirikuta, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. This is my 4th year going down there and it is the most incredible experience taking peyote in the desert. I seem to have been communicated the same message from Peyote as was communicated to him. Though i saw it it in my vision as the "People of the Earth" and the "People of Plastic," plastic meaning cultures dependent on artifice, on artificial and not natural means of subsistence. Peyote I swear is like an intelligent spirit in the context of the desert anyway. And a very old and wise one at that. True, it is an extremely slow growing plant, but it seems like that in its natural undisturbed Chihuahan Desert habitat, and maybe most especially in the desert valley of Wirikuta, it seems to grow especially well. Why would the Huicholes cross all of the state of Zacatecas, well within peyote's range and much closer to their pueblos, all the way to San Luis Potosi? Maybe it's for the sacred mountain, called the Cerro Quemado... or maybe there is something particularly special about the desert of Wirikuta... I have noticed that in Wirikuta which gets it share of pilgrims, Huichol and otherwise, that peyote cut properly comes back with more buttons, kind of akin to pruning a rose, albeit with slow regenerative growth. Two things are certain: in Texas there is a big conservation problem, in part because Texas is only on the very edge of peyote's range and has to supply all U.S. use. gardens are definitely needed; the 2nd is that in Mexico it has a huge range and in parts of it's range grows in great abundance, and consequently, while conservation efforts are worthwhile, it seem neither endangered nor threatened. It does have this weird way of suddenly appearing under your nose where you didn't see it just moments before. If one goes to the desert with the wrong frame of mind, they will be extremely lucky to ever see it. But if one goes with good attitude, humble, and you speak and pray to it and the divine being in whatever form you prefer, it will show itself. Seriously, it's weird like that. For any that have the time and a little cash to go, I suggest taking a bus to Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and from the Matehuala bus station catch a bus to Wadley, from there get a ride or ask directions and walk to Las Margaritas. When you get to Las Margaritas ask for Doña Chuy. With her you can stay for cheap and she can orient you. Go and see for yourself and decide. But bring a good and patient attitude, and the peyote will talk to you.
    -MB, el coyote verde
    • Wandering in the Mexican desert isn't very safe for white people anymore and it's been a couple of decades since the ban on transporting guns across the border went into effect. My dad told me one major thing and I listened. He said if you ever want to wander that desert do it on horse back and take at least one good pistol. Things aren't the way they used to be and I would never wander the last outskirts of "the old west" without a good rifle and a sidearm. That's just me though.... maybe in a large group...
  • I am a South African who has never been to Texas. However, it seems to me that unless peyote actually becomes a protected plant/cactus, it is, in fact, endangered and in due course will face extinction. All wild plants that are not cultivated and harvested by people for whatever reason or use are already partly at risk. I suspect that psychedelics are not seen as important plants to protect. And when it is extinct some good Christians somewhere are likely to cheer. As Shulgin wrote, knowledge of others is wisdom, but knowledge of oneself is enlightenment! The attainment of enlightenment is not high on the current list of national priorities in most parts of the world.
    • "The attainment of enlightenment is not high on the current list of national priorities in most parts of the world."

      AMEN.
      • So, is peyote endangered? It sure sounds like it should be listed as a threatened species.

        lophophora.blogspot.com/

        This persons blog is current and on point. There are links to recent news articles (Houston Times Feb 2008, Reuters 2007).

        It's obvious that Federal Endangered Species Act regulations stink for local landowners, and create a restrictive issue for the NAC. But certainly, legal cultivation for religious purposes is a reasonable solution to these issues, right?

        I know the Peyote Way Chuch of God has circumvented the issue with their greenhouse program.

        Wouldn't it be nice to have a Federal law that states 'it is legal to cultivate peyote for bona-fide religious purposes'?


        • Unsu...
           
          I know I am late on this post, but having worked with the endangered species act, Peyote easily qualifys for endangered status in the US due to it's small range. The politics of it's "drug" label from our great DEA would never allow such a thing. There is also the private land issue as mentioned above.

          I also believe that the Internet and sites like Erowid with their concise natural history info have created a rather dangerous field guide for peyote. I do like Erowid, but wish they would be a little more vague on this. In the 1980's peyote was no where near as scarce as it is now, but was still popular. Many people would go to the wrong desert to seek it out.

          My personal opinion is that peyote will probably survive humans. It is in a large habitat in Mexico. While it has been grossly over collected, there will probably be a few remote nooks where a few individuals are missed. Obviously due to its slow frowth, we will not see it recover in our life time.

          My other view on this is that peyote should be cultivated in captivity and it could be reintroduced to the wild by us! The Chihuahuan Desert has a very pronounced rainy season. While this cactus grows slow, it is easy to clone. It would not be hard to plant some of these during the rainy season. Peyote likes those who cultivate it. We could help this cactus. Perhaps someday the human population will thin, and the remoteness of habitats will once again grow.

          Why do I think peyote should be reintroduced? Because it told me that in 1981...
          • Peyote will never go totally extinct. Far too many people all over the world cultivate it. It may disappear from the wild though.
            • Peyote is not endangered, not even in its native habitat. Some places have been
              over harvested but the plant still has vast landscapes where it thrives. It is easy to cultivate
              so hopefully its gene pool will remain robust for future generations.
              The lack of sacramental Peyote is due to the Federal government not issuing the proper
              permits for " Peyote Dealers " to sell Peyote to the NAC, etc. As far as I am aware, there are only two people
              selling it legally as distributors with the legal documents. I think perhaps the U.S. government would like to see Peyote
              fade away. It won't happen....
  • peyote is very endangered, dont let anybody fool you
    • Not that endangered!

      I unlike some people have no intention of sticking it in my mouth, thusly it will have a long a fruitful existence sitting right where it is!

      On my window ledge...

      i40.tinypic.com/2nu0hok.jpg
      • Old topic by the looks of it, last post was 2005 so not wanting to necro-post but think it needs saying, whilst I am all for the native people indigenous to the US being able to get hold of it. If it is illegal to cultivate & grow in the US and it is now dying out in the areas where it used to be abundant then it is a sad turn of events if the only people who can get ahold of it are idiots buying it from legal herbal high shops in the western hemisphere (where I live UK) at unbelievably high prices often out of stock.

        Then it stands to reason in a few years it will make it onto the endangered list and eventually be extinct and the only people that will be able to find it will be private collectors like myself.

        What does the NAC propose to do about it then, scary that it might all be too little too late!
        • It's kind of very ironic when you think about it, Mescalito the "protector" being protected by the "diablero's & brujo's" from the ravenous teenagers that only want to desecrate his image for a quick party high!

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