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This book explains the role that peyote-a hallucinogenic cactus-plays in the religious and spiritual fulfillment of certain peoples in the United States and Mexico, and examines pressing issues concerning the regulation and conservation of peyote as well as issues of indigenous and religious rights. * Explains the complete history of the peyote plant in the United States, presenting views from religions including Native American and Christian churches, the creation and evolution of U.S. law regarding peyote, state and federal legal protections since 1990, reasons for the plant's apparent demise, and arguments for its stronger protection * Identifies current peyote protective laws in Mexico and Canada * Documents how many U.S. residents, including Native Americans, commonly use peyote as a spirituality enhancer or illegal recreational drug within the United States, or do so as tourists when visiting Mexico
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"With different approaches, this interdisciplinary collection highlights the diversity of ways by which peyote can be employed, including both the Indigenous uses held as 'traditional' and the growing non-Indigenous practices related to New Age and neo-shamanic groups. Thus, the book shows how the multiple contemporary uses of this cactus are transversal and present challenges to geographic, ethnic, and analytical categories and definitions. The debates brought up in this volume address broad themes such as national and international drug policies, environmental sustainability, human and Indigenous rights, and ethnic and religious issues. With all this in mind, it is possible to say with no doubt that this collection constitutes an indispensible reference for those who want to know more about peyote, its history, and its multiple uses." -- Isabel Santana de Rose, PhD in Anthropology, post-doc fellow at the Post-Graduation Program in Anthropology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

About the Author

Beatriz Caiuby Labate, PhD, is professor at the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS), in Guadalajara, Mexico, and visiting professor at the Drug Policy Program of the Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE), in Aguascalientes, Mexico.Clancy Cavnar, PsyD, is a research associate of the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP) and a clinical psychologist who works at a dual diagnosis residential drug treatment center in San Francisco, CA.


"This collection truly is a great reference for those interested in peyote, its rich history, and how it is used today. . . . Despite the recent renaissance of psychedelic research, little mention has been made of the potentials of peyote and mescaline use. . . . This hole in research is precisely why this text is of importance to the field. It offers a comprehensive understanding of the politics and history of peyote, and with the information it provides, it is a perfect place to start for psychologists who have an interest in psychedelic research or the exploration of consciousness as it pertains to spiritual ceremonies, traditions, and religion. . . . Anyone who wishes to find out more about peyote and its rich history of spiritual and indigenous use, as well as its legality, will find this collection both informative and comprehensive. The book's truly interdisciplinary approach provides rich accounts that are so often difficult to find, or are left out entirely from research-based collections." - PsycCRITIQUES "With its 12 chapters bringing together contributions from different areas, such as biology, ecology, history, law, anthropology, and the religious sciences, together with indigenous perspectives on the topic, this collection presents visions and approaches to peyote and at the same time explores some common and cross-cutting issues and questions. . . . Peyote today finds itself situated at a crossroads, one at which are encountered debates over environment and sustainability; national and international politics dealing with the use and trafficking of drugs; human and indigenous rights; and questions of an ethnic and religious nature. In this sense, one of the discussions raised in many different ways throughout this book is over how these diverse interests interact with one another and how they might be suitably balanced." - NEIP "[An] excellent, up-to-date resource . . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners." - Choice

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