Racism and the Discrimination Against Cannabis by Ayahuasca Users in Brazil

Foreigners, and even Brazilians, often feel confused by the fierce accusations leveled by the members of different Brazilian ayahuasca religions against each other. Matters become especially fierce in the case of attacks, often seeming to verge on a desire to ban the brew entirely, made against members of CEFLURIS or ICEFLU, followers of the late Santo Daime leader Padrinho SebastiĆ£o. This is allegedly due to their acceptance of the sacramental use, in certain of their rituals, of cannabis with ayahuasca. Another point of discord is their acceptance of possession trances alongside the shamanic flight more common among indigenous ayahuasca users. However, if one looks a little further into the history of Amazonian Indian and mestizo shamanism, one will find many different plant species being used in conjunction with ayahuasca; some of them with considerable psychoactive properties. Similarly, in Rio Branco, one will find followers of the Barquinha religion who reserve a special place in their rituals for mediumship and for possession trances and do not receive the criticisms leveled at CEFLURIS or ICEFLU.

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