Some Native American religious rituals involve the use of psychoactive substances (such as peyote, ayahuasca, iboga, mushrooms, etc.) to induce religious visionary experiences.
Identify one specific indigenous tribe in North America, Central America or South America that uses a psychoactive substance in a religious context.
Provide a brief historical recap of the substance’s use. Explain the function that the substance serves in the ritual. What are the rules surrounding its use? Who can partake of it? When can it be ingested? Then, identify any cultural or political controversies surrounding the tribe’s use of the substance. How has controversy affected the ritual use of the substance today?
What is your opinion on the use of psychoactive substances in ceremonial religious contexts like the one you identified? Should religious groups possess the freedom to engage in these ceremonial activities, even when they are in conflict with a nation’s laws? Why or why not?