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Book: Indigenous Religious Traditions in Five Minutes

Chapter: 58. Is Peyote a medicine or a drug?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43173


According to some Indigenous peoples, non-human powers offered humans the peyote cactus as a medicine. But most non-Indigenous peoples think peyote’s psychoactive alkaloids demand its regulation as a dangerous drug. Indigenous practitioners of ritual peyote ingestion have struggled against this view since the earliest colonial encounters. They affirm, instead, that communal peyote rites heal both body and spirit.

Chapter Contributors

  • Jennifer Graber ( - jgraber) 'University of Texas in Austin'