Rob Heffernan: Legality of Sacred Medicines: Myths vs Realities

Rob Heffernan: Legality of Sacred Medicines: Episode 56, The Psychedelic Entrepreneur Podcast

Rob Heffernan is Program Director of the Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants. He is an independent researcher and activist who has participated in the vegetalismo, Santo Daime and other syncretic traditions since 2000. He has been active in organizing and legal efforts for the Santo Daime, ayahuasca and the broader psychedelic community since 2005. He’s also a certified Shamanic Breathwork facilitator, a certified Integrative Sound and Music Practitioner (sound healing) and a long-term Buddhist Dharma practitioner. Rob has a deep commitment to integrating and building connections between Buddhist Dharma, sacred medicine work and the eco-climate/social justice crisis.

In this episode, Rob Heffernan and Beth Weinstein speak about…

  • Psychedelic churches in the US and the federal exception that offers them protection to serve sacred plant medicines legally
  • The reality on the ground of what’s going on in ayahuasca churches in relation to these protections
  • The different legal problems some psychedelic users and activists have faced, including temporary loss of their children and job loss
  • How psychedelic therapy is not protected under religious freedom but must be approved for legal use through entirely different channels
  • How psychedelics are spiritual sacraments and can be highly therapeutic – and are also “life enhancing” in the sense that they can open new perspectives, inspire a sense of wonder, lead to positive change, and much more
  • Problems around inclusion and lack of access with psychedelic medicines
  • Charuna’s Council for Sacred Plants, which advocates for the legality of psychedelics, the conservation of plant species, and the right of traditional cultures to practice and preserve their lifeways
  • Chacruna’s work developing best practices for psychedelic churches
  • Rob’s work helping spiritual congregations using sacred medicines to organize themselves
  • The rise of investment and businesses development around psychedelics
  • For-profit companies that are working towards accessibility and reciprocity
  • The implications of decriminalizing peyote and how this could negatively impact the survival of the plant
  • The reality that while there can be therapeutic breakthroughs with psychedelic use, true integration require constant integration, moment to moment, in daily life

Rob Heffernan’s Links & Resources

Website ▶:

Facebook ▶:

Email ▶: and


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