27 Sep New Edition of the Ayahuasca Technical Report
ICEERS has just released the 2017 edition of the Ayahuasca Technical Report. Signed by ten of the world’s leading ayahuasca researchers, this report is an important document that summarizes the most relevant scientific findings from the past few decades, as well as key information about the history, legality, pharmacology, and potential therapeutic or adverse effects of ayahuasca. Our intention with this report is to provide objective and up-to-date information to policy makers, judges, lawyers and other officials in charge of developing policies, programs, legislation or involved in legal cases relating to ayahuasca.
The first edition of the technical report that we published in 2013, was a collaboration in between renowned experts in the field of ethnobotany, pharmacology, and psychology. In the 2017 edition, we have incorporates the results of new research published over the past 3 years, during which we have seen a real boom in research aimed at expanding the evidence based about this brew from the Amazon. Furthermore, we’ve included additional information about the legal, policy, and anthropological context to provide insight into the globalization of ayahuasca’s use and research on it.
Initially, the idea to create the 2013 Ayahuasca Technical Report came from our experiences providing support to legal cases where it became clear that there was a need for a plain language document summarizing key scientific findings. The available evidence shows that ayahuasca is physiologically and psychologically safe, however it was necessary to present this information in a straightforward and accessible way for judges and those in charge of formulating public policy.
Since it was first published, at ICEERS and our Ayahuasca Defense Fund we have been using the report as a key tool in providing support and expert advice to those facing ayahuasca-related legal charges around the world. The document has proven to be a key resource in the development of legal defense strategies. Because most people who face prosecution are being charged out of a state’s concern for maintaining public health, an important first question to address is whether ayahuasca presents a threat to public health and/or risks to individuals.
Our conclusions echo those of the 2013 edition, stating: “both the currently available scientific evidence on the acute and long-term effects of ayahuasca and the studies that employed it as a therapeutic tool with psychiatric populations suggest that ayahuasca is a substance with an acceptable physiological and psychological safety profile and with therapeutic potential.”
We invite you to share this document and thereby assist in mobilizing knowledge, dispelling myths, promoting research and emphasizing the importance of laws, policies, and legal decisions that are based on evidence, human rights, and public health.