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Legal Status
by Erowid
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
Lophophora williamsii
Schedule I
Peyote (lophophora williamsii) is Schedule I in the United States. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute (sell, trade or give) without a DEA license.

The CSA states:
(22) Peyote Meaning all parts of the plant presently classified botanically as Lophophora williamsii Lemaire, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, any extract from any part of such plant, and every compound, manufacture, salts, derivative, mixture, or preparation of such plant, its seeds or extracts (Interprets 21 USC 812(c), Schedule I(c) (12))
Federal Native American Church Exemption
TITLE 21-Food And Drugs
Administration, Department of Justice
PART 1307--MISCELLANEOUS--Table of Contents

Sec. 1307.31 Native American Church.

The listing of peyote as a controlled substance in Schedule I does not apply to the nondrug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of the Native American Church, and members of the Native American Church so using peyote are exempt from registration. Any person who manufactures peyote for or distributes peyote to the Native American Church, however, is required to obtain registration annually and to comply with all other requirements of law.

Laws regarding peyote vary from state to state, with many states allowing "bona fide religious use" of peyote as an exception to the controlled substance laws. Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming all offer some limited exceptions to the peyote laws for religious use. See Peyote Foundation's State Law Page (cache)

In states such as Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah, peyote may be used by any bonafide relgious organization. In Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, use of peyote is only protected within Native American Church ceremonies. In Kansas, Texas, and Wyoming use is only protected for members of the NAC, and Idaho and Texas require some "Native American Heritage" in order to be exempt.

Arizona #
Arizona has an exemption for "bona fide practice of a religious belief" in Title 13-3402. In a January 2014 article in the Phoenix New Times, a DEA agent said they deferred to local laws with regard to peyote. The author Eric Tsetsi writes : "Still, there's much controversy surrounding the legality of taking peyote, and if federal authorities wanted to prosecute Peyote Way for its use, cultivation, and distribution of the plant, they probably could make a case. Peyote Way Church technically is in violation of federal law, as neither Kent nor Zapf is Native American. Special Agent Sanchez, however, deferred to local and state authorities when asked about Peyote Way, suggesting that the DEA has taken a hands-off approach regarding peyote use, in the same way the Obama Administration recently has backed off going after medical-marijuana distribution in states including Arizona." (Jan 8 2014) See (Last Updated Jan 8 2014)
California #
California law states that "every person who plants, cultivates, harvests, dries, or processes any plant of the genus Lophophora, also known as peyote, or any part thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or the state prison." (Health & Safety Code:Ch.6,Art.3,Sec.11363) This is notable because the wording includes the entire Lophophora genus, not just Lophophora williamsii.
Utah #
Utah Supreme Court ruled that peyote use in "bona fide" religious ceremonies, regardless of the race of the participants, is protected under Utah and Federal Law in Utah. The court wrote: "On its face, the exemption applies to members of the Native American Church, without regard to tribal membership. The bona fide religious use of peyote cannot serve as the basis for prosecuting members of the Native American Church under state law." See: Salt Lake Tribune, June 23 2004, Utah State Supreme Court Decision
Australia #
Peyote is not fedearlly scheduled in Australia, but is controlled in the Australian Capital Territory (see Criminial Code and may be illegal in other territories as well. Import restrictions exist on the artichoke cactus (Obregonia denegrii), which is referred to in Australian law as "peyote". (see Wildlife Protection Act). (thanks T, DR, ET)
Brazil #
Peyote (Lopsophoria williamsii) is listed as a controlled substance, making production, distribution, or possession illegal. (thanks P)
Canada #
According to the 2001 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (which replaced the older Narcotics Control Act) mescaline is listed as a schedule III drug, while peyote is specifically exempted from Canada's Controlled Substances list. However, if peyote is prepared for ingestion (ground, made into tea, etc), it is possible that it would be treated as "mescaline" rather than as "peyote" which could make the preparation illegal. See Ask Erowid for more info.

17. Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxybenzeneethanamine) and any salt thereof, but not peyote (lophophora)
France #
Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) was specifically added to the list of controlled substances in August 2004. [Reference]
Italy (Italia) #
Listed in Tabella I of "Tabelle delle sostanze stupefacenti e psicotrope", making it illegal to possess, purchase, or sell. (see Tabelle delle sostanze stupefacenti e psicotrope. (thanks a) (last updated Dec 16, 2015)
Japan #
We do not know the legal status of Peyote in Japan, but have been told that as of Jun 2005, it is available in headshops (3 buttons for Y12,000 or $110).
Mexico #
Peyote is Schedule I in Mexico, although a few indigenous tribes are allowed to harvest it. Peyote is protected as an endangered species in Mexico and harvesting is controlled. (thanks M, I)
Netherlands #
Peyote is not scheduled in the Netherlands in its fresh/live state (similar to fresh psilocybe mushrooms). Only "preparations" containing mescaline and psilo(cyb)in are scheduled although this is currently being debated in the courts with one vendor challenging the definition of dried magic mushrooms as a "preparation". See the Dutch Opium Act: (thanks SS) (last updated Jun 2007)
Poland #
We have been told that, according to 'Ustawa z dnia 29 lipca 2005 r. o przeciwdzia3aniu narkomanii' ( a bill concerning drug abuse and addiction), mescaline is scheduled IIP, which means that one can be sentenced to up to 3 years for possesion of mescaline in any form, unless they have special permit for research. (unconfirmed) (thanks M)
Russia #
A new law on drug possession came into effect Sep 7 2004, banning seven new substances, including peyote. Anyone caught in possession of two or more adult-size Lophophora williamsii can be arrested and face up to two years in prison. See Moscow Times article (thanks CC)
Singapore #
Peyote is not listed in the laws of Singapore, but mescaline is a Class A controlled drug. (unconfirmed) (thanks T)
South Korea #
Several online vendors in South Korea carry peyote as a floral/decorative cactus, though we do not have any information about its legal status. (thanks J) (last updated Oct 6 2010)
Spain #
Peyote is reportedly sold in shops and by florists in Spain as an ornamental cactus. Sale and distribution are regulated by the 2006 "list of regulated plants". See and (thanks vm) (last updated Jul 15 2015)
Switzerland #
Peyote is listed as a prohibited substance in Switzerland. (see Liste des stupéfiants prohibés (thanks V)
United Kingdom #
In 2004, fresh (not dried) peyote buttons are currently sold fresh in shops across Britain. Currently, mescaline containing cacti are not controlled in the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom, there is no legal distinction between different species of mescaline-containing cacti, so peyote are controlled in the same way as San Pedro, for instance. See 2007 U.K. Trichocereus Cacti Legal Case for more information about the current legal status of mescaline-containing cacti in the United Kingdom. (thanks SS) (last updated Jun 2007)
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.