Afro-religious Rites Under Attack by Australian Nanny State Laws

United States law can be very strict on ayahuasca, with penalties possible for anyone suspected to be harvesting DMT for profit from the hallucinogenic cactus; use is generally only tolerated by members of the Church of Ayahuasca. I've seen ayahuasca for sale in Amsterdam, with a proper cactus plant finding a corner at a prominent cannabis seed store.
A medium for the beyond. Youtube

I've never tried ayahuasca, nor am I tempted to do so, because I have my own religious rituals here in Amsterdam. When my extended family and I meet, my uncles can be heard playing Dominican palo music on their traditional drums.

Part of our traditional religious rituals involve the use of a cigar, and although I always smoke during our family's religious rites, I never personally smoke outside of that, to me, sacred setting.

When I go buy a cigar, it is a simple transaction in the supermarket and the product comes with the same images which would be found in the original back home in the Dominican Republic. That simplicity is now under threat as Australia wants the World Trade Organization to force Dominican traditional tobacco rollers to soil their product with images of death.

While I cannot in good conscience deny the potential ill effects of excessive tobacco, my grandfathers are both in their 80s and partake with the family just the same.

Although we are a minority religion, we feel that Australian law is too excessive, and threatens to send a bad message to our kids about our ancestral traditions. The World Trade Organization could very well destroy a way of life for many Dominicans close to their Afro-religious roots.

By: Juan BF