CONFEN / CONAD
SOCIAL POLICY – CONFEN:
The religious use of Ayahuasca tea is backed up by two resolutions of the now-defunct Federal Council on Narcotics (CONFEN), whose functions were taken since 1998 by the National Anti-Drugs Secretariat (SENAD).
These resolutions, which were approved unanimously in 1986 and 1992, were the result of two years of investigations carried out by interdisciplinary commissions set up by the Justice Ministry. The inquiries confirmed the beneficial nature of the religious work carried out with the use of the potion.
A report by the Federal Council on Narcotics, signed by Dr Domingos Bernardo Gialluisi da Silva Sa, concluded that plants used in the making of Ayahuasca should not be part of the list of products banned by DIMED (the Medical Division of CONFEN).
This conclusion was approved by the main committee of CONFEN, based on an investigation carried out by a working group set up by the Ministry of Justice and the Brazilian church União do Vegetal (UDV). The report said there was nothing to prove that Ayahuasca had socially harmful effects.
As a result of these investigations, on the 2nd June 1992 CONFEN decided to officially permit the use of Ayahuasca for religious purposes across the whole of Brazil.
The spokesman for the investigation, Domingos Carneiros de Sa, explained that the main reason for allowing the use of the potion was the way in which people who took it behaved, and the serious nature of the centres which use the tea in their rituals.
No anti-social behaviour was observed at ceremonies where Ayahuasca was used; on the contrary, investigators saw constructive effects on people who had shown psychological or social problems before taking part in the rituals.