Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Peyote is a hallucinogenic plant that contains no harmful side effects or addictive properties and is legal for religious ceremonial use. May one consume it?

related: Is one allowed to smoke Marijuana? - note in light of point #3 in the first answer let's assume that the consumer's parents are dead.

share|improve this question
    
no responses? shtika k'hodah? –  Identitytheft-Dave May 14 '12 at 16:16
1  
If you want a definitive ruling on this, I recommend that you consult your Rabbi. –  Isaac Moses May 14 '12 at 17:15
    
@IsaacMoses i definitely do not want a definitive ruling, just a response –  Identitytheft-Dave May 14 '12 at 21:03
    
Some questions get quicker responses here than others. This one, in particular, may wait until someone finds an authoritative responsum that's on-point or until someone who's particularly familiar with - or willing to do the research on - the halachic literature regarding intoxicating substances comes along. If you have or come up with any information that can help get partway to an answer, please either post an answer yourself or add more information to the question. That could help increase the chances of someone else filling in whatever gaps remain. –  Isaac Moses May 14 '12 at 21:22
2  
@Identitytheft-Dave - There are those who forbid burning incense in one's home unless there is an obvious practical need to remove an odor (Sh"A, YD 179:18). This is because it may seem like burning an incense offering to demons (Shach, ibid). Likewise, the consumption of Peyote has religious overtones and might possibly have a similar issue. From a Kabbalistic standpoint, hallucinogenic drug use is frowned upon (see koshertorah.com/PDF/Drug%20Use.pdf). Furthermore, even if safe, halachic concerns regarding intoxication may apply. –  Fred May 15 '12 at 1:29
show 5 more comments

1 Answer 1

See this letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe regarding LSD:

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/848022/jewish/Can-Hallucinogenics-Aid-Spirituality.htm

He argues that one may only take drugs that are necessary for one's health, and that it is better to seek spiritual stimulation through learning chassidus.

I would add that since there are real health dangers (especially to mental health but also physical health), one should not take such drugs. You say there are no harmful side effects but that simply isn't true -- many people suffer from panic attacks or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) after taking drugs like peyote.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for posting this answer and welcome to Mi Yodeya. Hope to see you around. If you could source your claim regarding mental and physical health issues related to this drug it would greatly improve your answer. –  user2110 Feb 12 '13 at 21:18
    
I don't have a specific source, but from research I've done in the past it was clear that any type of hallucinogenic drug can cause panic attacks or HPPD. Various scientific articles on drug-induced anxiety disorder or HPPD can be found on Google Scholar. –  Kordovero Feb 12 '13 at 21:57
1  
What happened to seeking spiritual stimulation through Torah and Mitzvot? –  Double AA Jan 5 at 23:43
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.