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.

  • no responses? shtika k'hodah? Commented May 14, 2012 at 16:16
  • 1
    If you want a definitive ruling on this, I recommend that you consult your Rabbi.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 17:15
  • @IsaacMoses i definitely do not want a definitive ruling, just a response Commented May 14, 2012 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
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 21:22
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    @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
    Commented May 15, 2012 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


See this letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe regarding LSD:


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.

  • 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
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 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
    Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 21:57
  • To get an additional and perhaps deeper insight into the perspective of the Rebbe on this subject as well as who the letter may have been directed to, the following two articles are worth reading. haaretz.com/news/wise-guy-wise-man-1.171162 tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/167091/… Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 14:36
  • HPPD is a real but extremely rare occurrence that when it does happens it happens to those who use psychedelics often and at relatively high quantities. While is is an interesting answer it doesn't address the main point the of question which is whether it is or is not permitted. There are plenty of things which cause health risks that aren't forbidden by the Torah and not only aren't forbidden are completely permitted.
    – Dude
    Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 19:11
  • No major orthodox rabbi has ever ruled it is permitted to take any type of illegal, recreational drug. (For one thing, the halacha is that it's required to follow the laws of the country we're living in.) If it were prescribed by a doctor, then that could be different.
    – Kordovero
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 3:07

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