The Peyote Plant Essay Research Paper Drug

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The Peyote Plant Essay, Research Paper Drug use has always been a topic of controversy, especially when it pertains to religion. One particular drug that has been brought to the attention of the federal government is Peyote. Peyote is a drug that has been used by the Native Americans for thousands of years. This drug, Peyote which has caused much controversy over the years has recently been reconsidered for legal use. ?Probably the most famous New World hallucinogenic plant is Peyote, (Lophoproria willamsii), a small spineless cactus, native to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Also in the northern and central parts of the Mexican Plateau Region. Another species (Lidiffuss) is native to the Mexican State of Quertono. The rounded, gray-green stem crown (top) is radially divided

into sections, each offering a small meristematic region (called an areole) from which arises a tuft of hairs. The crown tapers into a thick carrot-like root that extends into the ground (?Mescal Bean? N. Pag.). There are many different chemicals in the Peyote cactus, the main one being mescaline. ?Mescaline, which can be made in a lab, was isolated in 1919, resembling epinephrine, the adrenal hormone? (?Peyote 1? Pag). The Peyote cactus contains more than 50 different alkaloids, but the most active hallucinogen is mescaline. ?Mescaline has a chemical structure similar to the brain neurotransmitter dopamine? (?MescalBean? N. Pag.). It is also structurally similar to the neurohormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and to the stimulant amphetamine. In the Peyote cactus, mescaline

is formed in a complex path way from the Amino Acid tyrosine. Mescaline provides psychologic disorientation with brilliant, ever changing colors. Mescaline hallucinations produce audio visual affects, double personality, derealization (loss of sense of reality of environment) and depersonalization (shattered personality). ?Peyote was dried and eaten by Southwest Indians at religious services for sense of well being, hallucinations (visions) and trances? (?Peyote N. Pag.). Native Americans use this drug as part of their religious ceremonies. The users slice off and eat peyote crowns fresh or dried. Peyote buttons last years, swallowed whole or drunk in tea. According to Clairdone, large amounts of peyote can induce hallucinations, adherents say the quantities normally taken in

religious rites bring on only an introspective mood that gives the user insight to the spiritual world. This is not something American Indians have made up in the past hundred years. ?Mescal Beans have been discovered in Indian sites dating before A.D. 1000, and from one site dating back to 1500 B.C. (?Mescal Bean? N. Pag.). ?Ever since the arrival of the first Europeans in the New World, Peyote has provoked controversy. Supression and persecution? (Scnultes N. Pag.). Peyote, in its natural state is not a dangerous drug, however, synthetic peyote causes harmful side effects. According to the article ?Peyote 1 and magic Mushrooms?, ?Synthetic peyote lowers blood pressure, depresses the central Nervous system and kills by respiratory failure.? Since Peyote is a drug that produces

hallucinogenic affects, the military reached an agreement with the Native American church to honor the use of peyote for Native Americans in the Military, except for those who operate nuclear weapons. Other restrictions were said to include a prohibition against the use of peyote on military vehicles, aircraft, or ships; a requirement to stop using the drug 24 hours before returning to active duty. According to Clairdone, Church sources said fears of hallucinogenic ?flashbacks? that were raised by officials of the Strategic Air Command delayed formal implementation of the draft rules and raised bitter resentment among devout native Americans who use peyote as a sacrament. Individual states had made laws that honored the peyote ritual, but peyote was still considered an illegal