Native American Church Appeals to Congress to Fund Preservation, Cultivation of Peyote

Last week, leaders of the Native American Church (NAC) asked Congress to allocate funds toward efforts to preserve lands where peyote can be cultivated. Peyote is a psychedelic cacti that is often used in religious ceremonies of the Native American Church. The plant’s primary habitat is located in Texas, near the United States-Mexico border.

The federally protected plant is classified as a Schedule I substance but can be cultivated, harvested and used by the church, per an amendment to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

Despite federal protections, the plant’s supply is limited, which is why members of this particular church are seeking assistance to ensure it remains available for future generations. This is particularly important because unsustainable agricultural practices and climate change threatens efforts to conserve the peyote cactus, which takes more than a decade to start flowering.

During the meeting, the Native American Church asked that $5 million in funding be allocated to conserve this ceremonial plant. Specifically, the church and the National Congress of American Indians are urging legislators to allocate funding from the Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program. They also asked that the Interior Department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs offer compensation to landowners who agree to have their properties converted into peyote habitats.

Some leaders in the church also expressed their concerns about the increasing use of the plant by non-Natives, amid the movement to decriminalize psychedelics in the recent years.

In addition, the Native American Church is asking that an advisory committee be established; the committee would be comprised of private landowners and tribal representatives as well as federal and state representatives. The committee’s role will be to support long-term peyote conservation.

The Native American Church also posted a number of meetings it scheduled with Congressional staff on Facebook; the meetings focused on discussing the matter with the offices of Senators Kevin Cramer, Martin Heinrich, Tammy Baldwin, John Tester, John Thune, John Hoevem and Mike Rounds. NAC officials also met with Representatives Matt Rosendale, Tom Tiffany, Ann Kirkpatrick and Ruben Gallego. In addition, church members erected a tipi on the National Mall’s grounds in an effort to direct more attention to the matter.

Mainstream interest in the cause is growing, as more states and cities across the nation move to decriminalize entheogens and promote more studies into the therapeutic potential of these substances. This comes as more legislators and activists revise their psychedelic reform initiatives to exclude peyote for religious ceremonies.

A number of companies, including Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO), are focused on coming up with medicinal formulations from psychedelics such as magic mushrooms so that the patients who need them can access them in therapeutically beneficial forms that won’t trigger unforeseen adverse events.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Silo Pharma Inc. (OTCQB: SILO) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/SILO

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