Navajo Nation president signs proclamation against federal decriminalization of peyote
Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren signed a proclamation declaring the tribe’s opposition to any state or federal effort to decriminalize peyote.
Peyote is a sacred plant to many tribes and has been used for centuries as part of religious, cultural and medicinal ceremonies.
It is also a federal Schedule I controlled substance. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act protects the rights of Native Americans to use the plant through ceremonial and traditional rites without federal repercussions.
Peyote must continue to be protected as a sacred plant for use only in ceremonies by Native American Church and Azéé’ Bee Nahaghá of Diné Nation members.— Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren (@BuuVanNygren) November 10, 2023
On Friday, I signed a proclamation for the Navajo Nation’s opposition to any state or federal effort to decriminalize peyote. pic.twitter.com/etu1Mby70y
Tribal leaders fear the availability of the already-limited peyote would become even harder to find for traditional use if it’s decriminalized.
They also express concern that non-Native users may disrespect its significance if not educated in traditional practices.
Several other tribes have opposed state proposals that seek to decriminalize the plant.