Is Ayahuasca Legal in Europe?

The legal status of ayahuasca in Europe, and in any country that is a signatory member of the United Nations is basically the same. The United Nations treaty, the Vienna Convention, which is the one that regulates the use of narcotics within the UN, has been signed by the greater part of European countries. Between the Vienna Convention and then the subsequent interpretations that have been made by the (INCB) International Narcotics Control Board, which is the commission that actually interprets and applies the Vienna Convention.

What this Commission has stated is that ayahuasca is legal within the signatory countries of the convention, unless one of those countries has issued a domestic law that says otherwise. In other words, the international convention is a general law. That is applicable for any country that has not issued a different domestic law or national law.

Since the Vienna Convention stated that DMT was illegal, there was a big confusion around whether that meant that ayahuasca was illegal or not, because DMT is naturally present in many other plants, including in the human body.

It is said that the human body produces DMT naturally in the pineal gland. So then from this confusion that arose, it was necessary for the INCB to issue a report that clarified this fact. And what the INCB stated was that, none of the plants containing DMT are illegal. Therefore, the conclusion of the INCB report is that unless the plant is illegal, then the naturally occurring active principal is not illegal. So then it differentiated between whether the DMT was an extraction, sort of like a chemically isolated substance, or whether it was present in a naturally occurring brew such as ayahuasca.

There are some countries within Europe that have specifically issued domestic laws illegalizing, ayahuasca and the plant. The latest one was Italy that issued this law in March 2022, prior to that the Netherlands and France illegalized ayahuasca. Other from Italy, France and the Netherlands, no other EU country has illegalized ayahuasca, therefore its consumption is not illegal.

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