Peyote (Lophophora williamsii or Lophophora diffusa) is a spineless cactus with small protrusions called “buttons” that are used for psychoactive hallucinogenic purposes. Mescaline, an amphetamine, is the principal active psychedelic compound in peyote. It is a hallucinogen derived from several different cacti— the Peyote cactus that grows in the southwestern United States and Mexico, the San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi) found in Peru, or the Peruvian Torch cactus (Trichocereus peruvianus). The limited growing area of this cactus restricts drug supply severely, so it is a common practice to sell other drugs such as PCP or LSD as mescaline. Mescaline can also be produced in a laboratory by chemical synthesis. A white crystalline material, mescaline sulfate, is the pure form of mescaline and can be put in capsule form.Peyote and mescaline are listed as Schedule I hallucinogens under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States.In a rare exception, “the nondrug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of the Native American Church, and by members of the Native American Church” is legal.
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