Anti-Drug GOP Sen. Grassley Helps Ayahuasca Church

January 10, 2022 04:59 pm ET

For over a year, the Iowaska Church of Healing tried and failed to obtain a religious exemption from the IRS in order to incorporate the psychedelic ayahuasca into its ceremonies. Just when things were looking grim, however, the church got some help from an unexpected source. 

The church revealed in a September court filing that it had been receiving help with its appeal from GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley. The church first reached out to Grassley in early 2021 after its appeal request had seemingly been stranded in bureaucratic purgatory. With Grassley’s help, the church was able to get the appeal expedited. Only two months later, the church learned that the appeal had once again been rejected.

Though the church’s appeal didn’t go as planned, many were still surprised to find out that Grassley had offered a helping hand. After all, the senator has a record of being staunchly anti-drug—most recently voicing his reservations about the “Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.”

As many have noted, however, Grassley’s assistance should not be taken as a sign of his changing views. The senator has an established record of assisting his local constituents in their communications with the federal government, even when the constituents’ requests don’t align with his personal values.

As Grassley’s communications director put it, “Sen. Grassley reads his mail and he’s always happy to help facilitate dialog between Iowans and the bureaucracy in Washington.” In 2019 the Senator similarly helped an Iowa cannabis advocate with their religious expedition request.

So while the senator hasn’t exactly turned a new leaf, it is encouraging to see him looking out for his constituents. What do you think about the senator’s involvement with the Iowaska Church of Healing? Let us know in the comments!

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Cacique Damning Beaver says:

January 10, 2022 at 7:07 pm

Osiyo. As an American Indian it’s beyond time for sacred plant medicine to be prominent in healing.

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