What will be prohibited?
All species of cacti that contain any amount of mescaline. This includes many of the species most popular with cactus collectors, botanic gardens and gardeners. The biggest problem is that only a small number of cacti have ever been analysed. Of these analyses about 10% have given positive results for mescaline. Potentially 10% of the whole cactus family could become illegal.
If mescaline is found in one species within a genus then it is likely to be found in other species of that genus. Below is a list of genera where mescaline has been found. Any number of species within these genera may turn out to contain mescaline. You won’t know until the government seizes your plants and analyses them.
Aztekium, Carnegia, Corypantha, Echinopsis, Gymnocactus, Gymnocalycium, Islaya, Lophophora, Mammillaria, Myrtillocactus, Opuntia, Pelecyphora, Pereskia, Pereskiopsis, Polaskia, Pterocereus, Stenocereus, Stetsonia, Trichocereus, Turbinicarpus.
Who will be affected?
- Farmers – Opuntias grow as uncontrollable weeds in many parts of Australia.
- Gardeners – Most of the common garden cacti contain traces of mescaline.
- Nurseries & propagators – Most of the common garden cacti contain traces of mescaline.
- Botanic Gardens – Most of the cacti in Australian Botanic Gardens contain mescaline.
- Cactus collectors - Some breeders have very valuable collections of hundreds of mescaline containing plants for breeding purposes and for species preservation.
Why does the government want to ban mescaline containing cacti?
Some [very few] cacti contain amounts of mescaline large enough to extract and use as a drug. The government is probably unaware just how many species actually contain traces of mescaline and hence is unware [or doesn't care] about the wide impact these laws will have.
Why is the new law inappropriate?
- The proposed schedules are supposed to be addressing the drug trafficking problem. Court records indicate that there is no trafficking and only minimal small time dealing in mescaline or cactus material.
- Of all the cactus genera listed above, only 5 species (in 2 genera) can be used for mescaline production.
- Mescaline is already scheduled in all state and federal drug schedules. Law enforcement already has plenty of laws to stop mescaline production from cacti and can even prosecute people who grow cacti with the intent to manufacture mescaline. There is no need to make the plants themselves illegal.
- Most of the plants captured by this law have such low mescaline content that it is impossible to extract or consume for effect. eg Opuntias generally contain less than 0.00001%
- The number of people who are negatively affected by this law far outweighs the danger these plants pose to health and safety.
- Making blanket bans that are selectively enforced confuses the general public as to what is legal and what isn’t. Eg: No one will know with any certainty at what level of mescaline content the government will start or stop pursuing growers?