Pubdate: Thu, 11 Aug 2011 Source: Herald Express (UK) Copyright: 2011, Herald Express Publications Ltd. Contact: http://www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/index.jsp Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2284 SHAMAN FOUND GUILTY OF SUPPLYING HALLUCINOGENIC DRUG A MIDDLE-AGED Shaman from Buckfastleigh faces a possible jail term after being convicted of producing and supplying a class A drug at a healing ceremony. Peter Aziz conjured up two brews of sacred drink from jungle plants for religious rituals at a disused hotel, Bristol Crown Court heard. Aziz said he didn't realise that one ingredient - the leaf of the Chakruna plant - contained controlled the drug N-dimethyltriptamene or DMT. The 51 year old denied two counts of producing a class A drug and two counts of supplying a class A drug. A jury found him guilty of all charges after two-and-a-half hours' deliberation. Judge Michael Roach bailed Aziz, pending sentence on September 2. Kate Brunner, prosecuting, said Aziz advertised a week of healing ceremonies in Weston-super-Mare and 17 people attended. She said he brought out a flagon of the brew. All the participants sat around in a circle, candles were lit and he poured it into plastic or paper cups. "They drank it and when people drink this brew they frequently vomit," she said. "Some participants had hallucinogenic experiences. Some felt it was restorative, others felt it was terrifying." Aziz told the jury he made a brew of Ayahuasca at his home in December 2007 which contained both a special vine and Chakruna leaf. When his stock of the drink ran out, he brewed up another batch with the same vine and leaf mix in a pot in the hotel kitchen. Aziz conceded that, when interviewed by police, he first stated he hadn't used DMT-containing Chakruna, he then said he used some and finally said he only used Chakruna in his second brew at the hotel. On further questioning in the witness box he said his third account was probably correct, as he couldn't remember using Chakruna at his home. Aziz said as far as he knew the substance DMT was 'everywhere', in animal tissue as well as grass and chocolate. He had taken Home Office advice about the legality of using it, and had reduced its use in his ceremonies in order to avoid its hallucinogenic effects. He conceded that, on his internet website, he had written: "It's usual to mix the Ayahuasca with Chakruna, a DMT-containing plant." - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.