Scans of the petition by Ayahuasca Healings to the DEA: [heartenergymedicine.blogspot.com
] Please free to download copies.
Ayahuasca Healings state that they plan to change their name to Heart Energy Medicine Native American Church. The petition is dated April 4, 2016 - I don't see any sign of name change yet.
On page one of the petition:
"At the outset, Petitioners wish to admit that they were previously mistaken about the current state of the law regarding Ayahuasca."
On page four it is stated:
"Prior to hosting their first Ayahuasca retreat on January 22,2016, Petitioners sent letters to (1) the Lewis County office and (2) the Lewis County District Attorney's office, informing the local government of their intent to host religious ceremonies involving scheduled substances. The County replied with approval to proceed and a business number."
But this simply is not true. First, it is not clear what is meant by "the Lewis County office". As for the "Lewis County District Attorney", I assume they mean Lewis County Prosecutor's Office, which did not give them approval to proceed or a business number.
The church recently sent a letter to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office prior to its first open ceremony in an attempt to establish a working, or at least understanding, relationship between the two parties.
“I wanted to make sure they received our letter before we started,” said Shackman.
The letter arrived only two days prior to the first retreat; but still, Shackman says, “We have nothing to hide.”
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer said recently that he believes the church’s position would be upheld in 99 of 100 court verdicts.
The above quote says that the notification letter did not arrive in time for any response from the Prosecutor's Office. The prosecutor did not give the group his legal approval, he only stated an opinion to the media. He may very well have changed his opinion since that time.
In March, the church, located between Mineral and Elbe near the Lewis-Pierce county line, appeared to shut down when scheduled retreats were postponed indefinitely.
At the same time, the church’s regularly maintained website went dark and numerous phone calls and emails bounced back with messages indicating that they were no longer in service.
On Thursday, though, Marc Shackman, the CEO and shaman of the fledgling and controversial church, met with a group of Lewis County department heads as part of a pre-submission conference.
Typically, pre-submission conferences are held prior to an organization beginning operations in order to preemptively address any compliance issues. However, the Ayahuasca Healings Church began its operations on short notice in January, holding six different retreats in the interim, without completing the pre-submission process.
The county has been eager to meet with church representatives ever since.
This excerpt makes it even more clear that AH did not have proper approval before holding sessions in Lewis County. They don't have DEA exemption, they don't have county prosecutor's approval, they are not even anywhere near being legally up to county and state health codes.