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Russian Man Gets Over 11 Years in Prison for Shamanic Medicine He Bought in Peru

A young Russian artist was recently sentenced to 11.5 years in prison for bringing home two small bottles of ayahuasca Рa famous spiritual medicine prepared by indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin  Рthat he bought while visiting Peru.

Maxim Gert, a resident of Nizhny Tagil, a city in Russia’s¬†Sverdlovsk Oblast, had no idea that a simple souvenir he bought on a business trip to Peru could land him behind bars for over a decade. Maxim had long been suffering from back pain, and while in the South American country, someone suggested he meet one of the local shamans and try ayahuasca, a traditional spiritual medicine with known psychoactive properties. It’s unclear whether he noticed an improvement while consuming the brew in Peru, but he did decide to continue his ayahuasca treatment at home, so he took two small bottles with him on the flight home. That turned out to be a huge mistake.

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