Aaron Rodgers insists ayahuasca is 'not a drug' and says he may be 'called' to take it again
Aaron Rodgers' weekly appearances on "The Pat McAfee Show" during the 2021 season largely centered on his stance on COVID-19.
This year, it appears ayahuasca will be the theme.
After Rodgers revealed on podcasts this offseason that he used the plant-based psychedelic in the past and credited it for his two most recent MVP seasons, there has been plenty of attention around it.
And interest only continued after Packers players led by wide receiver Allen Lazard conducted a celebration in the end zone during the team's win over the Bears on Sunday night that appeared to pay homage to their quarterback's offseason activities.
Lazard used the football as if he was pouring a drink into the players' hands and then they acted like they had a reaction to it, some falling to the ground.
Rodgers elaborated on the celebration and went on, in his own words, "a small tangent" about why he claims ayahuasca isn't a drug and why it shouldn't get a bad rap.
Was the Packers' celebration about Aaron Rodgers' use of ayahuasca?
Rodgers said he and Lazard talked about having their own celebration a couple years ago.
But on Friday, Rodgers said, "Allen kind of spread that to the rest of the guys so I was aware they were doing something."
And when he saw what they were doing on Sunday Rodgers "just wanted to get over there and get involved."
Rodgers explained, though, that when his teammates were doing that particular celebration he wanted to make sure he wasn't "sending the wrong message" about ayahuasca.
"You’re not standing up drinking, having this Jesus revival, slaying in the spirit. It’s not like that.
"You don’t have some immediate pass out into oblivion."
Rodgers did say after taking ayahuasca "you have some incredible reactions" and later joked that on the field maybe "the medicine just started spinning up inside me" again after the celebration as the Packers went on to defeat the Bears, 27-10.
What is ayahuasca and is it illegal in the United States?
According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, ayahuasca is a liquid-based psychedelic that can cause a person to hallucinate. The active chemical in ayahuasca is dimethyltryptamine (DMT).
DMT is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, which means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute the drug.
But ayahuasca has been used for centuries for religious and therapeutic purposes in South American countries like Peru. That is where Rodgers said he first experienced ayahuasca during the 2020 offseason.
Aaron Rodgers says ayahuasca and marijuana shouldn't be labeled as drugs
On Tuesday's show when McAfee asked Rodgers about ayahuasca and referenced it as a drug, he stopped the host.
He said labeling ayahuasca, like marijuana, or other plant-based substances, as a drug is a "manipulative word" that adds biases to them as opposed to medicines such as aspirin or cough medicine made from pharmaceuticals.
"Ayahuasca is not a drug," Rodgers emphatically said. "It has properties in it that have hallucinogenic abilities. But it's not a drug. We're talking about plants here.
"It’s a very important point to make. This is how words are created in society to create a certain bias against certain things. I do think it's important to go on this ridiculous tangent how words are used to create bias. Those biases create fears and those fears prevent people from doing their own research or having their own idea and truth in a situation."
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During his COVID-19 controversy last year, Rodgers called upon people to take their health into their hands and said through his research he presented a 500-page report to the NFL hoping homeopathic treatments he took in place of the COVID-19 vaccines would constitute as being vaccinated.
Rodgers said he'll likely be called to take ayahuasca again
Rodgers said if he's "called" again to take ayahuasca, he would do it again.
"I don't think that was the last time," Rodgers said.
The Packers' four-time MVP quarterback later said "it's more of an intuitive feeling" that someone knows when it's time to "sit with the medicine again."
"Once you sat with the medicine one time you kind of know what that feeling is that more lessons to be learned. ... Some people sit 100 straight days and still feel called years and years down the road to keep on doing it. I had such a beautiful experience I'm pretty certain it won't be my last."
He also said he has not done ayahuasca with Packers coach Matt LaFleur but would if asked.