When I first encountered peyote in the powdered form known as mescaline, it was still a legal substance in the United States. That changed in 1970, but was later amended to exempt members of the Native American Church when using peyote for religious purposes.
As hippies seeking to escape the madness of American society, we ingested mescaline — along with psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis — as a means of expanding our consciousness. Described by Aldous Huxley as doors of perception, experimentation with these entheogens was the only pathway available to us as inheritors of traditions that no longer practiced a natural spirituality.
Although I once shared peyote with some Indians camped above the Grand Canyon, as hippies we had to find our own way in this uncharted territory of entheogenic stimulation. Many years later, I discovered the remarkable history of entheogenic usage by indigenous peoples of the Americas, including the peyote pathways between the lands of the Inca and Kiowa.