Peyote has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the south-western United States as a part of their religious rites for many generations.
"For a few chapters of the Native American Church, the peyote sacrament begins at 8 p.m. Saturday and continues to run through the night. The service contains prayer, the eating of peyote, Peyote songs, wet rituals, and deliberation. It ends with banquet Sunday morning. The peyote sacrament is alleged to permit communion with God and the departed and to give authority, leadership, and remedial. The remedial may be poignant or corporeal, or even both."
"We might logically call this woolly Mexican cactus the prototype of the New World hallucinogens. It was one of the first to be discovered by Europeans and was unquestionably the most spectacular vision-inducing plant encountered by the Spanish conquerors. They found Peyote firmly established in native religions, and their efforts to stamp out this practice drove it into hiding in the hills, where its sacramental use has persisted to the present time."