President to pardon Polish couple convicted of importing and distributing hallucinogenic beverage

President Miloš Zeman will pardon a Polish couple, Jaroslaw and Karolina Kordys, who were convicted by a Czech court of importing and distributing a hallucinogenic beverage called ayahuasca used by shamans in Peru. They were served five-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half year sentences. The sentences were considered by many as being too harsh and Justice Minister Pavel Blažek on Friday tweeted that he welcomed the president’s pardon as a humane gesture. The drink contains the hallucinogenic substance DMT, which is banned in Czechia. It has been used for ritual purposes by shamans in the Peruvian jungle for over 5,000 years.