I am interested in formalizing and seeking recognition for the religious use of psychedelic drugs in the US via an institution similar but not identical to the Santo Daime Church. To be clear, this is not in the interest of gaming the system in order to get away with taking drugs; I am a very sincere practitioner (let us say for the sake of legal safety that I have practiced in areas of the world where it is legal) considering writing a manifesto to unite other sincere practitioners who have had to practice in secret and in the absence of an organized congregation.
As I understand it, the Santo Daime Church as well as the similar UDV Church have been granted legal legitimacy through cases in Federal courts but were not initially explicit about their use of Ayahuasca and rather relied on not being noticed. This is not the approach I am interested in taking. As a capable technical writer, I am interested in establishing the beliefs and practices of such an organized religion in such a way as to demonstrate sincere and safe religious practice up front. It will be important that the religion be syncretic, making few specific metaphysical assertions of its own but rather emphasizing the process of drawing individual conclusions through direct personal experience, and that use of psychedelics be supervised under safe conditions, ideally in small groups.
From the perspective of establishing a legally recognized religious entity and appealing for exemptions to the Controlled Substances Act on the grounds of religious use, what steps need to be taken? In particular, what criteria should a document establishing beliefs follow?