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Ismail Lourido Ali is Policy & Advocacy Counsel for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where he supports the development and implementation of strategies to create legal access to psychedelic substances in medical, sacramental, and personal contexts. Ismail is licensed to practice law in the state of California, and presently sits on the Advisory Committee of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund. Ismail has previously served as Chair of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Board of Directors, and has worked for the ACLU of Northern California’s Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Project, as well as for the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where he received his J.D. Ismail believes that entheogenic consciousness is a crucial piece for challenging oppression in all of its forms.

Presentation: “When the World is Just: Psychedelic Science after Prohibition"

Psychedelic medicine and therapy are on track to be snugly included within a “mainstream” mental healthcare paradigm. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) predicts that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy could be legally available as a treatment for PTSD by 2021, and psilocybin will soon follow. In the meantime, ketamine-assisted treatment is changing the landscape of mental healthcare as we know it. The medical model succeeds when patients suffering from and diagnosed with a variety of indications have legal access to psychedelic treatment in clinical or therapeutic contexts. However, this success is shadowed by the reality that mainstream medicine is costly, limited in scope, and inaccessible to many. At the margins, other issues emerge that must also be addressed – complex ethical questions, an influx of capital, and the risks and challenges inherent in a creating new modalities – or supporting their transition out from the underground and into the light. Given this multifaceted reality, exactly how will the field of psychedelic medicine truly embody the vortex of transformational evolutionary change it purports to be? In order to answer that question, this talk and discussion will consider how restorative, reparative, and regenerative policies can be integrated into psychedelic science “after” prohibition.


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