October 11-14: Leading Voices in Psychedelic Research & Law Reform to Present at Biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Atlanta

Press Release October 6, 2017
Media Contact


Jag Davies, 212-613-8035
Tony Newman, 646-335-5384

More than 1,500 people will gather in Atlanta from October 11-14 for DPA’s biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference (#Reform17) to discuss and debate a wide spectrum of issues such as marijuana legalization, drug decriminalization, harm reduction, and other approaches grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Leading advocates for psychedelic research and policy reform will present at the following four breakout sessions:

Thursday, October 12, 4:30-6pm

Colonialism, Race and Psychedelics: How Do We Repair the Harms of Prohibition? (Spanish and Portuguese translation available)

• Ismail Ali, J.D., Policy & Advocacy Counsel, MAPS, Oakland, CA
• Camille Barton, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Director of The Collective Liberation Project, and Social Justice Researcher, Bristol, UK
• Ifetayo Harvey, Communications Associate, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
• Paula Graciela Kahn, Social Justice Organizer and Iraq War Tribunal Co-Producer at CODEPINK, Los Angeles, CA
• Bia Labate, PhD, Professor, Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology, Guadalajara, Mexico
• Tehseen Noorani, PhD, Assistant Professor, Clinical and Community Psychology, University of East London, UK
• Nicholas Powers, PhD, Poet, Journalist and Professor of Literature at SUNY Old Westbury, New York, NY (moderator)
• Constanza Sánchez Avilés, Law, Policy and Human Rights Director, International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service, Spain

Friday, October 13, 4:30-6pm

Psychedelic Research: Remaining Obstacles and New Visions

• Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY (moderator)
• Neşe Devenot, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Puget Sound, and Research Fellow at the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study
• Rick Doblin, PhD, Founder & Executive Director, MAPS, Boston, MA
• Katherine Maclean, PhD, Director, Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program, New York, NY
• Tehseen Noorani, PhD, Assistant Professor, Clinical and Community Psychology, University of East London, UK

Saturday, October 14, 10:00-11:30am

Psychedelics 101: What Do Psychedelics Have To Do With Drug Policy Reform?

• Natalie Ginsberg, Policy & Advocacy Director, MAPS, Oakland, CA
• Mitchell Gomez, Executive Director, DanceSafe, Denver, CO
• Julie Holland, MD, Psychopharmacologist, Psychiatrist, and Author of Moody Bitches and Weekends at Bellevue, New York, NY
• Stefanie Jones, Director of Audience Development, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY (moderator)
• Andrea Langlois, Communications & Development Officer, ICEERS, Victoria, Canada
• Andrew Tatarsky, PhD, Founder & Director, Center for Optimal Living, New York, NY

Saturday, October 14, 3:00-4:30pm

Ibogaine, Kratom, Marijuana and Psychedelics: What Role Can These Substances Play in Treating Addiction?

• Anita Briscoe, Advance Practice Registered Nurse, Taos, NM
• Kevin Franciotti, Graduate Psychology Student, The New School for Social Research, New York, NY
• Jessica Gelay, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, Santa Fe, NM (moderator)
• Philippe Lucas, PhD(c), VP Patient Research and Access, Tilray, Centre for Addictions Research of BC, Nanaimo, Canada
• Gabriel Pendas, Director of Programs, Minority Cannabis Business Association, Portland, OR
• Clare Wilkins, Director, Pangea Biomedics, San Diego, CA

In addition to these four breakout sessions, there will also be two community sessions dedicated to psychedelics:

Friday, October 13, 1:00-2:30pm

Psychedelic Law and Policy Working Group
This meeting will provide an opportunity for policy-minded folks to discuss questions and strategy around psychedelic law and policy, as well as develop a network dedicated to visioning legal frameworks for psychedelic use. This session will be led by MAPS’ Ismail Ali and Natalie Ginsberg.

Friday, October 13, 6:30-8pm

Women in Psychedelic Research
This community forum is aimed at strengthening the network of women involved in psychedelic research and drug policy reform. Together we will engage in a dialogue about the important contributions that women have and are making in this field and discuss how we can build on these successes. Through this session, we hope to outline a collaborative path forward through which we can work together to create space for greater diversity in psychedelic research and policy reform. This session will be led by Bia Labate, Julie Holland and Andrea Langlois.

DPA is co-hosting the 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference with the Harm Reduction Coalition, Harm Reduction International, Institute of the Black World, International Drug Policy Consortium, Just Leadership USA, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Marijuana Policy Project, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Open Society Foundations, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

The Reform Conference draws attendees from all around the world who come from across the political spectrum – from those who have seen the worst of drugs and addiction, to hundreds of formerly incarcerated people, to elected officials and policymakers from all levels of government. From those who have never tried illicit drugs, but are outraged at the money and lives wasted due to the drug war, to active drug users doing political organizing in their communities. From student activists and grassroots racial justice organizers, to law enforcement, faith leaders, academics, and marijuana entrepreneurs. What unites this remarkable array of people is a passion for uprooting the drug war – and a yearning for a more just, compassionate and effective way of dealing with drugs in our lives and in our communities.

The full conference program is now available. Press are invited to attend, and speakers are available for one-on-one interviews.

Just a few of the highlights include:

To learn more about DPA’s work to reform psychedelic drug laws and policies, please visit the Psychedelic Justice Campaign.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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