This Saturday: Prominent Voices in Psychedelic Research and Policy Reform to Present at Biennial 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, Hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance in D.C. Metro Area, November 18-21

Press Release November 19, 2015
Media Contact

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<p>Jag Davies (786) 393-8100</p>

More than 1,500 people from around the country and abroad will gather together for the biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Arlington, VA November 18-21 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel.  Leaders in psychedelic research and policy reform will present on three panels tomorrow:

Ayahuasca: Political Visions

Salon C, 10am-11:30am

Ayahuasca and other indigenous healing medicines are rapidly expanding beyond their native origins and have been incorporated into syncretistic practices that are being adopted by non-indigenous peoples in Western contexts, including scientific research into possible therapeutic uses. This growing interest from non-indigenous people poses significant conceptual challenges regarding drugs and drug policies. What does Ayahuasca have to do with drug policy reform? What are the indigenous roots of plant-based medicines and what is their relation to Westerners? Are they medicines or sacraments… or something else?
Spanish interpretation available.

Moderator: Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

MDMA and Other Psychedelics: What Does Legal Access Look Like?

Salon C, 12pm-1:30pm

Criminalization of drug use needs to end, and marijuana legalization has provided one pathway to that. Public and political support for legalizing other drugs is low – so in what other ways can we end criminalization and create legal access for MDMA and other psychedelic drugs? What would a medical model look like? Would a spiritual model using approved guides work for something like ayahuasca? What about licensing users or specific venues? And would any of these models show promise for drugs with addiction potential like cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin?
Spanish interpretation available.

Moderator: Stefanie Jones, Nightlife Community Engagement Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY


What’s the Latest Psychedelic Research Telling Us?

Salon H, 3pm-4:30pm

We are now in the midst of a psychedelic research renaissance. Clinical studies are under way at top medical schools and research institutes worldwide, and psychedelic therapy is beginning to be re-accepted by the medical community. Where are we at in the effort to make psychedelics legally available for medical and therapeutic purposes?

Moderator: Julie Holland, MD, Psychopharmacologist, Psychiatrist & Author, New York, NY


For many years, the Drug Policy Alliance has prioritized fomenting discussion and debates about psychedelics at the Reform Conference. Past conference panels included, “What Do Psychedelics Have To Do With Drug Policy Reform?,” “What Can Psychedelics Teach Us About Harm Reduction?,” “Are Psychedelics the ‘New Pot?’,” and “Ayahuasca, Religion, and Cultural Translation.”

DPA is co-hosting the 2015 International Drug Policy Reform Conference with the ACLU, the Harm Reduction Coalition, Institute of the Black World, International Drug Policy Consortium, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Marijuana Policy Project, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Open Society Foundations, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. For a full list of partners, more information on the conference, and registration details, visit 

Conference Program:

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

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