April 2-4th marked the fourth annual Congress on the History and Use of Drugs held at the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH in Spanish). The topics during the conference were analyzed from a multidisciplinary perspective on the present, past and future uses of sacred plants. Lectures were given by Dr. Mercedes de la Garza on Sacred Plants in the Mayan world, Dr. Humberto Brocca on Altered Sobriety, Dr. Gady Zabicky on Cannabis and its Pharmacological Properties in Medicine, and anthropologist Julio Glockner gave a talk on From Deception to Cultural Misunderstanding.

In addition to lectures, panels were held on topics ranging from the Archaeology and History of Sacred Plants, Alternative Uses, Rituals and Therapy, and Economy and Tourism. Workshops were held to complement the lectures on issues of risk and harm reduction, the systematic history of drugs and a documentary on medical marijuana. 

This is one of few conferences in the world that looks at the anthropological and historical uses of plants as a means to alter consciousness and compares that with our current reality.  With high levels of participation, it is clear that there is a demand for spaces which welcome a multidisciplinary way of looking at the issues of drugs and drug use. A diverse group of organizations supported the event including IDPC members CuPIHD and Espolea.

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