The resurgence of interest in the medical and spiritual uses of psychedelic and entheogenic substances is occurring in many parts of the world. However, restrictive drug policies that criminalize people and create obstacles for research are a major impediment to realizing the potential of these substances to catalyze healing and learning.
This presentation is based on interviews conducted with 30 informants working in psychedelic research or drug policy reform, along with supplementary internet research, to explore perceptions of cross-fertilization between movements. Our findings suggest that by fostering cross-sectoral capacity building, each of these movements can be strengthened and contribute to shared goals of shaping global drug policies that minimize harms and maximize benefits of psychedelic and entheogenic substances.
Andrea Langlois holds a Master’s in Media Studies from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) and lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia. She is a community-based research facilitator, working to create links between community and university researchers and to build capacity for involvement in engaged geared at catalyzing social change. Andrea’s current research focuses on the areas of HIV/AIDS, housing, drug policy, stigma, and social movements and psychedelics. She has also written and edited books and articles on autonomous media and pirate radio in the Canadian context.
Kenneth W. Tupper is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, where his research interests include: psychedelic studies; the cross-cultural and historical uses of psychoactive substances; public, professional and school-based drug education; and creating healthy public policy to maximize benefits and minimize harms from currently illegal drugs. Kenneth’s Ph.D. dissertation (and earlier M.A. thesis) in Education developed the concept of “entheogenic education,” a potential theoretical frame for understanding how psychedelic plants and substances—in particular the Amazonian brew ayahuasca—can function as cognitive tools for learning.
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