Ismail L. Ali

Since the beginning of the US-led War on Drugs nearly 50 years ago, when certain plants and molecules were criminalized—substances selected, in part, for their association with communities that threatened the status quo—people from every walk of life have fought against the structural injustice and grotesque, racist hypocrisy that is the foundation of the ongoing war on drug users and on the other marginalized and under-resourced people who are impacted by prohibition more than anyone else. However, contrary to the dominant narrative, there are, in fact, evidence-based and often time-tested models to integrate presently-criminalized substances into society in safe and intentional ways, while simultaneously reducing the harms that come from problematic use. After years of misinformation and propaganda, the application of these models to the decriminalization and legalization of psychedelics is beginning to reach mainstream audiences in the United States for the first time. As a result, we have reached a point where we must deeply and collectively reflect upon how to mindfully and intentionally create cultural and regulatory frameworks for these plants and molecules as they come back out of the shadows, and many questions remain… continue reading.

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