It is my pleasure to announce that I will moderate a panel discussion of “The Legal History of Psychedelics” on Wednesday 9/13 at the NYC Bar Association.
There will be three highly distinguished speakers: (1) Dr. Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, (2) Nancy Hollander, counsel for O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal in its successful appeal to the US Supreme Court, and (3) Carolyn Reinach Wolf, an expert in mental health law. It will be an honor to host and a pleasure to speak with them.
I have been working on the event for many months but, in a sense, I have been working on it for many years – since 1993 when I learned about the movement to legalize ibogaine for therapeutic use and decided to dedicate my life to rationalization of the laws governing psychedelic substances.
The program will be my first opportunity to present publicly the idea of “psychedelic law” which I propose is a freestanding area of law, like “energy law,” “education law,” “defamation law,” “tobacco law,” “food and drug law” and so on. It is an examination of the multiple points of contact between psychedelic substances and other areas of law. Psychedelic law is essentially a subcategory of commercial law since fundamentally psychedelic substances are just goods that travel in commerce; however, they must be considered separate and apart from other substances due to their special characteristics.
The history of contact between first post-Enlightenment civilization and now post-Industrial civilization (how time flies) on the one side and psychedelic substances on the other is very short in the grand scheme of things. If the current reality of increasing research into therapeutic uses of psychedelic substances and tolerant attitudes towards them in the newsmedia survives the current political turmoil then the future of psychedelic substances will likely be in a “legal” market, i.e. one governed predominantly by civil law, not criminal law. A body of civil law governing access to psychedelic substances does not exist yet. It is necessary to write the law.