Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St, San Francisco, California

April 25 and 26 2020, 9 am to 6 pm

This Summit will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the legal, cultural, and political issues around the emerging psychedelic renaissance. Efforts to decriminalize or legalize psychedelics have picked up steam around the United States, with Denver recently decriminalizing psilocybin mushrooms and Oakland decriminalizing all natural psychedelics. In addition, advocates in Oregon are planning a statewide ballot initiative to regulate psilocybin in 2020. The topics addressed will include: the process of applying for religious exemptions with the DEA; psilocybin decriminalization initiatives; the right to ameliorate pain and suffering; cognitive liberty; drug use and human rights; ibogaine bills; the upcoming FDA regulation of MDMA and psilocybin; psychedelic harm reduction; licensed health care providers and psychedelic-assisted therapy; the paradoxes of cannabis regulation and NIDA monopoly for research cannabis; conservation of endangered species; human’s relationship to sacred plants and nature; the continuities and discontinuities between recreational, therapeutic and religious use of drugs; the future legal markets; and the commercialization of psychedelics. The Summit aims to discuss the future of psychedelic practices in the US, including decriminalization, legalization, and medicalization. Finally, Chacruna will officially launch the Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants at the Summit. The Council is an initiative of the Chacruna Institute that advocates for the legality of sacred plant medicines among indigenous peoples and non-indigenous communities, encourages legal harm-reduction practices that protect those who use them, educates about conservation of plant species, documents relevant legal and social issues, and consults on legal cases.

Presented by: Chacruna 

Thank you to our gold sponsors who helped make this happen: MAPS and McAllister Garfield, P.C.

Additional appreciation to our silver and bronze sponsors, as well as our community partners (listed below).

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Reasons to join us for the Psychedelic Liberty Summit


– 2 Day Full Conference: Super Early Bird – $160
– 2 Day Full Conference: Early Bird – $175
– 1 Day Pass (Saturday or Sunday) – $110
– 2 Day Full Conference Standard – $ 190
– 2 Day Full Conference: Last Minute – $210
– 2 Day Full Conference: Student Discount – $80
– 2 Day Full Conference: Scholarship – Free

Registration & Tickets: Here

Scholarship Tickets:

Chacruna reserves a selection of scholarship tickets for those with limited financial means. For Psychedelic Liberty Summit, priority is being given to people of color, however everyone is encouraged to apply. If you would like to apply for a scholarship ticket, please send us a brief statement (250 words max) describing your interest in attending the conference and why you should receive a scholarship ticket. We will begin reviewing all applications after the deadline on March 1st and will notify those who have been awarded scholarship tickets on March 15th.

Deadline To Apply: March 1st, 2020
Notification of Award: March 15th, 2020
Please fill your application statement here

More soon!


Track 1 – Speaker presentations – Brava Stage 2789 24th Street

Saturday, April 25

Sunday, April 26
Soyna Faber

Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative Representative: TBA

Dawn D. Davis – Habitat Loss, Decriminalization, Conservation and Legalization Frameworks of Peyote 

The peyote cactus [Lophophora williamsii],which is ingested for its medicinal qualities, has been a conservation concern for peyotists and members of the Native American Church (NAC) since 1976. Since 2009, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has identified peyote as a vulnerable species across its range within the United States and Mexico.  The primary threat to long-term conservation is overharvesting due to increased demands by members of the NAC, in addition to improper harvesting techniques of peyote distributors, and large-scale land conversion. This presentation includes not only an examination of the spatial distribution of peyote as it relates to course scale fragmentation of habitat; it will also discuss the intersection of decriminalization, legalization, and conservation. Inclusion of an Indigenous ecological perspective in these conversations allows for inter-Tribal and community-based conservation, co-management, and enactment of sacred ecology. It is important that peyote, as it relates to a bona fide religion recognized by the Supreme Court of the United States, is acknowledged and afforded respect. 

Sean McAllister – Denver Psilocybin Initiative: Update on Implementation and Implication for Future Psychedelic Decriminalization Initiatives

Sean will review the strategy behind the campaign that decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms in the city of Denver. He will discuss the ongoing issues with its implementation, including the impacts of the Denver Psilocybin decriminalization campaign on public safety and health. As a member of the Denver Psilocybin Review Panel, he will assess the Review Panel’s work and recommendations regarding psilocybin policy going forward. Implementation issues consisting of educating police and the City Attorney’s Office on personal possession limits for psilocybin, monitoring arrests, carrying out the Psilocybin Review Panel with City Officials, and public education campaigns around harm reduction and psilocybin will be analyzed. Next, Sean will assess the current status of the Decriminalize California campaign and contrast the various efforts to decriminalize psychedelics around the country. Finally, Sean will discuss the many lessons from cannabis legalization that apply to psychedelic campaigns. In particular, Sean will review the advantages and disadvantages of decriminalization initiatives, and contrast the Denver model with other initiatives.

Kevin Feeney – Peyote as Commodity: An Examination of Market Actors and Access Mechanisms

Access to the peyote cactus, a religious sacrament of the Native American Church (NAC), has been regulated since 1965. However, during the last 40 years, the regulated peyote market has shown signs of decline despite reported growth in NAC membership during the same period. This market decline raises questions about the ecological impacts of harvesting practices, as well as levels of consumption of a very limited natural resource. Protecting access to peyote for NAC religious practices and conserving the viability of natural peyote populations are both important goals; goals that should be addressed simultaneously, if possible. In order to determine whether biological, economic, regulatory, or other factors are responsible for the decline in the regulated peyote trade, Access Theory is used to map the various commodity chains that make up the peyote supply network and to identify the primary factors responsible for reduced access to this sacrament. Avenues for bolstering access deficiencies in the peyote supply network are considered, as well as some possible conservation options.

Brad A. Bartlett – Religious Exercise and Controlled Substances: Navigating the U.S. Legal Framework for Sacramental Use of Psychedelics 

There are hundreds of groups using ayahuasca in ceremonial contexts in the United States, and many more exercising a brand of therapeutic and mystical uses of psilocybin, peyote, and Sonora Desert toad serum. They all dream of future legalization and the ability to use psychedelics as a religious sacrament or in the exercise of religious activities without fear of criminal prosecution. However, currently, only a handful of religious adherents have received exemptions to U.S. criminal prohibitions on psychedelics. This presentation will discuss legal mechanisms the U.S. government has in place for such situations; a rather complicated scenario that, as currently constituted, seemingly disfavors religious free exercise. Specifically, the author will focus on the history of religious exercise vis-à-vis controlled substances, current policies of the Drug Enforcement Administration requiring petitioning and registration by religious adherents, and possible reforms to the current legal framework.

Jag Davies – Psychedelics and the War on Drugs: What Can We Learn from Cannabis Legalization and Other Social Justice Movements?

How do we account for the multi-generational, ongoing harms of psychedelic criminalization—and how do we begin to repair those harms? In what ways does the War on Drugs continue to drastically limit the scope of scientific research? What are some of the key limitations of the medical model for psychedelics? Where do efforts to decriminalize psychedelics fit within the broader context of criminal justice and public health reform, especially current campaigns to implement Portugal-style drug decriminalization? How can we best maximize the effectiveness of emerging psychedelics-specific policy reform efforts? What can we learn from cannabis legalization and other recent criminal justice reforms? What are some viable non-commercialized models for legalization, such as Spain’s cooperative social clubs for cannabis? What are the strategic and ethical risks of psychedelics “exceptionalism”? How can we ensure that psychedelics aren’t just profitable and legally accessible for a privileged few; all while poor, black, brown, and indigenous people involved with psychedelics continue to be socioeconomically marginalized and harshly criminalized?

Kufikiri Imara – Decriminalization in Oakland: A One Year Retrospective on Outreach, Education, & Access

This presentation will speak to the experiences of a local, grassroots collective in Oakland that managed to pass the June 4th 2019 resolution to decriminalize access to working with entheogenic plants and is influencing the course of drug decriminalization efforts in different cities across the country. The benefits that decriminalization offers of a shorter, cheaper, and more accessible path to working with entheogenic plants will be highlighted in his presentation. Next, he will provide a snapshot of the current status, ongoing progress, and challenges in Oakland following the city council’s unanimous vote of approval. A few of the central topics to the movement will be presented, such as: What are the impacts of the resolution language? What are the intentions and specific actions emerging from Oakland City Council and the Decriminalize Nature Oakland group? What is the mandate of Decriminalize Nature Oakland’s “Outreach, Education and Access” committee? What are some specific recent and next actions coming from Oakland in this area? What challenges have emerged and how are they being addressed? How can you get involved? This will be a great opportunity to learn from Decriminalize Nature Oakland’s experience at the heart of this transformative decriminalization and educational movement.

Joseph Rhea – Psychedelic Integration: Administrative Law and Criminal Law Implications for Practitioners

This presentation will first discuss first the history of psychedelic integration, and it’s re-emergence in the current psychedelic renaissance. The discussion then moves on to the possible legal issues facing practitioners with and without professional licenses. All practitioners need to be mindful of the law of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, such as LSD and DMT. Because psychedelic integration is not a recognized modality in any state, licensed practitioners (doctors, therapists) need additionally to be mindful of the administrative law rules governing their services. Finally, every person working in this groundbreaking area needs to explore for herself the line between legal prudence and excessive (i.e. self-limiting) caution. Psychedelics offer exciting new possibilities for healing and the legal component of this need not be stressful — so long as we are mindful of the issues in advance.

Monnica T. Williams – Psychedelic Psychotherapy is Coming: Who Will be Included?

Recently, there has been much excitement in the potential of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy to address a multitude of mental health conditions, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, addiction, end-of-life anxiety, and others. The non-profit organization Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has been funding studies to demonstrate the efficacy of psychedelics for mental health, including MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with PTSD. Thanks to these efforts, FDA approval of MDMA for the treatment PTSD may soon become a reality. However, not everyone has been included. People of color have not been well-represented as researchers or participants in psychedelic clinical studies worldwide. They have been underrepresented in psychedelic therapist training programs. As psychedelics move toward becoming commercially available, factors uniquely impacting access for people of color include prohibitive costs, negative stereotypes about people of color and drug use, and stigmas due to criminalization of people of color through the War on Drugs. Addressed are initiatives being taken to reduce these disparities and next steps for creating a culture of inclusivity in the psychedelic community.

Amy Emerson and Alia Lilienstein – Status of MDMA – Assisted Psychotherapy Development Program

The MAPS Public Benefit Corporation is in the midst of our Phase 3 study to investigate the benefits of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy to treat PTSD. As clinical trials progress in the United States, Canada, Israel, and the European Union, the potential for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to become an approved prescription treatment looks more and more promising as one model for bringing MDMA as a tool for healing into the mainstream. We will discuss the way that MAPS PBC is creating a psychedelic drug development company that is not based in profit, but in the public benefit. Those interested in new treatment options for PTSD can learn about the treatment design and published study outcomes and consider how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy might serve patient populations. We will share, summary data from the Phase 2 studies, and the possibilities for broader inclusion under Expanded Access and post-approval.

Daiara Hori Figueroa Sampaio – Indigenous concerns about the globalization of ayahuasca

Since 1630 when the Yepá Mahsã people, better known as the Tukano, made contact with the Portuguese, the medicinal plant kahpi, classified as Banesteriopsis caapi by Richard Spruce in 1851, has passed from demonization to globalization. Today we indigenous peoples who know and practice the uses and knowledge of ayahuasca are a minority compared to its global consumption. The indigenous ayahuasca conferences held in Brazil over the last three years have brought together numerous indigenous spiritual leaders to debate strategies to protect and strengthen the cultural heritage of each people, manage the planting of medicines, guarantee the right to ceremonial practices, combat the criminalization of ayahuasca and shamans, and address the growing concern with good use of the medicines and with the ‘economy’ that has sprung up around them – both in the countries where ayahuasca is legal and where it is illegal. The paradox of the globalization of ayahuasca simultaneously represents major opportunities and threats to indigenous peoples: how can we mediate the paradigm conflicts so as to form alliances and ensure respect for the rights of the peoples who represent the original custodians of the medicine?

Peter Hendricks – TBA

Panel on Decriminalization and Regulation – Moderated by Ariel Clark. Speakers: Ryan Munevar, Kevin Matthews and David Bronner

Track 2 – Breakout sessions Studio – Brava 2789 24th Street (room upstairs from stage) 

Saturday, April 25th

10:00am – 11:40am: Session 1 – facilitated by Mike Margolies: How Do We Replace the War on Drugs with Education and Community?

11:40pm – 12:10pm: Break 

12:10pm – 1:00pm: Session 2 – facilitated by Annie Oak: TBA

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Lunch

2:00pm – 3:40pm: Session 3 – facilitated by Nicolle Greenheart and Sonya Faber: How can we strengthen the role of people of color in psychedelic advocacy?

3:40pm – 4:10pm: Break 

4:10 – 5:50pm: Session 4 – facilitated by Robert Heffernan and J. Hamilton Hudson and Ben Meeus: Should groups petition the DEA for a religious exemption for psychedelics?

Sunday, April 26th

10:00am – 11:40am: Session 5 – facilitated by Amy Rising, Ian Benouis, Jesse Gould and Matt Kahl: How can we advance veterans rights for access to psychedelics and plant medicines?

11:40pm – 12:10p: Break

12:10pm – 1:00pm: Session 6 – facilitated by Sean McAllister and Ariel Clark: How can we expand and improve our network of lawyers working for psychedelic law reform?

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Lunch

2:00pm – 3:40pm: Session 7 – facilitated by Kat Conour and Liana Gillooly: How can we create models for psychedelic businesses that are ethical and equitable?

3:40pm – 4:10pm: Break

4:10pm – 5:00pm: Session 8 – facilitated by Ariel Clark, Dale Gieringer and Allan Steiner: What lessons can psychedelic advocates learn from cannabis regulations and industry?

Track 3 – Breakout sessions Community Space – Brava 2773 24th Street (next door to the Brava main entrance)

Saturday, April 25th

10:00am – 11:40am: Session 1 facilitated by Scott Bernstein and Jag Davies: What would legalization of psychedelics in a post-prohibitionist world look like?

In recent years, progress toward medicalizing psychedelics and broader drug policy reforms has spurred advocacy aimed at reducing the criminalization of psychedelic substances. Recently, dozens of jurisdictions have begun considering decriminalizing some psychedelics; others have issued exemptions for religious use of psychedelics. Although these piecemeal approaches provide improved access for some, they ultimately fall short of addressing the problems of equity, health, safety, and sustainability inherent in a prohibitionist framework. Legally regulating psychedelics could allow access to a broad array of substances for non-medical use while also supporting desired health, safety and human rights outcomes. This workshop will explore different models for how we might legally regulate psychedelics, focusing on some basic principles we’d want to ensure define a legal system. We’ll discuss five key questions regarding consumer access and risk reduction: Who has access to psychedelics? How do people access them? Where can they get psychedelics? How much can they get? And where can psychedelics be consumed? Facilitating discussion among participants around these questions can help emerge the values and ideals that we’d want to see in a legal system and allow participants to appreciate the varied viewpoints stakeholders have about legal regulation of psychedelics.

11:40am – 12:10pm: Break

12:10pm – 1:00pm: Session 1(Continued) facilitated by Scott Bernstein and Jag Davies: What would legalization of psychedelics in a post-prohibitionist world look like?

In recent years, progress toward medicalizing psychedelics and broader drug policy reforms has spurred advocacy aimed at reducing the criminalization of psychedelic substances. Recently, dozens of jurisdictions have begun considering decriminalizing some psychedelics; others have issued exemptions for religious use of psychedelics. Although these piecemeal approaches provide improved access for some, they ultimately fall short of addressing the problems of equity, health, safety, and sustainability inherent in a prohibitionist framework. Legally regulating psychedelics could allow access to a broad array of substances for non-medical use while also supporting desired health, safety and human rights outcomes. This workshop will explore different models for how we might legally regulate psychedelics, focusing on some basic principles we’d want to ensure define a legal system. We’ll discuss five key questions regarding consumer access and risk reduction: Who has access to psychedelics? How do people access them? Where can they get psychedelics? How much can they get? And where can psychedelics be consumed? Facilitating discussion among participants around these questions can help emerge the values and ideals that we’d want to see in a legal system and allow participants to appreciate the varied viewpoints stakeholders have about legal regulation of psychedelics.

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Lunch

2:00pm – 3:40pm: Session 2facilitated by Bob Otis Stanley, Dawn D. Davis, Belinda Eriacho, Diana Negrín, Anya Ermakova, Ruth Valdizon and Miriam Volat: How can we ensure respectful, safe, ethical, inclusive and sustainable sourcing for psychedelic plants and materials? 

3:40pm – 4:10pm: Break

4:10pm – 5:00pm: Session 2 – (Continued) facilitated by Bob Otis Stanley, Dawn D. Davis, Belinda Eriacho, Diana Negrín, Anya Ermakova, Ruth Valdizon and Miriam Volat: How can we ensure safe, ethical, inclusive and sustainable sourcing for psychedelic plants and materials? 

Sunday, April 26th

10am-11:40am: Session 1 – facilitated by Mareesa Stertz and Rob Heffernan: How can community building create a shared sense of ownership to guide the psychedelic movement? Psychedelic Leadership Team Build Workshop

Research, legislation, commercialization, and medicalization are giving birth to new system models, countless businesses, and various forms of psychedelic treatments. As this explosion of dynamic energy arrives on the scene, the question is raised: How can the leaders of the community work together to hold space, create accountability, and guide growth in a way that avoids the pitfalls of current systems? Join us for a 2.5 hour workshop where by the simple act of getting to know each other we are building community, and start addressing these concerns and more. This session will be focused on connecting leaders with each other through speed networking, group discussions, connection exercises, and breakout sessions.

11:40pm – 12:10pm: Break 

12:10pm – 1:00pm: Session 3 (Continued) – facilitated by Mareesa Stertz and Rob Heffernan: How can community building create a shared sense of ownership to guide the psychedelic movement? Psychedelic Leadership Team Build Workshop

Research, legislation, commercialization, and medicalization are giving birth to new system models, countless businesses, and various forms of psychedelic treatments. As this explosion of dynamic energy arrives on the scene, the question is raised: How can the leaders of the community work together to hold space, create accountability, and guide growth in a way that avoids the pitfalls of current systems? Join us for a 2.5 hour workshop where by the simple act of getting to know each other we are building community, and start addressing these concerns and more. This session will be focused on connecting leaders with each other through speed networking, group discussions, connection exercises, and breakout sessions.

1:00pm – 2:00pm: Lunch 

2:00pm – 3:40pm: Session 4 – TBA

3:40pm – 4:10pm: Break 

4:10pm – 5:00pm: Session 4 (Continued) – TBA

Speakers Line up:

Brad Bartlett is an attorney in Denver, Colorado where serves as senior counsel and director of the Tribal Cannabis Law Group at one of the largest cannabis law firms in the nation. Brad works with tribal nations across the U.S. and Canada on development of tribally owned enterprises related to Cannabis sativa L. Brad previously served as an assistant professor at the University of Denver Sturm School of Law in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program. Over his extensive career, Brad has worked with impacted tribal communities, including Native American Church members, on a wide variety of complex tribal and environmental justice matters. Brad is also a seasoned litigator and has brought numerous cases in the public interest addressing government accountability and overreach. Brad graduated the University of Colorado School of Law’s environmental and American Indian Law program in 1998 and is an enrolled tribal member of the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians of Michigan. Brad is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants, where he hopes to advance the dialogue around Controlled Substances Act prohibitions on psychoactive plants and its intersection with state’s rights and religious and medical freedoms.  

Ian Benouis JD,  is the General Counsel of Veterans for Natural Rights(VNR), a 501c3 dedicated to veteran healing and reintegration. He is a West Point graduate, former Blackhawk helicopter pilot, former US Army officer and combat veteran who participated in Operation Just Cause in the Republic of Panama the biggest operation in history directed towards the War on Drugs. He has been healing himself for over 25 years with natural earth medicines, a spiritual practice, and as a student and practitioner of ethnobotany. H has organized and participated in numerous trips with veterans to Mexico, Perua nd other locations for ethnobotanical healing. This work has been captured in documentaries including From Shock to Aweand Soldiers of the Vine

Scott Bernstein is Director of Policy with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, where he leads the organization’s work on legal regulation of drugs, decriminalization, and international drug policy and leads the MAPS Canada Drug Policy Committee. Prior to joining CDPC, Scott practiced as a lawyer and through his own legal practice and with Pivot Legal Society in Vancouver Scott has participated in strategic litigation focused on advancing human rights of people who use drugs, including challenging municipal anti-harm reduction bylaws, advocating for access to prescription heroin treatment, and defending Insite, North America’s first sanctioned injection site in the Supreme Court of Canada and lower courts. He also served as a program officer with the Global Drug Policy Program of Open Society Foundations in New York, where he supported collaboration within a global reform movement targeted at the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session through grant-making, policy expertise and strategic planning, as well as supporting a nascent drug policy reform movement in Africa. Scott has a MS in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from the University of British Columbia.

David Bronner was born in Los Angeles, California in 1973 and earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University. He is Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America and producer of a range of organic body care and food products. He is a grandson of company founder, Emanuel Bronner, and a fifth-generation soapmaker. Under David and his brother Michael’s leadership, the brand has grown from $5 million in 1998 to over $130 million in annual revenue in 2019. David and Michael established Dr. Bronner’s as a sustainable leader in the natural products industry by becoming one of the first body care brands to formulate with hemp seed oil in 1999 and to certify its soaps, lotions, balms, and other personal care products under the USDA National Organic Program in 2003. Both actions resulted in high-profile litigation with government agencies, DEA and USDA respectively, that Dr. Bronner’s ultimately won, cementing Dr. Bronner’s activist orientation in the natural products marketplace. Over the years, David and Dr. Bronner’s have been key leaders in fights for high-bar regenerative organic, animal welfare and fair trade standards, cannabis and psychedelic reform, and a fair minimum wage. His primary passion is the responsible integration of cannabis and psychedelic medicine into American and global culture and he is a board member of the Multi-Disciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. Dr. Bronner’s financially supports several organizations and efforts in this space, including both scientific research around the therapeutic potentials of psychedelics, and psychedelic law reform. David’s activism embodies the company’s mission — which encompasses a commitment to making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and to dedicating profits to help make a better world.

Ariel Clark is a founding partner of Clark Neubert LLP, a women-owned and run law firm focused on the cannabis and hemp industries. The firm represents established and emerging cannabis businesses across the supply chain and provides advice on corporate governance, financing, business transactional matters, entity formation and operation, and local and state permitting and regulatory compliance. She has served in leadership in a variety of drug policy reform and cannabis and hemp business organizations including the Los Angeles Cannabis Task Force, Cannabis Business Council of Santa Barbara County, California Native American Cannabis Association, California Grower’s Association, and California NORML. Ariel has received many kind distinctions; she was named by Rolling Stone as one of 18 “women shaping the culture of tomorrow,” as one of the top 75 “most important women in cannabis” by Cannabis Business Executive, 30 “most powerful litigators” by MG Magazine, by National Law Journal with a Trailblazer award, and was included in Entrepreneur’s “top 100 cannabis leaders” in 2018. Ariel is very honored to be a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants

Kat Conour is a psychotherapist, facilitator, and experiential educator currently being trained in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and with MAPS to become an MDMA for PTSD therapy provider through Sage Integrative. With a background in non-profits, philanthropy, corporate consulting, and community organizing, Kat is passionate about supporting individuals and organizations in the psychedelic community turn their values and vision into aligned action. An Emergent Strategy fangirl, Kat recognizes that a movement is only as strong as the relationships upon which they are built. She currently serves as an Advisor to Auryn Fund which recently launched We Will Call It Pala, and focuses on ensuring that equity, ethics, and accessibility are embedded in practice within the scaling of psychedelic medicines. She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines. 

Jag Davies is a political and communications consultant with over 15 years of professional experience advocating for proven health-centered drug policies, harm reduction-based drug education, responsible and equitable legal regulation of cannabis, and extensively reducing the role of criminalization in drug policy. Jag served as Director of Communications Strategy and in other positions at the Drug Policy Alliance from 2009-2019, where he oversaw the organization’s publications, media content, messaging research, and brand identity.  Jag also previously served as Policy Researcher for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Drug Law Reform Project from 2007-2009, and as Director of Communications and in other positions at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) from 2003-2007. He is regularly quoted in a wide range of media outlets and his writings have appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostNew York Daily NewsThe HillSTAT,HuffPost,, and dozens of other publications. Jag grew up in Miami and currently lives in New York City.  

Dawn D. Davis is a mother, a wife, and a PhD student at the University of Idaho in the Natural Resources program. Her current research uses GIS as one tool to analyze the environmental and anthropogenic issues that surround the revered peyote (Lophophora williamsii) plant, which is integral to her spiritual practice as a Shoshone-Bannock Tribal woman. She is a twice awarded National Science Foundation recipient as a fellow under the Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship and as an Indigenous Science Technology Engineering and Math scholar. Dawn has shared her research among Native American, academic, ethnobotanical, and psychedelic audiences nationally and internationally.  

Amy Emerson is the Executive Director and Head of Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs at the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As the Executive Director, Amy has lead the growth and development of this new subsidiary and is responsible for overall global regulatory strategy and implementation of research programs with a focus on the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy program within MAPS PBC. Amy started as a pro bono consultant at MAPS in 2003, and since then has built MAPS’ clinical department while managing the MDMA Clinical Development Program with a focus on the PTSD indication. In 2014, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation was incorporated to focus on psychedelic drug development, therapist training programs, and future sales of prescription psychedelics prioritizing public benefit above profit. Amy brings decades of pharmaceutical development and research experience in Phase 1 through Phase 3 Randomized Controlled Trials including supporting three successful regulatory approvals for new biologics. Her professional experience at Novartis, Chiron and other pharmaceutical companies (1993-2009) spans various fields including immunology, oncology and vaccines. Pursuing her love of science and nature cultivated while growing up in the woods of Alaska she earned her B.S. in genetics and cell biology from Washington State University in 1992 to prepare for a career in research. Amy is passionate about being a mother and the work of bringing the potential of psychedelics for healing further into the consciousness of the world, leaving a better world for the following generations. She has a lifelong love of travel, living abroad with her husband, exploring in nature and cooking with her family.

Belinda Eriacho is a from the Diné (Navajo) and Ashwii (Zuni Pueblo) lineages.  He maternal clan is Honágháahnii (One-Walks-Around) and was born for the Naasht’ézhí (Zuni Pueblo) people.  Her maternal grandparents clan are Dibe lizhiní (Black Sheep) and her paternal grandparents are Naasht’ézhí (Zuni Pueblo). She is the child of the Mula:kwe (Macaw Parrot) on parental side. Belinda was born and raised on the Navajo reservation.  She holds degrees in Health Sciences, Public Health, and in Technology. As an adult Belinda journeyed through her own inner and physical healing. She then recognized her gifts as a healer and her true calling.

Anya Ermakova has a motley background and broad research interests combining nature conservation, ethnobotany, neuroscience and psychiatry, interweaving and connecting these diverse paths through psychedelic science. Anya worked at the forefront of psychedelic research as a science officer at the Beckley Foundation, and has provided psychedelic welfare and harm reduction services with PsycareUK and Zendo.Deep love for nature and wildlife has motivated Anya to study biology at the University of Edinburgh, while a quest to understand altered states of consciousness has prompted her to specialise in neuroscience and later continued during her PhD in psychiatry at Cambridge, where she investigated the origins of psychosis. She then worked for the NHS, developing and trialing a new psychosocial intervention for psychosis. After a brief stint as a clinical trial manager, she had decided to pursue her passion for nature, by studying Conservation Science at Imperial College London, where she is currently studying peyote conservation in Texas.

Dr. Sonya Faber graduated with a Masters in Neurobiology from Brown University after completing her undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. She continued her graduate studies at New York University earning a PhD in molecular genetics with a thesis concentration in signal transduction. Over the course of the last 15 years, she has had the opportunity and privilege to contribute equally to both academic research institutes and commercial pharmaceutical development. She has worked in clinical operations for companies including, IQVIA, Covance and Sanofi-Aventis. Her interests lie in in creating innovative solutions for projects which could benefit both patients and the scientific community, in part by connecting with top scientists, industry and regulatory agencies.In her academic roles, she assessed novel ideas and supported scientists in making these commercially viable while contributing to several original grants and research papers and patents. Her interest in protocol design, medical writing and project management, which she utilized in both pharma and biotech firms, included pre-clinical and clinical activities for phase II and III trials across multiple indications. She has a special interest in training the next generation of clinical researchers and has designed courses to teaching scientific writing and Good Clinical Practice.Dr. Faber is is Associate Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines.Her engagement on thisBoard is on a volunteer basis and is based on her personal interest in the science of psychedelics, which has long been an interest of hers before taking her current position at Syneos Health.

Dale Gieringer has been the state coordinator of California NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) since 1987. He is also a member of the national NORML board of directors, and director of the  Drug Policy Forum of California (DPFCA). Dr. Gieringer was one of the original co-authors of California’s medical marijuana initiative, Prop. 215, and the proponent of Oakland’s Measure Z cannabis initiative in 2004. He has published research on medical marijuana usage, marijuana smoke harm reduction, potency testing, marijuana and driving safety, and drug urinalysis, and has testified before the legislature and in court on issues concerning personal use of marijuana. He also co-sponsored a psychedelic summit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of LSD in 1993, with MAPS and Cal NORML. 

Liana Sananda Gillooly is a lifetime activist for social justice, drug policy reform, ending war, and the environment. Before joining MAPS, Liana worked as Outreach Manager for a prominent cannabis investment and market research firm, The Arcview Group, where she helped grow the accredited investor network, advocated for legalization, and supported the work of Marijuana Policy Project. She has worked in event, festival, and film production, as well as artist representation, art curation, and art creation. She owned a visionary art gallery in Venice Beach, California, called Sananda Gallery. She has produced fundraisers, parties, and art happenings for special events and festivals, including High Times Cannabis Cups, MAPS conferences, Envision Festival, Serenity Festival, and Fractal Planet at Burning Man. She has been a featured speaker at numerous events, lobbied Congress, lectured MBA students, and given a TedX talk. She is an experienced meditator and trained death midwife.

Jesse Gould, Founder of Heroic Hearts Project, was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in New Smyrna Beach, FL. In 2009 he graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economics. After working in investment banking for a short time he enlisted in the Army and became an Airborne Ranger for four years and three combat deployments. After struggling with severe anxiety for many years, he finally decided to go to an ayahuasca retreat which has had a profoundly positive effect on his anxiety and daily life. During the week-long retreat, he instantly saw the healing potential of the drink and knew that it could be a powerful tool in healing the mental struggles of his fellow veterans. This experience inspired him to found Heroic Hearts Project, an organization that connects veterans in need of healing with ayahuasca therapy. Since its founding, Heroic Hearts Project has quickly become one of the most prominent veteran voices pushing for psychedelic based therapies.

Nicolle Greenheart is a co-founder and Board Member of Decriminalize Nature (DN), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve human health and well-being by decriminalizing and expanding access to entheogenic plants and fungi through political and community organizing, education and advocacy. As a leading member of the Community Outreach, Education and Access Committee for Decriminalize Nature Oakland (DNO), Nicolle is working to destigmatize psychedelics in the black community and see that safe and equitable access is available to marginalized communities who have suffered most due to systemic oppression, inequality, and the war on drugs.  When Nicolle isn’t doing advocacy work, she is learning and growing in the spiritual arts as a Spiritual Alchemist and a curious explorer of energy healing, mysticism and magic. She is passionate about holistic and alternative healing tools and practices, including Reiki, meditation, tarot, chakra balancing, crystal healing, aromatherapy and herbalism. Everything Nicolle involves herself in is an act of radical healing, awakening, transformation and self-love. Besides being a homeschooling mom of two, a Certified Reiki Practitioner, and a writer, she is also a student of astro-numerology, Hawaiian shamanism and sacred entheogenic medicines, practices and traditions. As someone with a deep desire and calling to hold space for and support others on their healing journeys Nicolle is especially committed to doing her own ongoing healing work and considers herself a life-long free-spirited cultivator of her life, a non-conformist to the status quo, and a seeker of truth and wisdom. Ultimately, her mission is for her life to be her message.

J. Hamilton Hudson is an attorney in the U.S. practicing in blockchain and psychedelics. He was born and raised in Hong Kong and lives in Chicago. He earned his JD with an MS in international development from Tulane University in New Orleans and his BA magna cum laude in anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a Research Associate at the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP), Brazil/USA and a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.

Rob Heffernan is an independent researcher and activist who has been involved in the vegetalismo, Santo Daime and other syncretic traditions since 2000. He has been involved with legal issues and organizing efforts in the Santo Daime and ayahuasca community for the last 12 years and has recently begun to speak and write about these matters publicly. He is part of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants. He is involved with integration work as a certified Shamanic Breathwork facilitator and a certified Integrative Sound and Music Practitioner (sound healing). This is complimented by a long term involvement with Buddhist Dharma. He has recently begun to write and speak about the integration of Buddhist Dharma and medicine work.

Peter Hendricks, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior of the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is a native of the Washington, D.C. area and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Sociology. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Florida in 2006. As a doctoral student, Dr. Hendricks’ research focused on the treatment of cigarette dependence. Following a one-year clinical internship at the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center, Dr. Hendricks completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Drug Abuse Treatment and Services Research at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). While at UCSF, Dr. Hendricks continued to focus on the treatment of cigarette dependence, and extended his line of work to include both alcohol and cannabis use. Dr. Hendricks joined the faculty in the Department of Health Behavior of the School of Public Health at UAB 2010. Since this time, his research has centered on the development of novel and more effective treatments for substance dependence, with specific areas of focus on cigarette, cocaine, cannabis, opioid, and polysubstance dependence in vulnerable populations (e.g., individuals in the criminal justice system). Dr. Hendricks first developed an interest in the therapeutic application of psychedelics upon reading a contemporary study of the acute and longer-term effects of psilocybin among healthy volunteers (Griffiths et al., 2006). Since 2014 he has published over 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts relating to psychedelics, including population studies suggesting that psychedelics may be effective in preventing and treating substance use, criminal recidivism, psychological distress, and suicidality. Recently he proposed that the emotion awe represents the psychological mechanism underlying the effects of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. He is currently Principal Investigator of on ongoing pilot trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for cocaine dependence.                     

Kufikiri Hiari Imara was born and raised in Oakland, California. He grew up in an Oakland  very different than the one we see today, it was an Oakland with a broader and more embodied sense of community. He grew up the youngest in a household with parents who are both Bay Area natives, both of them born in San Francisco. As well, both his parents growing up were active in the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements of a San Francisco of the 1960’s & 70’s. So he grew up in a home and a community environment that strongly emphasized social awareness and social responsibility. Play that forward to an older, wiser individual who unfolded his path through a love of the arts, and his own personal healing/spiritual journey. That path lead him to volunteer work with Green Earth Poets Society bringing poetry to incarcerated African-American youth. He is  one of the early members of the Entheogen Integration Circle, a support group in NYC with a focus on marginalized communities within the psychedelic community. He is currently involved with the Sacred Garden Community’s facilitators workshop to deepen his work as a ceremonial facilitator working with ethnically diverse communities. One of the reasons why he got involved with the Decriminalize Nature Oakland (DNO) initiative, is access. And as head of the DNO committee focused on Outreach, Education, & Access, he wants to see broad access when it comes to the opportunity to profoundly change one’s life for the better through working with entheogens. Paying special attention to Oakland’s ethnically diverse and marginalized communities, hes is actively working with individuals and organizations doing the work in these communities for a better tomorrow. He is staying actively engaged with the offices of Oakland city council members to see a better Oakland for all. Access has always been his message and was the focus of  his talk when Ihe spoke at the CIIS/Chacruna Symposium Cultural and Political Perspectives on Psychedelic Science, August 2018 in San Francisco. As well as his talk hosted by the San Francisco Psychedelic Society, March 2019. He continues to work towards accessible choices for ethnically diverse and marginalized communities in their ability heal themselves. 

Matt Kahl is a veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, two tours to Afghanistan, and one medevac from theater. The drugs the doctors put him on for his injuries destroyed his life and he attempted suicide. In early 2014, he obtained one of the first R&D hemp licenses in the country and has used the full spectrum of cannabinoids to treat himself. Matt then started a nonprofit, Veterans for Natural Rights, a community support association for veterans. The organization lobbies for personal freedom, individual liberties and natural human rights. In late 2014, he got involved in politics and started pushing the legislature to pass a bill to allow cannabis therapy for PTSD. In 2017, he finally succeeded in pushing SB17-017Allow Medical Marijuana Use For Stress Disorders. He was also instrumental in passing HB17-1313Civil Asset Forfeiture ReformHB19-1234Regulated Marijuana Delivery, and HB19-1230Marijuana Hospitality Establishments. Most recently his efforts helped I-301 Decriminalize Psilocybin Mushrooms in the city of Denver to succeed. Matt has been pushing the boundaries of the drug war for years now, exploring cognitive liberty by journeying the world for access to schedule I natural medicines for PTSD. He was profiled on a series of TV shows, has been featured in two movies about illegal PTSD treatments such as ayahuasca and MDMA (Soldiers of the Vine and From Shock to Awe), and a few feature films about cannabis (such as Mile Marker and Growing Reason). Matt’s experiences with treating his PTSD with psychedelics and cannabis has made him become critical of the American industry military complex. He believes freedom is the birthright of every American and want to see it returned to the people of this nation. 

Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist who immigrated to the U.S. in 2017. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines (, an organization that provides public education about psychedelic plant medicines and promotes a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science. She is Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, and Visiting Professor at the Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Guadalajara. She is also Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). She is co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil, and editor of NEIP’s website (, as well as editor of the Mexican blog Drugs, Politics, and Culture ( She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles (

Alia Lilienstein is a board-certified family medicine physician. She earned her B.A. in American studies from Georgetown University in 2002, where she studied social and cultural influences on health care. Prior to medical school, she earned her Master of Public Health in epidemiology and biostatistics in 2004 from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked in clinical research and development at Chiron (later Novartis). She received her M.D. in 2011 from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and completed residency training in family medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Tufts- and Harvard-affiliated Accountable Care Organization. Before joining MAPS, Alia worked as a primary care doctor in Berkeley. Alia holds a certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research from CIIS in San Francisco. As a family physician, Alia has borne witness to her patients’ struggles with the human condition and the effects these struggles have on their loved ones. She is passionate about helping develop better tools for psychological healing so that everyone may have the opportunity to approach themselves and others with empathy and love.

Mike Margolies is a psychedelic community catalyst and conversation creator. He has started and contributed to a number of projects as an event and media producer, connector, and advisor. Mike is the Founder of Psychedelic Seminars (, an educational event series where he has interviewed a range of leaders including Michael Pollan, Dr. James Fadiman, Ayelet Waldman, and Dr. Raquel Bennett. Mike founded the Baltimore Psychedelic Society and has sparked and mentored similar groups around the world from San Francisco to DC to Portugal. He is also Co-Founder of the CryptoPsychedelic Summit and former Co-Director of Psymposia. Previously, Mike worked as a chemical engineer for ExxonMobil. After an ayahuasca experience in Peru, he dropped out of corporate America, spent 15 months backpacking in India and Southeast Asia, and has worked full-time in the psychedelic community since returning.  

Kevin Matthews is the former Campaign Director of Decriminalize Denver and the Co-Founder of the Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform, and Education (SPORE). He is committed to educating Americans and transforming public opinion in order to liberate and integrate the responsible use of psychedelics as a cultural necessity for health, mental wellness, inclusivity, and innovation. As a bridge-builder, he works with individuals, organizations, governments, and the communities they serve in order to bring awareness to psychedelics as tools, medicine, and potential solutions for society’s most complex problems.

Sean McAllister is one of nation’s leading drug policy reform lawyers. In 2004, after working for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office for several years, Sean opened a solo law practice focused on criminal defense and represented hundreds of people charged with state and federal drug crimes. That same year, he founded the drug policy reform non-profit Sensible Colorado. Sean served as the chair of the Board of Directors of Sensible Colorado while the organization co-chaired the Colorado recreational marijuana legalization campaign that voters passed in 2012. Sean has also worked on broader drug policy reform issues as a member of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Today, Sean’s law firm, McAllister Garfield, P.C., has 20 lawyers in four states working primarily on cannabis business law and licensing matters. As part of his work, Sean’s firm has sued regulators numerous times under the administrative procedures act, petitioned the DEA to reconsider a harmful CBD rule, and represented Native America Tribes attempting to participate in the cannabis and hemp industries. In addition to cannabis, Sean has consulted with the Decriminalize Denver campaign, which is the first ballot initiative in the U.S. designed to remove criminal penalties for the possession of psilocybin. Sean is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.

Ben Meeus holds a Master Degree in International and European Law (Cum Laude) from the Free University of Brussels, and a second Master Degree in Latin American Studies at the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) in Amsterdam. He has been involved in Santo Daime for 10 years, and wrote a thesis on the legal issues related to the transnationalization of this religious practice. During that same time, he became board member of the Dutch “Centre for the Legal Assessment of the Religious and Ethical Integration of the use of Ayahuasca” (CLAREIA), and volunteered for various human rights causes. After his internship at the “Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section” of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), he became passionate about advancing the rights of indigenous peoples, with a specific interest related to traditional medicinal practices. To that regard, Ben has done extensive voluntary work with and for indigenous representatives in the Brazilian Amazon and abroad. Ben is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.

Ryan Munevar learned how grow psychedelic mushrooms 2010 while filming a documentary on Repeal Michigan, a statewide Initiative that tried to Legalize Cannabis in Michigan. In 2013, he returned to California and co-founded Monterey County NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) to begin turning on the county and local cities with open source draft initiatives. Later, in 2015, he co-founded and began winning local permits across the state. Ryan was given a percentage of Sugar Leaf Trading Company, as a reward for winning their permit in the city of Seaside, which opened for less than $400,000 on Father’s Day of 2018. After scoring a perfect 100% on compliance from the BCC, Sugar Leaf Trading Company sold to MedMen in 2019 for over $3,000,000. Ryan immediately took his shares and put them all towards setting up Decriminalize California to make sure that psychedelic mushroom lovers wouldn’t need to go through the same challenges the cannabis industry is going through right now with permitting, hyper overregulation, and sin taxing at every step of the way .With true decriminalization every person will be able to cultivate, manufacture, distribute, donate, possess, and consume psychedelic mushrooms in California. Mushrooms are the safest, most sustainable, cheapest medicine a person can grow themselves, either in their backyard or closet, and at a fraction of the cost of prescription medicines.

Diana Negrín is a geographer and educator with a focus on identity, space and social justice movements. She is a native of both Guadalajara, Jalisco and the San Francisco Bay Area, and much of her scholarship and teaching is dedicated to the study of  these two regions. Since 2003 she has conducted ethnographic and archival research in the Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit with a primary focus on the intersection between historical and contemporary constructions and contestations of race and citizenship. Her current research examines formations and ruptures within interracial and cross-geographic alliances that surround struggles over indigenous territorial and cultural rights. She is the author of Racial Alterity, Wixarika Youth Activism, and the Right to the Mexican City (University of Arizona Press, 2019).

Joseph Rhea is an attorney in Palm Springs, California.  Joseph grew up in eastern North Carolina and received his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard. He taught in the areas of inequality and social movement organization at Harvard and Arizona State University.  He is author of Race Pride and the American Identity (2001). As a lawyer, Joseph first represented indigent defendants and then became very involved in cannabis legalization in California. Joseph is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants. Joseph is always eager to help with legal issues regarding safe access and he is particularly interested in those projects that address inequalities of access. 

Amy Rising has excelled in legislative consulting for the past nine years.  Her passion to help fellow veterans heal is what led her to start advocating for veteran’s healthcare in 2010. As a legislative consultant, Amy has delivered pro-cannabis votes in both US houses and has helped guide senate leadership’s evolution on cannabis as it relates to public health and veteran’s healthcare.As an independent legislative consultant, Amy has been a successful advocate for veteran’s healthcare. In a conference with the Delaware state senate about VA healthcare, she successfully advocated for PTSD to be added to the state medical cannabis bill that was signed into law in 2011. In 2014, after successfully lobbying and testifying in front of the New York State senate, the New York medical cannabis bill was signed into law.Collectively, Amy has helped provide access to care to a million veterans in the states of New York and Delaware. Amy served in US Air Force from 2001 until 2005. She was stationed at the 15th OWS at TACC headquarters as a meteorologist from 2002 to 2005. She volunteers her time as legislative coordinator for Weed for Warriors. She holds a BS and a MPA from Park University.

Bob Otis Stanley is a co-founder and Board Member of the Decriminalize Nature group responsible for entheogen decriminalization in Oakland CA and is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants. He is a long time steward of Oakland’s Sacred Garden Community and leads clinical and molecular informatics projects by day. Bob has enjoyed growing sacred plants and exploring sacred plant traditions independently and under recognized mentorship for over 30 years. Lifetime interest in diverse cultures and wisdom traditions was complemented by his Tennessee family’s medical, religious, and wild-crafting traditions. Family medical and ecological work in Asia, Central and South America exposed Bob to non-Western healing traditions at an early age. Transformative personal and group experiences with sacred plants and materials guide his passion for working with what he considers to be plant sacraments. Following Psychology and Religious studies degrees from University of California Santa Cruz, Bob earned a Masters degree in Divinity from University of Chicago. Post-graduate cognitive science research at New York University led to professional work in epistemology and life science informatics. In addition to sacred plant learning, teaching and conservation through gardening, Bob’s passions include epistemology, bicycling, and playing his Grandma’s violin. Bob is committed to growing respectful access to traditional plant sacraments and to their newly recognized relatives. He recognizes these plants as healing sacraments, properly venerated by ancient, living and emerging syncretic traditions.   

Allan Steiner spent the three years following the 2016 election providing risk assessment to cannabis entrepreneurs, providing him with a unique perspective on what the psychedelic movement might expect moving forward. As an early participant in the Decriminalize Nature movement, Allan has functioned as a conduit for connection, providing insight into ways we can work together to embody the change we want to see. In an effort to further cognitive and physical liberty, Allan aims to empower the psychedelic movement with the policy and regulatory experience of the cannabis industry.

Mareesa Stertz is an LA/Oakland based filmmaker, community organizer, and KRI-certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher who’s spent most of her life unraveling the impact of trauma on the human psyche. Her quest has taken her around the world, filming the work of shamans in Peru, psychedelic guides in the Netherlands, and holy men in India for her documentary series on Gaia TV, ‘The Healing Powers (of psychedelics and other mindful practices)’. She programs speakers and events for LA based Aware Project, is one of the founders and contributors of Lucid News, and is the founder and organizer of the Psychedelic Leadership Summits. Her work has been featured by Viceland, Gaia TV, NBC Universal, IFC, Participant Media, and at numerous film festivals around the world.

Daiara Hori Figueroa Sampaio – Duhigô is a member of of the Tukano indigenous people, the Yé’pá Mahsã, clan, and the Eremiri Hãusiro Parameri of the Alto Rio Negro in the Brazilian Amazon. She was born in São Paulo, Brazil. She is an artist, activist, educator, and communicator. She holds a master’s in human rights from the University of Brasília – UnB, and is a researcher on the right to the memory and truth of indigenous peoples. She is Coordinator of Radio Yandê, the first indigenous web-radio in Brazil: She studies the culture, history, and traditional spirituality of indigenous people and their environment. She currently resides in Brasilia, DF.

Ruth Valdizon is a spiritual practitioner of the peyote road for more than 30 years and has been of service as a “water woman” for various spiritual leaders of the NAC. She is an educator and earned her Masters Degree in Special Education while raising five children. Her and her husband, David Marbain envisioned the conservation of the peyote cactus due to its decline and unsustainable harvests for consumption. Her main concern while witnessing the decline of the wild peyote populations is to preserve its natural habitat, inspire conservation by consumers and find solutions and alternatives for propagation. Ruth advocates and respects the native base cultural use of peyote for ceremonial purposes with an emphasis on conservation. Throughout her life, Ruth has been an enthusiastic advocate of social justice and human rights. She has worked in major political movements affecting social change: as a community organizer in the United Farm Workers Union, and as an advocate for migrant workers. As a Guatemalan native, she has also worked in various non-profit organizations to stop military aid to Central America, whilst educating the public on human rights and social justice. She brings her passion and vigor to the mission of MSC as an environmentalist, conservationist, and believer in the use of plants as spiritual guides and medicine. 

Miriam Volat is Soil Scientist and Co-director of the Riverstyx Foundation. She works personally and professionally to promote health in all systems. She works as a facilitator, researcher, educator, and community organizer to increase broad-based community and ecological resiliency, especially in native communities. Her work focuses on the intersection of biological and socio-cultural diversity. Miriam has never stopped exploring nutrient cycles and soil ecology, the emphasis of her M.S. work in the UC Davis Vegetable Crops Dept. She also has degrees in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Her life’s work at Riverstyx now includes supporting psilocybin and MDMA research including those involving religious clergy, deep eco-ministry for direct-experience religious transformation, composting toilets and human bodies, and indigenous medicine, land, and cultural conservation, supporting balanced relationships between humans and our ecosystem. As a Mom, she is fortunate her daughter, Cora, also supports her work and participates passionately on her many adventures.

Monnica T. Williams is a board-certified licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa in the School of Psychology, where she is the Canada Research Chair for Mental Health Disparities. She is also Clinical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Clinic in Connecticut, where she provides supervision and training to clinicians for empirically-supported treatments. Dr. Williams has previously served as the Director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville and as faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Dr. Williams’ research focuses on African American mental health, culture, and psychopathology, and she has published over 100 scientific articles on these topics. Current projects include the assessment of race-based trauma, unacceptable thoughts in OCD, improving cultural competence in the delivery of mental health care services, and interventions to reduce racism. This includes her work as a PI in a multisite study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. She also gives diversity trainings nationally for clinical psychology programs, scientific conferences, and community organizations. Dr. Williams is on the Board of Directors of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Sponsorship helps Chacruna to make this conference affordable and accessible to the public and ensures a diversity of speakers and voices are heard. We have intentionally kept ticket prices low given the high costs of organizing an event in San Francisco.Sponsors receive recognition for their support of Psychedelic Liberty Summit at the event, on our social media channels, on our conference website, and in the video recordings of the event. All sponsorship donations are tax-deductible as a donation through our fiscal sponsor, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization. Please email Bia Labate at: with inquiries regarding sponsorships.

Gold Sponsors

MAPS and McAllister Garfield, P.C.

Silver Sponsors

Soltara, Synthesis and Auryn Fund

Bronze Sponsors

DoubleBlind and Dr. Bronner’s

Community Partners

Beckley Foundation, California NORML, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Consciousness Hacking, Decriminalize Denver, Decriminalize Nature Oakland, Drogas, Política y Cultura, Drug Policy Alliance, ERIE, Horizons, Instituto RIA, Maloca Internacionale, Modern Spirit, Morning Star Conservancy, NEIP, Nierika, Psychedelic Seminars, The Psychedelic Society, Psychedelic Support, Psychedelics Today, Sacred Garden Community, Sage Integrative Health, San Francisco Psychedelic Society, Source Research Foundation, The California Psilocybin Decriminalization & Research Initiative 2020, The Huichol Center, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Transnational Institute, Psychedelic Times, OPEN Foundation, Women’s Visionary Council, Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, Oregon Psilocybin Society
and Wixárika Research Center

Disclaimer: Regarding any sponsorship relationship, Chacruna commits to vetting all potential partners by exercising a reasonable level of due diligence. However, by accepting sponsorships, Chacruna is not endorsing these sponsors or making any promises regarding their mission or activities. However, by accepting sponsorships, Chacruna is not endorsing these sponsors or making any promises regarding their mission or activities. Sponsorship does not include any decision-making influence on the content of any Chacruna event or publication, or any decision-making authority regarding Chacruna policies or actions. Every individual can and should make their own determination on the credibility or value of each sponsor and we solicit your respectful feedback regarding any concerns. The inclusion of links to other sites does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.

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