Wednesday, September 8th from 12-2pm PST


Press Release

What’s Happening with the CA Decriminalization Bill? Community Learning from the Advocacy Front Lines

The legislative process is notoriously archaic and complex, yet understanding it is crucial to support and advocate for effective drug policy reform. Join community advocates and allies in a dynamic discussion to demystify SB519, a bill to decriminalize the personal use of some psychedelics currently going through the California state legislature. This panel will cover the origins of the bill, the negotiations and compromises that have been made throughout, and future prospects – whether or not it is passed into law. The bill was recently paused until next year, so we’ll also discuss lessons learned and what to prepare for when the session continues in 2022. Particular attention will be paid to providing clarity around community concerns in a moderated Q&A. Bring your questions!

Illustration by Trey Brasher.


Ismail Lourido Ali

Ismail Lourido Ali is Policy & Advocacy Counsel for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where he supports the development and implementation of strategies to create legal access to psychedelic substances in medical, sacramental, and personal contexts. Ismail presently sits on the Board of Directors for Sage Institute and on the Advisory Committee of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund. Previously Ismail has served as Chair of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Board of Directors, and has worked for the ACLU of Northern California’s Criminal Justice & Drug Policy Project, as well as for the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where he received his J.D. Ismail is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.

David Bronner

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.

Reggie Harris held in 2021 the first Psilocybin Cup and planned the first Oakland Psychedelic Conference. Reggie consults with the largest mushroom cultivators in the world. He has worked with the largest cultivators in The Netherlands and has advised in the establishment of the largest commercial mushroom farm and state of the art testing lab in Jamaica. He also has over 10 years of domestic experience in the US cannabis industry. Reggie is the founder of Oakland Hyphae and Co Founder of Hyphae Labs. Reggie is an avid activist for police abolition and an ally of The Movement for Black Lives.

Monica Cadena is an Afro-Latinx California based artist, writer, movement worker, digital alchemist, brave space holder, plant ally, advocate, and the Creatrix  of Black Healers Connect, a digital and in person community for healers of the diaspora. The former co-founder of Wear Your Voice Magazine, an intersectional feminist digital publication, Monica’s passionate about highlighting stories from those at the intersections of healing and social justice activism and centering healing based initiatives. Monica works with many organizations within the psychedelic and entheogenic space: she is the current co Executive Director and SPORE, The Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform and Education, co-producer of Oakland Hyphae, creators of the worlds first Psilocybin Cup, and a collaborator of The Ancestor Project, working to create the first BIPOC psychedelic magazine. Connect with her on Instagram at sacred.alchemist

Illustration by Fernanda Cervantes.

Presented by:

Chacruna, San Francisco Psychedelic Society, SPORE and Oakland Hyphae

Community Partners

Beckley Foundation, Decrim Nature Seattle, Fireside, Fruiting Bodies Collective, Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation (POPLAR) at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School, Heroic Hearts Project, Los Angeles Medicinal Psychedelic Society, Lucid News, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS Canada), PEAC, Plant Medicine Coalition, Plant Medicine Healing Alliance, Psychedelic Seminars, Psychedelic Support, Psychedelic Times, Psychedelics Today, Sacred Community Garden, Sage Institute, Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Tam Integration, Unlimited Sciences and Vote Nature.

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