Psychedelics, Religion and Cultural Translation


2011 - Los Angeles, CA


Facilitator: Jill Harris, Acting Deputy Director, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
Neil Goldsmith, Counselor and Therapist, New York, NY
Ralph Metzner, Co-Founder and President, Green Earth Foundation
Dimitri “Mobengo” Mugianis, Founding Member of VOCAL, New York, NY
Mona Polacca, International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, Phoenix, AZ
Kenneth Tupper, Educational Studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

In the 20th century, ayahuasca and other indigenous healing medicines spread beyond their native origins and have been incorporated into syncretistic practices that are being adopted by non-indigenous peoples in Western contexts, including scientific research into possible therapeutic uses of these medicines. This growing interest from modern non-indigenous peoples poses significant conceptual challenges regarding drugs and drug policies. What are the indigenous rootsof plant-based medicines and what is their relation to Westerners? Are psychedelics a medicine or a sacrament… or something else?