On the heels of California Senator Scott Weiner recently announcing that he will no longer continue plans to pursue SB-519, his psychedelic reform bill which was reduced to a mere study in its final committee, many are left asking: what’s next in California’s push to decriminalize psychedelics and end the war against drugs?
Join moderators Monica Cadena and Reggie Harris and proponents of SB-519 for the FIRST live chat and Q&A to answer some of your most pressing questions.
Read more about where SB-519 currently stands here, and tune in LIVE Monday, August 22, at 4:00pm PST for an in-depth discussion.
The goal of this chat is to build more transparency while fostering a culture of community input in decriminalization efforts on a local and national level.
This event is free to all who wish to join.
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About Our Guests
Ismail Lourido Ali, JD (he/they) has been working with psychedelics in spiritual and celebratory contexts for over 15 years. He is currently the Director of Policy & Advocacy 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 is a co-founder and founding board member of the Psychedelic Bar Association, presently serves on the Board of Directors for Sage Institute, participates as a member of Chacruna Institute’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants, and is on the Advisory Committee of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund.
Ismail has previously 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, all while a student at UC Berkeley School of Law, where he received his JD in 2016.
David Bronner is the Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, the family-owned top-selling natural brand of soap in North America. The company caps Executive salaries at 5 times the lowest paid fully-vested position and donates all profits not needed for business development to causes and charities they believe in. David graduated with a degree in Biology from Harvard in ’95, and by the end of that year had his heart and mind blown wide open by psychedelic medicine while living in Amsterdam. Ever since he’s been dedicated to the responsible integration of cannabis and entheogens into American and global culture, and joined the board of MAPS in 2015. In 2019 he launched the non-profit cannabis flower brand Brother David’s to support Sun and Earth certification of cannabis grown under the sun, in the soil, without chemicals and with fair labor. He also serves on the board of the Regenerative Organic Alliance, which promotes regenerative organic agriculture and ethical dietary choice, to support a more humane, sustainable, and fair farming system worldwide.
Ben Unger directs New Approach’s psychedelic advocacy and policy program. He is a political consultant with a rich history of running ballot measure and candidate campaigns. Originally from Oregon, Ben represented his hometown as a state legislator from 2013 to 2015 before leaving to become Oregon’s lead ballot measure strategist. Ben has also been Senior Advisor to the Oregon Attorney General, managed a state legislative caucus, and served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Gov. Jay Inslee’s presidential campaign. He helped lead a multi-state ballot measure effort to fight climate change and has run ballot measures to protect open space, protect democracy, and more. In 2020, he served as the general consultant for the Measure 109 campaign, which initiated the creation of a state-licensed psilocybin therapy program.
Monica Cadena (Moderator) is an Afro-Chicana California based writer/journalist, movement worker, digital alchemist, plant ally, and advocate of ending the war against culture. 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, and is committed to the healing and liberation of Black and Indigenous communities. Connect with her on Instagram at sacred.alchemist.
Reggie Harris (Moderator) held in 2021 the first Psilocybin Cup and creator of the first Oakland and California 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.