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The War on Drugs: the Origin and the Impact [ONLINE]

July 30 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

A conversation with a diverse panel on the war on drugs. How have we gotten here? What is the future explored from multiple perspectives?

About this Event

The background story

Prohibiting drugs/intoxicants/psychoactive compounds has been traced back to 7th century. Drug policies have had a significant impact on people’s lives, depending on their race, where they live, and how the compounds are ingested.

In the first half of the 20th century, opium, cocaine, heroin and cannabis became illegal. President Nixon declared a war on drugs in 1972, and effectively put a stop to using psychedelics in any way, despite a couple of decades of promising research into their efficacy for mental health problems, including addiction.

Topics of discussion

We live in changing times. Trauma is beginning to be accepted as a root cause of many mental health issues, and psychedelics across the board are gaining attention and the respect of the modern medical system. Ayahuasca has travelled across the planet underground for several decades. The status quo is being questioned and people are starting to wake up.

How did we get here? What has the impact been on the human race? Could it be different this time – are we ready for the shift in drug policy reform, and raising consciousness?

Join us for a stimulating conversation with our esteemed panel of experts on drug policy, the justice system, and social justice issues.


Neil Boyd: Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy at UBC Law, in B.C. Canada.

Deborah Small: Lawyer and social justice activist, challenging the inequities of the US government’s so-called ‘war on drugs’ and Executive Director of Break the Chains (USA) working to empower communities of colour.

Phil Mechuskosis L’Hirondelle: Cree Elder who brings a unique blend of Aboriginal and Eastern tradition to his present day Sacred Work teachings.  He works as an Elder for Corrections Canada medium security prison in the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, B.C. Canada.

M.C: Gillian Maxwell: founding board member of Canadian Psychedelic Association, coach, drug policy reform advocate and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service in introducing harm reduction and INSITE, to Vancouver, B.C. Canada.


July 30
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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Canadian Psychedelic Association