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[San Diego] Psychedelic Awareness Discussion Panel : Rethinking Drug Policy

  • UCSD campus, center hall room 113 9500 Gilman Drive La Jolla, CA, 92093 United States (map)
REVISED Aware project Rethinking Drug policy ai-1.jpg

The Aware Project ( hosts a series of monthly Psychedelic Awareness Salon events in Los Angeles and San Diego. We are creating a connected and educated community that feels passionately about balancing the conversation about psychedelics.

Rethinking Drug Policy: Social Justice and the Psychedelic Renaissance.

Time: 7-10 pm

Doors open at 7 pm
Talk starts at 7:30 pm

Location: UCSD campus, Center Hall Room 113

(map of parking and campus in the discussion section)


As scientific research expands in psychedelic medicine, public opinion is rapidly shifting. As psychedelic medicines seem poised to be accepted by the FDA, the broader medical community, and, increasingly, in society's mainstream, the right questions must be asked to ensure human rights-based and justice-informed policy reform. Even with broader acceptance of these compounds, many people will still face criminalization and prosecution for possession, disproportionately affecting communities of color. It's time to start talking about reforming drug policy so that psychedelic interventions are not only destigmatized by science but also accessible to all, including the historically marginalized and oppressed. Join us for the first, and long-overdue Aware Project panel in which we discuss the next steps of psychedelic activism and affecting drug policy reform that serves the greater good of public health, social justice, and human rights.


ISMAIL ALI - MAPS representative

Ismail Lourido Ali currently works as Policy & Advocacy Counsel for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), where he provides professional support for a variety of legal, educational, and community-building projects. He earned his J.D. at the UC Berkeley School of Law in 2016, and has previously worked for the ACLU of Northern California’s Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Project, and for the International Human Rights Law Clinic at Berkeley Law.

Ismail also presently serves as Chair of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Board of Directors, and participates on the Steering Committee of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund, all while producing an in-progress documentary about trauma, healing, celebration, and psychedelic medicine, called Cura. Ismail believes that psychedelic consciousness is a crucial piece of challenging oppression in all of its forms.


Natalie earned her Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University in 2014, and her Bachelor’s in History from Yale University in 2011. At Columbia, Natalie served as a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, where she helped legalize medical marijuana in her home state of New York, and worked to end New York’s racist marijuana arrests. Natalie has also worked as a court-mandated therapist for individuals arrested for prostitution and drug-related offenses, as well as a middle school guidance counselor at a NYC public school. Natalie’s clinical work with trauma survivors spurred her interest in psychedelic-assisted therapy, which she believes can ease a wide variety of both mental and physical ailments by addressing the root cause of individuals’ difficulties, rather than their symptoms. Through her work at MAPS, Natalie advocates for research to provide evidence-based alternatives to both the war on drugs and the current mental health paradigm.



Tickets are $15 presale, or $20 at the door. Friend packs are $45 (4 tickets for the price of 3). There are a limited number of Volunteer tickets available. Please contact if you wish to volunteer and attend the event for free.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This group is being designed as a secure space. It is not a place to seek, encourage, or participate in the procurement of controlled substances. Do not bring, buy, sell, transfer, or arrive with any illegal substances, or swap information on how to buy them. Members who violate these basic house rules will be removed from the group and will not be allowed to attend future events.