Ayahuasca prosecution: opportunity for constructive policy innovation?
Since the end of 2009 we have witnessed a significant increase in arrests and political pressure around the use of traditional psychoactive plants, particularly ayahuasca. The upsurge of ayahuasca practices is mistakenly understood as yet another New Psychoactive Substance (NPS) hype along with legal highs, research chemicals and spice. ICEERS has supported many of those prosecuted in the last 6 years, which has developed in the establishment of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund – ADF (www.defendayahuasca.org). This presentation will provide a comprehensive view on the political and legal climate of ayahuasca and provide insight in the scientific aspects and cultural contextualization of the defense strategies in different ayahuasca legal cases, using audiovisual fragments.
Benjamin De Loenen studied audiovisual media and communication in The Netherlands, where he graduated with honors in his Masters with his documentary “Ibogaine-Rite of Passage” (2004), a film that would become a world reference about this subject matter until today. Benjamin worked as a film director and editor in the field of television, documentary, publicity and fiction from 2004-2010 while he traveled the world as public speaker about iboga and ayahuasca. He organized the International Ibogaine conferenceat the Catalan Health Ministry, gave courses about ibogaine for health professionals and government agencies such as the Portuguese Governmental institution SICAD and served the Board of Directors of the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance. Since the production of his film he has been very dedicated to the advancement of ibogaine and ayahuasca as therapeutic and personal development tools in contemporary society. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service.