Psychoactive plants, traditional medicines, and government policy form debate
What: Presentation from three experts, followed by a panel discussion
Who: UBC faculty members Kenneth Tupper, Tirso Gonzales, and Zach Walsh
When: Thursday, September 11, 4:30 to 6 p.m.
Where: University Centre Ballroom, room UNC 200, UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna
Policy governing the use of traditional plants for medicinal and recreational purposes has long been debated, but not so when it comes to their role in Indigenous peoples research. Three UBC professors will present their findings that explore the use of psychoactive plants and substances, such as the Amazonian brew Ayahuasca, as traditional medicines, and part of South American Andean-Amazonian Indigenous research, religious sacraments, and objects of modern scientific inquiry.
- Kenneth Tupper — adjunct professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health. Tupper will present his research on Ayahuasca, Psychedelic Studies and Health Sciences: The Politics of Knowledge and Inquiry into an Amazonian Plant Brew.
- Tirso Gonzales — assistant professor of Indigenous Studies at UBC Okanagan. Gonzales will present research on: Ayahuasca, Subversive Spiritualties, Paradigms and Epistemologies: Towards Dialogues of Knowledges and Bringing the Sudaca back to Sumaq Kawsay/Suma Qamaña.
- Zach Walsh — co-director for the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law and associate professor of psychology at UBC Okanagan. Walsh will present his research on: New Directions in Psychedelic Science: Rediscovering the Behavioural Health Potential of Ancient Medicines.
A panel discussion follows the presentations. This event is free and open to the public.
Those attending will be challenged to think critically about the role of ‘plant teachers’ and rituals within research and among researchers, says event organizer Gonzales. Discussions will focus on the basis of contemporary drug policies, and how research into benefits or harms of psychoactive plants may be impacted by vestigial elements of colonialism in the academy and broader Western culture.
This event takes place Thursday, September 11 at 4:30 p.m. at the University Centre Ballroom, Room UNC 200, UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna.