UMass Law Professor Dustin Marlan presented at Harvard Law’s webinar on legalization and decriminalization of psychedelics. The question framing the expert panel’s discussion was, “can psychedelics help save America?” Topics included the recent decriminalization of natural psychedelics in cities and states around the country, the history and motivation for psychedelics prohibition, the disproportionate impact of the war on drugs on vulnerable and marginalized groups, medical and spiritual uses of psychedelics, and the potential for psychedelics to help heal our country’s deep political divides.
In a previously published article, Beyond Cannabis: Psychedelic Decriminalization and Social Justice, Professor Marlan offers a persuasive academic perspective to a national debate surrounding the social justice of decriminalizing psychedelics. The article gives an in-depth historical overview of psychedelics and the laws surrounding them. Proposing a reframed justification on the social matters stigmatizing psychedelics, Professor Marlan delivers rationales for decriminalization based on medical value, religious freedom, cognitive liberty, and identity politics.
In accompaniment to his webinar presentation, Professor Marlan was also featured on Harvard Law’s Bill of Health blog.