Webinar 15 December: Protecting Sincere Psychedelic Churches: Chacruna’s Guide to the Law and Best Practices

Protecting Sincere Psychedelic Churches: Chacruna’s Guide to the Law and Best Practices

Wednesday, December 15th from 12:00-2:00pm PST

Come join us for the launch of Chacruna’s Guide to RFRA and Best Practices for Psychedelic Plant Medicine Churches with experienced attorneys, religious leaders, researchers and activists. This Guide teaches churches using psychedelic plant medicines as sacrament how to understand protections offered under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). It includes an overview of current RFRA case law, definition of “sincerely religious beliefs”, benefits of single/multiple sacraments, as well as practical considerations such as the value of incorporating as church and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, insurance, liability waivers, sacrament record keeping, storage, and importation issues. The panel will also discuss the history of RFRA claims filed for exemptions from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), including the cases of the Santo Daime and UDV churches, which have been granted exemptions. Speakers will describe how the DEA has handled these granted exemptions, such as filing a permit to import sacrament from another country and bringing back sacrament and going through customs. The panel will also address the DEA’s guidelines for applying for an exemption, and the potential costs, risks, and rewards of going ‘above ground’. Come join us, get informed, and put to rest some of the myths that circulate around the RFRA–and learn the realities of this law–that affect plant medicine communities in US and the psychedelic movement!

Vicki Kraft is the leader of a Santo Daime Ayahuasca church in Los Angeles in legal standing since 2014, a Marriage and Family Therapist with experience in helping clients and practitioners of Psychedelics integrate their experiences into their daily lives, and a Sub Investigator and Therapist for MAPS MDMA Phase III Clinical Study of PTSD.

Dr. Mason Marks is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and an attorney at Harris Bricken. At Harvard, Mason leads the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation (POPLAR), the first academic program focused on psychedelics law, policy, and ethics. In 2021, Governor Kate Brown appointed Mason to the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, which advises the Oregon Health Authority on the creation of a statewide psilocybin industry. He chairs the Board’s Licensing Subcommittee. Mason’s academic writing has been published or will appear soon in the Duke Law Journal, Nature Medicine, the UC Irvine Law Review, the UC Davis Law Review, the Administrative Law Review, the Yale Journal Law and Technology, the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, and books by Cambridge University Press.

Allison Hoots is an attorney and is Of Counsel with Plant Medicine Law Group LLP. Her practice includes advising on employment, corporate, employee benefits, tax, and intellectual property law. She also advises clients on RFRA and plant medicine churches’ incorporation, operations, and legal compliance. Allison is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Sacred Plant Alliance, and she is a member of the Board of Trustees and officer of a nonprofit church that uses plant medicine in prayer. Allison is the lead author of Chacruna’s Guide to RFRA and Best Practices for Psychedelic Plant Medicine Churches.

Jack Silver is an attorney with the majority of his practice environmental. In addition to his environmental work he also helps guides and facilitators limit their potential personal and criminal liability. Jack was co-counsel in the successful Santo Daime case against DEA (Church of the Holy Light of the Queen v. Mukasey). Jack co-founded California River Watch and is still counsel to its board. Jack also sits on the boards of the Green Earth Foundation and Institute for Holotropics. Jack is a certified Holotropic Breathworker, Omotesenke licenced Tea instructor and holds the rank of sandan in Aikido.

Dr. Beatriz Caiuby Labate (Bia Labate) is a queer Brazilian anthropologist based in San Francisco. She has a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of plant medicines, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, religion, and social justice. She is Executive Director of the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines (https://chacruna.nethttps://chacruna-iri.orghttps://chacruna-la.org). She serves as Public Education and Culture Specialist at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and Adjunct Faculty at the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). She is also Diversity, Culture, and Ethics Advisor at the Synthesis Institute. Additionally, she is a co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) in Brazil and editor of its site. She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twenty-four books, two special-edition journals, and several peer-reviewed articles (https://bialabate.net).

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