AMANDA FEILDINGDirector of the Beckley Foundation
Amanda Feilding is the Director and founder of the Beckley Foundation, a charity based in heart the Oxfordshire countryside that researches consciousness from an interdisciplinary perspective. It investigates how psychoactive substances work, why people use them, and what is the best way for society to control and integrate their inevitable presence. The Foundation has initiated pioneering research in both the scientific and policy fields, conducting breakthrough research into LSD, psilocybin and cannabis. The aim of the BF’s Drug Policy Programme is to work towards a rational system of regulation which minimises the harms to the health of the individual and society while recognising personal freedoms, and optimising potential benefits to health and well-being. The BF Press recently published Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate, Hofmann’s Elixir: LSD and the New Eleusis, and the Pharmacology of LSD.
Beckley’s current projects involve the ‘Breaking The Taboo’ Campaign, a global grass-roots initiative for drug policy reform running in association with Virgin Unite, Avaaz, Sundog Pictures and the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The Campaign website and a new documentary, Breaking the Taboo was launched on 5 December 2013 in London and 6 December in New York, at Google’s headquarters in each city.
Amanda established the Beckley Foundation in 1998 with four principal aims:
1) to reduce the harms associated with the misuse of psychoactive substances, particularly among young people;
2) to reduce the harms (particularly to young people and minorities) brought about by the unintended negative consequences of current drug policies, through:
i) scientific analyses of the effects of current policies, and the creation of an evidence-base for the development of improved policies based on health, harm reduction, cost- effectiveness and human rights;
ii)the development of new policy approaches in order to reform national and international drug policy, so as to make them more effective at minimising harms;
3) to investigate scientifically the effects of psychoactive substances on the brain in order to minimise their potential harms, learn more about consciousness and brain function and, most importantly, discover and explore new avenues of potential treatment for modern man’s many ills;
4) to educate both thought leaders and the general public.