Charlotte Walsh
Lecturer in criminology

Beyond Prohibition of Plant Medicines

If prohibition of plant medicines were to end, what should replace it? I propose a new paradigm for the regulation of plant medicines, separate from either the strictures of criminalisation under which they are currently subsumed, the medical model they could potentially be transitioned in to, or, indeed, any other form of stringent, compulsory regulation. Let’s not distort the unique beauty of these ancestral plants by wrenching them from their chaos magic, neutering their inherent wildness, constraining their unbounded potential, in a misguided attempt to render them more palatable, to fit into models that have proven themselves not to work, not least late stage capitalism. My vision is one of decriminalisation twinned with self-regulation. I will explain why, offering some tentative thoughts on the promises - and challenges - of such an approach.

Charlotte Walsh is a legal academic at Leicester Law School, University of Leicester, where she runs a course on Criminology, with a particular focus on drug policy.

Her research specialism is on the interface between psychedelics and the law, viewed from a liberal, human rights-based perspective, and she has published widely on this subject - in journals and edited collections - along with being a regular speaker at psychedelic conferences and festivals. She is on the Steering Committee of the Ayahuasca Defense Fund and is involved with legal defence work, along with advocacy for policy reform.