Ismail Lourido Ali, J.D. is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Ismail advocates to eliminate barriers to psychedelic therapy and research, develops and implements legal and policy strategy, and supports MAPS’ strategy, organizational development, and ethics work. Ismail is a founding Board member of the Psychedelic Bar Association and also presently serves on the Board of Directors for Sage Institute in the California Bay Area. Ismail advises, is formally affiliated with, or has served in leadership roles for numerous organizations in the drug policy reform ecosystem, including Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Chacruna Institute, and the Ayahuasca Defense Fund. In addition, Ismail works with clients on legal matters related to the religious use of psychedelics as sacrament.
Together we talked about the remaining legal hurdles before MDMA-assisted therapy is FDA approved, why state legislatures (like Texas!) are beginning to experiment with psychedelic policy, why the DEA just proposed adding five more psychedelics to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, and much more. Great interview, great guy, so much to learn.