A Celebration of Scotland’s Indigenous Apothecary
20th-22nd February 2023
A three-day celebration of plant medicine in Scotland, encompassing cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms, as well as other healing plants indigenous to the Scottish land. We will be collaborating with the Scottish Cannabis consortium, the University of Edinburgh, the Scottish Psychedelic Research Group, the University of the West of Scotland, and many other organisations involved in both plant medicine and drug policy reform in Scotland.
Importantly this event will be linked to the Scottish Cross Party on Medicinal Cannabis (Co-conveners Rona McKay and Pauline McNeil, and Deputy Convener Oliver Mundell) who will be involved in creating events and discussions within the Scottish Parliament. The CPG recently supported a debate in Parliament on the prescribing of medical cannabis, and this event will further this discussion.
We will also be bringing over international and national key figures in the topic, including the Global Drug Policy Commissioner Dr. Pavel Bem. Each day will explore different aspects of plant medicine in Scotland, weaving our three strands: community building, research and education, and policy development into the discussions.
Underpinning these three strands is the concept of ethics, and how we move towards an integration of plant medicine into our health system and wider social environment with care.
OUTLINE OF EVENTS
Please note: as we move nearer to the time we will be using this page, and our twitter, to update on the events, including tickets (if needed) and more detailed structure of the event.
Monday 20th February: Indigenous Apothecary: Stories of healing and thanks
Thank you Plant Medicine, a day of celebrating the healing potential of indigenous plant medicine, Amanita, nettle, mistletoe, and psilocybin. Opportunity for indigenous healing community to come together and celebrate in a safe and held space.
The main aspect of this event will be facilitated storytelling in small groups (8-10). All conversations will be governed by Chatham House Rules requiring confidentiality and non-disclosure of anyone else’s story. This will be a place for everyone to share their story, so please be prepared to do this in your own way.
Tuesday 21st February: The Scottish Cannabis Symposium
Cannabis has been cultivated in Scotland for centuries, and was once a staple medicine in every doctor’s and herbalist’s apothecary. Due to the legal barriers set up in the 1960s however, cannabis and hemp were lost to us as a medicine, until recently. Increased understanding of the power of cannabis as a medicine has resulted in countries around the world implementing legal medicinal and Adult Use regulatory systems.
Policy and legal context: In Scotland cannabis is governed by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: a reserved Act with limited flexibility, although arguably more flexibility than is admitted. In 2018 the UK Government legalised the prescribing of cannabis based medicines (CBM’s) by consultants on the General Registrar. Despite this, there are no (known to us) NHS prescriptions for CBM in Scotland, despite there being calls from increasingly numbers of patients to allow access.
Furthermore, there is an increasing number of institutions conducting research cannabis, SME’s investing in cannabis based products, patients using cannabis based medicine either legally or illegally, and charitable and governmental organisations interested in cannabis as a medicine and therapeutic tool.
This event will bring these stakeholders together to connect, share knowledge, create connection, and importantly envision the future of cannabis in Scotland, both within the UK, and as a potential independent country with the power to write our own drug laws. Part of this can, and will, involve the beginnings of the development of a Fair Trade Cannabis Bill for Scotland.
Wednesday 22nd February: Psychedelics in Scotland: Ethical policies and practice
This will consist of two separate events, connected by a walk. You are welcome to attend either separately.
Event #1 – : Plant medicine: recovering the sacred the ethics of healing, justice, and equity community event looking at the healing power of medicine in relation to trauma and recovery
This will be a community panel event where we will here from a range of speakers involved in plant medicine. We will also have a facilitated discussion on the ethics of psychedelic assisted treatment, and the broader community of practice.
This will finish off with some food, and then a community walk to the Scottish Parliament in time for the second event.
Event #2 – Psychedelics in Scotland: Policy and Practice
Place: The Scottish Parliament, Hollyrood Room
This will be a panel event, sponsored by Pauline McNeil MSP and Rona McKay MSP’, looking at how we implement policies around psychedelics in Scotland, with a particular focus on psychedelic assisted therapy and ethical considerations. There will be a Q&A’s and buffet following the panel. Speakers will be confirmed by Christmas 2022.