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Dr Peyraube is Medical Doctor and specialist in the field of Drug Policy and Cannabis for Medicinal purposes. Throughout her career she has been involved in training, prevention, treatment and drug related harm reduction, including innovative theoretical and methodological developments with an emphasis on ethical issues, which earned her regional and international recognition. She has been advocating for drug policy reform in several countries.
In her home country, Uruguay, she has been ad hoc advisor to the National Board on Drugs (SND) in the reform of the public drug policy and the Institute of Regulation and Control of Cannabis (IRCCA) of Uruguay, and actively participated in the drafting of the law that regulates Cannabis for all purposes.
Racquel is a member of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM) and of the group of experts working on the public health recommendations for Cannabis regulation, coordinated by the O’Neill Institute of the Georgetown University, Washington DC, and the Washington Office for Latin America (WOLA).
Dr Peyraube is the designer and academic coordinator of the 1st International Medical Cannabis Course for physicians and nurses endorsed by IACM, a protocol designed to be implemented in different contexts. Also, she is scientific advisor to foundations and companies working in the field of medical Cannabis who are interested in developing clinical trials and public education.
In May 2017 she founded the Uruguayan Society of Endocannabinology and is its founder president. Currently she is dedicated to Cannabis medicine practice, the development of protocols for clinical trials for research, medical cannabis education for health professionals, and consulting on Drug Policy Reform, particularly Cannabis legalization in different countries.
Described by Rolling Stone as “the point man” for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar,” Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform both in the United States and abroad. He founded and directed (from 2000 to 2017) the Drug Policy Alliance.
Ethan was born in New York City and received his BA, JD, and PhD from Harvard, and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. He then taught politics and public affairs at Princeton University from 1987 to 1994, where his speaking and writings on drug policy attracted international attention.
Dr Nadelmann has authored two books on the internationalization of criminal law enforcement – Cops Across Borders and (with Peter Andreas) Policing The Globe – and his writings have appeared in most major media outlets in the U.S. as well as top academic journals (e.g. Science, International Organization), policy journals (Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Washington Quarterly, Public Interest) and political publications from the right (National Review) to the left (The Nation). Ethan’s TED Talk, delivered at TEDGlobal in Rio de Janeiro in October 2014, has more than 1.5 million views, with translations into 28 languages.
Specialising in Commercial Litigation, Don is a member of the Association of Arbitrators of Southern Africa and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. With an impressive repertoire of challenging cases under his belt, Advocate Mahon has taken on The Dagga Couple’s case with fervor and the legal insight required to map out the complex path towards Cannabis legalisation by establishing a solid court record as a basis for the road ahead.
Tony is a founding partner at Hemporium, South Africa’s premier hemp company. He is a leading Industrial Cannabis expert having presented multiple keynote addresses on Industrial Cannabis cultivation, processing, marketing and futures at several international Cannabis symposiums, as well as consulting to companies around the globe. Industrial Cannabis is fast reclaiming its position as the premier eco-resource due its large variety of uses and Tony Budden’s knowledge of the entire value chain is highly valued both locally and internationally.
A recent development in the hemp industry has been the discovery of the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that is dominant in hemp varieties. CBD has been shown to have anti-psychotic effects and is showing great potential as a treatment for nervous system disorders such as epilepsy, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and as an anti-depressant and neuro-protectant. Tony has the knowledge and insight to discuss this aspect of medicinal Cananbis at the convention.
In addition, Tony Budden is an expert witness for The Trial of the Plant. For further credentials and a summary of Tony’s evidence to be presented to the court, please see Fields of Green for ALL’s Expert Witness page.
Paul-Michael is a Senior Partner at Schindlers Attorneys in Johannesburg. He is also principal Attorney for The Trial of the Plant. Paul-Michael has the talent to deliver creative and honestly-evaluated solutions to complex legal problems and has experience with High Court appearances, including witness interviews. He is becoming well known for his opinion writing and research on a variety of legal topics, while providing valuable, unique and detailed insight into the issue of Cannabis legalisation. Having steered the ship from the early days, Paul-Michael is a significant asset to Fields of Green for ALL’s efforts to free this plant from the shackles of prohibition.
Famous for being fired by the UK government for saying that taking ecstasy is safer than riding a horse, David Nutt is a British psychiatrist a neuropsychopharmacologist, specialising in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety and sleep. He was, until 2009, a professor at the University of Bristol heading their Psychopharmacology Unit.
Since then he has been the Edmond J. Safra chair in Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College, London. Professor Nutt was a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines, and President of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. His book “Drugs Without the Hot Air” won the Transmission Prize for Communicating Science in 2014.
In November 2016 Professor Nutt co-authored a seminal paper submitted to the World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Drug Dependance as a pre-review to their re-assessing of international drug laws. Entitled “Cannabis and Cannabis Resin”, we look forward to this being taken seriously by those whose voice is so powerful in the world.
Professor Nutt is the “Scale of Harms” expert for The Trial of the Plant and will be pivotal in providing scientific evidence that Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legal to use within a regulated system in South Africa. For further credentials and a summary of the scientific evidence to be presented to the court, please see Fields of Green for ALL’s Expert Witness page.
Shaun Shelly is dedicated to the understanding of drug use and the development of effective drug policy and the rights of marginalised groups, including people who use drugs. His passion for the subject and compassion and respect for people comes across in his frequent academic and public talks and writing. He studied at the University of Stellenbosch Department of Psychiatry where he graduated cum laude with a Post Graduate Diploma in Addiction Care and is currently in the Addictions Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at UCT, where he is an MPhil Candidate in Addictions Psychiatry.
Shaun also established South Africa’s first non-abstinence focused community program for people who use drugs in Cape Town. He is currently the Projects, policy, Advocacy and Human Rights” manager for TB/HIV Care Association. He has an appointment at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Pretoria as part of the team implementing a Community Oriented Primary Care approach to address drug use in the City of Tshwane. Shaun is on the board of advisers to the Harm reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support network (HAMS) and Families for Sensible Drug Policy in the United States. He is also a member of the International Drug Policy Consortium strategy sub-committee.
In his role at TB/HIV Care he conceptualized and organized the first SA Drug Policy Week. Currently Shaun’s main area of research is on access to opioid substitution therapy and the implementation of low-threshold methadone and buprenorphine programs for low-resource communities through public-private partnerships.
He is a 2016 Open Society Foundations International Drug Policy Fellow and spent more than a decade doing embedded ethnographic research on drug use and the informal economy in Cape Town South Africa.
Donald I. Abrams, MD. is chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He has an Integrative Oncology consultation practice at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He received an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Brown University in 1972 and graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977.
After completing an Internal Medicine residency at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco, he became a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at the Cancer Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco in 1980. He was one the original clinician/investigators to recognize and define many early AIDS-related conditions. He has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medicinal Cannabis. In 1997 he received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct clinical trials of the short-term safety of cannabinoids in HIV infection.
Subsequently he was granted funds by the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research to continue studies of the effectiveness of cannabis in a number of clinical conditions. He completed a placebo-controlled study of smoked cannabis in patients with painful HIV-related peripheral neuropathy as well as a study evaluating vaporization as a smokeless delivery system for medicinal. He conducted an NIDA-funded trial investigating the possible pharmacokinetic interaction between vaporized cannabis and opioid analgesics in patients with chronic pain. He is now conducting an NIH-funded trial investigating vaporized cannabis in patients with Sickle Cell disease. He co-authored the chapter on “Cannabinoids and Cancer” in the Oxford University Press Integrative Oncology text that he co-edited with Andrew Weil. He co-edits the NCI PDQ CAM Cannabinoids and Cancer website.
For further credentials and a summary of the scientific evidence to be presented to the court, please see Fields of Green for ALL’s Expert Witness page.
A medical introduction to the human Endocannabinoid system. After graduating with a medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2009, Marlon journeyed to Pietermaritzburg where he worked hugely demanding shifts as a junior doctor in the public health-care sector. Disillusioned by the experience, he travelled to the United States to attend his first conference on the clinical implications of the endocannabinoid system. Driven to understand the truth about medicine and alternative forms of healing, he volunteered at a depression recovery centre, a mycelium production facility, and with MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies).
Revitalized by the experience, he returned to South Africa and completed his community service as a medical officer at Fort England Hospital, a forensic psychiatric facility. Thereafter, Marlon continued with the study of drug policy, harm reduction and psychedelic research by attending numerous international conferences, forums and symposia related to his new vocation. Marlon regularly liaises with government officials, encouraging them to adopt more compassionate drug policies. In 2016, he was a member of the civil society task force at the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem in New York.
Marlon currently assists surgeons in the private sector on a freelance basis, and is a committed volunteer with organizations like Fields of Green For All, in order to continue to shape practical and utilitarian drug policies.
Arné Verhoef is an avid horticulturist with a keen interest in future crops, plants that he believes will shape the 21 st century. He is a trained biologist and received practical horticultural training at a Dutch nursery.
Though he has a broad range of interests, the Cannabis plant has captured his passion owing to its supreme versatility. He believes that Hemp is one of the flagship crops of the future – setting sail towards a sustainable, bio-based society, integrated into the broader ecosystem. Arné currently runs a small company, HempHub, which seeks to facilitate the production of Hemp and Hemp products in South Africa.
He also manages The Stokvel Collective, a concept project that seeks to spread community supported, regenerative agriculture through proper guidance and grassroots action.
Julian Stobbs and Myrtle Clarke are the founders of Fields of Green for ALL, South Africa’s first Cannabis legalisation Non-Profit Company. They have made significant progress due to their well publicised High Court challenge to the constitutionality of Cannabis prohibition. Julian and Myrtle have created an extensive social activism campaign that seeks inclusive Cannabis drug policy reform, by South Africans for South Africans.
Dubbed “The Dagga Couple” by the South African media, Julian and Myrtle intend to show, through The Trial of the Plant, that the common denominator for every law ever passed banning the Cannabis plant is the lack of scientific, objective evidence to support such legislation. In order to do this, they have gone to great lengths to gather experts for the trial, many of whom are speaking at this convention.
The Dagga Couple have attended and represented South Africa at various leading international drug policy conferences and Cannabis orientated events. These include The Global Forum of Producers of Prohibited Plants, UNGASS 2016 at the United Nations in New York and, recently, Harm Reduction International in Montreal, Canada. Through their active participation in various international groups and organisations, they have a unique insight into the potential and pitfalls being experienced by other nations that are coming to grips with legal Cannabis.
Alongside their NPC and Social Activism, they also run JoinTheQ, a legal aid initiative for victims of Cannabis related arrests and prosecutions.
Together with their extensive support base, Julian and Myrtle aim to restore this, the most researched plant in history, to its rightful place as a natural, safe and economically vital part of our world.
After receiving his medical degree from the University of Cape Town, Keith Scott embarked on a career as a general practitioner in both city and rural practices in South Africa the UK, New Zealand and Botswana.
His time in Botswana coincided with the crucial years from the start through to the peak of Southern Africa’s tragic HIV/AIDS pandemic. While working at the HIV/AIDS coalface he became extremely frustrated by the lack of effective government policies to contain the pandemic in Southern Africa. The poor response to the disease was due to the denial and inertia of the Botswana Government and the wilful ignorance and obstructionism of its South African counterpart.
A few years ago he noted a strong similarity between the government’s misinformed approach to issues associated with illicit drug use and its damaging policies during the early years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Since then he has been motivating for drug law reform based on the large body of evidence that demonstrates quite clearly how current drug laws promote organised crime and cause enormous harm to drug users and to society as a whole.
He is active in challenging policy-making bodies such as the Central Drug Authority both directly, in academic publications and via the general media. As well as giving public talks on the need for the legal regulation of illicit drugs he meets regularly with senior politicians in order to convince them of the urgent need to overhaul both national and international drug laws.