JERÓNIMO MAZARRASA

Jerónimo Mazarrasa
Ayahuasca community activist

After the Psychedelic Renaissance: Cultural Challenges and the Law of Unintended Consequences

Since psychedelics were rediscovered in the West more than half a century ago, they have presented us with a considerable cultural challenge. We have no place for spiritual practices that include mind-altering substances, or for medicines that require accompaniment during the experience and interpretation afterwards. Although we can, and we should, imagine a post-prohibition world, I posit that ending prohibition of psychedelics, far from ending the challenges associated with them, will only make these challenges more visible.

The problem underlying prohibition is deeper than restrictive laws, it is that western culture has very little in its past, in its rule books, or in its traditions, to help it accommodate these substances. In this talk we will look at some of these challenges, possible paths forward, dead-ends, half-solutions, and examples from other cultural practices that have been successfully integrated into our own culture.


Jerónimo Mazarrasa is an ayahuasca community activist. He works as Social Innovation Coordinator for the ICEERS Foundation, and has been a coordinator of the Platform for the Defense of Ayahuasca Plantaforma since its founding.

In the past decade he has produced and written two documentaries about ayahuasca. The first about the Brazilian Ayahuasca churches, the second about the use of Ayahuasca in the treatment of drug addiction.

He has travelled extensively through South America, researching a broad range of Ayahuasca practices, and has lectured internationally on ayahuasca tourism and the appropriation of indigenous knowledge. For the past seven years he calls Ibiza home, where he runs The Council Tree, a series of monthly lectures on indigenous knowledge, people, and plants.