Amanda Feilding
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Amanda Feilding is the founder and director of the Beckley Foundation, a UK-based think-tank that, since its establishment in 1998, has been at the forefront of global drug policy reform and scientific research into the potential medical benefits of psychoactive substances, with a particular focus on cannabis and the psychedelics.

The Foundation’s Scientific Programme has led Amanda to collaborate with leading experts and institutions on a wide range of projects investigating the neurophysiology, pharmacology and subjective effects of meditation and psychoactive substances such as cannabis, psilocybin, MDMA and LSD. This pioneering research has shed much light on the mechanisms of action of psychoactive substances, their therapeutic potential and consciousness itself.

Through the Foundation’s Policy Programme, Amanda has greatly influenced global drug policy reform. From 1998 onwards she has organised a series of pivotal international seminars at the House of Lords, publishing over 40 much-cited books and reports, holding numerous meetings with thought-leaders, and advising President Pérez Molina and other policy makers on drug policy reform.

Entries by Amanda Feilding

Beyond Bureaucracy: The Aftermath of UNGASS

(0) Comments | Posted May 10, 2016 | 7:00 PM

In 2012, when the Presidents of Colombia, Mexico and Guatemala called for the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs to be brought forward to 2016, there was a mood of great optimism. Hopes were high that this meeting would allow countries, currently bound by their obligations under the UN...

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Out of UNGASS: Launching the 2016 Public Letter of the Beckley Foundation

(0) Comments | Posted April 22, 2016 | 12:27 PM

On the final day of the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs (April 21) I hosted a side event at the UN Headquarters in New York, launching the 2016 Public Letter of the Beckley Foundation, entitled, "OUT OF UNGASS: A NEW APPROACH." I was accompanied by Senator...

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The Coming of Age of LSD

(8) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 7:00 PM

The Beckley/Imperial Research Programme has just had the results of the first ever brain imaging study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings are being launched at the Royal Society on Wednesday 13 April. Below is an extract from Amanda Feilding's talk for the event.

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Jamaican Cannabis Landraces: History and Importance

(3) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 4:14 AM

Amanda Feilding and the Beckley Foundation are at the forefront of research into the potential benefits of whole cannabis and its individual cannabinoids, and part of a growing movement protecting rare strains of this remarkable plant.

Bongoman, St Mary's,...

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Jamaica's Pioneering Journey Towards Cannabis Regulation

(2) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 5:57 PM

By respecting human rights, religious freedoms and granting access to medicine, Jamaica is now leading the world in compassionate, evidence-based drug policy.

It is wonderful that Jamaica has now not only decriminalised cannabis, eliminating previous convictions for possession, but has also fully acknowledged the religious rights of...

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New Psychoactive Substances Ban Won't Even Achieve Its Aims

(10) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 7:28 PM


The UK government this week announced its plans to introduce a blanket ban on all new psychoactive substances (NPSs as they're known), in a move that follows in the steps of Ireland's ban in 2010. Following the recent spate...

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Recently Appointed Drug Minister Should Mend Failed Policy

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 6:36 PM

Last November, Norman Baker MP, left his office in Government with a bang. In his role as Minister of State for the Home Office, he oversaw the development of the Coalition Government's international comparators study on drug policy. While the publication fell very short of the Royal Commission...

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Psychedelic Science Should Not Be Feared, It Should Be Encouraged

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 6:21 PM

Thinking is at the heart of what makes us human. Innate intellectual curiosity shapes our well-being. A clear example of this potential can be found in mortality statistics. At the beginning of last century in Britain, life expectancy was approximately 50 years. Nowadays, it is closer to 81...

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At Last, the Edifice of Drugs Prohibition Is Starting to Crumble

(1) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 4:38 PM

The past two months have been an incredibly busy and productive time for global drug policy reform and scientific research into psychedelic drugs. Never in my 15 years as director of the Beckley Foundation have I seen such rapid progress in these complementary fields.

Earlier this week, Imperial College and...

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The Tide Is Turning

(13) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 2:29 PM

The Beckley Foundation, in association with the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Virgin Unite, Avaaz and Sundog Pictures, has launched a global grassroots campaign to call for an end to the War on Drugs. The campaign's website,, aims to gather over 1 million signatures from...

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Towards the Regulation of the Cannabis Market: Where, When and How?

(87) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 8:10 AM

To leave the third largest industry in the world -- worth about $350 billion per annum -- in the control of criminal cartels,people with values opposite to those of civilized society -- is foolish to the point of insanity. Surely we must presume that the governments of the...

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The War On Drugs Has Failed - It's Time For A New Approach.

(48) Comments | Posted November 24, 2011 | 6:00 PM

The Beckley Foundation's Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform was launched last week, on 17 November, at an Event at the House of Lords. At the Meeting, high-level representatives from 14 countries gathered to debate drug policy reform.

"We are here on the 50th Anniversary...

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Mexico's Voices Unite

(3) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 4:27 PM

Recent developments within Mexico's ongoing wave of drug war violence have shown public support for a new approach.

In March this year Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega, the son of celebrated Mexican poet and columnist Javier Sicilia, was found tortured, murdered and left in a car together with the bodies of...

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Legal Highs Demonstrate Antiquated Drug Policy Legislation

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 4:15 PM

A new study has called for 'outdated' UK drug laws to be re-examined. The co-publication between the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) and Demos demonstrates that the continued rise in the use and ease of availability of 'legal-highs' underlines the fact that the 1971 UK Misuse of Drugs...

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Time for Change

(4) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 8:12 AM

In 1998 the UN declared: "a drug-free world, we can do it!" In reality, we cannot.

The War on Drugs has failed. According to all available indices, it is no longer defendable. Vast expenditure on drug law enforcement has resulted in increasing levels of overall drug-use and lowered drug prices....

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Proposition 19

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2010 | 7:11 AM

This week Proposition 19 seeks to legalize and regulate the possession and cultivation of small quantities of marijuana. It also enables the state and/or local governments to license and tax larger commercial marijuana-growing enterprises, while enforcing the new regulations with various criminal and civil penalties.

Despite 100 years of marijuana...

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Sacrifice of the Innocents: Drugs, Money and Murder in Mexico

(15) Comments | Posted August 6, 2010 | 2:27 PM

In Roberto Bolano's novel 2666, the women of the city of Santa Teresa are being brutally raped and relentlessly killed. The culprits are unknown, but a shadowy alliance of drug dealers, police officers and local government officials is never far from the scene. The discovery of each new corpse is...

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Amanda Feilding's Talk at the Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century Conference in San Jose

(4) Comments | Posted April 21, 2010 | 1:22 PM

Hello. I'm Amanda Feilding.

It's great to be here today, with so many compañeros, on this the 67th anniversary of the day Albert Hoffman accidentally experienced his first LSD-trip, which launched the thousand ships on which we now sail.

I set up the Beckley Foundation in 1998 for the...

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Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate

(13) Comments | Posted February 23, 2010 | 11:49 AM

Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate, analyzes cannabis policies around the world and lays out the advantages of a fully regulated legal market and how a country can overcome the international conventions in order to have policies that better suites its individual needs. Below is an excerpt from the book.


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