Psychedelics are becoming more mainstream, but the law hasn’t caught up with the culture when it comes to accepting psychedelic lifestyles. In this podcast, we discuss ways the law is changing around psychedelics and how this affects the community, with topics including:
- Decriminalization: What’s protected, what’s questionable, and what’s still risky?
- Social Media & Psychedelics: What’s safe to say and do online, and where does being cautious still matter?
- Law Enforcement: Is it true that psychedelic users are low-priority targets for law enforcement, and does this differ according to race, culture, and locality? What are best practices for individuals to ensure safety for themselves and their people?
- Cognitive & Religious Liberty: What does the law really say about these commonly invoked topics, and how are psychedelic users protected or vulnerable in these areas?
- When Things Go Bad: What do you need to know if you run into legal trouble?
About Our Panel:
Gary Smith is a veteran cannabis attorney and general counsel to the nation’s oldest non-Native American peyote church and the author of Psychedelica Lex, a pioneering text on the laws governing psychedelics and entheogens. A seasoned litigator, advisor, mediator and arbitrator, Gary focuses his practice on commercial matters, construction, real estate, cannabis and administrative law.
Gary is one of the leading cannabis attorneys in the state and was recently appointed to US News & World Reports list of Top 100 lawyers in Arizona. Notably, he served as amici counsel to the former Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services in the Arizona Supreme Court petition State v. Jones, which restored cannabis extracts and concentrates to legal status under the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. He has authored numerous articles about cannabis law, and he is commonly invited to share his expertise with professional association and industry groups. Further, Gary is a founder and current president of the Arizona Cannabis Bar Association, an organization committed to educating lawyers and the public about cannabis law and responsible legislation. Guidant Law Firm
Sonia Martinez was recently appointed as a Judge Pro Tem for Maricopa County Justice Courts. For the past thirteen years, she has been the principal and owner of her own law firm in Mesa, Arizona. She also works in Indian Country and is licensed to practice in over 8 local tribal courts. She focuses her practice on representing tribal and non tribal members in their private family, dependency and criminal law matters. She has also been working with small businesses and tribal governments respecting issues with the Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act since 2010, and is the Vice President of the Arizona Cannabis Lawyer’s Association. Sonia Martinez Law, PLLC
Licensed to practice law first in California in 2004, Ms. Martinez is the past Co-Chair of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law, Co-Chair of the 2015 State Bar Convention, Chair of the 2013 Minority Bar Convention, Past President of the Native American Bar Association of Arizona, and teaches a special seminar class at the ASU Indian Legal Program on representing criminal defendants in tribal court.
Ms. Martinez also serves on the Board of Directors and is the Compliance Officer for the United Food Bank, past board member for Whisper & Thunder, and Board Member for MomForce USA. In addition, she is a panel member on the selection committee for the Arizona State Bar Leadership Institute, and presented as a panelist at dozens of educational seminars. She is also a team member for the Maricopa County Superior Court Judicial Performance Review Commission Conference Teams. Most importantly, she is a mother of two daughters ages 24 and 15, and grandmother of two.
Sam Saks offers extensive experience in all phases of commercial litigation and tort litigation, including discovery, motion practice, trial, mediation, and appeal. In addition to his legal practice, Sam volunteers to conduct numerous settlement conferences in civil cases. Sam’s commercial litigation includes representing small- to medium-sized businesses navigating complex litigation over partnership, breach of contract, and commercial transactions.
In personal injury and tort cases, Sam has negotiated millions in settlements for clients involved in auto accidents, animal attacks, and commercial torts. He has handled a wide range of cases involving serious injury and wrongful death. Sam is also known for his ability to solve complex insurance disputes, including bad faith delay and denials of coverage. Sam has successfully negotiated millions of dollars in liens and medical bills for his clients to ensure that they receive the maximum value for their claims.
Sam has been in active law practice for more than 15 years. Before founding Guidant, Sam worked as a senior law clerk for Chief Judge Sheldon Weisberg at the Arizona Court of Appeals. There, he researched and drafted opinions and memorandum decisions on a wide variety of civil issues. In addition to cases in the Superior Court and Federal District Court, Sam has worked on cases at the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Arizona Supreme Court. He is also the founder of Legal Aid of Arizona, which provides free legal referrals and educational seminars to the public. Guidant Law Firm