Ismail Ali ‘16 | UC Berkeley School of Law

From 2015-16, Ismail served as co-lead of Berkeley Law’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, where he coordinated events that helped educate the law school community about entheogens, challenge the stigma associated with psychedelic drug use, and critique the racial dynamics of the emerging cannabis industry in California.

Ismail earned his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2016, after receiving his Bachelor’s in Philosophy from California State University, Fresno, in 2012. As a law student, among leading and participating in other extracurricular activities which focused primarily on human rights, civil liberties, and racial justice, he also worked for the ACLU of Northern California’s Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Project.

As Policy Fellow, Ismail supports MAPS’ legal and policy goals, including organizing the MAPS Psychedelic Legal Network, coordinating research in Latin America, and developing and implementing advocacy strategies. To support his work at MAPS, Ismail received Berkeley Law’s Public Interest Fellowship, a fellowship which provides funding for qualified Berkeley Law graduates who pursue legal work in the public interest.

Ismail believes that psychedelic consciousness is a crucial piece of challenging oppression in all of its forms, and that legal access to psychedelics is an essential part of a progressive drug policy paradigm. He hopes to help develop and advocate for just, equitable, and creative alternatives to the failed war on drugs.