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Psychoactive Supper

An AHRC Cultural Engagement Event

17 May 2016 7pm - 9pm
Attendance by Invitation Only

The Psychoactive Supper aims to stimulate discussion about the concept of psychoactivity, central to The Psychoactive Substances Act (2016), a new piece of UK legislation that seeks to ban ‘legal highs’ by instituting a blanket ban on all psychoactive substances.

While the Act makes exceptions for substances normally consumed as food, along with traditionally and widely enjoyed psychoactive substances such as caffeine, alcohol and nicotine, the fact remains that from a psychopharmacological standpoint, many common foods activate the same pathways in the brain as illegal drugs. In that sense, where should the line be drawn between food and drugs?

The evening will offer a menu of foodstuffs which just happen to contain ingredients that are psychoactive. The food experiences, designed by scientists and classically-trained culinary experts, will be presented alongside short talks by leading experts in psychopharmacology, the neuroscience of moral behaviour, activists, politicians and opinion-makers. We want this Symposium to stimulate reflection about the scope of the concept of psychoactivity deployed in the Act and about the widely contested approach to drug policy it embodies.

In the civilizing tradition of the philosophical banquet’s association of reflection with intoxication, the Supper seeks to open the mind without actually breaking the law. The Psychoactive Substances Act (2016) is scheduled to come into force on 26 May 2016.


For more information contact Rebecca Powers:
Follow us on Twitter: @prohibin2016
picasso absinthe drinker

Picasso. Femme au café (Absinthe Drinker), 1902

To learn more about the Banning Pleasure Project and other related events, visit our website.

Thanks to our Supporters!