Bruce Alexander

Bruce Alexander

Bruce Alexander is a Canadian psychologist who has devoted the last four decades to the study of addiction. He has worked with injecting street addicts in Vancouver's notorious Downtown East Side, methadone users in Vancouver clinics, middle class addicts at Simon Fraser University, and drug using rodents in his psychopharmacology laboratory, better known as "Rat Park". His two books on addiction are Peaceful Measures: Canada's Way Out of the War on Drugs (University of Toronto Press, 1990) and The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit (Oxford University Press, 2010). He is presently working as a political and social activist in East Vancouver with "A Community Aware," and the "Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives" and finishing a book on the history of psychology for Cambridge University Press.  His website is

MAPS Canada supports an Advisory Board of individuals who have offered their experience, expertise, and endorsement of MAPS Canada. The members of the advisory board support MAPS Canada’s specific strategies and overall goals, including the support and promotion of scientific research and evidence-based public education about the potential harms and benefits of psychedelic substances and marijuana.

Advisory Board members may make recommendations to the board of MAPS Canada and respond to questions from the Board of Directors. Advisory Board members advocate and promote MAPS Canada’s vision and support associated fundraising efforts.

Brian Emerson

Dr. Brian Emerson

Dr. Brian Emerson has been working for ten years as a Medical Consultant in population and public health with the BC Ministry of Health. Dr. Emerson was raised in Calgary, Alberta, and moved to Victoria to study and work in marine biology. Subsequent education included a general medical degree and a masters degree in public health from University of BC.

Prior his current position Brian worked for fifteen years as a Medical Health Officer in a variety of locations in BC, most being in the north half of Vancouver Island.

Current priority areas of work include public health legislation, public health human resources planning and work force development, support to the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, and policy development about public health approaches to psychoactive substances (alcohol, tobacco, illegal and prescription substances). A major project was coordinating the development, and now implementation of a new BC Public Health Act and supporting regulations.

With respect to psychoactive substances Brian coordinated the development of a number or papers by The Health Officers Council of BC (HOC) – the most recent being “Public Health Perspectives for Regulating Psychoactive Substances”. For, additional reports on this topic by HOC, click here.

Andrew Feldmar

Andrew Feldmar

Andrew Feldmar is a psychotherapist who has been in the private practice of psychotherapy for over 44 years, in Vancouver, Canada. He was inspired to practice a form of radical (from radix, root) therapy, by R. D. Laing, who was his teacher, therapist, supervisor and later friend and colleague. He was introduced to research with and the therapeutic use of psychedelics in 1967. His interest in entheogen-assisted therapy has never flagged. He has published many books in Hungarian. He lectures, teaches, provides supervision and therapy internationally.

Caroline Ferris

Caroline Ferris

Caroline Ferris MD CCFP FCFP

  • UBC Med 1986
  • Clinical Assistant Professor UBC Department of Family Practice
  • Clinical Faculty Team UBC Family Practice Residency Program, Surrey/South Fraser Site; Behaviour Medicine Lead
  • Director and Physician Wellness Lead, Surrey/North Delta Division of Family Practice
  • Focused practice in Addictions and Street Medicine

David M. Kennedy

David M. Kennedy

David is a UBC graduate in Medicine 1962. In 1963 he went with his wife Linda (B. Sc. Nursing UBC) to India with the United Church, working with Dr. Bob McClure for two years, and then a further three years at a village hospital in the Central Province. The family drove home to Canada via Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran Turkey and Europe arriving in 1969 in Quebec city with daughter Kiran age three. Son Michael was born 1969. Moved to Vernon (Linda’s home town) in 1971. Did General Practice until 1989. David was made a Fellow of the College of Family Practice in 1986 and was also a president of the Vernon Medical Association. He shifted into full time family and marital counselling in 1990 after a three year training program and internship year. He Retired in 2000. He presented couples workshops for 12 years at Round Lake Native Alcohol and Drug treatment centre, and also led groups in Marriage Erichment, and Marriage Encounter for ten years. He was a founding board member of the Vernon Family Resource centre, and started a Lay Counseling training program and a pre-marriage course under its auspices.

His interests include mountain climbing, skiing, canoeing, cycling, politics, and local trail building society. He has had a career long interest in addictions, and has been following the drug use scene closely for 7 years particularly with regard to the so called “War on Drugs.” He has worked with StoptheViolenceBC speaking to Okanagan groups and municipal councils on illegal drug policy issues. He is a member of “LEAP”, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy.

Robert Laurie

Robert LaurieRobert W.E. Laurie is an international lawyer, writer and speaker, qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and called to the British Columbia Bar as a barrister and solicitor. After practicing law in London and New York in the areas of International hedge fund formation and securities fraud litigation, Robert founded AD LUCEM LAW CORPORATION in Vancouver in 2013. Robert’s legal practice focusses on cannabis, encompassing business law, administrative and family litigation, plus criminal and marijuana regulatory defence. Recently Robert was promoted to the City of Nanaimo’s municipal Cannabis Talk Force.

Robert has advised licensed producers, dispensaries, pre-license entities, technology companies, and other domestic and foreign participants in the Canadian cannabis industry in relation to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its regulations, including the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (the “ACMPR”) and the Narcotic Control Regulations (the "NCR"). Robert is also helping various industry participants position themselves for expected changes under Bill C-45: An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, Eliz. II: 64-65-66 (the "Cannabis Act").

Robert is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Liberty Leaf Holdings Ltd. (CSE: LIB, OTCQB: LIBFF and FSE: HN3P), a Canadian-based, public company whose focus is to build and support a diversified portfolio of cannabis-sector businesses, including cultivation, value-added CBD/THC products, biotech research and supply-chain products within this dynamic and fast-growing sector. Liberty Leaf also owns 100% of North Road Ventures and acquired the majority interest in Just Kush, both late-stage applicants under Health Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

Robert is a Special Advisor to the Leadership Team of HollyWeed North Cannabis Inc. and TerraCube International Inc. He is a Director with the B.C. Independent Cannabis Alliance (BCICA), and a former Board Advisor to the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries (CAMCD). Robert is also a Contributing Writer and Columnist with 'Grow Magazine', based in Oregon. His regular column with 'Grow’ is entitled: “North of the 49th Parallel: Cannabis News and Legal Commentary from Canada.” Robert holds a M.A. (Hons) Juris from the University of Oxford (St. Edmund Hall) and B.A. (Hons) in Political Science and International Relations from the University of British Columbia.

Tara Lyones

Tara Lyons

Tara Lyons, PhD, is a Faculty member in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and a Research Scientist with the Gender & Sexual Health Initiative of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Lyons' research explores the relationships between health, gender, sexuality, and the criminalization of sex work and drug use. She is currently leading research projects on experiences of queer women and trans* persons in drug use and sex work environments using a variety of methods, including ethnography, photography, quantitative analysis.

Dr. Lyons has worked extensively within social justice activism, including prison justice and drug policy reform. She served as the executive director of the Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy for 3 years. Her research program has been developed to document the effects of criminalization on the health of marginalized populations and to shape relevant social, legal, and policy reforms. Her PhD research examining Ottawa's drug treatment court informed witness presentations and briefs to the Justice and Human Rights Parliamentary Committee and the Senate Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs as they deliberated mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses legislation. Dr. Lyons also co-authored the first legal report examining drug treatment courts in Canada (PDF) with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Throughout her academic career, Dr. Lyons has actively engaged in knowledge translation activities across academic, community, and policy settings. She has delivered over 75 presentations to researchers, community groups, students, and policymakers.

Gabor Maté

Gabor MatéGabor Maté, M.D., is a physician and best-selling author whose books have been published in twenty languages on five continents. His interests include child development, the mind-body unity in health and illness, and the treatment of addictions. Gabor has worked in family practice, palliative care, and addiction medicine. He regularly addresses health professionals, educators, and lay audiences throughout North America. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including a Simon Fraser University Outstanding Alumnus Award and an honourary degree from the University of Northern British Columbia. His most recent book, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, won the Hubert Evans Prize for literary nonfiction.

Kenneth Tupper

Kenneth W. Tupper

Kenneth W. Tupper, Ph.D., is currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. He has been active in the field of psychedelic studies for more than fourteen years, having done an M.A. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation that developed the concept of “entheogenic education,” a theoretical frame for understanding the kinds of learning that can be realized through the circumspect uses of psychedelics as cognitive tools. His other research interests include the cross-cultural and historical uses of psychoactive substances; public, professional and school-based drug education; and creating healthy public policy to maximize benefits and minimize harms from currently illegal drugs. More information about Kenneth and his academic interests can be found on his personal homepage:

Zach Walsh

Zach WalshZach Walsh, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the University of British Columbia Department of Psychology, Co-Director for the Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law, and a registered clinical psychologist. Zach’s cannabis-related research focuses on the use of cannabis for therapeutic and recreational purposes, and on the associations among cannabis use, mental health and addictions. Ongoing externally funded projects include the Cannabis Access for Medical Purposes Study (CAMPS) designed to identify barriers to access for medical cannabis; the Medical Cannabis Standards Engagement Evaluation and Dissemination (SEED) study which is a partnership with the Canadian Association of Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to develop and implement a standardization and certification framework for medical cannabis dispensaries; and the Medical Cannabis and Arthritis - Barriers and Pathways study which will examine attitudes and behaviours related to the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes among individuals with arthritis. Zach and his colleagues are also involved in research specifying the role of mood and cognition in the analgesic effects of cannabis, clarifying relationships between cannabis use and the use of other psychoactive substances, and investigations of cannabis use trajectories among university students.