From November 10-12, 2017, thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the third annual Catharsis on the Mall. Catharsis is a 48-hour vigil for healing, inspired by the principles of Burning Man. MAPS co-created Catharsis with D.C. community activists and Dr. Bronners, and serves as its fiscal sponsor. We are looking forward to hosting this event again in 2018. This year, the gathering focused on equal rights, and healing from gender-based inequality. Catharsis was founded as a vigil for healing from the war on drugs, and last year focused on healing from trauma, in the immediate wake of the presidential election. Catharsis features panels, visionary art, dancing, yoga, conversations, and harm reduction services provided by the Zendo Project.
Within 24 hours after the conclusion of Catharsis, MAPS Policy and Advocacy Director Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, M.S.W., and MAPS Policy and Advocacy Counsel Ismail L. Ali, J.D., headed to Capitol Hill to try to persuade Republican Senators to write a letter to Attorney General Sessions urging him to eliminate the largest remaining barrier to cannabis research: the government monopoly on federally-legal research cannabis.