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Stewardship

The Psychedelic Bar Association Board stewards the purpose of the organization, which includes the PBA Mission, Vision, and PBA North Star Invitation.

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Founding Board

Ismail Ali

Ismail Lourido Ali, JD (he/him/they/them) has been utilizing psychedelics in celebratory and spiritual contexts for over 15 years, and has been actively participating in the drug policy reform movement since 2013. He is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Founding Board Member

Roman Haferd

Robert “Roman” Haferd (he/him) is the Restorative Justice Coordinator for the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, where he has helped build a nationally-recognized restorative justice program inside Washington DC’s Justice Department.

Board Member & Interim Executive Director

Madalyn McElwain

Madalyn is a fierce advocate for the dismantling of, and healing from, systems of oppression. With over a decade of experience in drug policy reform and social justice nonprofit leadership roles, Madalyn offers unique insight into organizational operations, growing pains, and theories of change. 

Board Member

Karina Bashir

Karina A. Bashir is an attorney, thought leader in the psychedelic legal arena, and incoming Research Scholar at Berkeley Law and the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics. Karina’s work will play a critical role in advancing industry growth and safe and equitable access to psychedelic medicine.

Board Member

Matthew Brockmeier

Matthew earned a J.D. with a Certificate in Health Law from DePaul University College of Law. His legal practice is centered on drugs; the law, business, policy, and (sometimes even) politics of psychedelics, cannabis, and other controlled substances.

Board Member

Martha Hartney

Martha Hartney is mother and estate planning attorney, adventurer, and transformational coach.

In her professional capacity, Martha is dedicated to helping families protect their children and their assets so that kids are taken care of by the people parents want, in the way they want, and educating and empowering adults to take full control over their legal and financial lives.

Board Member

Christian Holden

Christian’s primary areas of focuses are Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Law, Alternative Energy Law, Constitutional Law, Organizational Design, and Conscious Business Transactions. Christian also focuses on strategic estate planning, cannabis law, and health food/supplement regulations.

Board Member

Graham Pechenik

Graham Pechenik is a registered patent attorney and the founder of Calyx Law, a law firm specializing in cannabis and psychedelics related intellectual property.

Graham has a BS from UC San Diego, where he chose his Cognitive Neuroscience and Biochemistry majors and a JD from New York University

Board Member

Jamie Ware

Jamie Ware, Esq., LSW is a regulatory attorney and government affairs specialist currently working in the cannabis space. She is also a breathwork facilitator, and her own practices include daily breathwork and meditation.

Legacy Board Members

Nicole Howell

Nicole Howell (she/her) practices law, inquiry, meditation, journeying, and being here now. She is the co-founder of Clark Howell LLP, California’s leading women-owned law firm serving the cannabis and hemp industries and leaning into discussions around the culture and ethics of psychedelics legalization and commercialization.

Ariel Clark

Ariel Clark (she/they) is an attorney, activist, and the co-founder of Clark Howell LLP, a women-steered law firm focused on cannabis, hemp, and psychedelics. Ariel walks the Red Road and is on a healing path. She is biracial, Odawa Anishinaabe and mixed European descent.

Terry Gross

Terry Gross has engaged in significant complex litigation on behalf of private clients and civil liberties organizations for over 35 years. Mr. Gross was the first general counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties organization focusing on first amendment issues surrounding Internet-based technology.

Kathryn Tucker

Kathryn’s work has involved state and federal impact litigation as well as state and federal legislative work. She is known for creative bold advocacy and achieving outstanding results, designing and teaching seminars at leading law schools, and is a frequently invited speaker at national conferences of physicians, attorneys and health policy experts.

Become A Member

Take the PBA North Star Invitation and be come an advocate for a new horizon.

Founding Board Co-Chair

Ismail Ali

Ismail Lourido Ali, JD (he/him or they/them) has been personally utilizing psychedelics in celebratory and spiritual contexts for over fifteen years, and has been actively participating in the drug policy reform movement since 2013. As the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Ismail advocates to eliminate barriers to psychedelic therapy and research, develops and implements legal and policy strategy, and supports MAPS’ strategy, organizational development, and ethics work. Ismail presently serves on the Board of Directors for Sage Institute in the California bay area. Ismail advises, is formally affiliated with, or has served in leadership roles for numerous organizations in the drug policy reform ecosystem, including Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Chacruna Institute, and the Ayahuasca Defense Fund. In addition, Ismail works with clients on matters related to the religious use of psychedelics as sacrament.

Founding Board Member

Roman Haferd

Robert “Roman” Haferd (he/him) is the Restorative Justice Coordinator for the Office of the Attorney General of the District of Columbia, where he has helped build a nationally-recognized restorative justice program inside Washington DC’s Justice Department.  In the psychedelics space, Roman serves as the Director of Community Engagement for the Plant Medicine Coalition, a non-profit hub and advocacy organization that promotes safe, equitable access to psychedelic and plant medicines.  In 2020, Roman was a Steering Committee Member of the successful Decriminalize Nature DC campaign to pass Initiative 81, the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Policy Act, which made entheogenic substances among the lowest law enforcement priorities in Washington DC.  Prior to joining the AG’s office, Roman worked as a Senior Program Associate with the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice, an Oakland, California-based research and innovation institute. Roman has also represented civil rights plaintiffs in cases around the country involving deprivations of Constitutional rights and law enforcement misconduct.  He previously worked as a Senior Associate in the Litigation & Controversy Department of international law firm WilmerHale LLP’s Washington, DC office.  Roman has a Bachelors of Arts from Bucknell University in Economics and Philosophy, and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.

Founding Board Member

Madalyn McElwain

Madalyn is a fierce advocate for the dismantling of, and healing from, systems of oppression. With over a decade of experience in drug policy reform and social justice nonprofit leadership roles, Madalyn offers unique insight into organizational operations, growing pains, and theories of change. In her former role as Chief Legal Officer of a grassroots, direct service nonprofit, Madalyn reimagined new ways to organize and share power as a leader, and put the infrastructure in place to actualize a growth in the operating budget from $400k to $4.3 million in five years.

In her current role as board member and founding member of the Psychedelic Bar Association (PBA), and co-Chair of the Legalization and Regulation Committee of the PBA, she is outspoken about the potential harms of psychedelic exceptionalism and incrementalism, and envisions equitable policies for psychedelics and other drugs that give the power back to communities. She is an expert in nonprofit operations and compliance, has years of experience serving on nonprofit board of directors, and is a skeptic of moving forward with the legalization and regulation of psychedelics and other drugs under the current extractive dominant culture.

Madalyn believes that a paradigm shift within the legal profession is upon us, and changing how people lawyer and engage with their privilege as attorneys will be a true vehicle to enact everlasting change within the psychedelic renaissance and beyond.

Board Member

Karina Bashir

Karina Bashir is an attorney and Research Scholar at UC Berkeley School of Law.  Karina’s work focuses on advancing industry growth and safe and equitable access to psychedelic medicine. She is leading a regulatory initiative focused on best practices and developing an industry-led voluntary disclosure tool to build public trust and enhance industry accountability and transparency.

Karina’s focus on ethics and best practices in the psychedelic arena is driven by her experience as a human rights advocate and as a regulatory compliance attorney. Karina’s legal practice encompasses emerging ESG regulatory, enforcement, and litigation issues, AML and FCPA compliance and internal investigations, as well as international human rights considerations for financial institutions.

Karina is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association and the American Health Law Association. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Psychedelic Bar Association, where she is also a steward of the Religious Use Committee. Karina is a Fulbright Scholar and Gates Cambridge Scholar and received her JD from UC Berkeley School of Law, MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, and BA from the University of Michigan.

Founding Board Member

Matthew Brockmeier

My legal practice is centered on drugs; the law, business, policy, and (sometimes even) politics of psychedelics, cannabis, and other controlled substances. I practiced “traditional” healthcare law for ten years, then focused on cannabis for four years before pivoting to psychedelics/ plant medicine. I am currently of counsel with Emerge Law Group, and serve on the Board of Directors of the Psychedelic Bar Association.

I earned a J.D. with a Certificate in Health Law from DePaul University College of Law, where I served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Healthcare Law. I also earned a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from The Ohio State University, graduating cum laude from the Honors College.

Licensed to practice law in Colorado and Illinois.

Board Member

Martha Hartney

Martha has been practicing estate planning in Colorado for over thirteen years—Consistently and joyfully connecting parents to a deeper essence of estate planning that transforms a traditionally austere process into one of liberation and bonding. The firm’s mission to educate and empower families has touched hundreds of parents. The firm gained attention as Best of the West the second year it was open, awarded by YellowScene Magazine, and has won the award six years running.

Motivated by an insatiable desire to provide the best care while being a full time, single mother for her two sons, Martha graduated from the University of Denver. She focused her studies on family, juvenile, and estate law as she empowered herself with a vast and intricate knowledge of the overlapping realities of parenting and law. Serving in the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office; Larimer County Domestic Courts; and the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center Martha has served as a pro bono guardian ad litem representing abused and delinquent children. After law school, she was certified as a Child & Family Investigator through the Colorado Bar Association and is also a mediator. She has also supported new mothers as a La Leche League Leader and been an advocate of attachment parenting and natural parenting. She is a mother to two young men, both of whom are currently in college.

Board Member

Christian Holden

After law school and passing the Texas Bar in 2015, Christian hit the open road on a mission to discover new ways to provide forward thinking individuals and organizations with access to personalized and heart-felt legal and business support. On his path, Christian has studied international intellectual property in Croatia, collaborated with an inspiring technology team in Kauai, Hawaii, traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia to collaborate with a team of legal and technical experts to draft Cambodia’s first Environment and Natural Resources Code, and served as General Counsel to multiple organizations along the way.

Inspired by those he connected with amidst his travels and his mission to support others in business, Christian returned to Texas and founded Integrative Legal Solutions, which, today, has blossomed into Holden & Kelly Law Group, PLLC. A long story short, HK Law Team is a dynamic, international team of legal professionals who love to collaborate with values-driven organizations and clients all over the world.

Christian’s primary areas of focuses are Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Law, Alternative Energy Law, Constitutional Law, Organizational Design, and Conscious Business Transactions. Christian also focuses on strategic estate planning, cannabis law, and health food/supplement regulations.

When he is not traveling to collaborate with Clients, Christian resides in Dallas, Texas with his wonderful fiancée, life partner, and business partner, Mari Kelly. Together, they are developing the foundation for a growing family and an international, project-focused law firm serving the Sharing Economy.

From a personal service perspective, Christian is striving to change what it can mean to work as a “counselor at law.”

Founding Board Member

Graham Pecehnik

Graham Pechenik is a registered patent attorney and the founder of Calyx Law, a law firm specializing in cannabis and psychedelics related intellectual property.

Graham has a BS from UC San Diego, where he chose his Cognitive Neuroscience and Biochemistry majors after his first psychedelic experiences inspired deep curiosity about the bases for changes in consciousness, and a JD from New York University, where he initially pursued interests in bioethics and cognitive liberty.

After a decade at large law firms defending and challenging patents for Fortune 500 companies across the agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, biotech, and technology industries, including working on several landmark patent cases both at trial and on appeal, Graham started Calyx Law in 2016. At Calyx Law, Graham helps cannabis and psychedelics ventures design and implement their IP strategies, including by developing alternative patent strategies that temper the exclusive monopoly right to permit certain uses or encourage follow-on innovation, such as through patent pledges and IP commoning.

Graham is also editor-at-large of Psychedelic Alpha, where he writes about psychedelics IP, provides data for patent trackers, and maintains a psychedelics legalization and decriminalization tracker, and he is a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.

Graham was raised in Oakland, CA, and currently lives in San Francisco.

Board Member

Jamie M. Ware

Jamie Ware, Esq., LSW is a regulatory attorney and government affairs specialist currently working in the cannabis space. She is also a breathwork facilitator, and her own practices include daily breathwork and meditation.

Jamie’s recent career has progressed through executive positions at Holistic Industries, an operator in the cannabis space, where she now serves as Interim General Counsel. Before Holistic, she worked for Wojdak Government Relations, a Pennsylvania government affairs firm, where she was deeply engaged in the work that led to the passage and implementation of the Commonwealth’s medical cannabis program. Prior to that, Jamie served as policy director for a nonprofit public health institute.

Jamie serves as Adjunct Faculty at Temple Law, most recently teaching Schedule I drug law and policy to law students. She was the President of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition until this year. Jamie is a founding Member of the Psychedelic Bar Association.