Illegally collecting wild plants can threaten vulnerable species. Yet, the illegal collection has also helped protect some vulnerable plants from extinction. At the same time, someone may be seen as both a plant thief, and as a plant keeper.
The thief and keeper issue is uniquely complex when psychoactive plants are involved. We have special relationships with psychoactive plants that are very different from our relationships with ornamental or edible plants. There are also powerful influences of prohibition, medicine and Indigenous cultures on psychoactive plants.
This panel will consider examine the thieves and keepers conundrum through three case studies of vulnerable psychoactive plants - Acacia species, Lophophora williamsii and Tabernanthe iboga. Through a discussion of these plants, this panel will interrogate the fine line between nature, culture and entheogenesis.