I took this funny photo way back in 2020 (feels like a time warp has occurred!) at the local TJ Maxx. I saw the appearance of this stuffed mushroom as an opportunity to unabashedly endorse the decriminalization and legalization of natural psychedelics, which are known by both Johns Hopkins and Harvard to produce amazing results in microdose, alongside therapy, for mental health conditions both mild and severe, from PTSD, addiction and impact injury, to depression and anxiety.
My primary interest in this initiative is from a medical and mental health treatment standpoint. Unlike native and tribal culture, the modern mainstream has drifted too far from nature. Our mental health system creates more addicts than it cures. Our healthcare system at large has been too focused on maintaining problems and status quo rather than creating and implementing solutions. And the age of primitive butchery needs to be on the way out, and I believe it is. After all, in Boston alone there is so much groundbreaking medical innovation, including the obvious example – Moderna.
It is no surprise to me that Somerville, Cambridge, perhaps Boston and even Massachusetts at large, are joining the list of progressive locales such as California and Colorado, that are choosing to at long last “decriminalize nature.” We’ve already seen this with cannabis. And as I understand it there is much need for ongoing effort and involvement to make ensure equitable access and business practice!
The natural psychedelics include mushrooms and cacti, among other plants, and have been used in ceremony and sacrament for thousands of years, such as in vision quest, rites of passage, and to cure illness. These are the naturally occurring plants of the earth. If you have a problem with that, take it up with God / Great Spirit / Source / Infinite Universe / Universal Mind! Seriously – whatever your religious or spiritual beliefs, consider this: The dark shadow culture that gathers around prohibited substances is far worse than safe access.
Of course some people will use psychedelics recreationally. It’s hard for me to imagine, but to each their own. I don’t even drink alcohol, which is far more dangerous than any other substance, but I wouldn’t say outlaw it. Prohibition was the lesson there. So if alcohol is legal, a substance like psilocybin (in mushrooms) should *definitely be legal and put to good medical use in a mental health system which quite clearly needs help. We don’t need throngs of people numbed out; we need them active and engaging in society, building and creating the culture that we all want deep down inside.
We need cures for people with PTSD, addictions and beyond, not the poor excuses for treatments and ostracization! We don’t need to tell people there is something intrinsically wrong with them or their genetic makeup when it’s circumstantial trauma and societal dysfunction at work.
Is it really easier to make an albatross or sacrifice of a person? A society that continues to do so will suffer as a whole, with dejected people out on the streets and people heavy with the weight of the world who take their own lives – even people who have it all so to speak.
It’s time for the end of stigma and the continuation of awareness. The pandemic climate is perfect for this. Many people have come to dramatic realizations, having time to soul search, or have had to reprioritize and reorganize, and adapt. The times call for expanding consciousness, or evolution.
Natural psychedelics to me represent a freedom of choice, and the freedom to have a spiritual side, the willingness to acknowledge and experience the great mystery. Personally, I am most interested in what they represent.
There is the “Stoned Ape Theory” posited by Terence McKenna and it makes a lot of sense to me — that psilocybin mushrooms were an “evolutionary catalyst” for the development of human culture and intelligence. What an amazing part of the grand design, that these strategic plants helped to create modern humanity and then even religion. There is a lot to read up on and study when it comes to mushrooms and plants in general, psychedelic or not.
The “war on drugs” has in effect been also a discriminatory war on plants and people. With recent shift in leadership though, now is opportune for a shift in this outdated nonsense policy, especially considering what a positive impact some of these substances can make in the field of mental health and addictions treatment. There are testimonials everywhere about systemic dysfunction, especially as that relates to prolonged medication and overall stigmatization of what amounts to response of the nervous system to trauma or major change, or the “monkey see monkey do” conditions of childhood.
We’ve all experienced major change in 2020 and 2021. The time is right for compassion, accountability and healing.
As of recently I have coordinated with area groups in helping with the decriminalization efforts, which have grown considerably in momentum. A huge hometown victory is Somerville and the subsequent coverage in Rolling Stone! It’s only a matter of time before state legalization in my opinion. Every little bit of effort helps a lot I have discovered!
The most noteable organizations to align with in Massachusetts are Decriminalize Nature MA and Baystaters For Natural Medicine. The Baystaters website makes it easy to get in touch with your local representatives and/or city council members, or give you an idea what to do even if you’re not in MA. And here’s something even easier – sign this petition for Boston:
To conclude this post, here’s a little bit about the psychedelic experiences which have personally impacted me. When I was in my early to mid-twenties I had MDMA two different times. I can definitely credit this as a catalyst for mind expansion and awareness. I had a very rocky experience with family, our mental health system and misdiagnosed trauma. For a time I was a prisoner of the dysfunctional psychology / “big pharma” / mental health system, and overall *systemic misunderstanding and intolerance of, quite frankly, the suffering of others and the *malleability of genetic lineage. Like many others, I said to myself – no this isn’t right, this isn’t me, this is messed up, and freed myself from the downward spiral of perpetually prescribed ineffectual medications, the class of which I hope will become extinct soon.
It is vital we promote a health support system and solutions that nurture people and encourage then to bring forth their best selves and live their best lives, instead of saying more or less “something’s wrong with you” for not conforming to impossibly restrictive standards. These are on the way out! We’re getting more multidimensional and leveling up as a society.
As yet I have not tried psilocybin mushrooms, though I am open to it – ritually and therapeutically, not recreationally, meaning once and not regularly. What has been useful to me for several years – I am 37 now – has been meditation. Meditation and exercise were the real game changers for me, and continue to be. In fact, I have experienced a few natural / meditation-induced DMT visions which were quite spiritual and deeply peaceful. I received messages and visions within the context of meditation from what I would call a Unified Field. I have also experienced liminal visions of this nature. DMT is in fact naturally produced by the brain and involved in dreams.
As a result of natural DMT experiences over which I felt in control / participatory and felt at peace with, I came to some very important personal revelations and insights. Not everyone is in a position or state of mind to reach this by meditation. (I have to really be on point & practice regularly in order to reach this kind of mental clarity!) Yet all should be able to easily access this incredible type of healing through plant medicine.