Our primary value is the freedom, health, and safety of our community. We believe in creating a new system for exploring naturally occurring psychoactive compounds that are Schedule I such as psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline cacti, and ayahuasca brew, beginning with decriminalization.
We are advocating for the pursuit of actualizing the documented potential that entheogens have in addressing many psychological and physiological ailments that plague our people. Further, we believe in the freedom to explore our connection to the natural world. We believe in the spiritual liberty of seeking communion with these plants and in our right to explore non-ordinary reality. Connection to the natural world is not only an inalienable human right; but an inalienable human condition. As such, we emphasize environmental ethics and the responsible extraction of these medicines.
The first and foremost ethical value with regards to decriminalizing these entheogens is education and risk reduction. We are on the cusp of the “Psychedelic Renaissance” and as such, there have been numerous research and clinical studies conducted regarding the therapeutic applications of entheogens. We emphasize community outreach that focuses on education with regards to the changes and implications this resolution entails, including risk reductio and safe use guidelines. We strongly advocate for a screening process for anyone using these plants and fungi. Though these compound have low levels of toxicity, they have strong psychological risk for those diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and multiple personality disorder.
In decriminalizing entheogens, it is not our intention to appropriate any spiritual, religious, or cultural traditions of North, Central, or South America's indigenous people. We do, however, recognize the sacred knowledge and methods brought forth from these practices and lineages and encourage knowledge exchange programs between traditional indigenous wisdom keepers and contemporary cultures on entheogenic practices. We also encourage individuals drawing from any tradition to do so with respect and gratitude, giving credit to their source. It is our hope, though, that with the decriminalization of these natural medicines, we will come to understand the advanced knowledge these cultures and peoples have cultivated living in connection with the land.
Lastly, we do not support our current system of incarceration nor do we believe in fighting the War on Drugs. We encourage drug policy reform in an effort to reduce the trauma of mass incarceration. The War on Drugs only perpetuates stigma and discrimination against those who engage in usage—whether the use of these substances is abusive or not. Studies have found that a primary proponent of addiction is social disconnection. Fighting the war on drugs only perpetuates discrimination and social isolation, thus, fueling the issue itself.An article written in the New York Times argues that the war on drugs is a “failure” and supports decriminalizing “the small-scale possession of drugs for personal use, to end the flow of nonviolent drug addicts into the criminal justice system.” Drug addiction is not a crime, it is a sickness that deserves the attention of health care professionals. We ask the City of Port Townsend and Jefferson County not to allocate any resources towards pursuing the criminal penalties for those growing, using, or sharing entheogenic plants and fungi.
Some things we plan to offer:
Educational workshops for the public and for law enforcement personnel
Psychedelic risk-reduction education in local high schools
Psychedelic support spaces at local events
An ever-evolving guide to local entheogenic integration and support resources
Peer integration groups
Community building events