Updated: Jul 16
As the Psychedelic Revival continues in 2022, we saw a number of wins for the cause as well as a few warning shots fired from the legal system. As we continue to move towards a brighter psychedelic future in 2023, let’s take a look back at the highs and lows of the past year. Here's Altered States Integration's short list of the Top Psychedelic Moments of 2022
Colorado Becomes The Second State to Move Towards Legalization Of Psychedelics! In November, Colorado voters passed a ballot initiative that decriminalizes psilocybin, DMT, mescaline, and ibogaine! This ballot measure allows for personal consumption, cultivation and gifting without financial gain. In addition to decriminalizing these plant medicines, this ballot measure will establish a medicinal framework for psychedelic therapy and other healing centers to emerge. Initiative 122 passed this fall with 53.6% of the vote making Colorado the second state to move towards offering a legal avenue for medicinal psychedelics. The road towards prescription psilocybin is a long one; the next step will be establishing a fifteen person advisory board to work out all the legal nuances. This board will be appointed by the governor by the end of January 2023 but state regulated clinics won’t be operating until late 2024.
Roland Griffiths, Psilocybin Researcher At John Hopkins University, Diagnosed With Stage-Four Cancer
Roland Griffiths is one of the world’s top scientists researching psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) via John Hopkins University. He is the founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center on Psychedelic and Consciousness Research where he studies the efficacy of psilocybin in easing anxiety for people with life-threatening cancer and usage in ceasing smoking. Unfortunately, he was recently diagnosed with stage-four cancer that is likely terminal. Despite the grim prognosis, he is offering us an excellent role model in what it looks like to face death with dignity and how we can utilize meditation and psychedelics in end of life care.
Dr Griffiths states, “I would’ve claimed to be pretty awake prior to the cancer diagnosis. I’m much more awake now. There’s no reason that we can’t all wake up. That’s the overarching message that I want to broadcast is ‘Join me in the celebration, the appreciation of this miracle that we all find ourselves in.’”
Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Found To Be Partially Liable In Wrongful Death Lawsuit MAPS has been found to be liable in the wrongful death suit of 20 year old Baylee Ybarra Gatlin. She died after receiving care from MAPS affiliated harm reduction organization at the music festival, Lightning in a Bottle in 2017. While deaths do occur at festivals with regularity, this case involves psychedelic space holders and the legal decision rocks the psychedelic harm reduction world. Will this result in a reduction of harm reduction services being offered at music festivals or will it result in an increase of professionality in those offering crisis services in these spaces?
Decriminalization Efforts Continue To Pop Up Like Mushrooms Across The Country While 2022 saw fewer cities decriminalize psychedelics than the previous year, this movement is still spreading like spores in the wind across the country. In addition to the entire state of Colorado decriminalizing plant medicines, other municipalities are making changes near you. In March, Hazel Park became the third city in Michigan to decriminalize entheogenic plants. On September 7, 2022, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure calling for the decriminalization of all entheogenic plants.
On December 19th, California Senator Scott Weiner reintroduced a senate bill that would decriminalize the possession and personal use of psilocybin, psilocyn, dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, and ibogaine for those 21+ in California. He previously introduced a bill that made it out of the California senate but stalled in assembly before dying last year.
Let not forget that cannabis decriminalization activists also made progress this year, seeing success in places like Texas and Georgia. Learn more about Psilocybin decriminalization in the United States here.
Brooklyn Psychedelic Society Receives a $50,000 Grant To Become The First Psychedelic Co-op Dr. Bronner’s soap company has generously donated $50,000 to make community-based healing available nationwide through psychedelic co-ops, starting with the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society(BPS). The mission of BPS is to make psychedelic healing a publicly accessible good through community, education, democratic ownership, and advocacy. “The Brooklyn Psychedelic Society Co-op will be democratically owned by staff members, healers and journeyers, who are the people who want healing,” says founder Collin Pugh. “The idea is that you’ll be able to walk into a co-op and for a sliding scale fee, regardless of insurance status, have a safe, transformative, grounded psychedelic experience and also get the resources you need to integrate that experience into your life. Think of it as a cross between a community arts center, a church, a cafe…and a Chuck E. Cheese.”
Oregon Store Selling Magic Mushrooms Raided!
A store in Oregon that was openly selling psychedelic mushrooms was raided in early December resulting in four arrests. While Oregon voters decided to allow legal psychedelic therapies in 2020, this bill did not allow for the sale of any psychedelic substances and regulations are still being developed. The store, named the Shroom House, announced their grand opening at the end of October via Twitter and has been widely covered by the media. Pictures show people lined up around the block to purchase mushroom products. This short lived psychepreneurial venture can hopefully serve as a reminder that psychedelics are still federally illegal and the distribution of them remains a felony.
Read More Here. Psychedelic Rabbi Receives A Pardon After Colorado Decriminalized Plant Medicines
Ben Gorelick, a psychedelic rabbi, recently received a pardon following Colorado passing Initiative 122 - decriminalizing psychedelics for personal usage. He was raided and arrested in January and was facing felony charges for intent to manufacture or distribute a controlled substance. Following Colorado voters decriminalizing psychedelics in November, the DA’s office dropped his charges stating that is “in the interest of justice.” Learn More Here.
The Pearl Psychedelic Institute, First To Receive FDA Approval For MDMA Therapy. This past year will mark the year that MDMA therapy moved into the FDA-regulated Expanded Access program. The Pearl Psychedelic Institute, a non-profit based in Waynesville, North Carolina, is the first of 10 clinics to receive authorization to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with MDMA-assisted therapy. Notably, this is the only rural clinic in MAPS’ expanded access program. Executive Director and clinical psychologist, Dr. Raymond Turpin reports “It has been a long four-year process being able to launch this much-needed work in western North Carolina.”
Read More Here. University of Michigan Approves Second-annual Psychedelic Shroom Fest Entheofest is a celebration of all things psychedelic and occurs on the anniversary of Ann Arbor decriminalizing psychedelic plants and fungi. This event happens on the University of Michigan's campus and is a festival that celebrates sacred plant medicines. The organizers request no one consumes psychedelics at the event; there is no sanctioned buying or vending of psychedelics. Decriminalization does not create a legal framework for selling psychedelics, just makes it the lowest law enforcement priority. Learn more about this event:
Ann Shulgin, Psychedelic Researcher & Pioneer, Dies At 91 Our collective Psychedelic Grandma, Ann Shulgin, passed away this year. She worked alongside her late husband Alexander Shulgin, who developed and synthesized hundreds of novel psychedelic substances. The two are often credited with reintroducing MDMA into therapeutic communities, and they co-authored two books about their journey with psychedelics. Famed acidhead Timothy Leary, told The Los Angeles Times in 1995, that he considered “Shulgin and his wife to be two of the most important scientists of the 20th century.”
Read More Here. National Park Service Advises Not To Lick Toads Ending our list of top psychedelic moments of the year with a bit of levity. In November, the National Park Service posted an unusual request on Facebook warning visitors not to lick the Sonoran desert toad. These toads venom contains 5-MeO-DMT, an incredibly potent psychedelic substance. Although this substance is smoked, not licked, there was enough damage being done to the endangered toad to incite the park service to make a facebook post. Unfortunately this new wave of psychedelic interest might cause this toad to go extinct. Save a toad, consider synthetic! Learn More Here
Psychedelics in 2023?
What's in store for psychedelics in 2023 is anyone's guess. What we can predict is that there will be more public interest in this growing field. From culture to mental health psychedelics are now part to the modern experience and isn't going away anytime soon. So from all of us here at Altered States Integration, Happy & Safe Psychedelic New Year!
Did we miss your psychedelic moment of 2022? Or maybe you have a major psychedelic prediction for 2023 that you would like to go on the record for? Email us at AlteredStatesIntegration@gmail.com or drop us a comment below.