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Washington State seeks to legalize psilocybin.
Washington State is poised to be at the frontier of offering legal plant medicine solutions for mental health issues.
Our society is dealing with an insidious and pervading pandemic. The debilitating problem of life-altering mental health and neurological diseases such as addiction, depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), ADD/ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, and more that are disrupting people’s lives and the lives of their loved ones with devastating effects.
In the state of Washington in February 2021, 46.3 percent of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 25 percent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 are diagnosed with depression, and in 2021, 1,252 lives were lost to suicide.
Washingtonians suffering from neurological and mental health disorders have a potentially revolutionary opportunity on the near horizon. The ancient plant medicine, psilocybin, shows extraordinary promise for getting to the root causes of these issues and effecting real and positive change.
For thousands of years, psilocybin mushrooms have been a sacrament of ceremony, healing, divination, and celebration cross culturally. Archeologists and anthropologists have found references to the use of “magic mushrooms,” or “the food of the gods” as referenced in ancient Egypt. The use of these entheogenic plant medicines are documented in many indigenous cultures from South and North America, Europe, Egypt, and Siberia. Modern-day scientists are revisiting these ancient medicinal plants and discovering their relevance for our current mental health pandemic.
A revolution in the potential treatment of mental health disorders is taking place with the reinvigoration of clinical studies on the use and efficacy in treating these issues with psilocybin in major universities and research centers.
A study conducted in Zurich in 1997 found psilocybin to increase neural plasticity and increase brain function. This positive finding inspired many more studies to help scientists and clinicians understand the positive effects of psilocybin. Since 1997, there have been psilocybin studies conducted at Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and NYU that show this plant medicine to be uniquely effective in the treatment of several mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Aside from the studies, psilocybin mushrooms are changing people’s lives for the better.
A Washington State Native American man named Darren McRae suffered from tremors for the better part of his life due to a debilitating neurological disorder. He shares in a YouTube video that his wife actually had to feed him. After taking psilocybin mushrooms, his tremors completely disappear to the point where he is able to play a beautiful song on his native flute. A task that would have been impossible due to the severity of his tremors.
Another Washingtonian, Mason Lord, was living with crippling PTSD after surviving a near fatal motor vehicle accident. He states that after a profound experience with psilocybin mushrooms, he was able to change his thinking and outlook on life becoming “more comfortable in his own skin.” The insights he gained from his experience with the mushrooms are something that he continued to integrate for more than a year. Mason explains that psilocybin isn’t a “drug” like some suggest would be abused, but rather a transformative experience that one would go through only periodically, with significant time to integrate what the experience reveals.
The positive outcomes of studies and anecdotal stories of people’s life positively affected by the use of psilocybin mushrooms has inspired a group of people who are working together through a nonprofit organization called ADAPT-WA (Addiction · Depression · Anxiety · Psilocybin Treatment—Washington) to place a ballot initiative that will legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms on the November 2022 Washington ballot.
The committed work from the people of ADAPT-WA have successfully introduced the ballot initiative to the Washington Secretary of State to initiate the process of getting this much needed integrative therapeutic plant medicine legalized for use in Washington state.
Ballot Initiative 1886 is the newly submitted Senate Bill that states:
It is the intent of Washington to facilitate the establishment of safe, legal, and affordable psilocybin service centers to provide citizens of Washington who are at least 21 years of age with opportunities for supported psilocybin experiences for wellness and personal growth.
The brilliant idea of this ballot initiative and committed workers of ADAPT-WA for this cause hope to follow the trailblazing steps of the citizens of Oregon State who legalized therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms last year.