Psychedelics on Trial – DMT

This is the beginning of a series of articles, following charges relating to psychedelics and the history of psychedelic law in Australia.

Earlier this year we made a submission to the Victorian Government’s inquiry into drug law reform.

Click to check out our full submission
Click to check out our full submission

Political Recommendations:

  • Acknowledge that the current laws and policies are detrimental to citizens who utilise Psychedelics.
  • Acknowledge that the current laws and policies are leading to the violation of human rights, cognitive liberty and the persecution of religious minorities.
  • Acknowledge the legitimacy of groups and individuals who utilise psychedelics for religious purposes in Australia.

Policy recommendations:

  • Consult broadly with groups and individuals who represent the interest of citizens who utilise psychedelics; to ensure that any changes to legislation and policies are appropriate.
  • Support research on the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes and other academic pursuits.
  • Introduce programs similar to the programs designed by Harvey Milkman in Iceland.

Legal Recommendations:

  • As a primary goal; Legalise and regulate the use of psychedelics.
  • As a secondary goal or first step;

Prohibition has failed. It has always been a policy that ignores civic societies role in dealing with issues that people in the society actually have. Instead, it has focused on a prescriptive agenda on psychoactive choices and criminalised those who disagree.

Although the psychedelic experience has positively influenced countless Australians, and the health effects are small in comparison with other activities Australians engage in, psychedelic prohibition continues. Psychedelics (like all scheduled substances) and are said to pose such a risk to individual and community that they must remain prohibited at all costs.

Prohibition of psychedelics unravels when its weakness is illuminated. Though it claims (in modern times) to be focused on the health, welfare and safety of the community; prohibition’s effect, through criminal sanctions is to inflict harm on people who are charged, or those who experience stigma associated with the illicit nature of their interest.

Psychedelics present complex and interesting issues. Almost none of these issues are assisted through a criminal process, nor do they require criminal intervention to be resolved. We hope to address many of those issues as a society, gathering and distributing information on safety, integration, health and the many metaphysical questions that often arise through the psychedelic experience.


The view from one of the courtrooms at the Supreme Court of Victoria
The view from one of the courtrooms at the Supreme Court of Victoria

On Friday the ninth of June, a member of the community attended the Supreme Court to face charges of trafficking DMT and MDMA.

Understanding the terms used for charges (trafficking) and relating them to what we actually know about the community is important for context. 

Hundreds of drugs with very different risk profiles are all equally scheduled in Victoria under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981. This Act defines all substances within Schedule 11, including all controlled psychedelics as ‘Drugs of Dependence’. If you think you know what that means, think again.
Here is the definition of that term:

  1. Drug of dependence means a substance that is—
    a drug—

    1. specified in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule Eleven; or
    2. included in a class of drug specified in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule Eleven; or
  2. any fresh or dried parts of any plant specified in column 1 of Part 2 of Schedule Eleven; or
  3. a drug—
    1. specified in column 1 of Part 3 of Schedule Eleven; or
    2. included in a class of drug specified in column 1 of Part 3 of Schedule Eleven—

and includes—

  1. any form of a drug specified in column 1 of Part 1 or column 1 of Part 3 of Schedule Eleven, whether natural or synthetic, and the salts, derivatives and isomers of that drug and any salt of those derivatives and isomers; and
  2. any—
    1. drug specified in, or drug included in a class of drug specified in column 1 of Part 1 or column 1 of Part 3 of Schedule Eleven, whether natural or synthetic; or
    2. salts, derivatives or isomers of a drug specified in column 1 of Part 1 or column 1 of Part 3 of
      Schedule Eleven; or
    3. salt of any derivative or isomer mentioned in subparagraph (ii)— contained in or mixed with another substance;

VIEW THE FULL SCHEDULE 11 LIST (9 pages long) OF ALL PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES IN VICTORIA. (recorded on 21st June 2017)

Within the Schedule are amounts of each substance that would be considered traffickable quantities, commercial quantities and a variety of in-betweens. These numbers are made through parliament, without any necessary reasoning which references evidence on the potential for harm of these substances. These numbers are made up by politicians by whatever information compels them at the time.

The person charged with DMT and MDMA trafficking had relatively small amounts of each. The accused had a mixture of MDMA and MDA at around 1.5 grams. This did not warrant much discussion and was generally accepted as for personal use. The discussion in court focused on the DMT, as the accused had an amount of crystal inside the home, and an amount in a preparatory stage in a garage.

Photo by Bucwheat, (c) 2000 Erowid.org
Photo by Bucwheat, (c) 2000 Erowid.org

DMT is a naturally occurring psychedelic, found endogenous in the human brain and in many plants and animals. In Australia, it is found in a number of acacia (wattle) trees, from which some people have learned to extract it from.

The Commonwealth Coat of Arms, with the DMT-containing golden wattle on display

It is a substance with an almost negligible physical harm profile, which provides a psychedelic experience unlike any other described. It is one of the primary psychoactive ingredients in the Amazonian ‘jungle medicine’ known as Ayahuasca. Websites like Erowid.org collect a wide range of first-hand written experience reports. Many of the intriguing elements of the DMT experience are outlined in these writings.

Here are some excerpts of the experiences recorded by those exploring the effects of DMT:

“I opened my eyes and discovered that my body was covered with objects that seemed to be exploring me. These were small machine-like forms that seemed to float just above the surface of my skin, never actually touching it. They reminded me of miniature robotic vacuum cleaners with scanning noses. Advanced mechanical objects, each attempting to report on a different region of my body. Amazingly enough, this did not frighten me in any way. I simply closed my eyes again and let these objects continue to explore me. However when I shut my eyes they were still there! They continued to shuffle about in my line of sight before eventually disappearing, only to be replaced with other visions. I have no idea what it all meant, but everything seemed to have purpose.”
– 
Within and Without by Morninggloryseed

“With a suddenness that defies explanation, I became aware that I was underneath two figures, and there was a sheen of light indicating a barrier between us. It looked and felt as if I were submerged in water, in some kind of pod or globular cell. On top of whatever was encasing me were two alien entities, and they were in the middle of intercourse. The males face was towards me, but it was blacked out, as if it had been censored. The female was deliciously curvaceous, and while the details were hazy, I recall being aroused by her figure. I tried to focus on the strange nature of their skin, or perhaps it was clothing, which closely resembled well-pollished crome. As I attempted to reach out to them, the environment again shifted.”
– 
Hyperspace Intercourse by Dr. Light

“I felt and saw oscillating, dancing geometric patterns behind my eyes. My head played triumphant speeches “Yes we can! We can achieve it!” against heart-moving music, a feeling of absolute hope that could not be shaken, a feeling as large as if all war was ending. I then moved into a goddess being state, I heard peaceful bird and jungle noises, and I felt I was experiencing complete bliss is a sunny meadow with butterflies and no cares. I was connected to wholeness and I was directed by my soul into asking questions about the akashic records, my past lives, but what interestingly came up was the voice “Sirius. The golden phoenix. The keeper of all knowledge.” And in this conversation I said something really unintelligent- “what? Like all book smarts?” and the reply was “all intelligence, all knowledge of the universe” and then I snapped into thinking what that connection to Godliness must be and how close they are to that level of consciousness.”
Connected to Wholeness by imaginariumgirl

The Judge had never heard of DMT. The prosecution and defendant lawyers spent their time dancing around legal arguments and pseudo-scientific legal persuasion, based on things both of them had clearly recently learned about solely for the case.

The arresting officer was called to the stand and seemed slightly more informed. He said that DMT was, “Popular at dance parties,” had a, “specific user group,” and that his team (drug squad) had come across a lot more DMT relatively recently. The lawyer defending the client made the slightly bizarre, but perhaps legally strategic statement, “It doesn’t actually kill people. It’s used to understand what happens when you die.” Which made me chuckle a bit. Perhaps complex philosophical discussions are best left out of courts.

The defendant lawyer outlined the personality of the accused, showing them to be someone who is very intelligent, interested in biology and has occasionally dealt with depression and anxiety. The accused would be better known as a drug geek or psychonaut.

Although the charges could have lead to jail time, the Judge was satisfied that the accused was not a threat to society and gave them a 14 month good behaviour bond, along with 250 hours of community service that would be able to be organised alongside the accused’s employment.


We want to know your stories. Have you or a friend ever been charged for a psychedelic crime, creating hardship in your life, where there was once none?

We want to talk about these charges, build a community of people to attend court with you and give you support.

We want to help with resources, connecting with lawyers and create a support group to discuss these issues and support one another.

Email us if you have anything to share with us.

 

First Half of 2017

We’re almost halfway through the year and are happy to report on a number of successful events and initiatives for the first half of 2017!

 

APS Launch at Rainbow Serpent Festival 2017

We have put on events around LSD, psilocybin and psilocybe mushrooms, the psychedelic experience more broadly and the emerging resurgence of psychedelic scientific inquiry.

Some of our achievements so far:

Michael Garfield entertains us in Fitzroy

In the background, we have been putting together a manifesto and working toward legitimising our organisation and creating the backbone needed to spread chapters across Australia.

You can join the following Facebook groups and connect with other locals and help create meetings, events and more.

If you believe there is a taste for a psychedelic event in your capital city or regional centre, get in touch with us.

Preston Skate Massive playing on stage at Sooki Lounge in Belgrave for our mushroom event

Our aims are:

  • Advocate: For the interests of the psychedelic community.
  • Represent: Provide an informed and balanced public voice for the psychedelic community in political and social forums.
  • Engage: Facilitate the creation and delivery of resources to strengthen community education, cohesion and direction with a focus on reducing harms and maximising benefits.
  • Educate: Help to educate the community on evidence-informed effects and best-practice. Seeking to reduce the stigma associated with drugs in the wider community, using an evidence-based approach.
  • Network: Provide a hub from which related groups can meet and coordinate, creating greater cohesion and power from which social change can arise.
PRISM’s Dr. Martin Williams, Dr Stephen Bright and Dr. Monica Barratt at Rainbow Serpent Festival

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

There are a number of ways you can help us to change the conversation around psychedelics, create a legitimacy for psychedelic discourse and reduce stigma. Ultimately, we’d like to see an end to the prohibition of psychedelics and the beginning of a new, mature understanding of where psychedelics fit in society.

  • If you haven’t already, make sure you are signed up to our newsletter.
  • Come along to our events, get to know the people there, find the others.
  • If you have more time you can give and/or particular skills to offer (design, social media, website, event organising, finance, copywriting etc.), send us an email.
Celebrating Bicycle Day in the cozy Hope Street Warehouse in Brunswick

The second half of 2017 will see us moving toward an official structure for the organisation and the formation of groups to help organise events, workshops, meetup groups and to help us with our website, social media, newsletter and the editing of audio, video and pictures from events.

Funds raised through our bookstore and events will go toward some operating costs, but we aim to put back into the community as much as possible.
In the future we would like to offer scholarships for people to attend psychedelic conferences and help pay for academics to come here and talk to us about their work. We also hope we can build our bookstore into something that may be able to publish its own magazine or journal or help fund other similar publications, highlighting Australian psychedelic research and culture. Many of these ideas are still up in the air as we dream big and start mapping our path.

Hundreds turn out to hear about psychedelic science at the Florey Institute, Melb. Uni

We have BIG plans and we want YOU involved.

Whether it’s just by signing up to our newsletter and following us on social media, or by getting more involved. Every bit matters!

Psychedelic Science 2017 – Dean and Mel chat with Dr. Ben Sessa

LISTEN TO EPISODE 95 OF ENPSYCHEDELIA ON 3CR: 

EP95 – Aus Psychedelic Society with Ben Sessa at Psychedelic Science 2017

 

 

Dean Wright and Melissa Warner from the Australian Psychedelic Society were at the 2017 Psychedelic Science conference in Oakland California.

At the conference, they caught up with Dr. Ben Sessa, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist working in adult addiction and senior research fellow at Bristol, Cardiff and Imperial College London Universities, where he is currently taking time off clinical medical practice to study towards a PhD in MDMA Psychotherapy.

Their chat with Dr. Sessa was played on Enpsychedelia, where the Australian Psychedelic Society regularly speaks to a range of people about psychedelic science, culture and other issues.

Dr. Ben Sessa is one of the speakers at December’s Entheogenesis Australis – EGA psychedelic symposium.

Tickets are on sale now at http://www.entheogenesis.org/tickets

Halfway through the interview, you’ll hear this track: Whitebear – Inanimate Incarnate

 

Melbourne celebrates Bicycle Day 2017

On April 19th 2017, around 50 Melbournians braved a chilly Autumn evening in Brunswick to celebrate Bicycle Day, the anniversary of Albert Hofmann’s first ever trip of LSD before cycling home in 1943. On his cycle home he began to feel the intense psychedelic effects of the drug. Decades later we celebrate this fateful day and pay homage to the effect LSD has had on society.

We setup our psychedelic book store, with a wide variety of psychedelic literature and the community mingled, discussing a wide variety of psychoactive issues.

Greg Kasarik was our first speaker, talking about his journey with LSD and other psychedelics. Over the past five years, Greg has gone on hunger strikes to draw attention to the prohibition of psychedelics for sacramental/religious purposes. In 2016, Greg was arrested on Bicycle Day on the steps of Victorian parliament for the possession of LSD, which he planned to take as part of his on-going protests.

Adam Karlovsky took us down the quantum rabbit hole with a talk on the use of psychedelics for the scientific exploration of the nature of consciousness. The blog Qualia Computing delves into a wide variety of questions, ranging from the philosophical to practical experiments conducted with online volunteers and focusing on different states of consciousness.

Cam Duffy rounded out our talks for Bicycle Day with a look into the scientific history of LSD. You can read Cam’s write up of his talk and see a number of videos and other references in his blog below.

An overview history of the use of LSD

Following our speakers was the screening of The Sunshine Makers, a revealing look into the fascinating, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture.

Less than one week after Bicycle Day, Nick Sand passed away. Former underground psychedelic chemist Casey Hardison wrote for Psymposia, “The undaunted spirit and psychedelic warrior of love and light, Nick Sand, the outlaw chemist, died in his sleep on Monday April 24th at the age of 75.”

Here are some pictures from our 2017 Bicycle Day event.

An afternoon with Michael Garfield

On Sunday February 5th, we hosted an event at the Fitzroy Beer Garden featuring the travelling futurist and psychedelic-inspired artist and musician, Michael Garfield. Michael gave a talk and answered questions on a range of topics, including humanity’s trajectory into the future and how this relates to the origin of species.

We live-streamed the event on Facebook and did an edit of the video. It’s low quality, but you can hear what Michael is talking about.

APS with Michael Garfield

We streamed our first event with Michael Garfield. Recorded at The Fitzroy Beer Garden on Sunday February 5th, following Rainbow Serpent Festival.

Posted by Australian Psychedelic Society – APS on Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Michael then performed some of his beautiful acoustic songs mixed in with his own recorded drum loops. Everyone enjoyed the last-minute APS event on a rainy Sunday afternoon, a great way to find the others and talk all things psychedelic.

Hear some of Michael’s music here:

 

Event Pictures

APS launch at Rainbow Serpent Festival

The Australian Psychedelic Society (APS) officially launched at Rainbow Serpent Festival (RSF) on the Australia Day long weekend. For those who are not familiar with RSF, it is a five day transformational festival in regional Victoria, filled with music, art and creative self-expression. During these five days there is an overwhelming sense of community that binds the 16,000 plus visitors. We were honoured to share our views on psychedelics, and launch the APS with these beautiful people.


Figure 1: Ash Blackwell looking dapper in his velvet vest, inspiring the crowd about our rights to take psychedelics and change our own minds as we please.

Nick Wallis, producer and host of the Enpsychedelia radio show, MC’d the event, introducing and describing the aims of the APS. Steph Tzanetis of Harm Reduction Victoria’s DanceWize program provided psychedelic harm reduction tips. Ash Blackwell of Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia, outlined the issues of drug policy in Australia and how they impinge on our cognitive liberty. He used historical examples to show how prohibition fails to help the masses, rather it impinges on our own autonomy, self-exploration, and personal growth.


Figure 2: Nick Wallis (left) and Stephanie Tzanatis (Right) introduce the APS and talk about the importance of harm reduction.

Dr Martin Williams, Dr Monica Barratt and Dr Stephen Bright of Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM), then gave a panel discussion on the current status of scientific research into psychedelics in Australia. They discussed the current status of research with psychedelics around the world, and described how Australia is falling behind the global context due to bureaucratic road blocks in our funding and ethics systems.


Figure 3: Dr Martin Williams (left), Dr Stephen Bright (centre) and Dr Monica Barratt (right) talk about psychedelic science within Australia

Melissa Warner and Dr Dean Wright then discussed the need for the community to come out of the psychedelic closet and talk with their friends and families about their use of psychedelics. This helps educate the wider community and the effects of these substances, reducing the stigma around their use. It is only through educating the community that the failing war on drugs can be abolished, and access to psychedelics as medicines or tools for personal growth can be attained.


Figure 4: Melissa Warner (left) and Dr Dean Wright (right) talk about the importance of coming out of the psychedelic closet.

Finally, the seminar concluded with stories from members of the audience, describing how psychedelics had positively changed their lives. These were inspiring, beautiful, occasionally quite funny, and finalised the session with the inclusive community feel that Rainbow inspires.

Thank you to all who were able to make it to the launch of the APS. If you were unable to make the launch, then do not worry, as we will be posting the video of the event shortly to our website and Facebook pages. We will also be holding further community events on the last Sunday of every month in the greater Melbourne area.

The next one is this Sunday 26th of February! Be sure to come along.

Much love, The APS


Figure 5: The crowd get comfortable under the shades of the Cocoon as Martin, Steve and Monica talk about psychedelic science.

A word from Prash

“This is a safe space….”

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Albert Hofmann with his ‘problem child’ LSD-25

Honoured as I am, at being asked to write an article for this, the inaugural newsletter of the Australian Psychedelic Society, I had to remind myself of this fact : This is a safe space. This may, on initial reading, sound dramatic; particularly to anyone uninitiated to the history of the psychedelic narrative. But a closer inspection of the tale of time may corroborate my apparent histrionics.

Despite its use in religious sacrament possibly as far back  in time as religious sacrament itself, the transition of psychedelics into mainstream consciousness appears to have had more to do with chance than conscious intent, or so the tale of Hofmann’s ineptitude with sterile technique may suggest. The initial enthusiasm (and likely shock awe) that Hofmann inadvertently unlocked with the discovery of LSD did not have the same uptake as other incidental discoveries in science, such as Alexander Fleming’s staphylococcal bungle which we know revere as Penicillin.

Granted, the psychedelic community has not done itself many favours. By the end of the 1960s, psychedelics were entangled in a sordid love affair with the counterculture

Timothy Leary addressing the assembled thousands at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14th 1967
Timothy Leary addressing the assembled thousands at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, January 14th 1967

revolution which manifested itself in the colourful, care-free and conspicuous hippy movement. Early psychedelic protagonists, the revered Timothy Leary for example, were emboldened by their vision of a brave new world and the sense that they clutched ‘The Answer’ in their sheets of blotter paper. They brandished their psychedelic swords in the faces of the establishment with a wanton disregard for authority or conformity. Psychedelics had made, at least in the eyes of the powers that be, that irreversible transition into the territory of the recreational and in due course, into the dark, shadowy corners of the illegal. It was therein that the stigma associated with psychedelics was born. the lovechild of political agenda and misinformation,; This stigma carries through to today.

However, the landscape is a-changing. Research into the therapeutic use of psychedelics has seen a resurgence and the scientific community is sitting up and taking notice. The ubiquitous influence of social media has brought this research out of dusty scientific journals and to our mobile phones, often neatly packaged and concise enough even for toilet reading. Crucially, the psychedelic renaissance has risen in parallel with the drug law reform movement; a partnership as intrinsically linked and necessary as Bonny & Clyde, Jay-Z & Beyonce.

Arguably, no other professional field seeks to benefit from this evolving narrative as much as the mental health sphere. Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy has emerged as a viable therapeutic alternative for treatment resistive mental illnesses such as PTSD and perhaps counter-intuitively, substance use disorders. It has shown tremendous promise as a novel approach to the existential angst associated with end-of-life issues such as in terminal illness. Most encouragingly, more countries around the world (Brazil, Peru, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, to name some of the lesser known) have evolved legislation so that such research may be carried out safely and legally

PRISM - Australia's psychedelic research organisation, unable to conduct research in Australia.
PRISM – Australia’s psychedelic research organisation, unable to conduct research in Australia.

Australia has, as yet, not.

Psychedelic research, due to a combination of illegality and stigma, remains prohibitively out of reach. More worryingly, one cannot ignore the sense that even conversation around such research is stunted by a fear of being tainted with the psychedelic brush; to then stand out as the lone technicolour dreamcoat in a crowd of dour grey. Much has been written around the concerns of professionals with regards to “coming out of the psychedelic closet”, and justifiably so. The fear of professional disrepute, regardless of validity, looms large. For those of us who choose to stand by our support of the psychedelic cause, it is with occasional trepidation at how our opinions may be received by our peers.

But this, as I have told myself, is a safe space. I am among friends, my psychedelic family and  I can speak true and free.

PrashMy name is Prash, and I am more than a Psychiatrist. I am a Psychedeliciatrist.

Dr Prashanth Puspanathan
Clinical Advisory Board
Australian Psychedelic Society

Melbourne 920 Mushroom Event 2016

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On Tuesday the 20th of September, over 150 people from around Melbourne gathered in Brunswick for the global 920 Coalition celebrations. A number of Melbourne artists showcased their work, with thanks to curator Hamish Waters, Little Tengu art gallery and all the artists whose work was displayed on the evening. DJs Eleven and Poncho Poncho played music for the crowd following the speaker session, while The Pixie Collective sold a number of psychedelic books.

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Our first speaker on the evening was EGA co-founder Tim Payne, who talked about the human drive to explore altered states of consciousness and the great potential in exploring and better understanding these states. Following Tim’s talk, the promotional video for EGA’s upcoming 2017 conference was premiered, including a number of the headline speakers who will be at the event. Dr. Prash from Psychonauts Onymous touched on some of the research that has been occurring around psilocybin, with DanceWize co-ordinator Steph Tzanetis following with some tips on psychedelic harm reduction. Melbourne University SSDP President Nick Kent talked about student activism, including the recent announcement that Melbourne University’s student union will be handing out harm reduction kits, which will include re-agent test kits. Hamish touched on psychedelic art and the pieces that were displayed on the night.

Melbourne’s 920 event was a fundraiser for the 2017 conference.

We managed to raise $900 on the evening!

Thank you to everyone who helped by attending on the evening! And special thanks to Good Brew Co. for donating extra money toward the fundraiser. Please click the link below to donate to EGA’s fundraiser. There are a number of things up for grabs if you donate certain amounts, including festival tickets, limited edition artwork, clothing, tattoo voucher and more.

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The speeches were recorded and a number of them will be played on this weekend’s episode of Enpsychedelia. We also have video from the evening that will be made available at a later date.
You can tune in live to Enpsychedelia on Sunday at 2pm by clicking the 3CR logo.

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Or you can subscribe to the Enpsychedelia podcast by clicking the logo below.

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The exploration of altered states of consciousness is still a sidelined issue. But an increasing number of people are starting to see img_20160920_214925this as one of the important frontiers of human exploration. Significant taboo around most psychoactive plants, fungi and chemicals and the experiences that they catalyse still exists. A century of prohibition of an ever increasing number of psychoactive substances, alongside cyclically occurring fear campaigns and many myths have created a difficult situation for exploring and investigating the potential of the worlds brought on by psychoactives.

Modern prohibition was not the beginning of taboo on the altered states. The human use of psychoactive plants traces back to the beginning of civilization. It’s likely that so too does taboo against the use of certain plants or against the use of them in certain contexts has existed for just as long.
Those with knowledge of plants and what they could be used for have been held in high esteem or feared for millenia. Modern pharmaceutical medicine owes its existence to those who explored and learned the world of plants and their potential. There are plants that can incapacitate or kill someone and plants that can heal someone of a deadly disease or disintegrate pain. The division between something which we think of as more purely physical versus something img_20160920_195321that acts more on the state of mind of someone are not clear. We also know that ideas, which seem to be almost intangible, can have very real effects on people’s bodies and states of mind through the placebo and nocebo effects, among others.

Psilocybin and psilocin are the two main psychoactive components in a wide variety of mushrooms under the psilocybe genus. The psychoactive components act primarily on the serotonin receptors, producing a wide variety of perceptual and cognitive effects. Psychoactive substances that act in this way are generally called psychedelic and sometimes entheogenic, though generally the latter requires a mystical or divine-type aspect to the experience.
The Multi-Disciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) have a list of completed and current research projects into psilocybin, which you can view at this linkimg_20160920_193725

Some of the most intriguing and least understood effects are brought about by substances such as psilocybin. For one, they show
us that things aren’t quite as they seem to be. Small changes in specific chemical signalling paths in our brains are capable of creating vast shifts in perception and cognition. Does this mean that there may be smaller, sub-perceptual effects from substances we don’t even usually consider psychoactive? Knowing that the conscious experience is not a static experience, even among one species shows us that we need to construct better models for understanding the other and for relating to each other. Empathy doesn’t work well if the understanding of what another is going through is based solely on one individual’s understanding of what they think they would feel given the same circumstances.

img_20160920_194730 To understand each other we must accept our differences and our limitations, rather than delude ourselves with a philosophy that suggests a human being has unbounded potential. Every system, including the physiology and psychology of the human being, has limitations. Knowing the limitations means knowing the parameters which one can work within. Without knowing limitations, it is much easier to push a system to breaking points unintentionally. This is why the exploration of this frontier is vitally important. Humanity is reaching a point with technology where we can break down many barriers. The exponential growth of population and wealth have caused many good things and many bad things in the world and it seems we haven’t quite had the time to play catch up on some of the more pressing issues of our time. A better understanding of the primary hardware (brains / bodies) we use to relate to each other and the world around us may push us to approach pressing problems with more modesty for our limitations and a better direction for our progress.

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SUPPORTERS

Entheogenesis Australis EGA

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[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuwkDgyIuao[/youtube]

Psychedelic Research In Science and Medicine PRISM

PRISM V6

DanceWize

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Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia SSDP

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The Pixie Collective
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Little Tengu Gallery

1506172_668699169820315_2109103494_oARTISTS

Hamish Waters

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Tobius Millar

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Jacob Coppedge

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Ben Lopez

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Hazey

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Katia Honour

12823367_1375538209140874_7036833169942284897_o& Ellen Brogan

DJs

Poncho Poncho (DJ)

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Eleven (DJ)

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Melbourne 920 Mushroom Event 2015

On Sunday the 20th of September, around 100 people gathered at The Fitzroy Beer Garden to talk about magic mushrooms.
Animated-920_bThe 920 Coalition helped to spore events around the world, held on the 20th of September to celebrate the psilocybin mushroom, illuminate the current research and highlight their role in society and the health care system.

The 920 Coalition is a collaboration of non-profit organizations and individuals organizing annual events around the world on 9/20 to bring attention to the role of psilocybin mushrooms in our society and health care system.

Members of the coalition bring a wide range of perspectives and expertise on psilocybin and a shared belief that this plant medicine plays an important role in culture and healing. We are particularly interested in supporting people of color and queer identifying people who have frequently been excluded from advocacy and services around psychedelics.

The broad prohibitions on the use of psilocybin in many countries are deeply misguided and there is now overwhelming evidence that they should be changed. The Coalition is working to increase awareness of recent medical research as well as traditional healing uses that have been practiced for thousands of years in many regions of the world.

Our Melbourne celebrations included a talk on local species by Michael Bock and a talk on visionary art and healing by Katia Honour. The Pixie Collective, which is an entity (including shopfront!) of Melbournian artists, makers and crafters, brought along a collection of their psychedelic and mushroom related books which are provided by Logical Unsanity.
header20k5104We also had support from Australia’s leading psychedelic conference organisers and sub-cultural fertilisers, Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) and Australia’s only psychedelic science organisation, Psychedelic Research In Science and Medicine (PRISM).

EGA
PRISM V6We want to say – THANK YOU! – To everyone who came. You turning up and showing support goes to show that there is a Melbourne community of people who want to see more events like this – That celebrate and advance the psychedelic experience, rather than treat it like something that should be shameful.

Thank you for coming out. I am often ear-wormed by songs and sometimes I find them quite appropriate… And burrowing its way into my consciousness are the words, “From little things, big things grow!”

And here are some pictures from the day. Keep that third eye on us – We’ve plans to build more things for Melbourne’s psychedelic community… to nurture you and help you nurture yourselves and to help you find the others.

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In Lak’ech Ala K’in