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A Perspective on Oregon’s Measure 109: Oregon Psilocybin Services

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

The first time I heard about this Measure in Oregon was at a Plant Spirit Medicine conference a few years ago. I remember sitting in the audience and feeling nervous as hell about being there because I was still quite fresh to the above-ground scene of Plant Medicine Work. My network was small and I hadn’t really gone public yet. I was excited to see one of the presentations at the conference because it was about the legal framework that was being proposed in Oregon and all I can remember is the way it made me feel when I started to hear about it.

On the surface level, I was hesitant, even though I supported all the things that this measure would supposedly do/create. There was something that just didn’t click, despite my desire for it. But as the conversation unfolded, I felt sick. Not just sick to my stomach, but actually bad in my heart. This conversation felt all wrong, like it was being pulled from some slimy depth and presented on a silver platter as if no one would see it for what it really was. The way I feel about 109 today has not changed, it has only unpacked further.

I am not here to convince you of my viewpoint or bring you over to “my side”, only to present a perspective on the topic. I don’t believe there is a “right” and “wrong” side of anything per se, just a different perspective and a different potential path/future. All paths lead to the same place, but some paths include more trauma than necessary.

Upon moving to the PNW three years ago, I quickly became acquainted with the people involved in this project. I started talking to people about the Shamanic way of working with mushrooms and immediately was dismissed and/or excluded from future involvement as a result. I was treated like a crazy person. Once I opened the physical location of Sacred Heart, I had a few people come through my door who were scheduled to be lab testers, growers, Psilocybin Facilitators, or service center operators. The majority of them lied to me about who they were or were outwardly abusive with regard to their relationship with mushrooms. One of them even tried to steal information about my apprenticeship program so she could replicate it for her own. The shadows were out for all to see and man did I get a good look.

In my experience, these are all signs. They are signs of a deeper problem in the system we are discussing. These personal experiences aren’t what I am here to share though — I am here to discuss some higher-level considerations of the clinical use and distribution of psilocybin. I will start with the more 3D concepts and gradually move deeper into more quantum concepts and “woo”.

Building a case for Synthetic Psilocybin and Clinical use.

I can’t even go into the idea of creating a patent for Psilocybin and having it distributed by pharmaceutical companies. Big pharma is a whole different topic and one that makes me want to weep from a deep part of my soul. However, I will say that anytime we are taking a plant material and reducing it down to a chemical structure for replication, we are losing the spirit of that plant and thus the full potential for healing. We are losing the human-plant connection and the holistic nature of what healing can be. We are also disconnecting ourselves from the beautiful practices of many indigenous people (including many of our/your/my ancestors) by discrediting the use of a full plant in a Ceremony setting. I have had the great pleasure to speak with and work with many people who went through the John Hopkins studies as well as a few others. They all say the same thing — it helped, sort of, but it wore off quickly and they felt the need to return. This is much the same way our current healthcare model is already operating, is it not? It (maybe) helps you just enough to get you to come back and spend the money again, but more importantly creates a consumer. We must ask — is this system designed to heal you or profit off you? Be honest with yourself.

A word about our western healthcare model: I do think this model has its place in emergency care and when people need intense structure in order to heal, but I think it’s broken in most other ways. Our broken system is indeed a reflection of us as a society and also thrives because we are feeding the system. All systems operate like this. They must be fed in order to survive. The way to change the system or to truly heal is not through changing the structure of our healthcare, it’s through changing ourselves. It’s through claiming responsibility for our emotional baggage, claiming responsibility for the food we put our body, and the way we treat ourselves as humans. It cannot be fixed with universal healthcare or legalizing clinical psilocybin. Mark my words on this, we will not heal with clinical psilocybin work; we will only create different wounds.

Real Medicine People will be lost to the Profit Machine.

I feel like we will have to say goodbye to working with many real Shamans, Medicine People and indigenous wisdom carriers. They won’t be in business, much like most mom and pop shops that closed due to big box stores like Walmart and Target. How could someone who is a spiritual worker possibly compete with these organization who are already coming into town with millions of dollars, as well as investors and retreat properties? How will they be found in those google search results that you can buy your way to the top of? Some will survive, but I think many won’t. A prime example of how this is happening right now is with cannabis shops. I dare you to try and find a Cannabis Shaman — I sure wish I could. I have been to so many dispensaries and tried to find someone who could help me work with cannabis on a spiritual level because it is a plant that I need support working with. I have tried to find uncomplicated strains, or ones that haven’t been altered over and over again to make a “stronger” experience. The plants appear to not be grown or harvested with care and I feel all of that when I work with them. Hell, many of us have personally had horrifying cannabis experiences because of that energy that is being passed down through the plant (the lack of respect, care or connection). With a strong psychedelic like mushrooms, I can’t even imagi