Solidarity Fridays – Week 21

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss recent items in the news, including the passing of Tav Sparks; author, therapist, co-director of Grof Transpersonal Training, and creator of “Movie Yoga,” and scientist Jordi Riba; one of the early pioneers of ayahuasca research and one of the first ever to bring it into the lab. 

They discuss the ayahuasca episode of the new Netflix docuseries “Unwell,” and 2 articles from Marijuana Moment: psychedelic activists in Oakland creating a guideline for plant medicine healing ceremonies and the new initiative to allow for legal use in controlled settings, and 4 state attorney generals and 50 current and former law enforcement officials sending a letter to Congress endorsing a federal marijuana legalization bill after a recent poll showed that 62% of likely voters support it. As Joe says, “It’s about time… 20 years ago.”

And lastly, they discuss Bright Minds Biosciences’ recent tweet claiming that the future is in what they’re working on: modifying molecules in psilocybin to reduce trip times from 4-6 hours to 60-90 minutes. While this could be huge for people who can’t safely partake in longer trips, and more specifically for sufferers of cluster headaches, they wonder about intention: is this for the betterment of mankind or just for profit and headlines? Isn’t sitting with the trip part of the healing? Isn’t integration afterward even more important? Is this a new tool/solution, or a band-aid? Is it all of the above? 

This leads to Kyle sharing that a friend of his recently committed suicide, and the reminder that we all need to practice self-care- it’s never been more important than it is now in our current disconnected, online, fearful, COVID lives- even the smallest effects of what’s going on can take a big psychological toll. Remember to take care of yourselves, folks. 

Notable Quotes

“We just need more and more drugs, but we have to be able to see through this marketing junk so we know how to appropriately contextualize it, and not just fall prey to ‘Oh cool, this is the right drug. This is the best drug, it has the most research behind it.’ Subtext: this just had the most pharma dollars behind it.” -Joe

“Do we really need these fast solutions? I think, on one hand, yes, because some people are definitely going to kill themselves tomorrow. At least 22+ veterans are going to kill themselves tomorrow, which is horrible- and today, and yesterday and every day until we have some sort of good intervention, or the numbers go [down]. It’s really tough. But also, no. Are we just slapping a band-aid on and saying, ‘cool, go get sick again’?” -Joe

“When I think about these quick, band-aid-like substances, like, ‘Oh yes, you can just do your healing.’ Well, this is where the integration comes in. Do you have that support network? Are you living a life that feels like it’s in balance with how you want to live? Are you surrounded by good people? Are you surrounded by that community? Are you taking care of yourself?” -Kyle

“Scary shit, but as a species, we’ll get through it. Individual tragedies don’t usually slow down the machine of human progress. And we’re going to see a continually exciting series of events, I think, for the next 70 years. So I don’t think, you and I, in our lifetime, Kyle, are going to get bored. We might be horrified at times, we might be amazed at times, but we’re going to see slow progress.” -Joe


Tav Sparks’ bio and obituary

Jordi Riba’s obituary

60 Minutes: Researchers experimenting with psychedelics to treat addiction, depression and anxiety

The dark side of wellness: behind a Netflix series on a murky industry

Daniel Moler’s Mothervine

Advocates Unveil Guide For Psychedelic Healing Ceremonies They Hope To Legalize In Oakland

Top State Cops Tell Congress To Legalize Marijuana As New Poll Shows Strong Voter Support

Bright Minds Biosciences’s tweet

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Navigating Psychedelics