Del Jolly – Psilocybin, Concussions, and Unlimited Sciences’ Mission

In this episode, Joe interviews Del Jolly: co-founder and Director of psychedelic research nonprofit Unlimited Sciences, previous Business Development Manager at Charlotte’s Web, previous Outreach Director for Decriminalize Denver, and member of the Board of Advisors for cannabis nonprofit, The Realm of Caring.

Jolly talks about his path to Unlimited Sciences and its purpose: to collect as much data as possible through an observational research study through Johns Hopkins University, where participants are asked to provide as many details as possible about their psilocybin use. Like “Cannabis moms” Heather Jackson and Paige Figy collecting years of data from cannabis users through The Realm of Caring, Unlimited Sciences aims to do the same with psilocybin. They want data from recreational users as well, and they want to know where these users are, since location often establishes comfort levels (think about how much more relaxed someone would be in a decriminalized area like Denver vs. a country where you could be killed for doing these types of drugs). The goal is to use this data to find trends in all aspects of psilocybin use and figure out where to go next, both in terms of suggested use and legality.

Jolly talks about some athlete friends who are doing a lot, from UFC fighter Rashad Evans speaking on panels, to Blackhawks player Daniel Carcillo and his work with his organization Chapter 5, to Brandi Chastain pledging her brain to the Concussion Foundation. And he talks a lot about concussions and traumatic brain injuries- how female soccer players seem to get the most concussions (and women are more prone in general), how smaller, repetitive hits to the head often cause more damage than being knocked out, and how Marcus Capone of Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions (VETS) believes it’s not PTSD that’s leading 22 veterans to commit suicide a day, but more likely post-concussive syndrome. And he talks about his hope for psilocybin to emerge as something that can help these people (and all people) legally. 

Notable Quotes

“If we never stopped studying psilocybin, we’d have about 50 years of research under our belt. Maybe there’s a slight possibility we’d be able to- and I’m not even kidding, help people walk again after being paralyzed.”

“If we want to slap on some dumbass bumper sticker that says ‘Support our troops,’ but then we really don’t, because we don’t want to look at psychedelics as an option or cannabis as an option, that doesn’t seem like supporting the troops. Supporting the troops, to me, means providing as many options as we can to these humans who have sacrificed everything to provide us the luxuries that we have. Can we please reciprocate to some degree and at least research this shit?” 

“Something has to be done to unify to some degree, because at the end of the day, the champions of this are these smaller nonprofits and the community. And the cold hard facts about these nonprofits and community and the veterans of this space- we don’t have the money that big pharma does. We don’t have the power that the political side does and if we don’t unify and have a pretty common goal, we will be crushed in a New York second. …And realistically, if we just want to cannibalize ourselves by saying who’s ok and who’s not and all that jazz, it’s a waste of effort and it’s just going to speed up the opposition’s position.”

“This is a bipartisan subject in my opinion. Here’s how I see it- there’s not a single person who isn’t going to be affected or could not potentially benefit from the potential of something like psilocybin. Everybody, at least the last I checked, at some point, is going to suffer from depression or anxiety. …If we would just open the floodgates on research, we’d be able to help these people. So, this is a human issue. This isn’t a red, blue, black, white- this is a humanity issue that we need to just get responsible and realistic about. And the time is now. We have the information. There’s no excuse anymore. There’s no excuse. There’s no excuse not to be exploring and understanding everything we can.”

Links

Unlimitedsciences.org

Unlimited Sciences’ Study

Instagram

Realm of Caring

The Nowak Society’s PSA

Chapter 5 Foundation

Game Brain: Bennet Omalu, Concussions, and the NFL: How One Doctor Changed Football Forever

VETS: Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions

Concussion Legacy Foundation

The Beautiful Brain- Audible podcast info

Charlotte’s Web


About Del Jolly

Del comes from a position leading business development for Charlotte’s Web Hemp oil, the world’s largest CBD oil producer. Del is currently on the community board of advisors to the Realm of caring, a high impact cannabis non-profit, and was the outreach director to the Decriminalize Denver campaign, which passed a historical initiative to decriminalize psilocybin in the city of Denver.

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Solidarity Fridays – Week 26

In today’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe and Kyle sit down and discuss recent items in the news.

They first discuss an update to last week’s Michigan story: that this week, the Ann Arbor city council unanimously voted to decriminalize entheogenic plants. While this is great progress, remember that these substances are still illegal- just decriminalized, and as the saying goes: don’t be the low-hanging fruit. This brings up the concept of likening the ability to get these substances to earning (and keeping) a driver’s license, and the idea of temporary autonomous zones. 

Next, they talk about the formation of a global group called the Psychedelic Medicine Association (PMA), formed to bridge the gap between the medical establishment, patients, and the industry in general. While there are already organizations doing this to an extent (like the very website you’re on right now), most doctors don’t have the time needed to really dive in, and shorter sound bites or articles vetted by those in the know could be very beneficial towards their growth in this new (to them) field. 

They also report on a new study pinpointing exactly how psychedelics bind to 5-Ht2a serotonin receptors, which sets the stage for new kinds of antidepressants and antianxiety drugs, could help with cluster headaches, could even help explain HPPD (hallucinogen persisting perception disorder), and leads to a discussion of natural vs. synthetic drugs and the ethics of thinking someone needs to go through the psychedelic experience in order to heal.

Lastly, they discuss Compass Pathways going live on the stock market, starting at $17 a share and hitting $38 within a week, which leads to a discussion on how larger companies sue each other over valuable information but regularly take information from Indigenous people and people who’ve been working in the underground for years. In order to pay proper respect to plant medicine lineages, should we “take” MDMA, LSD, ketamine, and other synthetic substances as part of a western lineage and categorize them differently?

Notable Quotes

“That’s the vision that I would like to see. More expanded access, less legal presence. Less Empire interfering with the rebels.” -Joe

“Is it the case that people need psychedelic experience? No. I would prefer that more people have psychedelic experience, but I don’t think it’s an ethical obligation for more people to have it, or that ‘oh, in order to deserve healing, you need to go through that potentially tortuous or difficult experience [idea]’. Or joyous experience- it doesn’t have to be bad. There’s a lot there, and just thinking that people have an obligation to have the experience is a little whack to me.” -Joe

“The hard problem of consciousness is still there. What is mind? Where is mind? What is consciousness? Where is consciousness? Really big questions. We know mind appears real. We know consciousness appears real, but what is that? There’s a lot of questions left. Philosophy of mind and neuroscience are not really communicating too regularly. I saw headlines: ‘Oh look! LSD finally solved! We know how it works now!’ Like, yea, kind of, but not really, because we don’t even know what mind or consciousness is. …Most people are willing to say ‘mind equals brain,’ and use interchangeably. I think that’s pretty common parlance, but I suggest people check it out. Dig in a little bit to philosophy of mind and limitations of neuroscience and mind. I’m not trying to say we shouldn’t do neuroscience- we absolutely should. But, making conclusive statements like, ‘Oh cool, since neuroscience said this, then God isn’t real’ [is] kind of a goofy argument.” -Joe

“What it does it look like from a capitalistic point of view? X company develops a patent and then X other company goes over and wants to use that- what usually happens? There’s usually a lawsuit that entails, right? But if X company goes to an indigenous and underground community and extracts information and then they go use that to profit, what really happens there? Not much. The bigger company that has all the money usually will just dominate.” -Kyle

Links

Marijuanamoment.net: City Council Unanimously Votes To Decriminalize Psychedelics In Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wikipedia.org: Temporary Autonomous Zone info

Healtheuropa.eu: Psychedelics Association to Bridge Medical Establishment and Industry Gap

Plantmedicine.org (Dr. Lynn Marie Morski’s podcast)

Psychologytoday.com: This Is Your Brain’s 5-HT2A Receptors on LSD or Psilocybin

Narrative Medicine: The Use of  History and Story in the Healing Process by, Lewis Mehl-Madrona

Genengnews.com: Scientists Solve High-Resolution Structure of Psychedelic Drugs Bound to Serotonin Receptors

Realmoney.thestreet.com: Compass Pathways Takes Investors on a Trip to Higher Prices


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Vanessa LeMaistre – Embracing a Path to Spiritual Discovery

In this episode, Joe interviews shaman, motivational speaker, author, minister, and healer, Vanessa LeMaistre. 

LeMaistre talks about her path towards shamanism: from being told she was different as a child, to traveling to India at 25 and falling in love with yoga and meditating on the Ganges river, to a tarot card reading inspiring her to earn her Master’s degree at Naropa University, to trying coca for the first time (without realizing ahead of time that that’s what she’d be doing), to training with Michael Harner. Ultimately, what led her towards accepting her fate as a shaman was both healing from the devastating death of her infant son, Kamden, due to a very rare disease, and numerous ayahuasca ceremonies in Peru, where shamans told her that her ancestors were calling to her.

She talks about living with the odd uncertainty of feeling like she should become a shaman, tarot card readers, a neighbor at an ayahuasca ceremony’s entity attachment and her interest in getting into entity extraction, her connection to Voodoo and interest in Haitian zombies, microdosing, homelessness and how some countries help each other compared to the U.S., the complications of being a shaman and trying to avoid narcissism, and what her travels have been like for her as a multi-raced woman in a world that is predominately full of white men.

LeMaistre offers spiritual coaching sessions, divination readings, sound bowl healing, motivational talks and spiritual coaching, facilitates healing talking circles (with a focus on diversity and inclusivity), and has started selling “Self-Love candles,” which she prays over and sets with intentions. She also donates books and teaches children how to meditate through her non-profit, Kamden’s Room, and has started a virtual “Soul Church,” which people can attend through her website every Sunday at 1pm PST. 

Notable Quotes

“I’m finally coming to terms with accepting that, ‘You know what? Maybe there is no elder.’ I have been burned by so many people that are ‘spiritual leaders’ who are charlatans or frauds, and they’re posing as something and then they may get threatened by the power I bring, or they’re afraid that I’m going to catch them. I’ve just kind of taken it as: ‘let me learn as much as I can from what I don’t want to be, and accept that maybe there are no elders, and I’m on the verge of becoming an elder myself.’”

“It was the most spiritual experience of my entire life. I have never seen the veil so thin to where I was getting premonitions, prophecies… It was very enlightening in the sense that I had a big impairment- and I’ll just be transparent here- I had a big impairment on a personal level with accepting my physical experience, and I had a lot of complexities around understanding that I was beautiful. And this night- it showed me who I was, what I need to do, and really started this process of coming into accepting myself as I am.”

“In plant medicine circles too- most of them that I’ve sat in, I’ve always been the only black person, which has been interesting. And even being in the jungle, and having that experience with that person, I was the only female as well, so that was uncomfortable. …I’ll see ads for “Shamanic drumming- Michael Harner,” but it’s always a person who looks a certain way, and I’ve never seen anyone that looks like me. Well, why not get someone like me? …I think it’s important for people to see someone who’s multi-raced, who’s diverse, and who’s passionate and an advocate for psychedelics, especially considering, within our community, how many people don’t know what it is.”

Links

Website: vanessasoulxo.com

Instagram

Octavio Rettig and Gerry Sandoval open letter/info


About Vanessa LeMaistre

After going through childhood experiencing a plethora of sexual abuse and dealing with the absence of her father to protect her, she has overcome a tremendous amount of trauma. When she was 25 she was a lost soul who found her way through yoga and traveling to India for spiritual trainings. Later down her journey, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who passed away 9-months later. Since then, Vanessa has stepped into her path as a shaman and a holistic healer. She has created a virtual church called Soul Church where people can congregate in community through ritual and conversation.

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