PTSF80 – Decriminalization in Seattle, San Pedro, and The Dark Web

In this week’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Joe is in Pennsylvania, fresh from seeing Kyle in person for the first time in years, and they talk decriminalization, peyote, San Pedro, and the dark web.

They first discuss Seattle’s recent unanimous vote to decriminalize the cultivation and sharing of psilocybin, ayahuasca, and non-peyote-derived mescaline, and then look at the flip side of this win: Santa Cruz removing all mescaline-containing cacti from their decriminalization law put into place two years ago. And they wonder: Is San Pedro actually what could keep many people from eating the more endangered peyote? Is there enough research comparing peyote and San Pedro? And they look at the various opinions on the best way to move forward with this conundrum- could it be massive greenhouses growing as much peyote as possible?

They then talk about the news of dark web marketplace, White House Market, shutting down (or “exit scamming”) and the dark web in general: How it democratizes access to drugs; how huge it is for harm-reduction with its very open, Ebay-esque review system; how crazy it is that something so huge can exist with so few people knowing anything about it; and how these things will never truly go away due to the innovation that comes from prohibition.

They also discuss Joe recently recording with Hamilton Morris, South African quaaludes, Will Smith coming out of the psychedelic closet, the “Operation: Fast and Furious” blunder and the many ways our tax dollars are making cartels richer, Delta-8, and what “legal” really means. And after talking about our new live course offering with Jerry Brown (starting October 26th), Joe attempts to freestyle a commercial for Navigating Psychedelics.

Notable Quotes

“Black markets are never going away. Prohibition never really works. People are creative enough to always work around it, and prohibition seems to incentivize people so that the stricter the rules, the higher-valued the thing is going to be. So there’s always going to be people breaking laws to smuggle and traffic and create when those things are prohibited.” -Joe

“We [could] disempower large distribution networks by making it more democratic. If we care about cartel violence, if we care about American drug habits, [and] fueling violence and death in Mexico via potentiated cartels with lots of cash, then anything we can do to take power away from them (like publish secrets [and] publish methods) is good. …What do we have, over 100,000 deaths in Mexico related to the drug war in recent past? Is that worth your son not smoking pot or not ever trying cocaine? 100,000 deaths?” -Joe

“Even if we get to legalize-and-regulate, which is where I want it to be, we’re still going to have a fight ahead of us of like, do these laws make sense? Are they optimal for the culture we’re collectively designing? Or do we need to design our own alternate cultures? Perhaps that’s the solution.” -Joe


Psychedelics: Past, Present, and Future course Santa Cruz Overturns Decriminalization Of Peyote And Similar Plants To Protect Them, Per Indigenous Groups’ Request Seattle Becomes Largest U.S. City To Decriminalize Psychedelics

Psychedelics Today: PT235 – The Entheo Society of Washington – Dismantling Power Systems Through Decriminalization Santa Cruz Removes Peyote And Other Mescaline-Containing Cacti From Psychedelics Decriminalization Law Dark web marketplace White House Market shuts down

Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia: The Story of the South African Quaalude Will Smith Comes Out of the Psychedelic Closet VA Is ‘Very Closely’ Following Psychedelics Research For Veterans With PTSD, Official Tells Lawmakers

University of the Sciences

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel, by Tom Wainwright ATF gunwalking scandal (Operation Fast and Furious)

​​Spotify: Brave New Weed, Ep115 – The Great Delta-8 Debate: Is it Safe, Legal, or an Interesting High?

Psychedelics Today: Jerry and Julie Brown – Healing Through Mystical Experience

Psychedelics Today: Jerry B. Brown and Tom Hatsis – Christianity and the Psychedelic Mushroom: A Debate

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PT265 – Jessica Cadoch, MA – Cooperation, Drug Exceptionalism, and 12-step Programs

In this episode, Joe interviews Jessica Cadoch, MA: Medical Anthropologist, former Executive Director of the Montreal Psychedelic Society, and current Research Manager working at Maya Public Benefit Corporation. 

She talks about her psychedelic path and two most important pieces of research: First, how the rites of passage one experiences at a psytrance festival emulates the traditional ritual structure (and how the reintegration back into society is the most important part), and second; the concerns for people in long-term recovery and 12-step programs using substances therapeutically, for getting off their problematic substances, and even recreationally (when those substances have been labelled “dangerous drugs” their whole lives). 

She discusses Maya, a platform where psychedelic therapists can gain better insights into their practices by learning from one another’s reports, developing better, more consistent protocols, and creating better qualitative questions and measures for patients. She’s now seeing her main role as bridging the gap between nonprofits and for-profits. 

And as this was the rare time Joe was able to record in-person, this episode feels a bit more conversational and far-ranging than some. They also discuss how people view different substances based on if they’re man-made or not, spiritual bypassing, Carl Hart and the dangers of drug exceptionalism, the need to decriminalize all drugs, the Nacirema people, 12-step programs and the risks of 13th steppers, how our culture views medicine as gospel, and how we all need to stop the in-fighting and division within our psychedelic communities and learn to work with the big corporations many are scared of. 

Notable Quotes

“What is the real definition of ‘recreational’? It’s to recreate and to reconnect and maybe to fix things. So we have these really strange conceptions around recreational use being almost like an antithesis to therapeutic use.”

“I do not enjoy psychedelic exceptionalism, particularly because I did that. I did that with my best friend who died of heroin. I said, ‘My drugs are better than your drugs. You should come do LSD with me instead.’ And what did that do? It made her feel judged, it pushed me away further, and I almost didn’t get to speak with her before she died to say sorry. And that’s what psychedelic exceptionalism can do, is it puts people who are using other substances into a category lower and lesser.”

“In thinking about where [we’re] going with this movement, it’s up to us. We get to write this script, and we get to be a part of it, which is why it’s really important to be in the conversations with the big companies rather than to run away from them.”

“The way that we believe in science is so cultural. We’ll believe it in the same way that another culture might have this faith in a sacrament or might have faith in a certain crystal or a rock. …We idolize the research paper.”





Maya: Ethics

Maya: Metamorphosis: The Evolution of Psychedelic Healing Practices in the West

​​Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge a Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution, by Terence McKenna

The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, by Aldous Huxley

Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear, by Dr. Carl L. Hart (Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform, and Education)

Psychedelics Today: PT242 – Gary Laderman – Religion: Sex, Death, and Drugs

​​“Body Ritual Among the Nacirema” by Horace Miner (list of questionnaires)

About Jessica Cadoch, MA

Jessica is a Medical Anthropologist working at Maya Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) as a Research Manager. As the former Executive Director of the Montreal Psychedelic Society, Jessica is passionate about bridging the non-for-profit and for profit world of psychedelic initiatives. With a particular interest in the intermingling of 12-step methods of managing addiction and psychedelic-assisted therapy, Jessica is concerned with ensuring that psychedelic practices are carefully and ethically integrated into modern Western society and culture. Email her at: 

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PTSF79 – Psychedelic Facilitator Abuse and Space Holding Ethics with Dr. Ido Cohen

In this week’s Solidarity Fridays episode, Kyle discusses Hulu’s show, “Nine Perfect Strangers with previous guest, Dr. Ido Cohen.

If you haven’t watched “Nine Perfect Strangers” yet, it’s a show that takes place at a boutique wellness resort, promising healing to nine stressed city dwellers as they begin a 10-day retreat. This episode (which does contain spoilers!) focuses on the themes portrayed in the show and how they relate to the psychedelic space, looking at the role of community and accountability when abuse is happening within healing containers (whether at a retreat or in the larger community). They also look at the negative aspects of the show such as poor protocol, lack of consent, and the facilitator, Masha, having her own agenda and providing trauma treatment without being trauma-informed.

For those of us doing our own healing, how do we develop boundaries on saying no when something doesn’t feel right, but let those boundaries down when they take away something meaningful or helpful? How do we learn to discern when the space isn’t more important than the abuse within it? How do we distinguish between a desire for healing and a desperation for it?

Hopefully, shows like “Nine Perfect Strangers” open space for us to think together as a community and create more integrity, support, and honesty around facilitators and psychedelic retreats. And hopefully they also encourage us to become more empowered to acknowledge in ourselves when to draw the line when we don’t feel safe.

Notable Quotes

“When you open yourself up with plants or psychedelics, you really give the other person a non-verbal permission to look deeply at yourself. You’re really putting yourself in someone else’s hands in a very, very vulnerable way, even if you’re an experienced psychonaut.” -Ido

“I think when it comes to abuse, the lines should be very clear. If someone is touching someone inappropriately, that’s what it means. There is no working around it. If you feel repetitively shamed or you don’t feel safe in your body or you feel confused around someone repetitively, that’s a sign. “ -Ido

“Needing that element of death, a real threatening of our safety, does produce something within us at times. It gets us to some sort of experience that goes, ‘Holy shit, this is real.’” -Kyle


Psychedelics Today: Psychedelics: Past, Present, Future – Webinar

“Nine Perfect Strangers” on Hulu


Integration Circle Website

Psychedelics Today: “Psychedelics and The Shadow” Course

About Ido Cohen Psy.D.

Dr. Ido Cohen is based in San Francisco, working with individuals, couples, and groups, and the Founder of The Integration Circle. Ido has been working with individuals and groups in the context of preparing, understanding, integrating, and implementing experiences from altered states of consciousness for the last 7 years. He also has supervised doctoral interns at the California Institute of Integral Studies for the last 4 years. Using Jungian, relational, and holistic psychologies, as well as eastern/shamanic and kabbalistic cosmologies, Ido believes in the ability to work psycho-spiritually and turn the lived experience into knowledge and a meaningful, embodied, and whole life.

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