In 2020, Oregon voters approved a historic bill permitting licensed service providers to offer a therapeutic treatment of psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms to people 21 years or older, a first in the United States. Now, the state has officially licensed the first three of those providers, another first for the country. The Oregon Health Authority has also approved the first licensed psilocybin manufacturer and several dozen psilocybin worker permits.
Many have heralded Oregon's embrace of these medicines as an important step for personal freedoms. But perhaps more importantly, the medicines are poised to offer a critical boon to mental health services across Oregon. A growing body of research shows that psilocybin can be remarkably safe and effective at treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other pervasive treatment-resistant conditions, while also providing meaningful insight, peace, and acceptance to the terminally ill.
While this news is quite promising for the people of Oregon, it also appears to be a harbinger of things to come beyond state lines. There are now psilocybin-related bills under consideration in Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, and Washington State. Perhaps not before long, these powerful treatments will be widely available to those in need across the country.
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The Mixtec culture begins using psilocybin in religious rituals, perhaps the first ever to do so (~1500 B.C.E. ???)
A codex known as the "Yuta Tnoho" that belonged to the Mixtec culture in the 1500s B.C.E. is the earliest historical record of psilocybin use in human history.
The U.S. becomes the largest country in the world to legalize psychedelics for therapeutic purposes (2030 C.E. ???)
Following the lead of several of its states and many convincing peer-reviewed studies, the U.S. federal government allows psychiatrists to prescribe psilocybin and MDMA to those suffering from treatment-resistant mental illnesses.
Thank you fear
So often, we think of fear as a bad thing, an unwanted trespasser who intends us harm. We try to get rid of it. We yearn to be fearless.
Lately, I've been trying a different approach. Rather than a trespasser, I imagine fear as a loyal advisor of mine. He cares about me. He diligently watches over me. He wants the best for me. And yet he's pretty anxious and emotionally unstable.
Sometimes he comes to me in a panic about something that I know isn't a big deal. So I soothe him and let him know I've got the situation handled. Other times, he sees something important that I'd been missing. So I thank him, praise him, and make sure he knows how valuable he and his guidance are to me.
Regardless, I never push him out of the room. I never make him the bad guy. I treat him as any leader would treat their advisor. Sometimes I heed his advice. Sometimes I don't. He knows that it is always my decision, never his. And yet, he also knows that he is always welcome and wanted at my side.
What a relief! All of a sudden, he doesn't seem so worried about everything. He is much more at peace.
And so am I.
Purpose & Leadership Coach
Founder & Executive Director, Spark of Genius
Bellingham, WA USA / Lummi & Nooksack lands