Paracelsus, the swiss physician from 1,400s said “even substances essential to human life, like water and oxygen, can be poisonous if taken in sufficiently large amounts”.
The difference between a medicine and a poison is simply the dose of the substance. When consumed under proper supervision, Entheogens like the Holy Medicine of the Holy and Divine Mother Ayahuasca is a blessing for people of the world to receive healing, recover from trauma, and improve their lives.
On 20th Feb, 2020, was the “THANK YOU PLANT MEDICINE EVENT”, which took place all over the world at grassroots level as well as online with the hashtag #thankyouplantmedicine. Psychedelic enthusiasts on that day came out of their closets, gathering in grassroot meetings, and on social media, to share how Entheogens have changed their lives.
One after another individuals shared their stories of transformation from Holy Plant Medicines on that day, in ‘the Haven’, a conscious community space in Oakland – the birthplace of the Decriminalise Nature movement where activists prevented prosecution for possession or use of naturally occurring Entheogens by passing a resolution.
Holy Plant Medicines are seen as a saviour for many people, which has helped them repair their wounds of abusive upbringings, cope with struggles of identity crises, overcome drug dependencies. For some, the Holy Medicines or Entheogens were ‘epic comrades in voyage of self-discovery and self-actualization’. Many people were inspired to form their own Psychedelic societies, some got doctorates, some developed bond with family members, and others simply loosened up, had more humility, and were open to have more fun in life.
Psychedelics are about healing, and therefore it is natural that there is a movement to legalise and liberate Psychedelics. The movement to decriminalise Psilocybin and all Entheogenic Plants in Denver an Oakland has helped reduce the stigma and validate the experience of those who have benefited from Plant Medicines.
Psychedelics are less physically harmful and non-addictive, and therefore are better and safe than any other drugs, and hence, becoming decriminalized gradually, all over the world. More than 100 jurisdictions around the U.S. are working to decriminalize Magic Mushrooms and Psychedelic Plants, and FDA has fast-tracked Psilocybin and MDMA as prescription medications for psychotherapy. Psychedelics are getting special exceptionalism – for good reasons, from other drugs.
Some activists are, although, concerned whether this exceptionalism is separating good and bad drugs or paving the way for de-stigmatization for other drugs, the same way cannabis had paved the way for Psychedelics. There is a conversation around harm reduction from drugs, including LSD and heroin, rather than war on this drug or that, which they consider can be beneficial for all. There are discussions around supervised injection sites where individuals can take opioids with sterile equipment and medical support, as well as Psychedelic Community Centres, where safety could be offered rather than individuals consuming on their own due to stigma.
On the other hand, policy reform activist Noah Potter – author of The Psychedelic Law Blog and an attorney with cannabis firm Hoban Law Group – argues, Psychedelics are unique compared with any other drugs, which provides breakthrough treatments qualitatively different from any other mental health and wellness substances. Moreover, Psychedelics also have a Sacramental aspect, established over generations of Sacred Ceremonies which is subject to legal protection. Although, he agrees, Psychedelic activists can collaborate with other activists who are looking for broad drug policy reform aiming to legalize and decriminalize all other drugs, including heroine, cocaine, MDMA etc. With legal exception and decriminalization for possessing and consuming provides peace of mind to those who may now consume Holy Plant Medicines in fear, which may be resulting in bad experiences.
The approval of exemption of the Holy Medicine of the Holy and Divine Mother Ayahuasca as Sacrament in the U.S., Canada and other countries by religious organisations like the Church of Santo Daime and Uniao De Vegetal has assigned a special value to the Holy Medicine as a ‘Holy Sacrament’, ‘Spiritual Healing Medicine’, for healing of the soul and body as well as spiritual development, as opposed to hard drugs like heroine, MDMA, cocaine which have addiction and ill effects on human health. The Holy Medicine is enlightening the world about benefits of the Holy Medicine, which can pave the way to decriminalize other drugs which maybe beneficial for humanity.
- Margolin, M., 2020. Psychedelic Exceptionalism, Double Blind, Issue No. 3, p38.