The movement to legalize psilocybin for medicinal purposes has gained momentum in several states, and ADAPT-WA aims to continue the effort in Washington with an upcoming town hall meeting.
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Oregon became the first state in the nation to legalize the adult use of psilocybin on Jan. 1st, and the Oregon Health Authority issued the state’s first psilocybin license in March. Washington joined several other states in considering legislation to advance psilocybin research this year, and lawmakers passed Senate Bill 5263, which awaits Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature. SB 5263 will promote psilocybin research and create a pilot program to provide therapeutic access to the psychedelic for mental health treatment.
The ADAPT-WA political action committee aims to take the movement a step further. It is working to gain enough support to place an initiative on the upcoming general election ballot to allow licensed Washingtonians to provide psilocybin products and services to people 21 and older.
The group will continue to seek supporters during a virtual town hall meeting this month. ADAPT-WA’s Lindsey Walker, a clinical holistic herbalist at Mockingbird Remedies, will moderate the meeting.
“It’s an opportunity for health providers to answer questions from the public about psilocybin and medicine,” Walker said. “We want to provide opportunities for people to ask questions of providers who are advocates in the field. We want the general public to learn more about psilocybin advocacy and safety. We want folks to understand the importance of access to psilocybin.”
Psilocybin offers several benefits that traditional medicinal models do not, Walker said.
“It breaks down a lot of barriers, and sets you up to be able to process things in a reprogrammed way,” she said. “It helps you see things clearly. We let down our judgments and our fears. It can be a reset. (Users) feel revived and relieved. It can provide an experience to relive things. It’s a tool that helps with our physical, emotional, and mental systems. They’re all connected.”
Those interested can view the town hall meeting here on May 18th from 4-5 p.m. Speakers will include:
- Christopher Brown, a licensed independent clinical social worker
- Jonathan Drew, medical director and founder of Seattle’s HAVN Healing Center Integrative Ketamine Clinic
- Burton J. Tabaac, MD, associate professor of neurology at the University of Nevada
- Angela Ward, a certified nurse and psychedelic coach
- Dr. Kye Peven, a naturopathic/Chinese medicine doctor at Seattle’s Whole Systems Healthcare
- Ellen Kimora Eades, a retired physician assistant who specializes in women’s health
ADAPT-WA will attempt to acquire 400,000 signatures needed to place an initiative to legalize psilocybin on the general election ballot. Previous efforts by the group gained support, but not enough to place it on the ballot.
“We’re in need of financial backing for it,” Walker said. “Our organization is run by volunteers who are trying to pass this law. We envision some wealthy people stepping up … We believe they’re out there. It can be a big part of combating addiction, which affects this state a lot. And it’s a bipartisan issue. Plant medicine unites everyone, similar to what we saw in the cannabis movement. We will try to get enough signatures to file in the next three months, and if we’re not successful, we will refile in 2024.”
Walker is happy to see the psilocybin movement gaining ground in other states as well.
“It is continuing to be brought up in more conversations,” she said. “We are seeing people united for it. We hope this town hall brings that too.”