I care about equitable access to psychedelics for all. Particularly I want to make sure that as legalization is on the horizon, people who are good candidates for treatment with psychedelics for mental health, problematic substance dependency, PTSD and other relevant health issues can receive access regardless of financial means.
I also believe in personal and community sovereignty in integrating psychedelics back into our culture. I believe that anyone who feels called to engage and partner with these substances should have the right to do so, as many of these substances are found in natural plants and fungi and are medicines that can be easily cultivated at home inexpensively.
I believe it is a fundamental human right to explore the depths of our consciousness, and be in deep relationship to our spirit. There is so much pain and violence perpetuated by our society's values which glorify capitalistic profiteering and rugged individualism -- values that do not serve the health of our communities and run counter the the global truth that we are all one and interdependent.
Fostering deeply interconnected relationships directly supports our wellbeing and helps us maintain strong family and communal ties - and psychedelics are a wonderful partner to this end. These medicines engender within us an ability to expand, connect, and orient to what it means to be human and in particular increases 'open heartedness'. Psychedelics have a profound ability to deepen compassion and empathy and these are the very experiences needed to help us along on our lifelong journey of healing, together.
My interests here at Decriminalize Nature Seattle relate to how policy and research relate to entheogenic plant medicine. We see a remarkable efficacy in the treatment of a wide variety of psychiatric disorders using these substances. I've seen so many people healed by these medicines, it's a travesty they're largely unobtainable for so many people. It's an ethical imperative to make an effort to remove these burdens and restrictions placed on psychedelic medicine by archaic laws, so let's make the most of the arsenal of mental health tools we have available to us and decriminalize psychedelic medicine statewide
Science is a powerful tool we can use to better understand how entheogens work and how we can make the most of them in treating those who could benefit from them. My research background is in neuroimaging, and we're learning so much by applying the cutting edge of neuroscience to many compounds which have been rediscovered by the psychedelic renaissance. Human brains get stuck in "ruts" where we ruminate on past trauma and future externalizations without living in the present. The evidence we have suggests psychedelic medicine can help people bypass these "ruts" and reduce harmful and counterproductive ruminations. Objective data collection and empiricism aren't contradictory with understanding the subjective and metaphysical aspect of psychopharmacology. I look forward to exploring how much more we have yet to discover in relation to these medicines.
Monique Bridges is a plant medicine activist, mother of 4 sons, business owner, and Entrepreneur. She runs an online high-vibrational food business called Mo’ Munchies. She also owns a catering business that specializes in catering to medicine and spiritual ceremonies, and is a head guardian in the Santo Daime Ayahuasca Church. Monique cares deeply about diversity and inclusion in order to create positive change for the benefit of everyone’s healing.
George has spent the last five plus years in the exploding cannabis industry. He worked for four years as the IT Manager for the leading cannabis retailer in WA state and helped 3rd-party vendors test and develop new technologies for the industry. He has volunteered his time and expertise in IT systems with United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, National Urban Indian Family Coalition, Casa Latina and other community-centered organizations. An avid tinkerer, gadget freak and “shade tree mechanic”, George has rebuilt and refurbished a '93 VW Eurovan that he uses on his road trip adventures with his grade-school daughter.
(they/them), believes that plant medicine, universal holistic therapy, and drug policy reform are the keys to unlocking the chains holding community healing hostage. They have witnessed first hand how prohibition style drug policies affect families and communities.
Dez was born and raised in Washington and has lived in Tacoma for 20 years. New to psychedelic plants and fungi, Dez has been a supporter of cannabis. At a young age, Dez was diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy and it caused painful muscle spasms. Cerebral palsy isn’t degenerative like multiple sclerosis but with age complications can rise due to muscle weakness. “I am glad to live in a state where cannabis is legal. I can walk into a dispensary, buy my tinctures, buy a couple pre-rolls that help relax my muscles. It really helps on those days that are just too hard to get out of bed.” Cannabis helped Dez walk mostly pain free. It was a better alternative than the Percocet and Oxycotin that was prescribed to them when they were seventeen. Dez wants to see entheogen therapy available for people with addiction and PTSD in a safe space. Dez enjoys writing and is currently writing a novel that has been a work in progress for 10+ years. Dez hopes to use their writing skills to aid the decriminalize nature movement.
“I really like the idea of healing community centers being available in cities across Washington. In a world dealing with the pandemic, a lot of us will come out changed. The community has to come together to be in unity with each other, and that starts with holding space for each other on our own journeys. We have a lot of shadows to draw out but the light of our souls will be our guides. You can’t spell community without “unity”.”
Dez enjoys writing and is currently writing a novel that has been a work in progress for 10+ years. Dez hopes to use their writing skills to aid the decriminalize nature movement.
Elyse Bais is a native CHamoru from the island of Guam, where traditional medicine involves
indigenous plants, herbs, and spiritual ceremonies. As a woman of color and member of the
LGBTQIA+ community, Elyse advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of life, including the realm of psychedelic medicine.
I believe that many mental health conditions are rooted in disconnection from love,
compassion, community, nature, and spirit. Psychedelics can help us reconnect to the essence
of our humanity and overcome experiences that leave us questioning our worth and our ability to love and be loved. For centuries, indigenous cultures have fostered healing through inclusion of psychedelic plants in their ceremonies – the medicine was taken together to strengthen the bond and support of the community. In western medicine, focus is placed largely on curing physiological issues, instead of simultaneously addressing the mental and emotional needs of an individual. As we expand our understanding of “well-being” and explore the benefits of psychedelics, it is incredibly important that we honor and respect the indigenous origins that brought forth the practices and rituals. As the pioneers of psychedelic healing, we should look to indigenous cultures as leaders in this space and include them in conversations whenever possible.
Research from prominent medical institutions has demonstrated psychedelics' remarkable ability to safely treat conditions such as severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Because of the many health benefits of psychedelics, I believe it should remain a resource that is available and accessible to all those that wish to incorporate it into their healing journey. The medicine has a way of reminding us that we are One and that love & compassion is the nature of our being – and this is something we all have the right to encounter.