Tatiana has dedicated her time to building connection and community throughout her life. An activist since high school, she started her career after college as a wilderness guide serving youth from under resourced communities where she led 20 day expeditions on the Appalachian trail. There she helped young people develop their character, mental fortitude, inner strength and develop deep interpersonal relationships as they dealt with the challenges faced during strenuous, hot and buggy days of backpacking, rock climbing and white water canoeing.
As a founder and Co-Director of the Psychedelic Medicine Alliance of Washington, she believes that all people should be able to access information related to psychedelics for a wide variety of uses, and that lack financial resources should not be a barrier to access to these medicines. She believes deeply in our right to cultivate and have a relationship with these plants and fungi, in addition to supporting overall harm reduction practices such as providing safe supply and safe use sites to protect all people who use substances from harm and provide them with the proper information to make informed decisions.
Tatiana joined Decriminalize Nature Seattle in July of 2021. She stewarded that team through a rough transition from toxic leadership, and strategically carried the team forward to successfully decriminalize psychedelics in Seattle in October of 2021. At PMAW she wears many hats, and supports the direction, strategic decision making and community events for PMAW. She is also a co founder and Vice President of the REACH coalition, which is building grassroots support to pass a ballot measure decriminalizing psychedelics in Washington state in 2024.
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.
Ben is a Union Organizer with a knack for mobilizing people. At PMAW he helped garner support and enthusiasm from dozens of community members to attend action hours, city council meetings and community events.
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.
(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.
A Midwesterner at heart, Rachel grew up in metro Detroit, went to college in East Lansing, and lived in “Ypsi” (Ann Arbor’s funky neighbor) a year before setting her sights on the Emerald City. While at Michigan State University, she studied International Relations, Comparative Cultures & Politics, and Spanish. Integral to her undergrad experience was co-leading a support program in the Peruvian Andes centered on leadership and mindfulness.
During Rachel’s senior year of college, she set her sights on studying psychedelics as a part of the illicit market after being inspired by her International Political Economy professor (shout out to Galia Benítez!) The seminar prompt was to research a US policy and perform a comparative analysis by providing several legal alternatives to the status quo. By this time, Rachel was aware of--and completely swept away by--the psychedelic ‘third wave.’ The potential of entheogens to change neural connectivity, and hence, to literally change your mind, had her hook, line, and sinker. Her professor agreed to the topic, and the rest is history.
Rachel is a Psychedelic Paralegal at Terrapin Legal, Co-Director of Responsible Entheogen Access & Community Healing (REACH) Washington, and has recently been accepted into Fireside Project as a Psychedelic Peer Support Line Volunteer. It brings her an abundance of joy to be cultivating community in Washington. She envisions a future where all people have access to psychedelics for personal, therapeutic, and spiritual use both individually and in community.