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Formerly the Eugene Center for Ethnobotanical Studies

Pulse of the Plants

September 2019
Eight-Fold Path of Ethnobotany



A City Councilor suggested council work with police and public health officials to address businesses and dispensaries that may... [be providing access to] psilocybin whole mushrooms.

Her hope was the group would file a report back to the city on criminal activity, possible public health impact and potential budget implications, should those businesses not be closed. The motion was questioned for hours... and was ultimately rejected. [Reported statements include]… "This was a motion that was very stigmatizing and very negative about not only psilocybe mushrooms, but access to a safe supply of drugs in general."

Therefore, being honest with yourself is not about judging. It is about looking dispassionately at what you find so that you can learn from what you see, and if necessary, choose to change your pattern. You may take morality and ethics into consideration when making such assessments, but ultimately, the goal is not to judge what you see and experience. Rather, the goal is to learn, transform, and empower. -Mushroom Wisdom : How Shamans Cultivate Spiritual Consciousness by Martin Ball, PhD


ANTHROPOLOGY Vancouver City Council.

Vancouver City Council struck down a motion… to deter and prevent…[access to] psilocybin mushrooms. 

Because we don't have money  for doctors, we heal ourselves with the mushrooms... Sacred mushrooms are the "medicine"... -Grandmothers Counsel the World




Microdosing could be decriminalized & non-commodified access made available.

Absent that, there is no [apparent] way to ensure it will accessible/equitable. [Many] people are looking to profit from psychedelics, rather than ensure their accessibility.

Ultimately, being open to your energy means keeping an open heart. We close our hearts when we feel threatened or when we experience fear or judgement. A general maxim, which may seem overwhelming at first, is to love all equally without any exception. -Being Human: An Entheogenic Guide to God, Evolution and the Fractal Energetic Nature of Reality by Martin Ball



The law is… a mish-mash that renders Nature an illicit drug-lab.

The First Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed each of us freedom of religious expression. Yet, for all practical purposes, the entheogenic experience – has been outlawed in the United States. [Now], a fascinating discourse on cognitive liberty comparing laws criminalizing the use of entheogenic mushrooms to a kind of “New Speak”. In George Orwell’s, Nineteen Eight-Four, the Oceania government established New Speak, a carefully crafted language designed by the government for the purpose of making unapproved modes of thought impossible. Our modern laws that criminalize sacred mushrooms [in particular those which outlaw Nature’s production methods in favor of patented variants/processes, insist on a “regulated” set and setting under threat of punishment, or will advertently and/or inadvertently exacerbate socio-economic inequity] – effectively outlaw unapproved states of consciousness – including certain religious ecstatic experiences. [After-all] the War on Drugs is not a war on pills, power, plants and potions, it is a war on mental states. It is a war on consciousness itself – how much, what sort we are permitted to experience and who gets to control it”. Many believe that the mushrooms talk to them, opening up channels of communication with animal and spirit entities.

Groups like the Chukchee believed that the mushrooms actually constituted another "tribe."  -Hallucinogens: Cross-Cultural Perspectives by Marlene Dobkin De Rios




A July 21, 2019 article in the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News… discussed the importance of the entourage/[ensemble] effect in cannabis health.

Like magic mushroom fruiting bodies, cannabis plant material includes multiple active ingredients (cannabinoids, terpenoids, and other “minor components”), which modulate its biological and clinical properties.

...taking psilocybin mushroms and pondering just what this may all mean, with confidence that time will at least deepen understanding, if not answer all questions. -Gateway to Inner Space: Sacred Plants, Mysticism and Psychotherapy edited by Christian Ratsch



The medical profession has spent many years establishing a monopoly over the right to provide medicines, wresting this power away from traditional healers, and it’s not going to hand that power back over without a struggle. Another very real danger is that the prohibition of plant medicines will end, only for them to then be medicalized, falling under the strictures of that system. The plant medicines make for an uneasy fit in the medical model, and we need to think very carefully about whether or not we want them to.

"The trouble is that healthcare in America exists within a competitive market economy, motivated by the insatiable quest of economic growth. Privatization by means of patenting or theft often precipitates the process of making profit. This means restricting access to common pool resources (e.g., putting a fence around a field of marijuana [or psiloycbin mushrooms] for the purpose of selling it, or patenting... criminalizing others). Compounding these concerns about over-medicalization, recently, we’ve witnessed what some view as a worrying trend towards the commodification of psychedelic medicine and knowledge by venture-backed companies, with somewhat suspicious links to some of the most harm-producing institutions of mainstream society; such companies surely have the plant medicines in their sights. Let’s not underestimate what we can achieve with these plant teachers as our accomplices; let’s not sell them—and ourselves—short.  For all of these reasons, rather than stringent regulation or medicalization, I’m an advocate of decriminalization. Decriminalization comes in two flavors: either full, formal decriminalization, which entails the repeal of prohibitive legislation, or a or a watered down, informal decriminalization, which is normally effected via a change in policing policy, an agreement not to enforce criminal laws that remain in place, most commonly restricted to those that relate to possession in the realm of drug policy. It’s full decriminalization that is being advocated for here, which effectively equates with legalization, minus the accompaniment of an enforced regulatory system. I suspect many people want decriminalization, in their heart of hearts, but are reticent to say so, believing that we have to give concessions in order to get them; decriminalization would be accompanied by the rise of plant medicine practitioner groups drawing up their own guidelines, their own protocols, that could then be voluntarily ascribed to: a bottom-up, rather than a top-down model, shaped by those who know what they’re talking about. We need guidance from those with wisdom, not law." -Charlotte Walsh, MPhil 


The intake of drugs in connection with divinatory practices is probably as old as mankind. One can postulate that the intake of natural products endowed with such extraordinary powers was soon organized in ceremonies aiming to widen knowledge on important events... -ESP Experiments with LSD 25 and Psilocybin : A Methodological Approach by Roberto Cavanna and Emilio Servadio



“Utility patents are big. Scary,” Holmes said. “All of cannabis could be locked up. They could sue people for growing in their own backyards.”

[And they] might have a near-monopoly over crucial intellectual property for a commodity whose soothing, mind-altering effects make it more valuable than wheat. These are utility patents, the strongest intellectual-property protection available for crops. Utility patents are so strict that almost everyone who comes in contact with the plant could be hit with a licensing fee: growers and shops, of course, but also anyone looking to breed new varieties or conduct research. Even after someone pays a royalty, they can’t use the seeds produced by the plants they grow. They can only buy more patented seeds. 

It wasn't long before Madison Avenue was featuring advertisements for cars and soft drinks with modifiers like "mindblowing" and "far-out" -Storming Heaven by Jay Stevens



Home growing — seen by many as a commonsense policy that ensures access to cannabis for individuals who can’t afford retail prices, live too far from a dispensary or just want to flex their green thumbs—

has been a feature of almost all legal adult-use marijuana systems operating in the U.S., with the exception of Washington State’s. However, a chapter titled “The Fallacy of Home Grow” makes very specific—and, in the eyes of advocates, misleading—arguments against allowing marijuana cultivation for personal use. The group recognized that people want home cultivation because of “currently high prices of medical marijuana” or because they see it as an “individual civil liberty.”

“From our perspective, it’s really hard to see any real reason—other than individual and corporate greed—to be against home cultivation at this point,” Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview. “There’s not a lot of rational concerns when it comes to allowing a limited amount of plants for an individual to grow at home.” -Marijuana Moment which obtained the full 29-page memo through a state freedom of information law request.



After the Oakland measure passed, an organization called Decriminalize California is working on a statewide decriminalization measure for the 2020 election.

As it stands, the government prohibits using federal funds for any Schedule I fungi like psilocybin mushrooms, [however, a patented synthetic psilocybin has been approved for clinical trials by the FDA]. “Unlike decriminalization, legalization would encourage businesses to enter the market; they would not merely offer access but would actively promote the use of magic mushrooms — an important difference,” wrote Michael Pollan

How great, indeed is the mushroom. It has claimed the world round for its habitation; and when man rears his cities of stone it demands of him that even in the heart of cities it shall be given space to express itself in silence.  There was the world itself to be considered... demanded to know the reason for an aesthetic appreciation of a commodity interesting only for it's commercial value. -The Sacred Mushroom Seeker: Essays for R. Gordon Wasson edited by Thomas J. Riedlinger


After bankruptcy filing, Purdue Pharma may not be off the hook.

[9/13/2019] "While the Sacklers continue to lowball victims and skirt a responsible settlement, we refuse to allow the family to misuse the courts in an effort to shield their financial misconduct," New York state Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. "Records from one financial institution alone have shown approximately $1 billion in wire transfers between the Sacklers, entities they control, and different financial institutions, including those that have funneled funds into Swiss bank accounts," she added. The filing comes after nearly two dozen states and 2,300 local governments reached a tentative settlement with Purdue Pharma to resolve thousands of lawsuits alleging that the company helped fuel the opioid crisis. New York and others states rejected the settlement. James has been critical of the settlement, calling the deal "an insult."

[9/16/2019] The company and members of the Sackler family, which owns it, expressed sympathy but not responsibility. “Like families across America, we have deep compassion for the victims of the opioid crisis,” family members said in a statement, calling the settlement plan a “historic step towards providing critical resources that address a tragic public health situation.” A number of the other states that are holding out have made it clear that they intend to object to the deal in bankruptcy court and seek to continue their lawsuits... the company is facing some 2,600 lawsuits, mostly from local governments.

[9/17/2019]. It will be up to federal bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in White Plains, New York, to decide whether to approve the settlement, and also whether those state lawsuits can continue. A court hearing on the bankruptcy plan is expected Tuesday. For Purdue and the Sacklers, the effort revolves around getting more states to agree to the settlement, which could make approval more likely. “At every turn, we will fight their craven strategy to use bankruptcy to shield their wealth & to evade our claims to secure billions of dollars for addiction science & treatment,” -Connecticut Attorney General William Tong. 

[9/19/2019] If lawsuits against the wealthy family aren’t halted, the Sacklers ‘may be unwilling—or unable’ to contribute billions to the drugmaker’s bankruptcy as planned.

[9/19/2019]. Purdue Pharma, Sacklers asked judge to freeze lawsuits against company this month.

Copyright © 2019 Edelic Center for Ethnobotanical Services, All rights reserved.

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