Intro to Psychedelic Mushrooms: The History, Harms, and Benefits

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Western Lecture Theatre

Intro to Psychedelic Mushrooms: The History, Harms, and Benefits

The story so far? (in brief!)
– Psilocybin Mushrooms (and Amanita muscaria mushrooms) have been used ritualistically by indigenous peoples for millennia.

– In the 1950s, R. Gordon Wasson visits María Sabina, a Mazatec curandera (shaman) who introduces him to Psilocybin Mushrooms. The Western counterculture (a.k.a. hippies) begin using the mushrooms (but the majority largely disrespect the accompanying indigenous rituals).

– In October 1968, as part of the backlash against the counterculture movement, the US federally banned psilocybin, and further research was stifled. (For more history, see: https://thethirdwave.co/history-of-psilocybin-mushrooms/ )

– The Psychedelic Renaissance is finally building pace, and in 2018, COMPASS Pathways Receives FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Psilocybin Therapy for Treatment-resistant Depression (See: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/compass-pathways-receives-fda-breakthrough-therapy-designation-for-psilocybin-therapy-for-treatment-resistant-depression-834088100.html ), however, there are many within the psychedelic community who believe we should be wary of this development. See, for example: https://qz.com/1454785/a-millionaire-couple-is-threatening-to-create-a-magic-mushroom-monopoly/

– Australia is finally holding its first clinical trials for psychedelic-assisted therapy, giving psilocybin extracts to patients with end-of-life anxiety. See: https://www.crikey.com.au/2019/01/24/magic-mushroom-study-australia/

– Meanwhile, Denver, Colorado is voting whether to decriminalise psilocybin mushrooms! See: https://chacruna.net/changing-the-psychedelic-political-narrative-at-the-local-level-denver-2019/

– VICE just published a viral video (11mins) that reveals how Australians are already using psychedelics, including mushrooms, as therapeutic tools: 'Using LSD, MDMA and Psilocybin to Treat Mental Health' See: https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/psychedelic-psychotherapy-using-lsd-mdma-and-psilocybin-to-treat-mental-health-1-408/5c513491be4077144c5572e1 and with the recent rain and the beginning of the local mushroom picking season, now seems a perfect time to hold an event to discuss these powerful - but potentially dangerous - tools.

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We'd love to use this event to begin having an open discussion about how drugs like psilocybin can be managed for the benefit of society. We envision a 21st century in which research drives policy, and young people drive the conversation... So we especially encourage young people of all backgrounds to get involved!

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– Where: Western Lecture Theatre (WLT), La Trobe University Bundoora Campus. (Special thanks to our SSDP LaTrobe chapter for leading the organisation of this event!)
– When: 6:00pm-8.30pm
– Cost: $FREE (but a gold-coin donation at the door is appreciated!)
– Tickets: https://www.beheardnotharmed.com/psychedelic-mushrooms-event-tickets (please get a free ticket online so you save yourself a seat and we don't overbook the theatre! - PS sign our #BeHeardNotHarmed petition for pill testing while you're there!).
– Livestream audiovisual recording: hyperlink TBD.

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Expert panelists:
– Jess Murray – Harm Reduction Consultant for DanceWize, Harm Reduction Victoria (Australia).
– Nick Wallis - Co-Founder and President of the Australian Psychedelic Society - APS, and co-host of the Enpsychedelia radio show.
– Dr. Martin Williams - President and Executive Officer, PRISM: Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine and founding Vice-President of Entheogenesis Australis - EGA - Planting Psychedelic Seeds.
– Dr. Paul Liknaitzky - Executive Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

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