Hurricane Harvey was one of a series of hurricanes to lap viciously at the southern parts of the United States, the Caribbean and parts of Central America.
Many homes and livelihoods have been destroyed. But many are banding together now, to rebuild and face their adversity.
The Austin Psychedelic Society have setup a fund to raise money for relief efforts. We recently chatted to them.
Tell us briefly about what the Austin Psychedelic Society has been up to:
The Texas Psychedelic Collective’s focus is on the science and expansion of natural therapies and medicines to enhance the mind and body. We currently have societies in Austin, Dallas, and Houston.
We plan to create space for individuals throughout Texas to discuss various aspects of the psychedelic experience. Specifically, we aim to provide individuals a platform to discuss how these experiences have contributed to transformations in their personal and professional lives.
How will you be using the relief fund?
Natural disasters make a global impact, many people do not realize this — thank you for seeing the whole picture (perfect example of the psychedelic effects of mind expansion). All donations to this fund will support recovery and relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations in the Gulf Coast.
APS invited supporters to the State Library of Victoria for a special screening of A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin and special panel discussion.
The short documentary film produced by Robert J Barnhart has been screening this year at locations around the world, including CoSM. It attempts to investigate the efficacy of psilocybin assisted psychotherapy in both terminally ill and healthy individuals, and follows a small group of Americans along their journey pre and post therapy. It’s a truly inspiring film, and is available to watch on Vimeo, for those of you who couldn’t make it.
The film screening was followed by a panel discussion led by (APS co-founder) Nick Wallis. Local drug law reform campaigner Daniel Witham spoke about his harrowing encounter with NSW police, and subsequent incarceration over possession of Psilocybe subaeruginosa, and we also heard from Murray, Daniel’s father. Murray, a 69 year old author, recently had his first psychedelic experience, and gave a touching and candid testimony of the spiritual significance of his mushroom journey.
Dr Monica Barratt of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre offered her perspective on the progress of drug reform both domestically, and around the world. Monica is also the Director of Research at Bluelight and is actively involved in orchestrating the Global Drug Survey.
To round things off, we had Steph Tzanetis offering some valuable insights. Steph always has her finger on the pulse, and is the coordinator of DanceWize, a harm reduction group operating at festivals and events around Australia. Both Steph and Monica have recently visited Lisbon in Portugal to better understand how the Portuguese are leading the way in harm reduction, and how Australia could follow.
A heartfelt thanks to all that came along and made the night such a success. With the smell of spring in the air, and the festival season about to kick off, let’s stay safe, and continue to educate one another.
By Chris McAtomney
As the stigma surrounding drug use in Australia slowly dissipates, and policymakers are forced acknowledge the harm that system of criminalisation causes, it seems change is in the wind, and whilst the battle is far from over, a sensible approach to drug policy feels more tangible than ever.
This calls for celebration! And so on Friday night, Melbourne City Bowls Club played host to The Beginning of the End of the War on Drugs Party, presented by APS in conjunction with SSDP.
We had Emily Roseman and DJ Vixen laying down some fresh beats, providing the catalyst for some suitably psychedelic dance moves from some of the attendees. We imagine it was probably the first throbbing drum and bass set the Flagstaff bowls club had heard in a while!
These events are a great opportunity for networking, and we loved seeing like minded individuals connecting and sharing ideas over their beverage of choice. What a way to kick off a big weekend for drug reform in Melbourne. It’s only with your support that we can continue to push this. Big thanks to SSDP and Melbourne City Bowls club. See you at the next shindig!