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Offlinesonoramo
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Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting * 1
    #26972374 - 10/06/20 05:23 PM (14 days, 1 hour ago)

Oregon May Soon Legalize the Use of Magic Mushrooms as Mental Health Treatment. Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting.

“People are referring to this as the ‘Great Pause.’ They are going within and having these miraculous changes in perspective.”



By Anthony Effinger
Published September 22 Updated September 23


Original source: Willamette Week

In troubled times, it's tempting to turn to substances in order to cope.

With a pandemic killing thousands worldwide, fires immolating the West Coast, and an unstable president sending heavily armored federal agents to quash protests for racial justice, it's tempting to pour vodka on your Cheerios in the morning, drink a 12-pack for lunch, and wash down a handful of Xanax for dinner.

Some Portlanders are taking a more constructive approach and finding solace in a drug that at first glance seems purely escapist: psychedelic mushrooms. But talk to almost anyone who has begun tripping recently and you learn that most of them are confronting the end times, not running from them.

Former assistant film director and entrepreneur Carolyn Fine, 47, can testify. She struggled with depression for years, trying medication and therapy. She had done mushrooms as a teenager, and three years ago, at age 44, something called on her to try them again. She bought some and headed to Manzanita with her partner. The experience was transformative.

"I'm going to get a little woo here, but I felt very held by the universe," she says. And the effects have lasted. "I don't go to a hopeless place anymore. It doesn't feel terminal."

Mushrooms have been popular in this part of the world since the 1960s, when native Oregonian Ken Kesey spread the gospel of LSD. The cool, wet state is perfect for growing Psilocybe semilanceata, the slender little 'shroom better known as the liberty cap.

Interest rekindled in 2018 after author Michael Pollan ate mushrooms and dropped acid for the first time in his life and wrote a glowing book-length review called How to Change Your Mind. A year later, director Louis Schwartzberg released Fantastic Fungi, a feature-length film about mushrooms, many of them magic. Portlanders filled the theater—it drew 10,000 viewers to Cinema 21 and was the most-watched film at the arthouse theater in 2019.

Then, the pandemic hit, and even more people flocked to the fungi. Kayci Marie Mitchell, president of the Portland Psychedelic Society, a group that advocates for the safe, responsible use of hallucinogenics, says the group's Meetup roster grew from 4,000 at the beginning of the year to 5,200 now.

"People are referring to this as the 'Great Pause,'" Mitchell says. "They are going within and having these miraculous changes in perspective. It's amazing what they can accomplish."

The science is on Mitchell's side. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research have published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, many of them showing that psilocybin is therapeutic for people suffering from depression, addiction, and the existential distress of living with life-threatening diseases. And this November, Oregonians will vote whether to become the first state in the country to legalize the therapeutic use of "magic mushrooms."

But proponents of psychedelic healing aren't waiting for the law to change. There is a growing number of "guides" working underground who sit with people after they take mushrooms or LSD, don headphones and eyeshades, and wait for what the compounds conjure. Their "patients" usually take double or triple the "concert dose," which is about 2 grams of mushrooms or 100 micrograms of LSD. Sometimes, subjects will take a "heroic" dose, which is three to four times what they might take recreationally. At that level, the ego often dissolves and the user feels inseparable from the rest of the universe.

The key, especially at high doses, is to "integrate" the experience into everyday life. Research shows that a single trip can lift someone suffering from depression out of a rut, but it is more likely to last if followed by sessions aimed at understanding what happened, guides say.

"Of all the things I could be doing to help people get through this time, I can't think of anything better," said one guide, who declined to be named. "Many people who come to me say, 'My psychiatrist is on board with this,' because it helps them process things."

The magic in mushrooms comes from the molecule psilocybin. When digested, psilocybin breaks down into psilocin, a compound that looks like serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, memory and the sensing of pleasure. Scientists suspect that psilocin stimulates serotonin receptors, causing parts of the brain that are normally isolated to connect. Those new connections appear to ramp up the brain in extraordinary ways.

On her first therapeutic trip, Carolyn Fine knew immediately that she had to make the same experience available to others, which is hard because mushrooms and most other psychedelic compounds are still Schedule I illegal drugs, meaning that the U.S. government considers them as addictive and dangerous as heroin.

Fine felt her white privilege acutely when she thought about how she could pick up a bag of illegal drugs and drive off to the coast without getting busted. So she started the Psychedelic Equity Project to "center BIPOC voices, and try to create some safer spaces for the exploration of life on the psychedelic path."

So much of the "psychedelic renaissance" is attributed to white men like Michael Pollan, she says, and it's important to remember that psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, ayahuasca and other natural compounds were first used by Indigenous people.

"White people didn't invent this," she says.

There has been progress, says Gabe, 23, a BIPOC grower who works with Fine and prefers to use only his first name because of the legal risks. A regular at the nightly protests for racial justice, he sells his mushrooms on a sliding scale to people in the movement and beyond. Wealthy customers pay a premium so he can give some away to people who make minimum wage or who are experiencing houselessness.

"I see this as my mock socialist economy," he says. Socialist or not, his business is booming: "Since the start of the pandemic, my sales have skyrocketed," he says.

But Gabe, like some in the psychedelic community, oppose Measure 109, which would leave out protections for small growers like him. It will favor growers with capital who can afford certification of their businesses, he says, and wall off the use of a naturally occurring compound by people outside the dominant white culture. (Sam Chapman, campaign manager for Yes on 109, says the campaign has "been working alongside local and national BIPOC community leaders to ensure that psilocybin therapy is equitable, accessible and affordable for all.")

Fine and Gabe see mushrooms as fuel for the Black Lives Matter movement and other efforts for change. Many of Gabe's customers are "microdosing" psilocybin, taking tiny amounts lift their moods and help them process the trauma of the conflict. "A lot of people don't have energy for the fight," Gabe says. "This medicine gives people a renewed sense of purpose."

Like many people who have had profound experiences with psilocybin, Fine and Gabe talk about psychedelic mushrooms with reverence. They describe them as conscious beings that may be searching us out because the world is at a tipping point.

"A lot of people think the psychedelic renaissance, is about the mushrooms trying to wake us the fuck up before we destroy the planet," Fine says. "They are incredible teachers, but they don't necessarily care about our feelings. You might have a beautiful, mystical experience, but you can have a punishing and destabilizing one, too. Go in knowing that you have a big responsibility to metabolize and integrate the experience you have, and don't go it alone."

About Anthony Effinger

Anthony Effinger is a freelance writer in Portland. He was a magazine writer at Bloomberg News for two decades, covering technology, hedge funds, overpriced Montana real estate, and billionaires behaving badly. Before Bloomberg, he worked for McGraw-Hill as an editor at the super sexy magazine, Metals Week.


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OfflineHolybullshit
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: sonoramo]
    #26972493 - 10/06/20 06:31 PM (14 days, 32 minutes ago)

Cool story, I wish there was stuff like that around here.

I do have to say I have a little problem with the mushrooms are teachers/conscious narrative, I think you risk putting a lot of people off with that shit.

I like how, I think it was Shulgin, put it more, that everything you learn/experience on said substances comes from inside you, its always been there, and the molecules are just a key.


Edited by Holybullshit (10/06/20 08:35 PM)


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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Holybullshit]
    #26972978 - 10/06/20 11:56 PM (13 days, 19 hours ago)

Having been there quite a bit and brother that has a place he just rents why does other jobs because he got a good deal out of it and will see if I can stay there to see what the vibe is like.

Good to have 4 brothers.  Would be interesting being there and going on a few shroom trips.  But yeah, you take yourself with you.:murray: 

From everything I have read, this article doesn't surprise me.  Would be strange flying into PDX after being there last year.  Fuck microdosing I know where my comfort zone is.


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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Barnaby]
    #26973106 - 10/07/20 03:43 AM (13 days, 15 hours ago)



SLEEP!  On with the night.


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OfflineWeebleWobble
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Holybullshit]
    #26973349 - 10/07/20 09:13 AM (13 days, 9 hours ago)

Quote:

Holybullshit said:
Cool story, I wish there was stuff like that around here.

I do have to say I have a little problem with the mushrooms are teachers/conscious narrative, I think you risk putting a lot of people off with that shit.

I like how, I think it was Shulgin, put it more, that everything you learn/experience on said substances comes from inside you, its always been there, and the molecules are just a key.




I'm definitely in the "mushrooms are conscious" group, although it's not necessary to play that angle to get these legalized for therapeautic usage.


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OfflineHolybullshit
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: WeebleWobble]
    #26973484 - 10/07/20 11:07 AM (13 days, 7 hours ago)

It's not just not necessary, its counter-productive imo.

I mean, it might be one thing if you were talking about mushrooms as a way for an inter-connected living universe to teach humanity lessons, on a personal level I could maybe get behind that a little more, but it still wouldn't be helpful to the movement.

Talking about mushrooms as if they are sentient is going to have a lot of people writing off everything else you have to say and dismissive of the movement in general.

I don't care what you believe, its not going to stop me from respecting you as a person nor do I think it invalidates your other opinions/beliefs out of hand.

But, the same can't be said for most of the population, especially those who may already have ambivalent views towards psychedelics.

I think it's best to keep said discussions secular, rooted in facts and science, and let people come to their own conclusions about the mystical and meta-physical aspects of mushrooms.


Edited by Holybullshit (10/07/20 11:16 AM)


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OfflineQuirkmeister92
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Registered: 02/01/18
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Holybullshit]
    #26973523 - 10/07/20 11:52 AM (13 days, 7 hours ago)

Quote:

Holybullshit said:
It's not just not necessary, its counter-productive




:whathesaid:

:havesomescience:


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OfflineJizzMasterZero
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Quirkmeister92]
    #26974257 - 10/07/20 07:56 PM (12 days, 23 hours ago)

Tripping in Portland sounds like the worse idea ever.


--------------------


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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: JizzMasterZero]
    #26974722 - 10/08/20 01:59 AM (12 days, 17 hours ago)

I went to Woodstock '99 and took a massive dose of lsd with some shrooms.  You want to see what anarchy is like, which isn't a good thing, I can handle Portland.  That is nothing.:shrug:

Plus I am not black.  That always helps wherever one is.:wonka:  With respect.  Law enforcement needs to be reformed and demilitarized.  My stand on it.


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OfflineFractal420
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Barnaby]
    #26976389 - 10/09/20 04:35 AM (11 days, 14 hours ago)

Just Portlanders huh?

Ps “dominant white culture” wtf

AA+ dishes?


--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Fractal420]
    #26976619 - 10/09/20 10:25 AM (11 days, 8 hours ago)

Yeah.:finger:


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OfflineHolybullshit
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: JizzMasterZero]
    #26976620 - 10/09/20 10:26 AM (11 days, 8 hours ago)

Quote:

JizzMasterZero said:
Tripping in Portland sounds like the worse idea ever.




Why?


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OfflineFractal420
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Holybullshit]
    #26976633 - 10/09/20 10:30 AM (11 days, 8 hours ago)

My point is, who is waiting?

This whole site is built around the idea of DIY

Quote:

So much of the "psychedelic renaissance" is attributed to white men like Michael Pollan, she says, and it's important to remember that psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, ayahuasca and other natural compounds were first used by Indigenous people.




This is not legal cannabis, this idea blows my mind because I’ve never assigned a color to shroom trips. Maybe dark blue

Are they trying to say that most hippies are white, the people trying to actually legalize them? Michael Pollan is one of a very few public figures I can think of at all. People of all races should support psychedelics, because psychedelics support people of all races!




--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



Edited by Fractal420 (10/09/20 10:47 AM)


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Offlinescreamshape
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: sonoramo]
    #26976637 - 10/09/20 10:31 AM (11 days, 8 hours ago)

i like how Carolyn had a cosmic experience where she "held the universe in her hand" and now she wants to pre-judge people based on the color of their skin.


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OfflineHolybullshit
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: screamshape]
    #26977174 - 10/09/20 05:05 PM (11 days, 1 hour ago)

Quote:

screamshape said:
i like how Carolyn had a cosmic experience where she "held the universe in her hand" and now she wants to pre-judge people based on the color of their skin.




And what was her pre-judgement exactly?

Race does matter. It shouldn't, but it does. That's the reality we live in. Pretending as if that isn't true only accomplishes one thing, perpetuating the status quo.

Bias and prejudice is found at every level of our society, and it's ridiculous to me that so often the people who want to pretend as if ones skin color doesn't come with real consequences and pretend that racism doesn't exist are the one's who see nothing but benefit from theirs.


Edited by Holybullshit (10/09/20 05:14 PM)


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OnlineLosTresOjos
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Holybullshit]
    #26977767 - 10/10/20 01:25 AM (10 days, 17 hours ago)

The whole concept of white privilege is simple: if you have ever got pulled over by a cop and thought,"I might die right now" vs oh look a cop, a friend.


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OfflineFractal420
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: LosTresOjos]
    #26978211 - 10/10/20 11:25 AM (10 days, 7 hours ago)

With mushrooms? Tha
Quote:

LosTresOjos said:
The whole concept of white privilege is simple: if you have ever got pulled over by a cop and thought,"I might die right now" vs oh look a cop, a friend.




Lol never ever thought “oh look a cop my friend”. More like “fucccccck look away”

If you’ve ever dealt with NYPD, you don’t have to be black. Might be less likely to get killed but getting arrested? They go for stereotypes of whatever color too. Like anyone who looks like a hippie

And a joint is enough to spend the night. If it’s real drugs, then holy shit who knows


--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



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InvisibleBarnaby
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Fractal420]
    #26978923 - 10/10/20 08:04 PM (9 days, 22 hours ago)

Fuck it.  Skipping Portland, brother says a no go.  So once again being there a year ago.  What a difference one different Summer can make.  Could still go but just wait and see after a month. 

Will be interesting.  Entering that esoteric phase.  Best to them.:murray:


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OfflineFractal420
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: Barnaby]
    #26979725 - 10/11/20 11:33 AM (9 days, 7 hours ago)

I’m missing my trips to Cali, even tho I have family there And my grandpa is very old and not doing well

Travel is really fucked up especially as covid is going up in most states


--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



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OfflineFractal420
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Registered: 06/21/13
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Re: Many Portlanders Aren’t Waiting [Re: LosTresOjos]
    #26979729 - 10/11/20 11:38 AM (9 days, 7 hours ago)

Quote:

LosTresOjos said:
The whole concept of white privilege is simple: if you have ever got pulled over by a cop and thought,"I might die right now" vs oh look a cop, a friend.




I think in the interest of true race relations, people realize this is the exact attitude that spreads misinformation and division among people who would normally just be joined by their love of psychs

The fact that people truly believe this is what breeds problems. Like who here has EVER thought “oh my friend, a cop” esp while trying not to get a freakin felony for shrooms


--------------------
Dreaming of That face again.
It's bright and blue and shimmering.
Grinning wide
And comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes.

Prying open MY third eye



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