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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***

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End Prohibition!

But then what?

It seems abundantly clear, according to the data, that prohibition has failed to accomplish its goals of decreasing substance demand, reducing violence, and protecting communities. In fact, it has pretty much worsened these issues while also exacerbating the problems associated with systemic racism, the prison industrial complex, and police abuses of power.

In regards to psychedelics, in particular, prohibition has done nothing to stop widespread use or protect people. It has only served to hinder vitally important science and medical research, unnecessarily restrict cognitive freedoms, and all but destroy effective public education around safe use.

It seems clear that the answer to the problems associated with prohibitions is to end it. Full stop. However, our society is currently wrapped (warped) around the institution of prohibition. We cannot simply end prohibition, we must replace it with other institutions. Namely, social services for supporting addiction recovery, properly regulating the clean supply of hard drugs to people with dependency issues, and, of course, legislation on the legal sale of substances to users of all intentions, recreational or otherwise.

Yet, there is another issue that requires serious consideration specific to psychedelics. Summarized, this issue has two parts:

  • preparing for the unintended consequences of ending prohibition
  • providing a cultural pocket for psychedelics that allows them to enter the mainstream without amputating their cultural potential in the process.

It is these two issues that we have Jerónimo M.M. on the show to discuss, with a particular focus on the latter. For we, as members of the psychedelic subculture, have to be careful that in the process fo mainstreaming psychedelics, we don’t mainstream ourselves. Or in other words, we need to be careful that mainstreaming psychedelics doesn’t destroy the heart of the culture in the process.

Jerónimo M.M. Mainstreaming psychedelicsJerónimo M.M. is a documentary filmmaker, independent researcher, and interaction designer with extensive knowledge of the world of Ayahuasca. In the past decade he has produced, written and directed two documentaries about ayahuasca. The first about the Brazilian Ayahuasca churches, the second about the use of Ayahuasca in the treatment of drug addiction. He has traveled extensively through South America, researching a broad range of Ayahuasca practices, and has lectured internationally on Ayahuasca tourism and the appropriation of indigenous knowledge. He is currently the social innovation coordinator for ICEERS.

The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service (ICEERS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming society’s relationship with psychoactive plants. We do this by engaging with some of the fundamental issues resulting from the globalization of ayahuasca, iboga, and other ethnobotanicals.

Jerónimo M.M. joins us on the show to discuss the cultural issues we are presented with insofar as integrating psychedelics into the mainstream of the Western World of the Global North. We also talk about preparing for the unintended consequences of ending prohibition and the amputation of culture that comes with our globalized export of psychoactive plants.

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Episode Clips




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Episode Breakdown

  • The paradox of tourism and how backpackers accidentally help destroy the places they visit
  • How the paradox of tourism has impacted places of traditional psychedelic cultures
  • The impact of ayahuasca tourism is having on the culture of Iquitos
  • The dancing balance of equality and inequality in the Western world’s relationship to indigenous cultures
  • The cultural challenge of finding a space for psychedelics in the Western world
  • The unintended consequences of ending prohibition
  • The history of exporting plants without importing the cultural wisdom of use
  • The risk of mainstreaming ourselves in an effort to mainstream psychedelics
  • How do we evolve psychedelic culture for a post-prohibition world without losing the heart of the culture
  • The complexity of helping encourage good cultural work in the context of illegal activity
  • How to talk to your neighbors about ayahuasca, according to the Santo Daime
  • Psychedelics are like a kiss
  • The cultural consequences of a lack of trust and the coercive patterns of modern culture
  • The dangers of proselytizing psychedelics
  • Should therapists be required to experience psychedelics before providing psychedelic therapy?
  • ICEERS and what they are efforting to achieve for psychedelic cultures, traditional and modern

Related Links

The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service (ICEERS)

ICEERS is a philanthropic, non-profit organization dedicated to transforming society’s relationship with psychoactive plants.

Jerónimo M.M.’s work

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