An Open Apology for Racist Language in the Women and Psychedelics Forum

Valerie Leveroni Corral, writing for Chacruna:

During the Women and Psychedelics Forum, co-promoted by the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines and the East West Psychology Program of the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), held November 19 at CIIS in San Francisco I twice used the n-word during my remarks.

I apologize for my careless and insensitive use of this racist term. It inflicted harm on people of color who have faced years of racist oppression. I also inflicted harm on the community, the Women & Psychedelics Forum, the organizers, and CIIS.

While I am sorry for my offense, I recognize there is no way to extract the pain or to soften the blow I obliged others to endure. The onus is on me to rectify the harm caused and, although I cannot take back the damage, I will work to understand and acquire a greater knowledge of racism to which I contributed and how to end it. I promise to regularly inquire, both personally and externally, to gain information that broadens my understanding of racism in America and work against racist ideology, my own and that of others. I will do everything in my power to carry out my commitment.

What exactly did she say? A transcript or video clip of this section of the panel would help those of us who weren’t there have a clearer understanding about what happened. The collective open apology from the group explores it a bit more and makes Chacruna’s stance on the issue very clear, but there are still details missing from this story that would be helpful to have.

Regardless of whether we ever get more information or not, it’s reassuring to see Corral and Chacruna make a public apology like this. Good on them.

Did the FDA Just Say Kratom Is Illegal?

Troy Farah, reporting from the excellent Narcocast podcast:

A new announcement by the Food and Drug Administration today says “Kratom is not legally marketed in the U.S. as a drug or dietary supplement.” This is a distinction that the FDA has made before, but never so blatantly. This puts kratom in a precarious position and invites police departments across the country to now raid anyone who sells it. We spoke to Drew Turner, a longtime kratom advocate from Washington, D.C., about the changes this will make.

The FDA issued this statement just yesterday. Does Tuesday, November 27th really mark the day that kratom was made illegal? Listen to this (relatively short) episode to find out.

The Bunk Police Is Looking to Destroy Dishonesty in the Drug Market

Russell Hausfeld, writing for Psymposia:

Psymposia spoke with Bunk Police’s Founder and CEO Adam Auctor about the beginnings of his company, their current research, and the range of experiences he has had distributing test-kits at events like Burning Man, You Are So Lucky, and Gathering of the Juggalos.

This is an excellent interview. The antibody-based test kit capable of identifying several different substances in one sample would be absolutely revolutionary for drug checking.

As a reminder, contaminated drug supplies happen to all sorts of people at all kinds of events, regardless of one’s gender, race, class, or status. Bunk Police brought hidden cameras to a ritzy party in Manhattan to find out what type of drugs the 1% has access to:

The results of this little incident were that the substances that these people were taking were terrible. Most of the MDMA was actually meth. The cocaine was cut with meth. That was definitely the substance of the night, methamphetamine posing as whatever else. And to be honest, they had some of the worst drugs I’ve seen at an event.

Taking that and comparing it to something like Gathering of the Juggalos, where there is community and people care about each other, Gathering of the Juggalos had just a few samples that were contaminated. Where the You Are So Lucky crowd — most of the samples were contaminated. That was a bit of a shocker.

It just goes to show that no matter who or where you are, you need test it before you ingest it. In fact, this might be even more important for those who are rich and famous.

The U.S. Needs to Decriminalize Drug Possession Now

Ethan Nadelmann, writing for Rolling Stone:

Imagine what would happen if drug possession were no longer treated as a crime. People would still be arrested for committing crimes under the influence of drugs, including driving, but police would no longer spend millions of hours, and billions of taxpayer dollars, arresting people in possession of small amounts of drugs for their own use. The 4.5 million people under parole and probation in the country would no longer need to be at risk of losing their freedom simply for failing a drug test. The stigma of problematic drug use would likely persist but not all the devastating consequences of a criminal conviction.

Our society is not ready to shift its mindset toward drug policy quite yet, but we’re getting closer each and every day.

Let’s Talk About Compass And Psychedelic Capitalism

Wesley Thoricatha, writing for Psychedelic Times:

Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. Gaining scientific legitimacy, ending stigmas, and seeking mainstream acceptance have long been goals in the psychedelic community, but now that all of these things are happening, this relatively small and close-knit community is experiencing some growing pains. […]

Much of this concern has landed on one of the rising stars of the for-profit psychedelic world, the US/UK based Compass Pathways. Compass made news recently for securing FDA breakthrough medication status for psilocybin in the treatment of depression- a major win for psilocybin research and psychedelic acceptance in general- yet their tactics over the years and their financial backers have ruffled a few feathers along the way.

To seek insight on Compass and their critics, and to address the larger debate around psychedelics and capitalism, we spoke with Rick Doblin, founder of MAPS, champion of working within the system to promote psychedelics, and perhaps the most successful and impactful psychedelic advocate in modern history.

After all the talk about this lately, it’s refreshing to hear from Rick himself.