Colorado to Vote on Psychedelic Bill; BrainFutures PAT Report; Trial of MDMA for Cancer patients and their partners
Greetings and salutations. Welcome to this week’s dispatch!
My therapist tasked me with finding a habit that would push me out of my comfort zone and cultivate creative expression.
So I committed to making memes.
I’ll be posting them on Twitter and at the bottom of the newsletter in the future, but I particularly like my first two, so I’ll give them to you right off the bat:
With my personal growth out of the way, let’s get to today’s dispatch.
Coming in Hot: Colorado to Vote on Psychedelics Bill
As a reminder, the NMHA includes a commercial ‘supported adult use’ framework like Oregon but goes further to decriminalize possession, consumption, cultivation, and sharing of psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (not derived from peyote), DMT, and psilocin for adults 21 and older.
In other words, the ‘Colorado Model’ is the ‘Oregon Model’ plus decriminalization.
According to reporting from Marijuana Moment several weeks ago, polling is too close to call based on two surveys offering conflicting results—but the combined sample size was only 1,708 respondents in a state with more than 5.5 million residents.
Judging from the op-eds, stories from local news outlets, and social media, I see three infantile arguments that could hold Prop 122 back.
It doesn’t dismantle the drug war
Business is bad
Drugs are bad
The first two perspectives come from the left, while the argument that ‘drugs are bad and need to be kept out of society’ is the callow perspective from the right.
Plus, I wonder if the complexity of the dual framework may be too demanding for voters to understand quickly and the language as it will appear on the ballot is not the most straightforward1.
Unless one has been paying close attention to the field and educating themselves with weekly high-quality commentary and analysis, then it is understandable that Prop 122 might be tough to understand.
The retail model of cannabis has a strong anchoring effect, and the concept of ‘services’ and all that entails—licensed centers and facilitators, support, preparation, integration, etc.—is not intuitive to most people and takes some explaining.
As for me, I like the bill, and I hope that Prop 122 passes.
Elements of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy: A Report from Brain Futures
This week, our friends at BrainFutures, the nonprofit citizen advocacy organization focused on advancing the practical applications of new scientific understanding of the brain, published an extensive report on the therapeutic component of Psychedelic Assisted Therapy.
With interviews from experts like Mary Cosimano, Bill Richards, Robin Carhart-Harris, and Michael and Annie Mithoefer, the report is a deep dive into the details like
Screening & Assessment
Set & Setting
Whether you’re a medical professional, a patient, or just interested in this topic, it’s worth reading.
The report is an excellent overview for clinicians and would-be psychedelic therapists and a solid primer for psychedelic services and retreat centers who want to get a handle on what goes into a good experience.
You can find the report here.
Novel Study Design: MDMA for Cancer patients and Their Significant Other
Sunstone Therapies will be conducting an open-label feasibility study of MDMA-assisted therapy for cancer patients and their partners for the treatment of Adjustment Disorder.
From the trial page and clinicaltrials.gov
“This open-label single site concurrent mixed-method phase 2 pilot trial will assess the feasibility, tolerability, and preliminary effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy for adjustment disorder (AD) in 10 dyads of patients with cancer and a concerned significant other (CSO) (20 participants total). The intervention will include two doses of MDMA, administered during the Treatment Period with manualized therapy. This 8-week Treatment Period includes two Preparatory Sessions and four Integrative Sessions of non-drug therapy.”
MDMA has been shown to increase feelings of empathy, love, and connection, as well as decrease anxiety and fear. While most MDMA research has centered around PTSD, it’s thought that the heart-opening and fear-relaxing quality of the experience can be helpful for couples therapy.
This trial is a unique twist on this concept that I would venture to guess will have meaningful results.
📺 A new PBS documentary—Can Psychedelics Cure?—looks at the Psychedelic Renaissance
🗽 Marc Gunther reviews the Horizon’s NYC conference
😵💫 Do Psychedelics attract the unstable?
That’s it for this week—now I have to go listen to an 8-hour podcast—see you next time.
“Shall there be a change to the Colorado Revised Statutes concerning legal regulated access to natural medicine for persons 21 years of age or older, and, in connection therewith, defining natural medicine as certain plants or fungi that affect a person’s mental health and are controlled substances under state law; establishing a natural medicine regulated access program for supervised care, and requiring the department of regulatory agencies to implement the program and comprehensively regulate natural medicine to protect public health and safety; creating an advisory board to advise the department as to the implementation of the program; granting a local government limited authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of providing natural medicine services; allowing limited personal possession, use, and uncompensated sharing of natural medicine; providing specified protections under state law, including criminal and civil immunity, for authorized providers and users of natural medicine; and, in limited circumstances, allowing the retroactive removal and reduction of criminal penalties related to the possession, use, and sale of natural medicine?” (source)