Magic Mushrooms: Amanda joined the U.S. Air Force in 1995 when she was at the top of her game. She was a shy kid from central Oregon, but she spent most of her teen years building up her confidence by taking part in pageants, theatre, choir, and debate at school. At age 20, she went to the local recruitment office to join the military. She was ready to see the world and learn how to be self-disciplined.
The Reason Veterans Are Waiting In Line For Legal Magic Mushrooms
By the time she got out of the service in 2000, her confidence had “fallen apart,” as she says. Amanda, whose last name isn’t being used to protect her privacy, was raped by a fellow soldier a year after she joined the military. Her mental health got worse, and after years of rough relationships with other service members, she was given an honourable discharge when she was about four months pregnant and showing severe signs of post-traumatic stress disorder that hadn’t been diagnosed.
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She would eventually go back to Oregon, but she would be upset, have been divorced twice, and have a new baby. After more than 20 years, Amanda works in Medford as a grief counsellor and has most of her PTSD under control.
After taking a class on psychedelic therapy, she was interested in trying psilocybin, which comes from magic mushrooms and is a hallucinogen, to try to get rid of some of the trauma that was more deeply rooted. Amanda told The Daily Beast, “I really think that psilocybin therapy can reconnect or even change those neural pathways because I need a reset.” “I’ve done all the hard work, but I don’t know how to fix that part, and I need to.”
Oregon will be the first state to allow the controlled use of magic mushrooms in January. Voters passed Measure 109 in 2020, which makes it legal to make, deliver, and give psilocybin in licenced facilities. In January, the state will start issuing licences. Groups that connect veterans to psychedelics will watch the rollout closely, hoping that the Beaver State will be home to future psilocybin retreats where new groups of facilitators can be trained and where many of the trained facilitators are likely to be veterans themselves.
Veterans who have been in combat or who have been sexually assaulted in the military can now go on ayahuasca retreats in Mexico and Peru through the Heroic Hearts Program. The company’s founder, Jesse Gould, said he wants to open a branch in Oregon within a year. Gould is a veteran of the Army who says that ayahuasca helped him heal from PTSD. He wants to start a pilot programme in which veterans are treated with magic mushrooms in a group therapy setting led by other veterans who have used psychedelics to heal themselves.
Gould said, “We’re trying to make this ecosystem self-supporting so that costs stay low, it can be scaled up, and therapists don’t have to do so much.” “Veterans can help their brothers and sisters who are close to them. It teaches communities how to take care of themselves.”
The Synaptic Institute, which trains people to be psychedelic facilitators, recently said it would set aside scholarship money for veterans who want to go through its training programme, which can cost up to $8,000. Veterans of War is a programme that gives service members grants to go on psychedelic retreats in Peru and Costa Rica. The programme plans to train veterans to be leaders at a future service site in Oregon. The Mission Within runs psychedelic retreats in Mexico for veterans who have worked in special operations. They also want to start a training programme for service members in Oregon.
“Many people who go on a retreat and find healing through psychedelics want to give back and get involved,” said Dr Martin Polanco, the founder of TMW.
Even though many studies show that psilocybin is effective for treating depression, addiction, and PTSD, the Food and Drug Administration still lists it as a Schedule 1 Drug, which means it has no known medical value. Oregon and Colorado have both made it legal to use psilocybin under strict rules. Colorado’s programme is set to start in 2024. In other cities, like San Francisco and Washington, DC, the drug has been made less illegal through a vote of the people.
Magic Mushrooms Requirement
Veterans who want to try magic mushrooms but don’t want to break U.S. law must go to Latin America or the Caribbean to find a place to stay. Marine Corps veteran Armand Lecomte says that psychedelic-assisted treatment saved his life. He helps MycoMeditations organise psilocybin retreats in Jamaica several times a year. Lecomte, who lives in Portland, asked state and local leaders to make it legal for psilocybin to be used in medicine. He said he wants to go to school in Oregon to become a licenced facilitator.
He said, “It’s crazy that these veterans have to leave the country they served in order to get the help they need.” 30 men in Lecomte’s battalion have killed themselves so far. “Some of my brothers and sisters would still be alive if they had access to this.”
Even though 56% of Oregonians voted in favour of Measure 109 in 2020, most counties voted in November to not have it go into effect. In July, when county commissioners in rural Deschutes County were thinking about putting a ban on legal psilocybin on the ballot, retired Navy SEAL Chad Kuske asked them to think about veterans.
After 12 tours of duty in combat and years of PTSD, depression, and anxiety, Kuske went to Mexico to get psilocybin therapy. “It turned my life upside down,” he said at the meeting. Kuske told county commissioners that going to a foreign country can be very scary for veterans with traumatic brain injuries or PTSD. “Especially when you’re going on a journey to get better.”
Pleased to close out the year with a story for @thedailybeast on how military veterans in Oregon are planning to use legalized psilocybin therapy in 2023.
Studies show magic mushrooms can be helpful in treating PTSD, major depression, drug addiction, etc. https://t.co/ymNtavbICT
— Deborah Bloom (@deborahebloom) December 31, 2022
Rose Moulin-Franco moved to Ashland, Oregon, after Measure 109 was passed. She wanted to open a wellness centre where she could offer psilocybin treatment along with floatation tank therapy, sound baths, group meditation, and other treatments. She served in the military during the Vietnam War. After her husband died, who had “horrendous PTSD” from three tours in Vietnam, she started looking into the use of psychedelics.
Moulin-Franco found that hallucinogens helped him get over painful events from his past. She, like Amanda in Medford, was living with the trauma of having been sexually assaulted in the military. A New York Times study found that almost one in four women in the military are sexually assaulted while they are in the service. Moulin-France became an expert on trauma after her husband died.
She had been thinking about putting a wellness centre on a piece of land in Jackson County that was out of the way until recently. But the county commissioners voted to stop psilocybin service centres from opening in rural parts of the county, putting an end to that plan. Moulin-Franco is upset, but she still wants to build a service centre wherever she can. “My county wants me to treat veterans with PTSD and TBIs near noisy motorways? “It’s fine, but it’s not the best,” said Moulin-Franco.
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Amanda, a veteran airwoman, says that she is traditional and that she hopes to be able to try psilocybin one day in a safe, clinical setting. Amanda said that she doesn’t think it would be safe for her to buy magic mushrooms on the black market. And the idea of getting treatment in another country is out of the question.
“I didn’t do drugs growing up. Amanda said, “I don’t like doing things that are against the law.” She said she wants to try magic mushrooms with a person she knows and trusts who is trained and has credentials. “I want to do it in a way that makes sense from a clinical and scientific point of view. Otherwise, I won’t trust it very much.”
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