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Set the Setting: October 2023
Meme Drop, Ursa Major Recap/Playlist, Queer Sex & Psychedelics, Catch me IRL in Austin, Photo Drop
Meme of the Month
We published our final, confirmatory Phase 3 clinical trial for MDMA for PTSD in Nature and the results were 🔥! By the end of the study, 71% of participants who received MDMA-assisted therapy no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis. Notably, over half of the participants of this study were a person of color and/or Hispanic/Latine, making it the most diverse psychedelic clinical trial. Go team!
There are so many aspects of this milestone that merit a callout, but I dedicate this meme of the month to Rick Doblin, the founder of MAPS. This bitch founded MAPS in 1986 after MDMA became a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act - and has been working to make MDMA a medicine for over 37 years.
Working alongside Rick over the past few years is its own sort of trip. His commitment to the mission is unparalleled. His vision doesn’t make sense - until it does. His willingness to make the necessary tradeoffs to break the system from within is nuanced. I am continuously impressed by his vulnerability, as well - he admits his mistakes and strives to include everyone in the movement. I can’t wait to watch his biopic, Prescription X, which has over a decade of footage of Rick on this journey. It’ll be released closer to MDMA rescheduling.
Obligatory disclaimer: The safety and efficacy of psychedelic-assisted therapies are currently under investigation. No psychedelic-assisted therapy has been approved by the FDA or other regulatory authorities yet; no therapy works for everyone; and all therapies, even in clinical settings, carry risks.
Ursa Major Recap & Playlist
One of my favorite pieces of psychedelic research is the construct of awe. Awe is defined as a discrete emotion experienced in the presence of a vast stimulus requiring accommodation of mental structures. In other words, you are experiencing an emotion beyond what your existing mental structures can accommodate; this often facilitates growth or a new understanding of self. Attending GRiZ’s Ursa Major Festival had several moments of awe.
Devon and I led multiple workshops called “Psychedelic Coming Out Stories” where we helped people deepen their understanding of the role that psychedelics play in their life. Using a storytelling framework that Mareesa taught me (“Who you were before; your psychedelic experience; who you are now”), individuals practiced sharing their stories with one another. As expected, shit got real. There were laughs, hugs and tears! We talked about the risks of coming out, but why spreading our message of love was worth fighting for. We got lots of great feedback from participants - on the dancefloor! I was struck by awe, knowing that I had an impact on people’s lives doing what I love most; holding space for people to express themselves authentically:
If you know GRiZ, you already know the music and vibes were equal parts jazz and bass. There was some soulful grooviness and some neck breaking drops. I put my favorite tracks from the weekend into a Set the Setting Playlist. Enjoy! Suggested Drug Pairing: 2-FDCK, apparently 🙄 (see my note about drug testing in the Photo Drop for more context)
Queer Sex & Psychedelics
For me and many other queer people, psychedelics are a powerful tool for understanding and evolving our understanding of sexuality. So when I was asked to pitch ideas for Reunion’s Queer Plant Medicine Webinar Series, I said - let’s talk about sex!
Jourdan, Justin and I held a container for gay and queer men to share their experiences at the intersection of sex and psychedelics. It was healing, empowering and transformative. I’ve been paying attention to the kind of work that really lights me up and what I’ve noticed is that so many people have experienced dark and challenging moments in their lives. When I can hold space for folks to share openly, the shame they have around these experiences starts to dissolve. I’m going to continue bringing this energy to the world through webinars, speaking at conferences, leading workshops at music festivals, and through my 1:1 coaching practice.
Catch me IRL in Austin (October 13-15)
Where my Austin homies at?! Catch me at the 2nd weekend of Austin City Limits. As far as music festivals go, this one wasn’t exactly on my radar. I don’t know most of the artists, even among the headliners!
Part of the beauty of music festivals is discovering new music, so I’ll be doing a lot of that. And truthfully, the real reason I’m going is to celebrate Aubrey’s 40th birthday and to get spend some more quality time with my rave fam! Hudson, Ryan, Dallas, CJ, Tawny, Hunter, Slater McG, Johnny(?) — see you soon!
After a weekend of mostly rock/indie/hip hop vibes, I will be thrilled to see Deadmau5 b2b Zhu on October 22 at the Midway!
Clockwise from Top Left:
Test your drugs, everyone! Using the ketamine test kit from DanceSafe, I found that the ketamine I had been sold was actually 2-Fl-2'-Oxo-PCM, also known as 2-Fluorodeschloroketamine (colloquially: 2-FDCK). The reality of an unregulated drug market is what you are often sold is not exactly what you ordered; even well-meaning dealers might not know exactly what their supply is. TEST. YOUR. DRUGS. 2-FDCK is a novel diassociative that is a ketamine analog, with a fluorine atom in the place of a chlorine atom; and is relatively similar in risk/addiction profile to ketamine.
The view from the 59th floor of the Salesforce Tower, where MAPS had its “Brain Trust Meeting.” I co-presented on “Bringing the Ethos of Psychedelics into Corporate Culture” while looking down at the Transamerica Pyramid.
Bauer and my roommate, Mateo. We’ve all quickly become best buds.
Eric stopped by SF and we had a whole week of extravagant meals and good times. I’m so grateful for his friendship!
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