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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Here House: The Psychedelic State of America

 Psychedelic Policy Reform Task Force

From de-prioritization in 2019 to decriminalization and regulated access models today, legislation surrounding psychedelics in the United States has made incredible progress over the past few years. And this momentum doesn’t appear to be stopping.

Globally, we are seeing a full spectrum of models of access to psychedelic medicines – from ayahuasca ‘protected as a cultural heritage’ in Peru, legal in Costa Rica (with other psychedelics still illegal), to recently specified as outright illegal in Spain – there is much to consider when understanding frameworks, models of care, advocacy, and education in the current ‘psychedelic renaissance’.

As the United States continues its path towards regulated access, what can be learned from global and indigenous perspectives and models of use? How did we get here? Where IS ‘here,’ exactly? How can the steps taken thus far inform our current approach, where do we want to go, and what does it all mean?

These are the questions which the following panel discussed at Here House Club:

· Melissa Stangl – Founding partner & COO of Soltara Healing Center, a Shipibo-led ayahuasca center integrating psychotherapeutic support with wisdom traditions, with centers in Costa Rica and Peru. She is also co-founder of The Maloca, an integration and community platform supporting holistic healing, plant medicine education, and reciprocity.

· Kevin Matthews - one of the leading psychedelic policy reform professional in the United States. He successfully managed the Denver Psilocybin Initiative (I-301) which made Denver the first city in the U.S.United States to decriminalize psilocybin in 2019, and in 2022 he was the co-Chief Proponent and Coalition Director for Colorado's historic Proposition 122, also known aswhich became the Natural Medicine Health Act, offering regulated access to psychedelic medicines for adults 21 and over and removing criminal penalties for personal use.

· Courtney Barnes - a devoted social justice attorney with extensive experience drafting drug reform policy legislation. She also serves as a Policy Advisor for Decriminalize Nature, General Counsel for the Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform, and Education (SPORE), and Advisory Board Member of Heroic Hearts Project, Inc.

· Skippy Mesirow – Aspen City Councilperson (and Soltara alumnus!), a spark and driving force in the Aspen movement for therapeutic access to psychedelics, and Founder of the Elected Leaders Collective, a company bringing tools and community of mental health and wellbeing to mission-driven public-sector workers.

Facilitated by Martha Hammel of the Aspen Psychedelic Resource Center. This panel spoke on what the psychedelic movement currently looks like in the U.S. political space, as well as ways we can learn from existing international models of care and ways of knowing —The Psychedelic State of America.