Compass for 1/23/21

With the rapid climb to the top of New York Times bestseller list in 2018 of his book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, author and journalist Michael Pollan managed to crack open a door that had been slammed shut on psychedelic drugs in the 1970s as part of the culture wars that were raging in the nation at that time.

In the two years since the book’s publication, several municipalities have taken steps to decriminalize the class of drugs that in multiple studies have been show not only to be safe, but beneficial in treating a wide range of conditions, from addiction to reducing the anxiety of facing mortality.

After the recent first arrest in Jefferson County for possession of psychedelic mushrooms in more than twenty years, a local group calling itself the Port Townsend Psychedelic Society is calling for the city and county to join the decriminalization movement by adopting a resolution defunding the pursuit or prosecution of such cases. Today on the Compass, we talk with one of the co-founders of the group, Erin Reading.