Culture

The Psychedelic Renaissance: A Conversation with Jackee Stang of Delic Corp.

In the year 2020, perhaps our vision will finally be improved and augmented. Perhaps a population desperately needing to change will identify the path forward through mental lucidity. Shedding ourselves of the baggage of today’s world will no doubt help with that clarity. And if we can finally, thankfully, breathe a little and focus on the exact things that are important while banishing what’s not, maybe then, our minds will be free.

 

Some people worry about climate and/or socioeconomic change. Others get worked up over presidential tweets. Then there’s genetically modified organisms, spy drones, terrorists, hacking, fracking, weapons of mass destruction, robotic bugs that spy on us, political agendas, student loan debt, or the moving line of words at the bottom of the television screen, endlessly reporting what’s wrong in a world where tragic news drives ratings.

We need a reset. We need to focus. And we need to do it soon.

 

Cannabis provides one method for intro- and extrospection; psychedelics provide another. And just as cannabis is reaching into the far recesses of the Earth, healing its way back into modern medicine, conversations regarding the utility of psychedelics are mushrooming, literally. I spoke with Jackee Stang, who co-founded Delic Corp., a company focused on “destigmatizing psychedelics for a mainstream audience”, with her husband, a seasoned veteran of High Times.

 

“Delic exists to define what psychedelics are and to better understand these hallucinogenic substances,” Jackee explained. “Often, the conversational level becomes a gray area. When we’re talking about psychedelics, we’re referencing MDMA [3,4-methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine], psilocybin, ketamine, ibogaine, mescaline, LSD [lysergic acid diethylamide], san pedro, and other hallucinogenic substances you’ve not heard of yet.”

 

“The mental health crisis can’t be denied,” she continued. “One of 5 people are affected by a mental health condition such as depression. Opioids are more prevalent and too easy to obtain. As the world is literally heating up from environmental and intrapersonal issues, the need for release of that stress is becoming greater. Psilocybin can have a greater impact on a person’s life than cognitive therapy has been doing for the last 40 or 50 years.”

 

Jackee has been around psychedelics for over 20 years. “Psychedelics offered me a way to move on from my childhood trauma,” she explained. “I’m extremely grateful that they exist.”

 

Like cannabis, psychedelics are nothing new. Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD in 1938 from compounds found in a fungus that grew on rye. And while it’s well-known that the US government experimented with using LSD during MK-Ultra, there were also studies conducted exploring the medicinal benefits of LSD, such as in psychotherapy and for treating alcoholism. Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is making a comeback. [1, 2]

 

Psilocybin is useful in treating depression [2] and cluster headaches. Ketamine was used in Vietnam as an anesthetic for wounded soldiers. The drug put the soldiers into a dissociative state. WebMD identifies ketamine as having major potential for treating severe depression. [3] “We’re right in the middle of several significant studies,” Jackee added. “A much higher efficacy rate is being seen through the use of psychedelics compared to traditional techniques for clinical therapy. In some cases, we’re seeing up to an 80% effectiveness in treating depression.”

 

“I’m not a scientist, however,” she continued. “I am an advocate for human freedom. Access to psychedelics is a human right.” Whole cities, like Denver and Oakland agree. Denver recently decriminalized personal possession. Oakland decriminalized entheogenic plants. Chicago passed a “lowest priority” law, making possession of psychedelics below a parking ticket. Oregon is weighing legalization.

 

This is just the beginning. In November of 2020, California will vote on the legalization of psilocybin possession, sales, and amnesty, perhaps, in part, due to the surging commonality of micro-dosing within the Silicon Valley community.

 

“The legal and medical conversations are very different,” Jackee commented. “Much like with cannabis, it becomes a pattern of states’ rights. The new psychedelic renaissance is happening much faster than cannabis.”

 

Why might this be? “There’s no doubt that the 30+ years of cannabis legalization efforts helped pave the road for psychedelics,” Jackee replied. “But psychedelics have more research being done. The psychedelic community has taken the academic approach, via organizations like MAPS [Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies] and a myriad of other academic organizations proving the medicinal aspects of psychedelics.”

 

But Jackee says the psychedelic community is “reaping the benefits, but also the problems” associated with legalization. Anderson Cooper recently covered a story for 60 Minutes on psychedelics. Consumption of psychedelics is becoming much more mainstream in the US than you likely might think. One study back in 2013 reported 32 million psychedelic consumers within the US. [4] An odd number of current articles cites this archaic figure, so who knows what the 2019 tally looks like. Or better yet, the 2020 number.

 

To many people, though, this much usage of psychedelics will sound frightening. They may not be aware of micro-dosing. Rather, they likely associate psychedelic use with “free-love” hippies or the Manson Family. “The source and quality of the substance matters!” Jackee exclaimed. “This is where we went wrong in the 60s. LSD wasn’t regulated. There was no effort to educate on dosage. It was a free-for-all that created erratic behavior, or at least behavior not understood in “normal” terms. It freaked some people out. Hysteria ensued. Which of course leads to really bad marketing.”

 

Add to these stereotypes the usage of MDMA or ketamine in rave culture, where many people might be consuming just to consume or fit in, without having knowledge on what they’re ingesting. While people might need psychedelics with increasing regularity, they absolutely require education.

 

And Delic Corp is ready to better educate the hordes of people now considering whether psychedelics can help facilitate their journey to a different way of life than what they’ve traditionally known or have been “taught”. MeetDelic will be the first psychedelic wellness conference, held May 2nd, 2020, at Wisdome LA in Los Angeles. Jackee and company have been working on the full-legal framework for legalization with Decriminalize California to provide a “citizens’ initiative” to be on the ballot in November 2020. They also specifically acquired the web platform Reality Sandwich to provide guides on psychedelic resources that have been vetted by researchers.

 

“Safety is key,” Jackee advised. “There’s a lot of misinformation. No one has ever died from psilocybin due to the psilocybin. It, in particular, is arguably one of the safest drugs known to man. But there are other psychedelic substances – mostly synthesized chemical compounds – that are not as cut and dry. We’re working to make safety cool again.”

 

She continued. “There hasn’t been a lot of effort to educate or re-educate the public. How is 5-MeO-DMT [N,N-dimethyltryptamine] sourced, for example? When you take it from a Colorado River Toad, how does that affect the toad and its ecology? There’s been a barrier to educating people on what these substances are.”

 

“But the fact is that psychedelic wellness is for everyone, not just the elite. Psychedelics are safer than alcohol. They’re safer than a lot of the air that we breathe. We’re trying to encourage people to come out of the psychedelic closet. It’s not illegal to talk about your experience.”

 

This is a conversation that we’re going to continue to have. Each dialogue on the science, or logic, or medicine, or compassion, or spiritual healing helps nail down the coffin lid on archaic, enshrouded ways of thinking. We Earthlings, Riders on the Pale Blue Dot, are a rare culture of beings, alone in the Milky Way, and for who knows how far out in the cosmos. This status comes before any race or creed. We need healing first as individuals, which should synchronously translate into greater harmony as a globe. The science has spoken, and the projections are what many have prophesied. Our minds and bodies can profoundly benefit from psychedelics.

 

Reference

 

[1] Nielson, E. et al. “The Psychedelic Debriefing in Alcohol Dependence Treatment: Illustrating Key Change Phenomena through Qualitative Content Analysis of Clinical Sessions,” Front. Pharmacol., volume 9, 2018, p. 132. [journal impact factor = 4.418; cited by 27]

 

[2] Carhart-Harris, R. et al. “Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: six-month follow-up,” Psychopharmacology, Volume 235, Issue 2, 2018, p. 399–408. [journal impact factor = 3.875; cited by 27]

 

[3] Singh, I. et al. “Ketamine treatment for depression: opportunities for clinical innovation and ethical foresight,” The Lancet Psychiatry, 2017 [journal impact factor = 18.329; cited by 27]

 

[4] Krebs, T. and Johansen, P. “Over 30 million psychedelic users in the United States,” F1000 Research, volume 2, 2013, p. 98. [journal impact factor = 1.24; cited by 27]

About the author

Jason S. Lupoi, Ph.D.

Jason S. Lupoi, Ph.D.

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