Mushrooms in the Limelight: High Times & Scientific American
Dec 02, 2010 | 1215 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SHROOMFEST … Had a two-page spread of gorgeous photos with a smoking gonzo story from Managing Editor Natasha Lewin in the Special 420 Collector’s Issue of High Times (Jan. 2011 – on newsstands now). Telluride garners lots of ink as an “exclusive Colorado resort” along with its five Medical Cannabis dispensaries (“two on main street”). As for the Mushroom Festival, the wide-angle parade snap says it all – lotsa costumed locals, Tony Corbin in the lead and number two son Gorio Rainbow Oshá lurking to the side above the printed parade mantra, “Fungophiles, unite!”. But it’s the partial rainbow over Pandora that took my breath away then, and does so now … As Lewin sees it, “While the festival pays homage to fungi of all shapes & sizes (toxic & edible), the underlying purpose of the yearly trip to Telluride is clearly: to trip … out. Thirty years of wizard hats and fairy wings is nothing to shake a spore at” … Dates have changed for next year’s Shroomfest: Aug. 18-21 – we’re moving away from the Filmfest and Burning Man and the first week of school for most college students, but still in range for the August rains.

“HALLUCINOGENS … As Medicine” is the title of the peer-reviewed health piece in the December 2010 issue of Scientific American by Drs. Roland E. Griffiths & Charles S. Grob. They catalogue a new wave of research studies after years of restrictions that all but killed modern scientific study of psilocybin (the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms) and other “classic hallucinogens” like psilocin, mescaline, DMT (dimethyltryptamine), and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), blaming “decades” of “anxiety-ridden attitudes.” Science, Griffiths & Grob say, is finally getting a chance to look at these and other substances that the popular media mis-classifies as “hallucinogens” but which appear to have some significant therapeutic value, such as ketamine, MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxymetamphetamine, popularly known as “ecstasy”), salvinorin A and ibogaine … Turns out, the science (in contradiction to the unscientific propaganda of the Drug Warriors) is following up early research from the Fifties suggesting that these currently-illicit naturally-occurring compounds can have beneficial effects on humans under strict laboratory conditions … Of course, many of us paleohippies have known about the mystical therapeutic value of entheogens (as many of us like to call them) for a long time, dating back to our own Leary-era bio-assays … “The new generation of hallucinogen research, with its better methodologies, should be able to determine whether these drugs can in fact help people overcome their addictions,” argues Griffiths & Grob. “Beyond treating addictions, studies have recently started to test whether psilocybin can help allay the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder … Recent investigations demonstrated that ketamine, given in low doses (it is normally used as an anesthetic), could provide more rapid relief from depression than traditional antidepressants such as Prozac … A recent trial in South Carolina used MDMA to successfully treat post-traumatic stress disorder in patients whom conventional therapies had failed to help. Similar MDMA trials are under way in Switzerland and Israel … Griffiths & Grob conclude, “Understanding how mystical experiences can engender benevolent attitudes toward oneself and others will, in turn, aid in explaining the well-documented protective role of spirituality in psychological well-being and health. Mystical experiences can bring about a profound and enduring sense of the interconnectedness of all people and things – a perspective that underlies the ethical teachings of the world’s religious and spiritual traditions. A grasp of biology of the classic hallucinogens, then, could help clarify the mechanisms underlying human ethical and cooperative behavior – knowledge that, we believe, may ultimately be crucial to the survival of the human species” … As I always say on parade day at the Shroomfest, “We Love Mushrooms!”

WHITE BUFFALO … Last week’s plea didn’t explain the catastrophic events at the farm last year. Bad fruit weather ate into reserves and now the survival of the farm is in real jeopardy. Hence, the plea to the regional community White Buffalo has served for more than 30 years … As Wayne Talmage explained in an email, “We need the money to survive. It is not the competitiveness per se that is the issue, but global warming and bizarre weather patterns that destroyed our crops”… For more info, contact Wayne at White Buffalo Farm, 16877 Grange Rd., Paonia, CO 81428, 970-275-2076. Tax-deductible donations can also be sent by check to fiscal agent: The Generosity Exchange: Attention Michael Toms,10 West Main Street, Cortez, Colorado 81321.


Every Step an Arrival

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”— Eckhart Tolle

I would draw you a map
to happiness. One-hundred
percent scale.The path would be strewn
with small happinesses—
the taste of the rye as it hides
in the bread, the three red geraniums
still blooming in November,
a tune from an old musical.
I would draw the path in real time,
each new step appearing every time
you move your feet.

-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
San Miguel County Poet Laureate

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