Proposition 122: Natural Medicine Health Act
In this episode, Coalition Director for Natural Medicine Colorado, Kevin Matthews, provides us with education about the Natural Medicine Health Act (Proposition 122) on Colorado’s November 2022 State Ballot. We dive into all the essential questions circling its design to create regulated access to natural psychedelic medicines for veterans struggling with PTSD, people facing a terminal illness, and adults dealing with depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges in a way that maximizes safety. You can learn more about the Natural Medicine Health Act and the backed-research behind natural psychedelic medicines at https://naturalmedicinecolorado.org/.
- What is the Natural Medicine Health Act?
- Why is there a push for this change in legislation with natural medicines?
- Breaking down addiction and the lack of resources and time
- Who is this act for?
- The regulatory process
- Peaks Recovery’s stats on clients
- What is the connection of natural medicines to Indigenous cultures?
”The Natural Medicine Health Act creates a state regulated system so that adults over 21 years old would be able to access natural medicine services here in this state. These natural medicines would include DMT, Ibogaine, Mescaline, not including peyote, Psilocybin and Psilocin. Individuals would then be able to access those services at licensed healing centers, or approved health care locations. They would recieve those services from trained and licensed facilitators from the state. It’s very much a therapeutic model and a closed loop system where there are no recreational or retail sales.”
welcome back to the ever exciting ongoing disruptive disrupting an industry yeah finding Peaks episode uh I am Brandon Burns chief executive officer for Peaks recovery centers your favorite host in that regard finding Peaks at peaksrecovery.com thoughts ideas insights that’s where these episodes are produced from excited to bring forward a pretty important topic today here up proposition 122 that’s going to be on the ballot measure this coming November and we’re going to have a discussion about that today and we’ve invited the Coalition director in to have that discussion with us but first and foremost the co-host of this event Clint Nicholson LPC Lac all the clinical things going to help us wrap our clinical right and left brain around this topic in that regard also joined by Kevin Matthews the uh well I just said you’re the Coalition director for natural medicine Colorado um who’s uh embracing this measure you guys are backing this measure wholeheartedly and uh bringing it to the Public’s view in this regard I think that this is an important measure for a variety of reasons we’re going to talk about the things that we’re excited about and supportive of it and we’re going to work through some of the controversies of it today and let the public come to understand and know why you guys are bringing this forward and what you believe the value of that is so welcome to the show and thank you for coming down here from Denver today absolutely Brandon Clint thank you so much for having me today you know I’m it’s nice to come down to Colorado Springs and be constantly reminded by the beauty of our state yeah you know something living in Arvada up near Denver um you know pretty close to the mountains but still tucked away in a metro area and like every single time I make this trip down south I’m just like in all like Gardner the gods is over there and of course we have the Air Force Academy which is which holds a dear place in my heart as well so it’s just nice to be here and and be in downtown Colorado Springs in your beautiful Studio thank you yeah yeah thank you so much that’s my experience as well too Denver great Metropolitan you know beautiful city but the Mounds are a little bit out there right yeah drive to them here and there yeah literally have to drive here in Colorado Springs they’re literally right there yeah they’re right there I’m a little closer to the mountains living in in Arvada which is like Northwest Denver it’s like still like a 10 or 15 minute drive to the Foothills but I think here it’s a little more accessible yeah it’s just gorgeous yeah absolutely so yeah we talk about you guys uh behind your back so we’re closer to the Front Range so uh diving right into this topic you know proposition 122 it’s on the ballot this coming November you know for me in this discussion uh again too we just want to provide feedback from an industry perspective about the value of this proposition uh for us as an industry and where this might go we think there’s a lot of positive value propositions within it um at the same time we are not the creators of it it and the voters at the end of the day are going to be the decision makers of this and we hope we can give insights into its future opportunities and why this piece of legislation can be of great value for individuals particularly subbing with you know post-traumatic stress disorder mental health disorders such as major depressive disorders severe anxiety and even possibly as well too substance use disorders at the end of the day so Kevin before we dive in all the things we think are opportunistic about this what is this measure what does it look like it’s framework and so forth give it to the viewers amazing yeah yeah thank you so the natural medicine Health Act of 2022 is on the ballot this year for the general elections here in Colorado you know we’ve been working on this for the past ah probably 18 months now there was a long process last fall late last summer and last fall where we really engaged with our community members other local stakeholders to draft a measure that we felt like was really compassionate and accessible so that coloradans would be able to access natural medicine services here in this state so the natural medicine Health act what it does is that it creates a state regulated system so that adults over 21 years old would be able to access natural medicine services so natural medicines as we’re defining them include DMT ibogaine mescaline not including peyote psilocybin and silosin and so individuals would be able to access those services at licensed Healing Centers at approved Health Care locations like palliative care Hospice of course addiction treatment centers and and in some cases in the comfort and safety of their own home and they would receive those services from trained and licensed facilitators from the state and so it’s very much a therapeutic model and a closed-loop system where there aren’t going to be any recreational or retail sales involved with this so the person wants to um get access to natural medicine services they would both purchase basically a natural medicine session where for example psilocybin would be purchased and consumed on site at these approved locations now we’re also removing criminal penalties for the personal use possession cultivation and sharing of natural medicines for adults over 21 years old because I mean especially if we consider the safety profile of medicines like psilocybin um these are substances that should not be felonized and so we feel like if folks are trying to use these medicines um to heal then they shouldn’t have to face any severe civil or criminal penalties as well gotcha yeah beautiful thank you for introducing that to the viewers out there and you know with that said we’ll dive right into it so we understand the measure now we understand what it’s at least trying to do so in this deep dive we’ll start with like why do we need it in the first place and so I’ll let you heed that question and then I think we can participate a little further in it by diving into kind of what we see as a need within our industry sure yeah it’s it’s really a great question and a very important one because we wouldn’t be advocating for this right now if it well I think I’d still be advocating for this but here here in Colorado specifically this year according to an organization called Mental Health America every year they publish an annual report basically ranking States based on mental health statistics this year Colorado was ranked the ranked last we’re the worst state in the country in terms of the number of adults that have mental or behavioral health conditions combined with the lowest rates of access to care compared to other states and then we’re also facing a veteran suicide crisis right now in this state the VA just released one of their annual reports that showed that um veteran suicides in Colorado are disproportionately higher when compared to the average across the country and so right now in this state we’re facing both a mental health and a veteran suicide crisis and so if we’re looking at the research with natural medicines like psilocybin mushrooms that’s been conducted at top tier universities across the country like Johns Hopkins or NYU there’s other universities in Europe those clinical studies are showing just how effective these natural medicines can be to treat things like major depression extreme anxiety you know PTSD suicidality right and and in some cases substance use disorders as well and so we feel like that it’s it’s irresponsible of us to wait for something that can provide such a tremendous benefit to so many people across the state and really just get folks on a path towards that path towards healing knowing this is not a it’s not a Magic Bullet it’s not a Panacea as you both know so well you know recovery takes work and and really that’s the beauty of of these natural medicines is because from a single experience or from a few experiences um if we’re looking at major depression for example folks are experiencing a tremendous long-lasting relief whereas in some cases if we’re looking at like traditional Pharmaceuticals or other types of mental health interventions you know it’s a daily process and so from a from afrom an uh using my train of thought from a an Administration perspective this is a tremendous opportunity for coloradans because it’s not something where you’re taking psilocybin mushrooms every single day right like it’s one maybe two treatments which provides months of long-lasting results when combined with therapy yeah I don’t often bring notes on this but this is an important discussion and I don’t want to say things that are wildly outside the scope of this but we just wanted to talk about uh briefly introduce two definitions of addiction in this regard the common definition from the National Institute of drug addiction Nida says that addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences um so that’s a pathological description of how addiction operates within the brain right commonly within our industry we’re referring to it as a biomedical condition the craving state is rooted and that is the problem and then from there we address the treatment episode where and this won’t ultimately be you know the definition of addiction but I think it informs the potential new definition of it and this comes from Gabor mate he’s spoken about this in a variety of his books texts conversations but it’s addressed in the myth of normal which is his new book that’s out that I would recommend the viewers of this episode to check out says addiction is a complex psychophysiological process it’s manifested in any behavior that a person finds temporary pleasure or relief in and therefore craves but that they can’t give up despite the negative consequences to themselves or those around them wow now I know I’ve said a lot about this as an intro but why do we need this also because the choice model you know you made a decision to use drugs or alcohol and therefore you got addicted you know that that is nearly a ridiculous notion in our industry at this point the disease model still has an incredible amount of value it’s reduced the harm it’s increased access to care a variety of different things have come to it but they’re all types of opportunities to kind of poke holes in this and so for our industry we’re really in this transformative moment of what to do next and how to do something greater than 33 outcomes 12 months post-treatment and that’s why I introduced this other definition because we’re talking about processes and Clin just hopeful that hopefuls
can you can you help us from a clinical lens this sort of Divergence from you know pathology to processes absolutely yeah um I mean so pathology really kind of boils down to cause and effect it’s this idea that this causes this so for example with depression lack of Serotonin causes depression so what we’re going to do is we’re going to increase serotonin and decrease depression right so there’s this sort of one for one very simplistic obviously there’s a tremendous amount of nuance but that’s sort of the general gist of what a pathological sort of perspective is from the clinical or medical lens now processes are obviously just that they’re processes that things happen because of multiple factors that come together and these things happen over time over space within a context rather than with simply within the brain or simply within the environmental moment that this person is experiencing it so the way that we treat processes is from has to be much more holistic in that sense and so I know for me as a clinician anytime I there is a discussion about an intervention strategy or a potential treatment that has a process based component to it it’s very exciting because it feels holistic which is uh which is the nature of the of the suffering that we experience comes from this actual holistic model you know it’s a process that we we go through and therefore it only makes sense that it’s going to be a process to unravel that so um you know there are to your point earlier it’s not a Magic Bullet right there are no Magic Bullets you know there is no um one you know like snake oil that’s just magically gonna cure everything but it’s another way to access treatment and it’s another approach that gives me as a clinician more artillery right it’s something else for me to access that I can bring into that process space and help somebody work through whatever suffering they’re they’re experiencing in that moment so yeah is that is that okay wait a way to land the plane that I threw out uh yeah and that you know and so you know diving a little bit deeper into those therapeutic processes right that you know when we think about something like a major depressive disorder the clinical trials the researcher it is there’s an evidence-based practice called cognitive behavioral therapy talked a lot about this on past finding Peaks episodes go back in time look it up online cognitive behavioral therapy in relationship to depressive disorders is really a in the evidence of it takes 90 days to reduce the ruminating features of major depressive disorder 90 days is a really long time and again as I spoke about you could get abandonment of treatment people could lose hope in the process which could further prolong that treatment episode in those experiences and out of that when we think about it moving away from pathology into process plant-based medicines at least in the research that’s coming from John Hopkins the past research you know pre the drug war and so forth is Illuminating the possibility that Clinton Nicholson everybody could be sitting with somebody instead of taking 90 days to punch through the armor that comes about through these you know depressive disorders and you know substance use disorders can create introspection within the individual within hours right and then now because he’s just jotting down all the things that are coming out of this process right an opportunity to break through with the individual and to move through talk therapy on the other side of it in a really incredible way that’s not available to us as an industry right now is that right sized yeah so we’re a little excited about this just a little touch yeah yeah because it’s creating this opportunity right it’s another opportunity for people to heal and it’s those numbers that you spoke about earlier Colorado and um the the sort of lack of mental health supports that are existing here and the impact that that’s having on people’s lives I mean that’s devastating to hear as a clinician and so um I I’m curious uh what is what about the timing of this besides just those numbers because it does feel like there’s a sort of Pop Culture moment as well and so I’m wondering um are you taking advantage of this point in time in order to to push this forward or is it just all very happens natural and it just the the planet’s aligned and we’re good to go if I’m being radically honest I feel like that from my past work I’m a little bit at the Inception of this pop culture moment okay um so just for context there I was the campaign manager for uh for decriminalized Denver okay which uh in 2019 de-prioritized in the City and County of Denver the personal use possession and cultivation of psilocybin mushrooms um three weeks later after that successful measure which was I mean we won by two thousand votes yeah if you guys could have been there in our watch party that evening so the evening where we’re watching the results come in it was you know we were down by a seven percent deficit wow it was like 46 no to 54 yes whatever it says eight percent but like every hour and a half it was inching closer and closer and closer um as those polling those those results came in I went to bed that evening like 1am after folks had left the party like oh we have 40 000 more votes to count that election was the largest turnout for a City County of Denver municipal election in 30 years wow I like to think that that’s because we had psilocybin mushrooms on the ballot sure and for the record mushrooms actually got more vote than the mayor um which ended up going to a runoff but yeah you know you’re absolutely right Clint like like this is there there is so much in the news in culture obviously in healthcare right now all these conversations that are happening around the potential efficacy and the efficacy of natural medicines to you know to to to provide mental health treatments and so I think it’s having been you know a little bit if I’m being humble just a little bit at the Inception of the Grassroots movement right which we’ve seen over the past three years I mean goodness Oakland right away then we had Santa Cruz Detroit I went and collected signatures in Washington DC uh tremendous advocates in our nation’s capital in Washington DC um natural medicines are are fully decriminalized there so I think it’s it’s not only a combination of this this increasing of awareness around how tremendous these medicines can be especially to address mental health or behavioral health conditions I think also that Americans and this is totally my bias but you know Americans are are looking for alternative treatment options because as we’ve already discussed a lot of the traditional interventions don’t work for some people I mean 33 efficacy over uh you know a 12-month follow-up to me seems kind of low and having been someone it’s objectively okay subjectively low and having having been a person like like I can validate that because of you know I um when I was diagnosed with major depression when I was at West Point like you know I was on an antidepressant and a sleeping aid and you know I wouldn’t say that I was sad or happy it was kind of this like gray medium of neutrality if I’m just a drone walking through my life and then when I was introduced to these medicines in a very safe way um it was not it was not under a regulated or clinical context whatsoever however you know that experience having not expecting like not expecting it to be therapeutic it was tremendously therapeutic and and and basically like the intuition I got from that breakthrough experience with mushrooms was like Kev like you no longer need to be a victim to your diagnosis right you can start taking these small steps every single day to first of all jump full-heartedly on that path towards healing and then what’s the one percent every day that you’re doing to get better um and you know so you know and that’s where at least I am today personally being an advocate for this issue and an advocate for really this movement that’s been created over the past three years and arguably the past two decades um to to push this forward and just make these medicines accessible to people as many as possible in a safe way with that stated we have certainly touched on it already but as the talking point like who is this for right who is this campaign advocating for what are you guys seen and what would you like the viewers to know about that advocacy thank you yeah so so the natural medicine Health Act first and foremost is for individuals who are currently suffering from things like major depression PTSD extreme anxiety um goodness end of life distress so many folks who are seeking these medicines right now are looking at them from a palliative care perspective because they’re suffering from what’s like like a stage four cancer and and to help with that transition knowing that um you know potentially in the near future they may be severed from their mortal coil right and and their body and and to find peace in that um in that reality um now what we’re not doing is that we’re not requiring that a person has any kind of qualifying condition to be able to access these natural medicines so you don’t have to have major depression or extreme anxiety um you know there are certainly some cases and and arguably for a lot of people if you’re a quote-unquote healthy normal person which I think Michael pollen coined that term in his book how to change your mind like these natural medicines also work for healthy normal people um in in the sense of like providing more insight or more integration into their experience of being human so first and foremost knowing that we have this Mental Health crisis in the state and we have a veteran suicide crisis right now we want to make sure and and the measure and the model reflects that we want to make sure that these natural medicine services are are available to as many people in Colorado who could possibly benefit especially those who are suffering from mental or behavioral health conditions which is why um you know what’s so tremendous about this model as well is that we’re not only advocating for the creation of Healing Centers but also talking about integrating the the availability of these services with currently existing Health Care locations like palliative care like hospice like addiction treatment centers and so you know over the course of the two-year implementation period if this passes you know we really do look forward to being in dialogue with so many folks across the state who want to see these become more accessible and then especially if you’re already working with patients who are suffering like how do we bridge that 70 Gap and like you said like um you know we would you know we’re comfortable enough with the tremendous amount of clinical research that’s happened for these these natural medicines in the past 20 years to say look like if this is something that can work let’s try it and let’s see what we can do to integrate these Services into our Healthcare infrastructure and in some cases normalize using natural medicines again like psilocybin mushrooms for folks to be able to heal yeah and to remind the viewers who opponents or proponents or others have trailed off and thinking like this is just full-blown access and everybody’s just going to be doing the psilocybin every single day he you know going back to Kevin Matthews original point we’re talking about one or two potential interventions per year to the benefit of the individual trying to use these medications uh in that regard and I think that’s just poignant I want to stick that stick that bullet point with the viewers out there because we are not talking about a take-home bottle of psilocybin and unregulated access to however much you want in that regard at least through uh their therapeutic interventions like we would provide at Peaks Recovery Center and and if we’re looking at this from from an addictions perspective a lot of folks would argue that like psilocybin and other men and other natural medicines that they’re actually anti-addictive like you don’t and I’ll speak personally here like I would not like to do you know a macro dose of psilocybin every week certainly not every single day and and if you’re actually a person who you know for the very few number of folks who may be out there who like to eat mushrooms every single day you actually have to take more and more and more every single day just for it to even have any kind of a psychoactive effect and so you know the research clearly demonstrates that I mean you know these are schedule One Federal you know federally scheduled one substances right now what’s the definition of schedule one um there’s high potential for abuse and no medical value right and we know based on on the research that these are not addictive and everything is pointing to them having a tremendous medical value yeah so speaking as a just a major skeptic of literally life uh in general um I think yeah I think everything has potential for addiction because we’re just people right like we’re fallible creatures and we do crazy [ __ ] stuff sorry we do crazy stuff all the time um so I I think of things and I’m sure a ton of people out there voters everywhere are going to ask about regulation and what regulation looks like and how are we going to make sure that this is safe and what are the steps that we’re going to take and you kind of mentioned earlier um you just briefly mentioned this two-year period that is uh for sort of establishing what this is going to look like so I’m just wondering if you could speak to that a little bit more just to give a little bit more insight and some clarity into what the regulation components of this looks like sure sure so I think it would help to actually kind of give a timeline perfect for what happens when the measure passes in November okay so November 8th is election day uh two weeks later the governor would then ratify the measure so it becomes law in that moment the natural medicines that I mentioned again DMT ibogaine mescaline not including peyote psilocybin and silicon would become decriminalized across the state and then the next step there is for the governor to appoint our 15-member advisory panel that advisory panel needs to be appointed by the end of January 2023 and the purpose of that advisory panel is to make all of the recommendations for the regulated access program to Dora again Dora being the department of regulatory agencies so we have the advisory panel which is informing the state Regulators on you know what are the best practices here uh how are we considering things like affordability and accessibility what does the training look like specifically for a person who wants to get a license to become a natural medicine facilitator what are those training requirements what are the um the the legal and business requirements for someone to apply for a license to open a Healing Center so that’s a two-year process I think it’s important to distinguish that in terms of the regulated access program we’re only starting with psilocybin and silacin so by the end of September 2024 is when the state would need to start accepting applications for licenses um for natural medicine facilitators and service centers that are offering psilocybin mushrooms as a part of their treatment program and then it’s the it’s June June 1st 2026 is when the state would have to decide whether or not to actually include and regulate DMT ibogaine and mescaline and the reason for that is that we starting only with psilocybin first and foremost psilocybin really has the most clinical evidence backing it right now again from universities like Johns Hopkins and NYU and others Imperial colleges is one of those places it has the most demonstrated efficacy or potential and we also don’t want to overwhelm a state agency with creating different rules around different substances um again because that that that mechanism of delivery delivery or the administration or the the the the dispensing of these medicines might look different you know for example abigaine um is a requires a lot more of a medical uh guidance behind it to administer it yeah so we’re starting low and slow with psilocybin and then the state can expand to other medicines in 2026 but I think you know for viewers if if the measure passes we could see the state’s first Healing Centers opening in January 2025. okay yeah well I appreciate those insights into the regulatory aspects of it because it’s important for viewers to know I mean first and foremost that when this passes isn’t it’s not like a downtown party in Denver right that’s not that’s not at all it would be and goal is here it is also not going to be recreational Kevin’s mentioned it multiple times already on the episode that these medications will be distributed to the people who can provide the care in those settings where that intentionality can be informed it would not be like an 800 number you just call and then it’s sent straight to you in that regard correct that’s right yeah so this is the it the regulated program is a closed loop system so we’ll have Healing Centers that are only cultivating psilocybin mushrooms so they’re also storing um and possessing those mushrooms on site at a physical location that location would then be selling those medicines to another Healing Center that’s offering Services you may also have a Healing Center that’s only that that’s both cultivating psilocybin and offering services but the point here is that under no circumstances or situation would a person be able to go to a Healing Center and purchase psilocybin and then go home so that’s why it’s a closed loop system um a person again who purchases um a session with psilocybin they’re consuming those medicines on site and and then also they’re getting support because first of all you know through for a person who wants to go receive these services for example there’s there’s a screening process us you know looking at their past mental health history their behavioral health history you know what are any contraindications that may exist and that um where using psilocybin would not be recommended and then there’s a preparatory session where it would be like you know you’re sitting down with a therapist and talking about like why are you here today why do you want to explore using these medicines so the Preparatory session and then you have the actual natural medicine session itself and then there’s at least one integration session afterwards to help the person you know incorporate their experience into their daily life and to create a plan for staying on that path towards healing and I just circle back to what the some of the conversation from earlier um you know I think it’s it’s very insightful again this is from my experience uh Brandon you were talking about how it might take up to 90 days for a person who’s using an antidepressant for example to actually start to feel relief from their depressive symptoms yeah so four to six weeks for the medication to give to give that neuro uptick oh I am experiencing something different here but that feature is to allow for the opportunity for therapeutic therapy to take place namely talk therapy which is the 90-day component so if it took the whole six weeks to get the person in position okay now I can finally talk about what’s going on then we’ve got 90 days from there as the evidence suggests through just the lens of cognitive behavioral therapy of course so there are a variety of different ways to attack it but if that was the even though we’re moving away from pathology if it was moving if that was the pathology of it you know we’re looking at potentially four four and a half to five months to remedy something but namely what the medication gives room for the Third therapist to do is to work on that ruminating feature that constant I can’t get out of bed I don’t feel good whatever the rumination is is where the talk therapy comes into play it’s four to six weeks just to get really started and so it would be beneficial of that if that window was significantly collapsed of course a person could start opening up and sharing about their trouble their experience with a higher Acuity obviously the more um the faster that timeline needs to be so any tool that we can have to and and typically the higher Acuity the the more necessary the medication to uh to have that neural uptick so that the work can begin so there’s this sort of inverse relationship that is always kind of working against the clinical component so to have um options that would help us to to close that Gap to get that window as small as humanly possible so that the work can really begin from a clinical perspective obviously that’s extremely enticing and it’s it’s very exciting yeah yeah and I can really only speak to my own personal experience in that regard and just knowing for me personally um you know using psilocided mushrooms because that’s kind of the main medicine that I work with I’ve experienced Ayahuasca in the past multiple times a couple of a couple of other natural medicines too but but knowing like when the research says that there’s immediate and sustained relief which it does with these medicines but also from my perspective also includes like man I really want to talk about what I just went through and all of the things that bubbled up from you know my subconscious things that I’ve been repressing for so long that had the opportunity to come to the surface and to witness in a safe way um and then to be able to talk about it especially with somebody who’s a professional I think I mean it could I mean you know we hope it’s going to have a tremendous impact on people’s lives absolutely yeah and just for the viewers out there I know our industry is um you know has a curious lens on uh marijuana it’s past legislation where we’re at today and you know um some of the the the the the crying out of our industry for for a lack of better words but just uh the opposition that we’re experiencing and I think it’s I think it’s right sized at times from a regulatory aspect right you know in this regard I’ve got to go to somebody I’ve got to go through a process a system to even engage in the therapy as a process whatsoever going to the marijuana legislation I can just go into you know Manitou Springs over here pop in and be like oh I’ve got depression and uh so I’m going to take a little bit of bubble gum there in that you know Steve over there and I’ll take some of that and you know 95 THC versus 30 may as well do 95 percent right there’s a there’s an insanity of that from our perspective as an industry because that’s like going into a pharmacy and being like man I’m coughing today and so I’ll just take a little bit of that and a little bit of that and a little bit of that and then we’ll just you know see what takes place from there what I’m not doing here is dismounting the efficacy of medical use of marijuana but the propensity for harm that can come when and it’s unchecked access to it as a level of care and so what we’re noticing as an industry is for 94 percent of all the people who walk over into the Manitou stores over here have literally no issue with it you know it’s a it’s a party night it’s a exploratory night insights maybe a little paranoia you know whatever comes from it you know in that regard but in the 80 20 principle sense of things that six percent is consuming more than 80 percent of all the marijuana in the state of Colorado and I think that’s the thing we miss as an opportunity when it slaps not not slapstick legislation but legislation that um I think my charitable reading of the marijuana was to create that access right and we could dive into it further if we want but the whole reason for expressing that and explaining that is to say that to have it regulated to have this closed loop in that sort of way at least in my mind greatly reduces that potential and so what we learned through marijuana legislation in a hindsight moment is now coming into these moments um with a I think a greater priority in that regard and a little bit more recognition that we have to contain this in in sort of a way yes decriminalization protect people and their rights outside but at the same time because it goes through this filter we have an opportunity to capture maybe individuals with schizophrenia psychosis and these sort of things that these drugs probably are not going to work for in any meaningful sense of things and so I just want to honor that about the legislation I also want to talk out loud about what we’re learning from past legislative processes and how we can do better moving forward and I don’t know if you want to add anything to that or but I just wanted to let the viewers know especially on behalf of our industry that you know here at Peaks recovery centers we are as best we can thinking about this thoughtfully you know not just talking with you know natural medicine Colorado but we’ve talked to you know folks in Mexico you know Puerto Rico Costa okay we had Bree Walton last week who is a benefactor of natural plant based medicines who is not an abuser or have you know misused substances in the past and um you know working with uh Skylight psychedelics and Boulder over to New York City I mean addiction psychiatrists and so forth all these individuals are engaged and informed with this and from my perspective are appreciating that closed-loop regulation and so I don’t know if you want to add more to that but I just wanted to make that aware for our viewers out there that there is some thought and consideration going into this in a way that our industry might be disgruntled about past legislation sure yeah I’d be happy to add just a little bit more you know emphasizing that the natural medicine Health act does not create retail or recreational access to natural medicine so you know you’re absolutely correct a person’s not going to be able to walk into a you know a dispensary on the street corner and and take their pick of the different strains of mushrooms that are available and then go home we’re very intentional with that you know you know recognizing both obviously the you know the the efficacy and the safety of these medicines but also how powerful they are right and if we’re looking at the research we you know we modeled this therapeutic access after what the research has been telling us is the most effective way to administer these medicines to people and so what we’re learning here from the past 20 to 25 years of you know at least in our post-modern era double-blind placebo-controlled clinical studies is that these medicines are most effective when they’re combined with therapy Brandon you mentioned earlier the you know the research that was happening again at universities I think like actually like Harvard and Yale in the 50s and 60s showing how these could be potential medicines to treat things like mental health those weren’t double-blind placebo-controlled studies that were mostly I think observational now we have the research to back it up and if the research is telling us like here’s the best way to you know if we’re considering set and setting so that’s your mindset and your intention for working with these medicines and the environment when you’re immersing yourself in for this four to six hour period of time where you’re going to have a breakthrough experience and and let go of um well let go of your ego for lack of a better term you know what is the best way to create a safe container for that to happen so and so that’s where our intention is like how do we make this as safe and structured as possible which it has to be regulated model yeah in that context totally and so you know I want to talk just briefly here about for the sake of time in our audience out there for all the you know the facebookers out there you know three second attention spans so they’ve probably skipped over this whole thing but it’s so important stay focused stay with me out there facebookers uh in this regard I don’t want to talk about who’s on Facebook yeah I don’t know moms and dads older demographics for sure Instagram The Tick tockers all the all the people out there um but how these therapies are actually going to work in practice right we’ve talked about it on past finding Peaks episodes sometimes individuals come up to me and they say Brandon I’m going to do this on pod and I’m confused because I don’t know what the individual is trying to State about that we get after it but the things that I want to highlight about that is that we have these triggered States right we have these emotional disruptive dysregulated features of our existence that can come from trauma experiences Big T experiences little tea experiences that we’ve talked about on past treatment episodes but in that way we don’t know how to deal with those emotions and so this is very like 101 of course yeah I’ll add to it so yeah clinical add to it in that way but for my Baseline analogy here it’s like so I’m triggered and I consume alcohol and I’m triggered and I consume alcohol triggered and then ultimately through those definitions I form what our industry calls addiction at the end of the day right so we move the alcohol well I’m still dysregulated I’m still triggered I’m still disrupted in that way of things so when the individual comes and says I can do this on pot Kevin what he or she is trying to say to me is that when I’m triggered I will just ingest marijuana right but we’re not taking seriously concepts of neuroplasticity in that moment namely that the brain has formed the pathways that state triggered alcohol so to replace alcohol with marijuana is um not the correct way to go about that right we want to work on these triggers these emotions and that sort of thing if marijuana is a future opportunity for the individual through a harm reduction model so be it but we’re not going to replace drugs for drugs for the sake of numbing triggers right in that way of things um and also when we are depressed we might take an SSRI you know depression symptoms whatever and we keep taking the sris in time and for me the value proposition around psychedelics in general and the therapies around it is that we’re triggered and what this drug is going to be inserted for is once or twice per year for an opportunity to gain insights into those triggers what might be below those as triggers and then we’re not and then we’re going to remove the drug after the session and we’re going to continue that focused talk therapy on the other side and that’s how I perceive at least these therapeutic interventions going with a little bit more um eloquence then other ways we’ve been looking at this or maybe that the public thinks about how these drugs are you know mixed and matched in that regard you want to anything else to that Clinton well I think um you made an interesting comment you said it’s sort of like uh the dismantling of the ego right and really if you’re looking at it from just a kind of a neurological perspective or even a even a behavioral perspective I think we have these experiences in our lives and over time if we look through the process model we start to our experiences will start to kind of encase us we create these barriers and these these shields and these protective mechanisms that kind of cover our trauma that tuck it away and so we aren’t constantly in a state of trauma it’s um PTSD is almost the opposite of that it’s like a live nerve at all times it’s just constantly being exposed and those those protective mechanisms aren’t as effective they’re not working as much they get triggered more easily but for something like traditional trauma on traditional trauma uh these protective mechanisms are kind of what allow us to sort of function but we begin to function maladaptively because we lose access to certain aspects of our minds certain aspects of our brain that are what actually make us feel more work complete and whole and give us more sort of psychological and emotional options as a human being so so it was something like psilocybin at least my reading of it through your description and my base understanding of it as uh as an intervention strategy it helps it basically just dismantles those protective mechanisms it takes those barriers away with that said you are fully exposed in that moment yeah this is a fully exposed moment which by yourself alone without any sort of guidance feels extremely it’s a precarious situation to be in at the very least right so the fact that we are able to to look at the entire picture of what this is going to look like from a therapeutic perspective and recognition that you need somebody with you in order to go through this process and also you need to be ready to go through this process because it’s going to be big and so I think just to kind of flush that out a little bit and kind of to go back to what you were speaking earlier the the scientific or the clinical term for that ego death it’s called disattenuation of the default mode Network yeah and so if we consider the great Scrabble board that’s great yeah right anyway right off the default mode Network so and and both of you could probably explain this better than I could but that default mode Network would would be considered the the foundation of our personality sure which is which is composed of all of you know the the neural Pathways that that uh for you know looking behind the scenes or under the hood of our brain that make us who we are in this moment and how we engage in reality and engage in life every single day and these medicines it’s kind of hitting control I don’t want to say control alt delete it’s like hitting the reset button and it’s washing all of those it’s like it’s like it’s washing away um temporarily a lot of those those neural Pathways that that may have originally you know as we keep reinforcing them on a daily basis that are constantly having us turn to the alcohol return to the marijuana or turn to whatever it is that relieves us from our years of of you know trauma and and then I think like so many of the tremendous results that we’re seeing from these clinical studies I mean smoking cessation comes to mind um alcohol abuse disorder comes to mind where as long so after one of these sessions as long as we can and we’ll and then we create new neural Pathways that are positive that help us create new habits as long as we’re taking the time which is why you know post session therapy and guidance and integration is so important that that we can actually um you know really strengthen those new neural Pathways that are created after one of these experiences and then also have the tools um readily you know readily available in some cases to to minimize that craving or minimize um you know the you know the the need to use the thing or the activity or the substance that brought us relief in the past and I mean some of the results I’d just really encourage the listeners to just simply Google you know uh Johns Hopkins psilocybin clinical studies and see what comes up and there’s hundreds of scholarly articles on that yeah absolutely and this also reminds me you know kind of going to the point of what this two-year period post legislation would look like I met with one of the founders of a journey collab actually this morning before I came on here Journey collabs a bio pharmaceutical company whose mission is to unlock the promising science behind psychedelics to provide durable remission for patients suffering from addiction so when I think about therapeutic interventions right there is a way in which we have ideas about it we have common sense ideas about how this can punch through sort of the armor that would take 90 days in an episode to get through through talk therapy in those ways but we also don’t have um a great deal of evidence for how it would work in like a residential model or an inpatient or a medical detox program like Peaks recovery centers and so I bring up Journey collab journeyco lab.com Google it out there for individuals to just look up online because this company is actively on the forefronts of getting FDA DEA approval all the things you need at the federal level pre-legislation to work with one or two or three treatment centers to identify ways to bring patients in to use positive their positive curriculums and introduce a psychedelic model within it and obtain the research and the value and the outcome from that as a proposition and so stating here as well though we have ideas and opportunities there are active companies in the background working on the research and development of these platforms to positively integrate these features into models of cares like Peaks recovery centers and I think that’s exciting because it’s not just right from this advantage point it you know I can you know maybe we can hear you know put potential opposition to it on the other side of like well of course Kevin you know natural medicine in Colorado you’re going to you know be a proponent of this but um pop culture those types of things but there’s a real engagement across the world to bring this these practices into these interventions and people are trying to be very thoughtful about it and learn from mistakes and also you know we might be coming to the edge of what has been known as the war on drugs and the healing and all of that on the other side is going to take some thought because there are people and rightfully so who come through Peaks recovery centers whose loved ones are engaged in misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol who might be thinking like this is just one more damn thing I gotta take my loved one to treatment for in that regard and so just trying to give the viewers out there a little bit of knowledge that um this is being taken seriously and they’re very passionate researchers Physicians clinicians all of the people that we’ve given are you know when we walk into the emergency room uh our trust in the medicine that they’re delivering are backing this in a very big way behind us and trying to be as thoughtful as possible and it reminds me of the you know the point about misuse and abuse you know at Peaks recovery centers I do all the occupancy reports and so uh over the uh from 2021 January 1st 2021 to today at Peaks recovery centers we’ve admitted 520 patients the end value is getting close to a thousand so we’re almost there listeners statisticians out there but of those 520 patients we only have have had five individual individuals with a hallucinogenic diagnosis disorder of any kind so five of 520 and none of those were primary diagnosis the primary was either an opioid or an impen or something of that nature but the individual was misusing you know those plant-based medicines in the background in that regard so 5 out of 520 from a substance abuse treatment standpoint is an incredible data set if anything anecdotally from our own experience that informs that we’re not seeing a lot of people come through our program with you know natural based medicines as the real problematic features within the diagnosis code sets and just want to give that to the viewers for whatever it’s worth would encourage any addiction treatment center Mental Health Center and so forth to you know inform their own data about it as well too you have access to your diagnosis code sets and see if it matches what we’re seeing here at Peaks and then out of that we might have a little bit of wiggle room to think about opening our hearts and Minds to this as an opportunity so um so yeah I don’t know if you want to add more that’s it’s a it’s a tremendous point to bring up because I think it it validates a little bit of the of the enforcements and the the enforcement and use data that we obtained as a result of Denver’s successful decriminalization so I’m also I also serve as the president of the Denver psilocybin mushroom policy review panel in Denver so I work with our D.A members of the city attorney’s office uh Denver law enforcement uh police department sheriffs other attorneys other Health Care Professionals and our panel unanimously uh agreed and shared last year that decriminalizing psilocybin in the City and County of Denver has not resulted in any significant public health or safety issues and so I think that’s important to note especially when we’re talking about personal use and decriminalization as well just acknowledging that if we’re looking at you know some some of this some of these data sets that the sky hasn’t fallen like really nothing has changed changed pre-denver decriminalization and post decrim except that more people are actually more curious about how these natural medicines can help them you know with their with their treatment with their recovery Etc and I think you know that’s less than one percent according to your your data set right and that’s a tremendous number to know um I think what’s important to emphasize is that what what we what we know for sure is that the more that we educate individuals on intention your environments you know educate folks about an informed and responsible way to use these natural medicines then that maximizes the therapeutic benefits almost exponentially um and and again with our measure knowing that we’ve taken the time and the care and and just really paid attention to the details in terms of how these can be administered at a Healing Center or in a therapeutic environment um you know your that data goes a long way to help I think just just validate the case that these medicines for the most part are very safe especially when we compare their their safety profiles with other substances even stuff that’s in the home Tylenol alcohol nut Clorox under your sink you know so it’s important important to consider like education is a big primary focus here and that most folks um at least from what we’ve seen with our data who even use these medicines outside of a clinical context are doing so responsibly and to self-treat their own mental or behavioral health conditions too yeah and I you know and then just against the backdrop we talked about it in all the public sphere and all of that the you know the the vast majority of people who are coming to Peaks recovery centers well the majority of them I should say are alcohol and opioid users those are the two primary substances that we see most often in our care I’ll call the primary and Then followed by opioid says the next most used substance opioid use disorders led to 107 000 overdose deaths last year alcohol I’m sure is in a similar range from car accidents to domestic violence to misuse abuse falling off buildings balconies college parties all those sort of things and I highlighted not to say that in this regard that this is again the Panacea event of disrupting those things but for those family systems out there and the ongoing struggle and engagement with those mental health components not to mention major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation in that regard we’re losing hundreds of thousands of lives to these disorders not you know to us the the the substance use the major depressive disorder are the symptoms of the underlying inability to deal with and regulate our emotional states and that’s a much bigger conversation that I’m making it right now please know that viewers but at that sort of you know simplistic level in that regard um we’re not trying to compare contrast in that way but to inform that these symptoms are devastating and this is an opportunity to punch through the armor of the shield of the things that take 90 120 12 months to get well as a process and allow for more interactive more immediate interventions in a way that can hopefully lower those numbers in time in that regard and just wanted to make that known to the viewers out there so um going through this I think that you know we’ve touched on regulation we’ve touched on the therapeutic benefits multiple talking points that you guys are traveling around the state of Colorado and talking about currently I wanted to give one pause here for what is the connection of natural medicines to indigenous cultures because I know that’s within the legislation I think on the board on the other side as well too you want to be inclusive of indigenous cultures and so if you could just talk to us about the benefits for our viewers because we won’t have a ton to say about that at Peaks recovery centers but you know these plant-based medicines have been a legacy for some of these tribal cultures and indigenous cultures of the past and up until the you know the War on Drugs in that regard which you know is seemingly right a blip on the screen and compared to the you know the Millennia the hundreds of years prior of use for these tribal cultures uh in that regard I just want to pass that puck off to you in this moment to bring the viewers into why that’s an important piece of this measure for you guys yeah it it’s really a a critical piece of our measure what we have to remember is that natural medicines like psilocybin have been used by cultures all across the world for thousands of years whether it’s for ceremonial Rites of Passage whether it’s for Community Building or whether it’s for you know addressing any um any psychological or or social social systems Within These groups these medicines have been used as a as a tremendous tool um to really keep indigenous cultures you know even like like we’re all I think something for all of us to consider is that we we all come from indigenous cultures to a degree if we look back at the Arc of time going all the way back like you know Humanity had its roots and um in in indigeneity in this context especially if we’re talking about psilocybin or Ayahuasca or even mescaline what was important for us for this measure was to make sure that people who have been using these medicines traditionally from that indigenously informed perspective that there’s there’s going to be protected and they can continue offering their services without fear of criminal or civil repercussions um going along with that so much of the clinical research I think has very much been highly informed by how natural medicines have been used in the past by these cultures if we’re looking at you know what was the traditional way to have a healing ceremony so much of what we know from these different cultures has informed a lot of the therapeutic models and then to add on to that you know with our natural medicine Advisory board that will be created as a result of this measure passing we have to have at least one person who is indigenous who is informed and educated about using plant and fungi medicine in a ceremonial context and so I think it’s it’s just it’s important to acknowledge and then create the framework necessary to protect um the the history and the tradition and in many cases the Legacy behind doing this medicine work because you know for those of us who you know who you know we live in Western culture right now um you know that acknowledgment and the protection of the indigenous use of these medicines needs to be um protected as much as possible yeah can certainly appreciate appreciate that I think right if anything you know in Western culture at least in the past 40 50 years kind of post regulation at the you know at the levels at least we’ve experienced in what is called or known as you know the War on Drugs there’s a way in a perceptual way in which we think about somebody hears the word mushrooms right you know for me living in this world it’s like oh you saw some crazy stuff in your room changed and you went through all these experiences and I think the indigenous background better informs the intentionality behind that and going back to the last episode we were talking about toxic relationships with brie wolter right at the tail end of that she talks about the importance of those ceremonial aspects the creation of safety the the you know folks around her in that regard promoting this and guiding the individual through that this is what we’re looking for in these indigenous cultures have been practicing this for Thousand Years so no better you know group of you know folks out there to inform the positive value proposition and also this can be done in a safe setting and here’s how we’ve done it for thousands of years prior to this moment so appreciate you guys bringing that you know Ford is a topic and I think we’ve rolled through all of kind of our talking points today in that regard and if I miss anything certainly let me know on the outtake here but you know with that um you know as we said in the beginning look into the you know Cameron and let the Colorado voters know where they can get more information resources access all those sort of things before I take it out with our viewers absolutely absolutely yeah folks so folks if you want to learn more please go to naturalmedicincolarado.org you can find us on Facebook and Instagram at natural medicine Colorado we actually have a couple of opportunities for folks to get involved if you want to volunteer if you want to be an ambassador with the campaign when you go to the website click on get involved and you’ll see our upcoming date for our next Ambassador training which is on October 5th and then ballots drop Colorado’s a mail-in state right so ballots drop on October 18th if you support this please you know read read the ballot measure when the ballots drop have a plan to vote and then just encourage your friends and your family and your colleagues and your co-workers anybody in your network who you think might support this to vote Yes on this either at the Dropbox or on November 8th for election day thank you yeah yeah yeah Kevin thank you so much for being down here again Coalition director for natural medicine call and for the viewers out there you know here at Peaks recovery centers we talk a lot about our vision for disrupting an industry through quality of care this is a disruptive feature that we hope our industry can open their hearts and Minds to and think about in that way this is a beginning of our platform for educating you know voters and viewers out there on the struggles of our industry what this might mean as an opportunity and we want to continue to educate as much as we possibly can so before sending in that ballot as well too we’re going to be meeting with some addiction psychiatrists skylight psychedelics on October 27th we’ll be shooting that episode live to learn more from professionals about their insights into this measure and on top of that October 29th we’re trying to work with natural um medicine Colorado to do an educational event supportive or to really bring either opponents or proponents together to have a real discussion about this here in the City of Colorado Springs and so we’ll get more information out there as well too but we hope that we can make that a meaningful event for the community so whether you’re Pro or against the measure that we can come together and have a meaningful to conversation about it before we finally Check Yes or No On The Ballot Box in that regard and overall just appreciate the viewers who’ve stuck with us on the Facebooks and so forth in going through this to hear the reality of this measure what we’re trying to do and from at least our industry’s perspective one perspective within it how we think this measure can actually improve the lives and the mental Wellness of the individuals we treat at the end of the day so at the end of this finding Peaks at peaksrecovery.com thoughts ideas frustrations excitement around this measure send it to us we’ll talk more about it in the future you can find us again for the finding Peaks episodes on the face book the Twitter the tick tocks Chris Barnes with mental health awareness all of those exciting things he’s pounding his chest and running marathons in the background for uh check it out otherwise Brandon Burns chief executive officer for Peaks recovery centers thank you so much for listening and walking through this measure with us until next time we’ll see you soon