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Microdose Psychedelic Capital: Ethics in Psychedelics

Microdose Psychedelic Insights held the latest iteration of its Psychedelic Capital event series this Tuesday. This last virtual Microdose conference of the year brought together a curated group of capital advisors, CEOs, investment leaders, and legal advisors from around the world. Hosts Patrick Moher, CEO of Microdose, and Richard Skaife of the Conscious Fund kicked off the event with a quick little Wonderland Miami event summary that went on November 8-9, and with a brief recap of psychedelic market updates in November.

According to Skaife, Wonderland Miami had “an incredible sense of unity and purpose. It was like a really big school reunion, where you got to see all your friends that you haven’t seen for 10 years.”

“The feedback was 99.9% exceptionally positive,” said Skaife. “We are bringing Wonderland back, and we’re bringing it back to Miami. We’re looking at doing it in November 2022. It’s going to be bigger, longer, and with more speakers. Next year we’re looking at doing it for three days.”

Moher and Skaife also introduced a new project curated by the Microdose team, Microdose X.

“We’re going to be opening up the opportunity for you to become a Microdose X chapter head where you build your own microdose community, invite speakers, build your own platform, own audience, all with the support of the wonderful microdose team, and you will become a special part of our family,” said Skaife. “It’s a really important initiative to share about psychedelic medicine to people, and not just believers, invite people who are skeptics, invite people who are venomously anti-drugs, don’t just bring your allies. Let’s do it in an evidence-based scientific fashion, get great speakers from top universities, leading companies from your area to talk about the work that they’re doing.”

This month’s virtual conference featured panels by H.C. Wainwright and Co, Roots to ThriveZeifmans LLP, and KGK Science. Truffle Report attended the Ethics in Psychedelics Panel, which explored roles that psychoactive plants play in building historical memory and the intersection of indigenous rights, racial and environmental justice.

Ethics in Psychedelics Panel

Moderating the panel was Jason Najum, editor and senior writer at Microdose. Najum was joined by K´uychi Florez, a Shaman Inka Medicine Man, spiritualist, mystic, historian, researcher, poet, and Peruvian politician, and Paula Kahn, a strategist and consultant at Cosmovisiones Ancestrales.

“As much as Microdose and its partners are at the heart of the business of psychedelics, we’re also in a unique and privileged position. We’re in the early stages of a new industry with the opportunity to build the foundations and frameworks for an entire sector. This sector will influence important issues like the future of mental health and how we honour ancestral traditions. How will the industry evolve? Will we just default to business as usual? Or will we take the opportunity to build different and more holistic models?” asked Najum.

Florez shared his knowledge about the mother plant studies (psychedelics and psychotropics), philosophy, ethics, race and mankind through indigenous teachings and knowledge of the past.

“We love the trees, the flowers, we love the essence, the aroma, the fruits, but we forget normally about the roots. The message is that we need to worship, to venerate, to respect our past, our ancestors, the  wisdom of our grandparents, so we can help more people in the future,” he said.

Najum then went on to ask how to maintain an ethical framework in a psychedelic industry, while honouring the traditions and spreading the medicine to as many people as possible.

“We can start by talking about this word ‘industry.’ Using the term to talk about this emergence of interests in psychedelic research and psychedelic therapy, and just really thinking about the historic guardians of these traditions of using psychoactive substances to treat the spirit, the mind and the body of disease,” said Kahn. “It’s time to acknowledge that we’re entering a phase of hybridization, recontextualizing what is ancient, what is sacred, and how we can apply it in the present moment in a way that advances unity and equity, and addresses social issues at the root. I want to propose that we use a new language because language reflects our culture, and it reflects what we’re thinking.”

“We need to come up with a new language together, something that is more in alignment with the type of culture that we need to shift to ensure that we don’t destroy the environment and our ecosystems and the possibility for our generations and future generations to coexist on planet Earth,” continued Kahn.

“If we are looking to address the mental health disorders that many entrepreneurial startups are seeking to address, we really have to contextualize mental health within the historical, socio-political, and economic context that has emerged after 500 years of betrayal between civilizations. Reciprocity has to mean that we are exploring all the different ways that we can be in solidarity with those whose lives are at risk for advocating against the logging industry, mining, etc.,” explained Kahn.

Answering the question by Najum about how to ensure that the industry continues to evolve ethically, Florez said it is important to remember that “there are many dimensions of life.”

“If the people could achieve this weird mentality, this way of thinking and well believing that there is something else beyond. The consciousness will be changed,” he said. “Whatever we do now, in service to others, to our neighbours, has a meaning. Unity is magnificent, but we need to be conscious that this is not the only life we have. Your life is going to turn on because every one of your attitudes, your thoughts, and feelings will be sacred.”

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