To say it is an honor to serve on the board is a massive understatement. I am truly humbled to join these incredible individuals as we work diligently to advocate, educate and pass legislation that will allow for safe, equitable and ethical use of psychedelic substances, most of which have been used for healing of mind, body, and soul for centuries."
As a Psychedelic Renaissance gains momentum across the country and abroad, a group of advocates and medical professionals in Illinois have joined forces to form a new professional society for education, support and advocacy of the safe use of psychedelics.
The Illinois Psychedelic Society is a community of individuals passionate about the safe and ethical consumption of psychedelic substances. With psychedelic-assisted therapy growing in use and acceptance and being incorporated into mainstream medicine, more and more education is needed for medical professionals along with community and peer support for persons engaging in these practices.
“It is important to acknowledge that people are using psychedelics and similar compounds regardless of their legal status and we believe they deserve to have informed consent, safe access, and adequate support to use them,” said Jean Lacy, a nationally recognized cannabis and psychedelic advocate and founding board member of IPS, an independent nonprofit.
Lacy is joined by four other professionals and advocates on the board: Nathan Gates, a licensed clinical professional counselor and founder of Spoon River Counseling in Canton; Amanda M. Walsh, an attorney, social worker and mental health policy advocate in Chicago; Rachel Norris, a palliative care and emergency medicine physician and founder of Imagine Healthcare, an integrated health and wellness clinic in Chicago; and Michelle Martin, a mental health and psychedelics advocate in Chicago.
“Our goal is to promote and increase literacy surrounding the use of psychedelic substances by educating the public on the risks and benefits of engaging with these compounds. We’re also going to be advocating for equitable access to psychedelic substances and psychedelic assisted therapy,” said Lacy. “We support a harm reduction approach that acknowledges the public’s interest and use of these substances, and educates the medical community and patients on individual and public safety efforts.”
IPS hosts events twice a month for networking and open discussions about psychedelics and these practices and brings in guest educators from throughout the psychedelic space to dive deeper into individual topics. The Society is also gathering community stakeholders and advocates to discuss the best avenues for changes to drug policy in Illinois.
The next event is a Virtual Town Hall on May 25 at 6:30p.m. featuring State Representative LaShawn Ford who will discuss the current draft of the Illinois Compassionate Use of Natural Plants and Fungi Act. Ford’s legislation would legalize certain psychedelics in certain settings.
There is also a BIPOC Integration Circle on the third Wednesday of every month and a Monthly General Meeting on the second Wednesday of every month.
For more information on these events or to learn more about IPS, visit the website.