In Kentucky, the horse capital of the world, there’s much inquisition about the legislative state of psychedelic-assisted therapy. With over 43% of state residents reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression in 2021, it’s no question why Kentuckians are seeking access to novel and alternative mental health therapies.
Psychedelics have been the source of breakthrough research findings, in recent years. Their efficacy in treating a variety of different conditions such as OCD, ADHD, and of course, depression, and anxiety, have given these mighty medicines their claim to fame. The climbing number of Americans who’ve begun to reject traditional pharmaceutical medications for their debilitating side effects, has brought about a new wave of psychedelic interest.
The question remains, what are Kentucky government officials doing to support the influx of emerging research and apply their findings to current mental health models across the state? Will Kentucky state laws adapt to the growing activist efforts of its residents and is decriminalization of psychedelics on the agenda for future establishment of psychedelic-assisted therapy?
Today we’ll be answering all of your burning questions on the matter and exploring what legal options Kentucky state residents do have for embarking on a therapeutic psychedelic journey. We’ll also be reviewing the cultural climate of psychedelics in the state by outlining the ongoing activist efforts of Kentucky residents.
Current Legislation of Psychedelics in Kentucky
From time to time, state cannabis laws serve as insightful reflections on what can be expected for psychedelic legislation. As of right now, Kentucky’s cannabis laws are incredibly strict. Both medicinal and recreational marijuana use is illegal within the state.
In fact, possession of any amount of cannabis is punishable by law and is considered as a Class B misdemeanor with the possibility of jail time and substantial fines. Unfortunately, these abrasive cannabis laws do mirror the current legislation on psychedelics within the state.
As of right now, all psychedelic drugs are illegal in the state of Kentucky. This includes, but isn’t limited to, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, DMT, and MDMA. Because Kentucky complies with the federal regulations for controlled substances, psychedelics are Schedule I drugs.
If found possessing, cultivating, or distributing psychedelics within the state, consequences may lead to at least $1,000 fines and one year of incarceration. It should be noted that in July of this year, President Joe Biden announced his expectation for psilocybin and MDMA therapies to be approved by regulators within the next two years. Meaning that psychedelics may become legal at a federal level before Kentucky state officials even consider decriminalization.
One upside to Kentucky laws is that psilocybin mushroom spores are completely legal to possess in the state. However, once psilocin (the active metabolite of psilocybin) starts to develop in the fruiting body, charges for psilocybin mushroom cultivation could ensue. Therefore only ungerminated spores that don’t reach full fungal maturation are legal in the state.
Psilocybin mushrooms grow in Kentucky, typically in pastures where manure is abundant. The most common species of psilocybin-containing mushrooms in the state are Psilocybe baeocystis, Psilocybe weilii, and Psilocybe cubensis.
The Therapeutic Benefits of a Psychedelic Experience
If you’ve come this far, it’s likely that you’re already aware of the proven therapeutic benefits of a psychedelic experience. However, today we’d like to exemplify the therapeutic value of these medicines by offering a more subjective illustration of how these substances can affect our mental health.
Allow us to set the scene for you. You’re 5 years old, playing in the backyard of your kindergarten class during recess. What does this look like for you? Likely, the colors of your environment are vivid and alive, the rubber surfacing beneath you is effusing the smell of freedom and camaraderie.
On your way home, the car becomes saturated with the warm and sleep-inducing embrace of the peaking, afternoon sun. Your eyes open to the sight of your guardian unstrapping you from the car seat. You rush past your guardian and in through the doors of your home.
Headed to the couch for some after school cartoons, you catch a peek of your lollipop-stained lips and tousled hair. “Just perfect”, you think to yourself, “I’m as beautiful as my mom says I am.” So what has happened between then and now? How have our judgments of self-worth and enjoyment skewed so far from where they once were?
The simple answer: conditioning. The more complex answer? Along the way, we’ve slowly detached from mentally perceiving ourselves from a first-person point of view. Over the course of our lives, layers of social conditioning and aversive nurturing have amended the ways by which we measure success and value.
Where lollipop-stained lips and unkempt hair were once an indicator of well-deserved indulgence and recreational pleasure, they’re now representative of poor hygiene and self-neglect. Where a playground full of kids once evoked overwhelming emotions of joy and anticipation, they’re now a sign of harboring germs and injuries waiting to happen.
When did we go from being the kids with overbearing parents, to the overbearing parents of our kids? When did we become the co-dependent mothers and emotionally unavailable fathers we were raised by? The answer? When the habits of those closest to us became the primary coping mechanisms at our disposal.
Somewhere along the line, or more likely, in multiple places along the line, overriding our intuition to satisfy the indiscretions of others, was rewarded. That reward may have presented itself as a verbal affirmation by a parental figure for remaining silent even when you were scared. Perhaps your mother’s face lit up after you listened to her daily rant about your father’s absence or betrayal.
Now, “being strong” means internalizing your emotions, and you’ve internalized them for so long that you’re unable to feel them, to distinguish one from the other. Perhaps love has come to mean self-sacrifice and independence means self-isolation.
Perhaps the only people you’re attracted to are the broken ones, the ones that “need fixing”. Of course, this isn’t what healthy love looks like, but they’re the only roles you were trained to assume. This applies to all sectors of life, not only in relation to romantic relationships.
You might’ve once viewed your mother as the most stunning woman to walk this earth, but deep inside she was a shell of a person. Her constant weight watch and obsession with physical appearance spilled mounts of insecurity onto you. Now, your ugly obsession with beauty stems not only from the arguably inescapable conditioning of commercial advertising, but also from the careless projections of your mother’s low self esteem.
These limited examples of conditioning are just a few ways that our society has come to detach from the objective beauty, sense of community, and psychological openness that exists in us, by nature. Conversely, these dulled self-reflections have infiltrated the way we relate and respond to the greater scheme of our environments.
So how exactly can psychedelics treat the conditioning that has surmounted to diagnoses like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and PTSD? Simply put, a psychedelic experience gives us the brief opportunity to see the world through a fresh pair of eyes. By reducing activity in the Default Mode Network (DMN), it reduces our identification with the ruminating beliefs that constantly circulate at the forefront of our minds.
This reduction allows us to detach from our conditioned narratives, the ones that tell us ‘this is who we are, this is how we act, and this is what we think about a,b, and c’. Instead, we’re offered the space and time to interact with our world from a place of internal and external reverence. In these states we can experience what life would be without the meddling of our conditioned beliefs.
It allows us to explore how and why we took on ways of being that never belonged to our authentic intentions. During the integration process of a therapeutic psychedelic experience, we’re then allowed to analyze our behaviors by comparing our typical modes or relation to that which we observed during the psychedelic experience.
Whether or not we fall back into old patterns of relating is completely dependent on your choice (or lack thereof) to take each day as a therapeutic learning experience for the betterment of yourself and your loved ones.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in Kentucky 2022
As of right now, there are two options for embarking on a therapeutic psychedelic experience in the state of Kentucky: ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage. Let’s review the nuances of exploring each of these options.
- Ketamine Clinics
Ketamine clinics are popping up around the country after the recent approval for off-label ketamine use. We should note that ketamine is not a true psychedelic compound. In fact, it’s a dissociative anesthetic that has been used in hospital operating rooms since the 1960s.
Its longstanding presence in our medical pharmacopeia is the main reason why its therapeutic use was legalized with very little legislative resistance. The effects of this drug allow its user to essentially see themselves from a second person point of view.
The benefit to this is that we can observe our present mental and emotional circumstances with more objectivity and enhanced empathy. However, it’s important to understand that not all ketamine clinics provide the necessary support for having an experience that catalyzes lasting change.
Therefore, when finding a ketamine clinic near you, it’s vital that you conduct preliminary research on the type of preparatory and integrative support each clinic offers.
- Guided Psychedelic Journeys with Psychedelic Passage
If you’re looking to explore a therapeutic psychedelic experience under the guidance of psychedelic specialists, Psychedelic Passage may offer exactly what you’re looking for. We fully acknowledge the difficulty in finding a qualified psychedelic facilitator who you can trust.
That’s why here, at Psychedelic Passage, we’ve made it our mission to curate a network of the nation’s more experienced and qualified psychedelic facilitators. We believe that anyone from any income bracket and background should have equal access to these medicines. That’s why we’ve established a fund that helps to subsidize our program costs for BIPOC and low income individuals.
Our income-based pricing includes a 5-week program that covers everything from preparation, to ceremony, to integration. Regardless of the medicine you choose to work with, if you’re able to source it, we’ll sit with you through every part of the experience.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Kentucky City
- Bowling Green
Psychedelic Culture in Kentucky
The Psychedelic Society of Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky works to provide a community platform for Kentuckians interested in psychedelic medicines. This group of over 730 members advocates for psychedelic reform by providing harm reduction education, information on research developments, and helpful psychedelic resources. Evidently, Kentucky state residents are ready for some serious psychedelic reform and we’re hopeful that state and federal legislation will soon be in support.
Explore How It Feels To Be Connected
If you or your loved ones are interested in having a therapeutic psychedelic experience, we empower you to book a consultation with us. Your healing is our priority, which is why we ensure personal autonomy every step of the way. This means that you have full jurisdiction over how your psychedelic experience looks like.
Education on psychedelics is the best way to spread awareness on the massive treatment potential of these medicines. So if you’re wanting to learn more about all-things-psychedelic, we encourage you to check out our resources page for more informative articles like this one. That’s all for now our fellow Kentucky psychonauts. Safe journeying!