Welcome. We’re so excited you’re pursuing psychedelic healing. We believe that the transformation of human consciousness is a human right, and we want to honor the courage it takes to seek out these medicines while much of the world still views them as drugs.
Living in the nation’s capital, you’re probably familiar with the odd cannabis laws. Cannabis is recreationally legal, but it remains illegal to buy and sell. The result: a controversial gift economy, where you can buy an expensive coffee mug and receive an eighth of cannabis for free.
But what about psychedelics? What are the options for a Washington DC resident to have a safe, supported psychedelic journey?
If you’ve been hearing the phrase “psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy,” it’s important to know that this mode of healing is only available in FDA-approved studies.
Therapy or psychotherapy refers to emotional and mental support provided by a licensed counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Because that license is provided by the state government, therapists must follow the rules of the state— i.e. no psychedelics.
However, providing a therapeutic experience is different. Therapeutic simply means “to have a beneficial effect on the body or mind.” An experienced and compassionate person can thus provide a therapeutic psychedelic experience without facing the same legal repercussions as a licensed therapist.
This is the kind of healing we provide at Psychedelic Passage. Read on for more information on the legal landscape of psychedelics in Washington DC and how you can have a supported psychedelic experience.
Benefits of Having a Therapeutic Psychedelic Experience
In a word, psychedelics are transformational. This is true regardless of whether or not you consider yourself emotionally healthy. People use psychedelics for all kinds of different reasons, but one thing unites us all— we are always trying to grow into better, more whole versions of ourselves.
On the healing side, there is a reason why psychedelics like MDMA and psilocybin have earned “breakthrough status” from the FDA, which means they have the potential to be more effective than traditional treatment. MDMA is being shown to relieve post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in one or two treatment sessions. Psilocybin—the psychoactive compound in “magic” mushrooms—is proving to be a powerful antidepressant with little to none of the side effects of pharmaceuticals like Zoloft or Lexapro.
Mental health disorders can leave people feeling like there is something wrong with them, like they’re broken. Psychedelics can disrupt this belief and expose people to the truth: at our core, we are all complete and full of love.
But maybe you’re healthy and simply want to expand your capacity to serve. There are dozens of retreats all over the world that use psychedelic medicines to cultivate leadership, clarify purpose, and connect more deeply to the earth. And through the practice of microdosing, or taking small amounts of a psychedelic substance, folks are optimizing their lives to be more creative, have deeper relationships, and increase performance at work.
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The Current Legislation on Psychedelics in Washington D.C.
Like the cities of Seattle, Detroit, and Cambridge, Washington DC has decriminalized natural psychedelics. On March 15, 2021, the district passed the Entheogenic Plant and Fungus Act, which makes the possession or use of plant medicines like psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and mescaline the lowest possible priority for law enforcement.
“Entheogenic” refers to sacred plants that are used for healing and spiritual connection— the word “entheogen” literally means “creating the divine within.” In addition to decriminalization, the act, also known as Initiative 81, called for the Attorney General of DC to discontinue prosecution of residents for plant medicines.
It’s important to note that synthetic psychedelics, like MDMA and LSD, were not included in this initiative. DC is the nation’s capital, and activists hope that decriminalization of psychedelics here sends a message.
Although the bordering states of Virginia and Maryland staunchly oppose psychedelic medicine, Maryland houses John Hopkins University, a psychedelic research powerhouse. If you decide to pursue psychedelic healing in Washington DC, the law is in your favor. Read on for the kinds of legal psychedelic experiences you can have.
Legal Options for Therapeutic Psychedelic Experiences in Washington D.C.
In Washington DC, you have two options for a psychedelic experience: ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys. It’s important to note that if you do decide to pursue a guided psychedelic journey, you are responsible for sourcing your own medicine. If you have questions or concerns about this process, check out our Resources page for more information.
1. Ketamine Clinics
If you drive through any major city, you’re likely to see ketamine clinics. Ketamine is not a traditional psychedelic, but as a dissociative, it can provide a similar disruption of negative thought patterns and beliefs. In a clinic, ketamine is typically administered through an IV infusion or as an oral lozenge.
Although the administration is almost always under the supervision of a medical doctor, anesthesiologist, or therapist, the amount of emotional support in ketamine clinics varies. Some clinics provide comprehensive therapy before and after the session, but others barely screen their patients.
The lack of adequate support is something to consider because no matter how powerful your journey is, the psychedelic substance is not what heals— you are. These medicines are tools that enhance your own capacity to release trauma or receive love, and support from other compassionate humans is how you ground this capacity into everyday life.
2. Guided Psychedelic Journeys with Psychedelic Passage
At Psychedelic Passage, we’re committed to providing you a fully supported psychedelic experience. No matter where you live in Washington DC, if we can physically get to you, we will sit for you.
Our programs are typically five weeks long. They include two preparation sessions, the journey itself, and two integration sessions. All of our facilitators are experienced in a wide variety of psychedelic medicines, including psilocybin, LSD, and cannabis. And although our facilitators are not licensed mental health professionals, we will work with your current therapist to provide an even more comprehensive container of support.
Ready to Take the Next Step in Your Healing Journey?
Whether you’re struggling with depression or simply looking to expand your sense of purpose, there is so much possibility available to you. Psychedelics are not panaceas, but they universally help with one thing: they remind us of who we really are.
It’s this potential that drives the work we do. If you’re ready to take the next steps, book a consultation call with us. We’d be honored to hear from you.