Podcast: PT235 – The Entheo Society of Washington – Dismantling Power Systems Through Decriminalization

In this episode, Joe interviews the most guests he’s ever had on at once- 5 people from the Entheo Society of Washington: Leo Russell (Executive Director), Monique Bridges (Head of the Female Battalion and Head Guardian of the Santo Daime Ayahuasca Church), Malika Lamont (Director of VOCAL Washington), Tatiana (a lot of day-to-day duties that sound like project management), and Solana Booth (promoter and teacher of traditional Native American healing techniques and modalities).


The Entheo Society of Washington is a 501c3 organization and sister agency to Decriminalize Nature Seattle that is working to create community and treatment centers and eventually a movie about the underground psychedelic culture in the Pacific Northwest (in addition to their obvious fight for the decriminalization of entheogens). Their larger, more socially-focused goals are to encourage people to reconnect to the earth, accept our emotions more, hold space for healing and encourage others to do the same, see the economy around legal cannabis and psychedelics become much fairer, and their biggest goals: to help the most marginalized people receive care without being criminalized, and to dismantle the very systems of power that keep marginalizing them.

Notable Quotes

“I consider the first wave of the psychedelic movement to be very masculine-oriented. So for me, just my personal opinion- the second wave just feels much more diverse, and I see a lot more women leading, and I’m excited about these women. I have lots of curiosity about them. …how they’ve come up and how they found their voice. We’ve never seen women before lead in grassroots psychedelic political efforts. We’ve never seen that in human history. So I just want to celebrate these women. I want to help the ones that are behind a mountain and lift them up.” -Leo Russell

“What is extremely attractive about decriminalization of psychedelics is that we know that the most potential is there to be able to help people heal from the issues that have impacted them through systemic violence. However, we can’t stop there, because just to heal somebody to throw them back into a harmful system is not enough. We need to dismantle the systems.” -Malika Lamont

“I do believe that there’s also a shift in general towards not criminalizing people for any kind of substance use. I think that that is a very real, attainable goal. It’s coming, and I really believe that.” -Tatiana

“I really don’t like it when people say ‘use psychedelics’ when they’re talking about mushrooms or talking about plant medicines, because we don’t use people. Like, I’m not going to ‘use’ my sister Leo when I’m in a conversation with her. I’m going to partner with her and listen and look at her face (if I can see her) and be with her in that moment. So, I’m not going to use any plants; I’m going to go into the medicine, I’m going to ask permission.” -Solana Booth

“With all of the talk of being gentle and reaching higher consciousness and being cognizant of the healing properties of these plants, I think that we also cannot lose focus that trauma out of context can look like culture. Trauma out of context can look like personality or be perceived as weakness.” -Malika Lamont




Defender.org: VOCAL Washington

About the Entheo Society of Washington

Traditional entheogens (natural plant and fungi medicines) can dramatically improve human health and happiness—transforming our ability to care for ourselves and one another. The Entheo Society of Washington educates the public about the healing value of entheogens and seeks to destigmatize and decriminalize their use. Their community believes the use of entheogens reinforces our connection with nature and is an inherent personal, therapeutic, and spiritual right.

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