Dr. Bronner's Donates $1 Million to Oregon Psychedelic Mushroom Decriminalization Efforts

Soap company Dr. Bronner’s — a.k.a. the world’s #1 shower read — has announced its support of the therapeutic use of psilocybin, a.k.a. the psychedelic stuff in magic mushrooms. The company donated $1 million to a campaign supporting a voter initiative in Oregon that would create a framework for mental health practitioners in the state to incorporate psilocybin therapy into their practices.

David Bronner, the cosmic engagement officer for the “activist soap company,” announced the donation on Monday via a Reddit AMA, expanding on the need for it in an email to Rolling Stone. “Dr. Bronner’s is supporting The Psilocybin Therapy Initiative in Oregon (Yes on IP 34) to advance a breakthrough therapeutic model currently being perfected in research settings at top universities around the world,” he says. “My family is no stranger to severe depression and anxiety, and like many Americans, we yearn for better solutions.  This therapy helps people to process difficult and traumatic emotions and experiences, break destructive patterns of thought and behavior — and to love, integrate and forgive themselves and each other. People connect to the deeper spiritual ground of their being and to the miraculous living natural world we are one with.”

Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by David Bronner’s grandfather, Dr. Emanuel Bronner. The company is known for the soap’s versatility (it can be used on everything from your face to your floors to your pets) and the essay-long screeds on the product’s bottles about morals, unity, and the benefits of soap.

“WE MUST TEACH LOVE OUR ENEMY OR PERISH! BEASTS TEACH ONLY THEIR FRIENDS,” the label reads. “IN ALL WE DO, LET US BE generous, fair & loving to Spaceship Earth and all its inhabitants. For we’re ALL-ONE OR NONE!”

State and local governments in Oregon have been working to decriminalize magic mushrooms since 2018, with the hope that voters could weigh in on the issue at the 2020 elections. The initiative currently has 130,691 of 145,000 required signatures.

In 2019, voters in Denver, Colorado, were the first to effectively decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms. Still, they did not quite legalize psilocybin; that’s a state and federal issue. Instead, the city won’t devote resources to enforcement.

Mushrooms are currently classified as a Schedule I drug by the FDA, the same category as heroin; possession is a felony nationwide. In 2018, researchers at Johns Hopkins recommended that it be reclassified as Schedule IV — indicating that it has low potential for abuse or dependence — the same category as Xanax.

Still, the FDA is looking to speed up the process of researching the effects of the drug to treat depressive disorder; it has twice designated psilocybin therapy as a “breakthrough therapy,” which might help to fast-track development and review.

According to Newsweek, Dr. Bronner’s will also be launching new labels reading “Heal Souls,” which promote psilocybin therapy: “It is time to end the needless suffering of millions,” the label states.

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