Current Fiscal Sponsorship Projects
Right to Try Psilocybin Advocacy Fund
Medical research has demonstrated clear benefits of psilocybin to relieve anxiety and depression in dying patients, yet psilocybin is not legally available due to its placement on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act Right to Try (RTT) laws allow terminally ill patients access to drugs still in investigational stages because such patients do not have the luxury of time to await the slow process of new drug approval. Psilocybin meets the requirements set by the RTT laws: it has completed an FDA-approved Phase I clinical trial, it is not yet approved or licensed for use, and it remains under investigation in clinical trials.
On behalf of terminally ill patients suffering anxiety and depression, we are engaged in a multi- dimensional advocacy effort to open access to psilocybin for terminally ill patients Well known patient rights advocate Kathryn Tucker, now the Director of Advocacy for the National Psychedelics Association, represents a Seattle oncology clinic that provides cutting edge integrative medical care, research, and education in oncology, along with the clinic’s palliative care physician/director and a number of his patients with advanced cancer. The physician is seeking approval from DEA for access to psilocybin for therapeutic use with his cancer patients. DEA has denied access. The legal team leading the effort to forge a path to access pursuant to RTT laws will continue to press to compel the DEA to issue a waiver allowing access, and/or to reschedule psilocybin from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. Other strategies to ensure access are also being pursued, including federal legislative action.
Hear updates about Right To Try and the battle for psilocybin access from lead attorney, Kathryn Tucker, in this April 2022 interview with Psychedelics Today or follow the Kathryn Tucker article archive here. Other media articles of interest include: early Right To Try effort in a 2020 Seattle Times article; a 2022 Scientific American article on patient advocacy in this effort; this final episode in a three part series produced by a cancer advocacy organization on psilocybin therapy, and this Time Magazine profile on Right To Try advocacy efforts.
The Nowak Society, a Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation, is managing the advocacy fund for this effort. All donations are tax-deductible. For questions about the fund or for larger donations via wire transfer or ACH transfer, contact us via email here.
To learn more about Right To Try Psilocybin Advocacy efforts, please explore these links:
Chacruna.net: “Can the Psychedelic Movement Learn from the Movement for End of Life Liberty?” By Kathryn L. Tucker, JD
Lucid.news: Terminally Ill Patients Fight for Access to Psilocybin Under Federal “Right to Try” Act
Jamaica Grief Retreats
Jamaica Grief Retreats (JGR) is a six-day retreat that combines traditional group bereavement support with two group psilocybin experiences. The Nowak Society helps support as fiscal sponsor of donations and grants to support attendance at these transformative retreats.
JGR (https://www.jamaicagriefretreats.org/) is designed to meet the unique needs of parents who have lost children, while at the same time offering a space of healing within a legal context and grounded in ethical best-practice. The in-person retreat is combined with extensive one-on-one work with guides to prepare for the retreat, and then to integrate experiences when the retreat is over. Safety and support are prioritized within the context of a holistic program of activities that emphasizes connection to nature and incorporates personal and group ritual.
The program has demonstrated that psilocybin mushrooms, offered in a supportive and safe group context, are a powerful tool to facilitate healing for bereaved parents on mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. Psilocybin mushrooms have helped bereaved parents who feel stuck or incomplete in their mourning process move forward toward a place of wholeness and reengagement in their lives. The group format has supported parents to connect with others who have a shared experience, helping them feel less isolated in their loss and form long-lasting bonds of support.
JGR is a joint partnership between Jamaica, Canada and the United States. It led by a group of professionals - physicians, chaplains, therapists and psychedelic guides. Each has personal and professional experience with grief, one of whom lost his son at the age of 17, and each have personally experienced the powerful healing potential of psilocybin mushrooms.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Efforts to Address Abuses & Harms in Psychedelic Spaces
As the use of plant medicines and psychedelics in therapeutic and ceremonial spaces continues to expand in Colorado, abuses and harms will continue to be of pressing concern for all of us whether we are practitioners, educators, advocates, space-holders, or journeyers ourselves. Abuses and harms are already happening across our communities, as we know from the Power Trip podcast and the numerous allegations of abuse that have surfaced here in Colorado, across the nation, and historically in psychedelic spaces. At The Nowak Society, we have sexual assault survivors and psychedelic harm survivors on our Board, on our stages, and in the communities we are a part of. We care deeply about ethics, safety, and avoiding abuses of power in plant medicine and psychedelic spaces. We have hosted a number of speakers and talks throughout the years focused on survivors sharing their stories of abuse in psychedelic spaces, ethics for practitioners, power and shadow work in psychedelic spaces, and the considerations we all must engage in to create greater relational safety for everyone in therapeutic spaces.
There is of course much more to do. At The Nowak Society, we are presently exploring best practices, as an educational non-profit, to respond to and address reported instances of abuse or harm in the community. While we understand we are not an organization set up to adjudicate instances of alleged harm, we seek to live up to the moment that is calling with thought and care. To that end, we are excited to be engaging consultation with experts in ethics and law to develop tools, policies, and practices that will guide us in moving forward responsibly and ethically in this highly complicated and urgently important work. Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks that we hope will offer greater clarity and direction for all of us in plant medicine and psychedelic communities.
Documentary: "Who Owns Healing" © 2019
Our team has been collecting stories and interviews from people in our community, and the major question we've come to ask is, Who Owns Healing? This important work is guided by our founding core values, and engages a critical look at medicines, drugs, professional guilds and industry interests, and the extraordinary power of healing that humans experience. If you would like to know more, or to share your story, contact Nathan@nowaksociety.org
Consciousness-raising education and peer support
In collaboration with Colorado State University School of Social Work and the Wholeness Center, we have developed a unique curriculum for young adults aimed to shift conversation away from an exclusively medical understanding of mental and emotional distress. No diagnosing, no pill pushing, and no false myths of chemically imbalanced brains here. Our curriculum facilitates honest conversations about mind, self-hood, and the use of mind-altering drugs (prescribed or illicit), and encourages young adults to form support networks with peers and community. This project is funded by the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care.
Developed in 2018, the "Consciousness-raising Curriculum for Re-telling the Story of Ourselves" is FREELY available for download and personal use. You have advance permission to print, copy, share, link, and distribute as many copies as you like, as long as you include source attribution.
Printed workbooks (78 pages) are available for order here for $23.99.
The interactive, self-guided format of this workbook is great for individual exploration or to facilitate groups. If you are part of an organization or school and would like our team to facilitate this curriculum with your group of adolescents or young adults, we offer this through two options: weekly curriculum sessions alternating with peer support over a period of months, or a two-day intensive. Contact us for more information on curriculum and/or peer support facilitation.
Building a strong, supportive Colorado community of psychedelic professionals, innovators, activists, explorers, and interested others is core to our non-profit mission. We hold formal and informal events and gatherings throughout the year (read about one of them here!) to share, learn, connect, and network with like-minded others. Perhaps you want to invite more celebration and fun into your life? Join us for a "night out with the Nowak Society" to dance and let loose, or come to a relaxed potluck gathering at a neighborhood park. Professionals, leaders, and activists might want to connect at one of our upcoming Psychedelic Professionals Meetup Groups in Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins. Let's keep Colorado on the leading edge of psychedelic medicine and the future of psychiatry/mental health! Connecting in community is a powerful catalyst for individual and collective transformation.
Community Education and Training
We continue to offer education, training, and support to professional and community groups seeking to gain skills in de-escalating potential crisis situations, basic attendance for "being with" persons in distress, basics of psychopharmacology, and other topics related to cultivating right relationship with substances. See this Rooster Magazine article about our training with Bus To Show drivers. In addition to formal half-day to multi-day trainings, we also organize informal educational and support groups in the community on topics such as intention setting and integration of medicine experiences, refining our relationships with substances, recovering from the disempowering aspects of conventional helping and healing systems, and research and practice related to medicine work. If you have an event or group that you'd like us to help facilitate, please contact us!
The Nowak Society's network of advocates, doctors, therapists, and policy makers are also presently exploring the use of Colorado's Right to Try Act to provide certain psychoactive medicines, like psilocybin, LSD, or MDMA, to people for end of life care or who are struggling with serious conditions, such as opiate addiction or withdrawal. We are currently hosting a series of free community information sessions with the aim of stimulating community dialogue around this work and building a network of allies to support its advancement. You can access slides from a recent info session here. Or read about our work in a Rooster Magazine article here.
Other Ongoing Initiatives
Education and Community-building
Psychedelic Professionals Meetup gatherings across Northern Colorado
Psychedelic Education Festivals
Special community events, social gatherings, and speakers’ series
Outreach and Messaging
Public service announcements on psychedelics
Public events hosting and collaboration
Consulting on curriculum development, reform initiatives, and public and professional messaging around psychedelics
Shifting paradigms and practices around peer support and medical systems’ responses to psychological distress
Tailored trainings for community groups or professionals - Contact us!
Our charitable programming provides other non-profits or grassroots teams the opportunity to build or expand their programs