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Solquinox sounded great, until I found out I wasn't invited

an open letter to the Psychedelic Society of Vermont

by Ballard Quass, the Drug War Philosopher

July 6, 2024

few days ago, I saw a Tweet by Dr. Rick Barnett inviting his followers to check out an upcoming annual event that he is hosting in Vermont in September of this year. The profered link took me to a page entitled "Soulquinox: Psychedelic Science and Spirituality Summit," sponsored apparently by the Psychedelic Society of Vermont. The site intro was enticing to me as someone who "has skin in this game," given my intention of using psychedelics to get off of Effexor in the coming year. It was written by Rick himself and begins as follows:

"Each year our community gathers in the Green Mountains of Vermont to "cerebrate" (think deeply about something; ponder) and celebrate the role psychedelics may have in personal growth, healing, and health."

"Great," I thought to myself, "Those topics are right up my alley. I'm going through my own decisions right now about healing with psychedelics." So I clicked on the link that said "register now"... and got a rude awakening. It turns out that mere patients are not welcome at this event, it's only for "health professionals." To be exact, the pop-up notice admonished me as follows:

"This event is for health professionals only. This applies to you and any/all of your +1 attendees."

Well, let me tell you, my "+1 attendees" were not too happy to read THAT!

Okay, I can kind of understand the restriction: the guys want to talk shop. But it seems to me that they are "reckoning without their host" if they do not at least hear from one person who speaks for the millions (including the 1 in 4 American women) who are dependent on Big Pharma meds for life. What is the psychedelic renaissance doing for them -- and more importantly, what do THEY have to say about protocols that THEY believe will work? When it comes to using psychedelics for drug withdrawal, the patients are the experts because they can tell you what would work for them from a psychological point of view, rather than you telling them what should work for them. Perhaps I'm touchy having been ignored for years now, but I get this message all the time from psychiatrists: I should be taking my meds, not speculating on protocols. That's THEIR job, thank me very much. As Professor Lilloman said after interrupting a doubtful Mel Brooks in "High Anxiety":

It IS "nece"! I know what is "nece." Don't tell ME what is "nece." I tell YOU what is "nece."

So thinking, I sent the following message to the Soulquinox sponsor, the Psychedelic Society of Vermont..

I appreciate that you want to have a meeting with service providers only, but shouldn't you be open to the ideas of long-term recipients of mental health services in the USA, so that you can get an idea of what THEY think might work for THEM?

I'm a 65-year-old trying to get off of Effexor and I have a plan that I'd like your folks to discuss: namely, the compounding of Effexor such that I get off it in a year while the dose drops 364/365th every day -- during which time I microdose on psilocybin and any other godsend that makes sense and is (or becomes) legal (for a wonder), such as huachuma cactus.

When I presented this idea to my psychiatrist, he said he had never heard of such a thing and thought I should drop my Effexor dose by 35 mgs every month instead, and then start "counting pilules," though he himself said this would cause brain zaps and the possible return of my depression.

Now, I am not a doctor, but my plan makes perfect psychological sense and does not try to turn me into a compounding pharmacist. Psychological misgivings are minimized, first by the low almost imperceptible changes in dose and second by the fact that one knows they are getting help from natural medicine. For we all know how high recidivism rates are for getting off such drugs without the help of plant teachers. Yet no one wants to hear from me because I'm just a patient.

I have written hundreds of essays on this topic as the Drug War Philosopher at and I am still looking for someone in the healing business who thinks a patient is worth listening to on such topics. Too many of them think we should just shut up and take our meds -- that we should have no role in deciding what would work for us.

The healthcare business needs to do better by the millions that it has turned into eternal patients, and one start would be for counselors to actively solicit ideas from those who have been disempowered for decades now by the pill mill of materialist science.

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Some Tweets against the hateful war on drugs

So he writes about the mindset of the deeply depressed, reifying the condition as if it were some great "type" inevitably to be encountered in humanity. No. It's the "type" to be found in a post-Christian society that has turned up its scientific nose at psychoactive medicine.
They still don't seem to get it. The drug war is a whole wrong way of looking at the world. It tells us that substances can be judged "up" or "down," which is anti-scientific and blinds us to endless beneficial uses.
The 1932 movie "Scarface" starts with on-screen text calling for a crackdown on armed gangs in America. There is no mention of the fact that a decade's worth of Prohibition had created those gangs in the first place.
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Imagine if we held sports to the same safety standard as drugs. There would be no sports at all. And yet even free climbing is legal. Why? Because with sports, we recognize the benefits and not just the downsides.
"My faith votes and strives to outlaw religions that use substances of which politicians disapprove."
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You have been reading an article entitled, Solquinox sounded great, until I found out I wasn't invited: an open letter to the Psychedelic Society of Vermont, published on July 6, 2024 on For more information about America's disgraceful drug war, which is anti-patient, anti-minority, anti-scientific, anti-mother nature, imperialistic, the establishment of the Christian Science religion, a violation of the natural law upon which America was founded, and a childish and counterproductive way of looking at the world, one which causes all of the problems that it purports to solve, and then some, visit the drug war philosopher, at (philosopher's bio; go to top of this page)