By: Marie Scarci | December 13, 2022
Colorado natives now have the chance to explore their spirituality with a new set of tools: psychedelics. After Coloradans passed last month's ballot initiative allowing psilocybin, the chemical compound found in magic mushrooms.
Rabbi Ben Gorelick will no longer face prosecution for promoting psychedelic use as part of spiritual practice.
Last week, Denver's District Attorney made a groundbreaking announcement - charges against Ben Gorelick have been dropped. Mr. Gorelick is the founder of Sacred Tribe, an innovative multifaith organization that explores Jewish traditions while incorporating psilocybin use in its practices and rituals.
Denver voter's choice to decriminalize psilocybin’s use was met with difficulty when Gorelick, who had been charged in February for possessing a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or distribute it - a felony which carries mandatory prison time- put the law into question.
Gorelick said to the Denver Post, “It’s been a long year for the community, it’s been a long year for us, and we look forward to getting back to practicing our religion, which is what the whole point of this is.”
The charges against Sacred Tribe had been a major obstacle to their mission while continuing to serve nearly 300 members. Despite the setback, the group continued to hold Shabbat dinners and other activities for its members.
As the psychedelic movement gains momentum, Jewish advocates have stepped up their game to ensure psychedelics become an integral part of religious spirituality. Founded by ordained Orthodox Rabbi Zac Kamenetz during the pandemic, Shefa is on a mission to make psychoactive-assisted mystical encounters commonplace within Judaism.
Last year marked a first for this growing community when it hosted its inaugural Psychedelic Conference - marking yet another milestone in spiritual healing practices rooted in centuries of traditions and beliefs.
Psychedelics, once widely condemned in the United States, have recently made a resurgence as research into their potential therapeutic benefits intensifies. As the information from that research grows so will our understanding of how magic mushrooms can help heal the mind and its benefits.