Festival advocating for psilocybin, peyote, and other entheogens returns to Ann Arbor

The third annual Entheofest, celebrating and advocating for the decriminalization of entheogens such as ayahuasca, peyote, and ibogaine, will be held Sept. 17 on the Diag in Ann Arbor.
Entheogens are "plant medicines that give you that inner understanding of yourself," says Jim Salame. He organized the event with Julie Barron of the Michigan Psychedelic Society and two University of Michigan student groups (the Student Association for Psychedelic Studies and Students for Sensible Drug Policy).
"The vision was to celebrate plant medicines and mushrooms and to educate people and get people active," Salame says.
Salame hopes that entheogens will gain wider acceptance as treatment options "for health and wellness," noting advances in research on psilocybin and ibogaine as treatment options for depression and addiction, for example.
"All of these are medicines that help people kind of understand themselves a little bit more so they can manage their addiction, their trauma, whatever it is that they're looking to alleviate," he says. "... But [entheogens are] something that, unfortunately, people do as a last resort. But it would be nice if people understood this as a first resort instead of trying opiates first."
This year's Entheofest will feature a wide array of speakers, including U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, Washtenaw County Commissioner and former Michigan Rep. Yousef Rabhi, and Michigan Sen. Jeff Irwin. The keynote speaker is Rev. Mariela Simons-Perez, a spiritual teacher based in Michigan.
More information about the festival's sponsors and speakers can be found on the website.
Entheofest will begin at 1:11 p.m. on the steps of the University of Michigan Hatcher Library.

Natalia Holtzman is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. Her work has appeared in publications such as the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and others.

Photos courtesy of Jim Salame.
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