Safe Community Policy


1/12/18 V2

Medicinal Mindfulness Safe Community Policy

 

Introduction and Overview

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, and the most recent #ShitholeDon mental health episode of our President, we believe it is important to firmly and explicitly state that Medicinal Mindfulness is committed to being a Safe Community for all people, including religious, racial and cultural minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community.  We believe it is our responsibility to be an active voice in this conversation by embodying and promoting important principals of safety and accountability.  

The psychedelic community is vulnerable to unsafe situations and people.  There are ample examples of people outside of our community using their positions of authority, either professionally, legally or within family systems, to harm, harass or persecute psychedelic medicine users.  There are also people who pretend to be members of the psychedelic community who use these medicines in unsafe, manipulative and sexually coercive ways.  It is important for the psychedelic community to develop safety mechanisms to respond appropriately to harassment and other inappropriate behavior that psychedelic medicine users sometimes face, and in a way that is congruent with our unique needs and culture.  

We call on the international psychedelic organizations whose stated missions are to represent and support the psychedelic community, and have the financial resources to do so, to provide necessary policy guidelines and resources to the growing number of local community groups and organizations that will continue to face these significant issues, and as leaders of the movement, to embody appropriate personal and organizational conduct.  It is important for all of us to develop, implement and fully support policies that protect our most vulnerable members.

Medicinal Mindfulness is a small organization with limited resources, and we represent a very complex community in a complex societal environment.  While we may not have the means to engage the international discourse, at the very least we can support our own members and the local psychedelic community in a way that is in alignment with the core values of psychedelic culture.  To that end, we have created a Safe Community Committee that will provide oversight and support for our members and our organization.  This committee is comprised of three female psychedelic elders and one male psychedelic elder independent of Medicinal Mindfulness, who are well respected and professionally established, and have committed to providing safety and support through our Safe Community Policy. 

To be an active voice in a controversial field, Medicinal Mindfulness only works in legal settings.  Our programs have been reviewed by legal experts and we will continue to receive legal guidance as our program evolves.  This allows us to represent our community openly, and without legal reprisal.  While medicine experiences are an adult affair only, many members in our community have young children.  A core principal of Medicinal Mindfulness is to make our community as safe as possible, to not take unnecessary risks, and to protect the most vulnerable members of society.

Medicinal Mindfulness strives to make our services affordable to those with limited financial resources.  We actively advertise a scholarship rate for our community events and training programs.  Please contact us if you would like to learn more about our scholarship program.  

All members and employees of Medicinal Mindfulness are required to sign this document acknowledging understanding, support and compliance.  

Medicinal Mindfulness is a Safe Space

As an organizational representative of a diverse community of medicine people, Medicinal Mindfulness strives to be a safe space for all community members, as well as members of the overall community that encounter unsafe people, situations or environments.  You can email us at safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org if you have any questions or concerns.  We want to help.  The email is checked only once a week so in case of emergencies, please do not hesitate to call 911, or the local Safe House hotline at 303-444-2424 or info@safehousealliance.org.

Because Medicinal Mindfulness members are often medicine people who have experienced persecution, discrimination, oppressive social structures and are sometimes survivors of assault, abuse, or harassment, often because of core aspects of their identity, Medicinal Mindfulness does not tolerate abusive, harassing or disruptive behavior within the Medicinal Mindfulness community, and directed toward members of our community.   

Because Medicinal Mindfulness represents an unrecognized and persecuted minority population, and many of our members have been targets of discrimination and harassment, Medicinal Mindfulness records all evidence of harassment directed towards our members and organization and will contact the relevant authorities when and if it ever becomes necessary to do so.  Too many members of our larger psychedelic community face extremely unsafe situations with few opportunities to protect themselves due to the persecuted nature of their personal practice.  As a legally compliant, and very public psychedelic organization, with many public stakeholders and in the view of many legal compliance authorities, Medicinal Mindfulness is in an uncommon position to safely report any threats of violence or harassment to the authorities.  We will inform our legal team to determine the appropriate course of action.

While we wait for the collective leadership of the international psychedelic organizations to determine a “best practices” policy for safe community experiences and for reporting inappropriate, unlawful or negligent psychedelic facilitators, Medicinal Mindfulness can advise those interested in exploring psychedelic cultures, healing opportunities, or working with medicine practitioners, on what to ask and how to stay safe and prepare yourself for life transforming experiences in intentional communities, or in the care of others.

The following policy discusses important topics that are relevant to community safety.  These include:

  • Notice of Non-Discrimination and Prohibition of Harassment that includes protected status for “responsible medicine use”
  • A discussion on being a “medicine person” and what “responsible medicine use” means
  • A discussion on cannabis, psychedelics and mental health
  • Our Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure

 

To contact the Safe Community Committee of Medicinal Mindfulness email safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org.  

The managers and owners of Medicinal Mindfulness do not have access to this account. It is reviewed once a week by a member of the committee.  These committee members are empowered to review and engage any concerns, complaints or requests for support against harassment made by, or directed at our community members and employees, and to support members who are being harassed by people outside of our community.  

 

Notice of Non-Discrimination and Prohibition of Harassment

Committed to equality of transformational opportunity, Medicinal Mindfulness does not discriminate in offering access to its programs and activities, or employment on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, religion, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, responsible medicine use or any other status protected by law. 


Medicine People and  “Responsible Medicine Use”

A “Medicine Person” is someone who identifies as having a core identity related to “responsible medicine use,” particularly in regards to psychedelics and cannabis.  Responsible medicine users fully acknowledge the risks and benefits of their substance use and are open to exploring ways to bring additional skill, understanding and safer use practices to their use of substances, including abstinence.  Psychedelic medicines are generally used with intention, and medicines and contexts of use that may interfere with safe and sustainable use practices are avoided.

Medicinal Mindfulness is a Psychedelic Harm Reduction and Education program.  For this reason, we attract many individuals who currently use cannabis, psychedelics and other substances, sometimes in unhealthy ways. While we support current legalization efforts of cannabis and psychedelic medicines for personal, clinical and spiritual uses, political activism and legalization efforts are not part of our primary mission.  Our primary intention is to provide transformational services to a community of “medicine people,” those seeking healing and transformation through medicine use practices, and those seeking to redefine their relationship to substances and develop safer use practices.  

Medicinal Mindfulness members understand that responsible medicine use is a core need for the health of our program, our community and our members.  It is the responsibility of senior members of Medicinal Mindfulness to compassionately and without judgement speak to members of Medicinal Mindfulness regarding perceived concerns or disruptive behavior associated with unsafe or unskillful substance use practices.

Factors that contribute to unsafe or unskillful use include: overuse of psychedelics and MDMA, polyuse and high doses, using untested chemical compounds, using narcotics, stimulants, prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, sometimes in combination with psychedelics, MDMA or cannabis, and cannabis overuse, particularly with concentrates.  Lack of intention and integration is also a primary factor in unsafe or unskillful use.  

Behaviors associated with unhealthy use include a pattern of irritable mood associated with withdrawal symptoms and a pattern of post-journey psychological contractions, shadow activations that include shadow projection, splitting and triangulation, and trauma related episodes, that may include mania, dissociation, fits of rage, paranoia, and delusion.  

Members who exhibit behaviors associated with addiction will be referred to an allied addictions counselor who is knowledgeable of, and supportive of skillful use of psychedelics and cannabis for treatment.  Safer medicine use practices are a primary factor in determining how and to what degree someone can actively participate in our program.  Medicinal Mindfulness strongly encourages our members to speak to concerns regarding substance use so they can be adequately addressed, healed and transformed.  

Medicinal Mindfulness instructors are trained to assess the differences of disruptive behavior and addiction with breakthrough transformational experiences that can sometimes be emotionally expressive and psychologically triggering behavior.  Breakthrough transformational experiences are sometimes a necessary part of the healing and awakening process and are fully supported by our community in a safe and appropriately contained way.  

A Note About Cannabis, Psychedelics & Mental Health

Experiences and trainings facilitated by Medicinal Mindfulness are very safe but they are not for everyone.  While there is significant scientific evidence that supports the skillful and intentional use of cannabis and psychedelics to alleviate or significantly reduce the symptoms of physical and psychological disorders, people with serious mental health disorders have occasionally come to events like these with the unrealistic expectation that these experiences alone will cure or alleviate their mental health problems, and often without understanding the necessity for additional support or treatments when working with serious concerns.  Unstable interpersonal relationships and a history of various treatments can be additional factors which make it difficult for such people to benefit from Medicinal Mindfulness sponsored events. 

Our capacity as a small consciousness community makes it impossible for us to properly care for people with significant psychiatric or physical health concerns in the context of our program, primarily because of the added risks factors associated with cannabis and psychedelic medicine use.  Although our events and trainings can be beneficial and very safe for almost all participants, these events are not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment and we do not recommend it for people with serious psychiatric disorders or physical conditions that may impair their ability to participate safely.  

Contraindications (reasons not to attend) include, but are not limited to, pregnancy and physical health problems, clinically significant acute anxiety or other mood disorders, psychosis, bipolar disorders, personality disorders, acute/unprocessed trauma and PTSD, acute addictions, suicidal ideation/self harm and tendencies for disruptive behavior.  Our events and trainings are also not appropriate for persons with cardiovascular problems, severe hypertension, recent surgery or fractures, acute infectious illness, or epilepsy.

While group experiences may not be the best context for transformational experiences for some people, we also offer individualized services for people who have significant clinical concerns, particularly when addressing and healing trauma and PTSD.  We have a referral resource program and can work with your psychotherapist, doctor, counselor or psychiatrist to determine the best treatment options.

Medicinal Mindfulness has created a Safety Self-Assessment for anyone interested in our services to review.  This can viewed on our website at http://medicinalmindfulness.org/safety-self-assessment.  An assessment interview and training is required before becoming a sitter level member of our program and before attending certain medicine related events.  Please review the assessment beforehand to determine anything that should be discussed with a Medicinal Mindfulness facilitator.  

In rare occasions, prior mental health concerns and the unsafe or skillful use of psychedelics or other drugs, activates unhealthy and destructive behavior, sometimes in extreme expressions.  Medicinal Mindfulness members are encouraged to speak up and ask questions about any concerns they have or that are brought to their attention regarding our community or any of its members, including facilitators, owners and senior students.  Since unrecognized mental health episodes can split communities, we believe that the more open the dialogue and discourse the better. We are an open and legally compliant psychedelic organization.  We value all feedback received from the larger community.  

The senior facilitators of Medicinal Mindfulness are supervised by the lead facilitators of Medicinal Mindfulness.  Lead facilitators and teachers are supervised by our Safe Community Committee which can be reached by emailing safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org

Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure

The following Anti-Harassment Policy has been adjusted to a workplace and community format from legally compliant forms researched online.  

Objective

Medicinal Mindfulness is committed to a work and community environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work, heal, transform and co-create in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment and participation opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, Medicinal Mindfulness expects that all relationships among persons in the community will be appropriate and free of bias, prejudice and harassment.

Medicinal Mindfulness has developed this policy to ensure that all its employees, allies and community members can work, heal, transform and co-create in an environment free from unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Medicinal Mindfulness will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all concerned are familiar with these policies and are aware that any complaint in violation of such policies will be investigated and resolved appropriately.

Any employee or community member who has questions or concerns about these policies should speak to a senior members or facilitators of Medicinal Mindfulness, or by emailing safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org, or both. This email is monitored by a female community elder who has the authority to oversee any concerns. 

These policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals of a particular gender, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in business or work-related social activities or discussions. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in discrimination or exclusion to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and the policies of Medicinal Mindfulness prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, privileges and perquisites of employment. The prohibitions against harassment, discrimination and retaliation are intended to complement and further those policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.

Equal employment opportunity

It is the policy of Medicinal Mindfulness to ensure equal employment and participation opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin, religion, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, responsible medicine use or any other status protected by law. Medicinal Mindfulness prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

Retaliation

Medicinal Mindfulness encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is the policy of Medicinal Mindfulness to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports. Medicinal Mindfulness prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, “sexual harassment” is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 recognizes two types of sexual harassment: a) quid pro quo and b) hostile work environment. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Harassment

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his or her race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates, and that: a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or community environment, b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace, on company time or using company equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites or other means.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to all members, applicants and employees, whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees and community members, or by someone not directly connected to Medicinal Mindfulness (e.g., an outside vendor, consultant or customer).

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.

Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation

Medicinal Mindfulness encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with senior members or facilitators of Medicinal Mindfulness or by emailing safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org, or both.

In addition, Medicinal Mindfulness encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and to request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. Medicinal Mindfulness recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through complaint procedures.

Complaint Procedure

Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy or believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with senior members or facilitators of Medicinal Mindfulness, or by emailing safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org, or both.

Medicinal Mindfulness encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

Medicinal Mindfulness will maintain confidentiality throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling or disciplinary action such as a warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or termination of employment or community membership, as Medicinal Mindfulness believes appropriate under the circumstances.

False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation (as opposed to complaints that, even if erroneous, are made in good faith) may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

 --- 

Any feedback regarding this policy will be reviewed.  Please email us at safecommunity@medicinalmindfulness.org.  

As an ally or member of Medicinal Mindfulness, I agree to fully comply with this policy and will strive to treat all people I encounter with compassion, respect and dignity.  

_________________________________________
Print Name


_________________________________________
Signature


_______________________
Date