Towards a Psychedelic Prisoner Support Network

The Story so far…

I’ve been involved with the anti-prohibition movement over many years and was one of the founders of Transform. I’ve spoken at numerous psychedelic conference and often included within my presentations the fact that there are people in jail because of the substances we are discussing (and often celebrating). I have provided support to Casey William Hardison and other psychedelic prisoners, and over recent years I’ve become an email correspondent and friend of William Leonard Pickard. In common with many people interested in psychedelics, I live in a legal context where I have seen friends busted and, on occasion, have risked legal censure myself.

In discussion with a friend from the Anarchist Black Cross we put an initial call out for those people that might be interested in the project. My friend had also been involved in supporting Casey Hardison during his imprisonment as well as other prisoners across Europe. They wrote the initial proposal that appeared on my blog

While outlining various steps and activities necessary to create such a network, the article also makes a very powerful case for psychedelic prisoner support:

We can’t let those psychedelic chemists, entheogenic suppliers and drug war prisoners behind bars remain there, and we cannot fail those people who the state wishes to jail for many years, in some cases, for multiple lifetimes, like William Leonard Pickard. A movement for social change can be judged on how well it treats those who go to prison in defense of its principles, as a movement which forgets its prisoners, forgets itself.

I then added to this call for support, a brief video asking people to get in touch and donate to a crowd funder which has provided the support for this site and development work on the project.

Our focus is psychedelic drugs but we support the wider anti-prohibition and anti-prison movement.

While the Scales project seeks, as a tactic, to address the effect of drug prohibition on the users of psychedelics, we support broader anti-prohibitionist work and do not seek to alienate people imprisoned by prohibition who are not psychedelic users. Cannabis in context of this project is considered to be a psychedelic substance.

Purpose of the network

  • To remind and inform people about the ongoing war on people who use psychedelics in globally.
  • To promote psychedelic culture and values, explaining the reasons to support advocated prisoners to the broader public.
  • To promote, through its outreach, the struggle for a world without the need for a vast prison-industrial complex generally, and specifically the end to imprisonment for psychedelic users world-wide.
  • To promote solidarity between psychedelic users, researchers, indigenous users and other advocates and those people in prison as a result of their relationship with psychedelics.
  • To promote awareness of the changing face of psychedelic legislation and science and to advocate for repeal/reduction/reassessment of sentencing in the light of these findings.
  • To address cases where grossly disproportionate sentences have been handed down to psychedelic users. (E.g. Timothy Leonard Tyler, a Deadhead who has so far served 24 years in prison was released in August 2018.)
  • To alert the psychedelic community and wider public to the use of capital and other draconian punishments against psychedelic users globally.

What next?
There is a small group of people interested in and actively working on this project right now but we’re looking for more support.

If you’d like to get involved in this project please subscribe to our blog for updates or use our contact form to get in touch.

We’re particularly seeking:

  • Public support from people, groups and entities for the project.
  • Contact from current or former psychedelic prisoners or their families to help us understand out what services are needed.
  • People to create web content for this site, including a logo for the project.
  • People interested in helping research the scale of psychedelic imprisonment globally.

Please spread the word.

Thanks for your time

Julian Vayne

on behalf of the Scales team

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