Magic soap for magic mushrooms: Dr. Bronner’s makes psychedelic donation to help legalize psilocybin in Oregon

Magic soap for magic mushrooms: Dr. Bronner’s makes psychedelic donation to help legalize psilocybin in Oregon

Peace, love, unity and shrooms!

VicesMay 06, 2020 By Will Brendza

David Bronner remembers one very powerful psilocybin experience in particular, that changed how he understood his place in the in the universe.

He remembers looking down at his arm and realizing in a rush of psychedelic information that, at a quantum energetic level, his body was nothing more than an energetic exchange with the world around him, that he was one with everything, and that the world was passing through him just as he was passing through it; that his body was constantly changing, his blood exchanging, his cells dying and new ones replacing them; that not even his physical body was a constant in this life, and that he exists among and within the very fibers and fabric of reality, in a living exchange with the universe.

“Anyway, it just personally really woke me up to the incredible power of these medicines,” he says.

Then, when Bronner saw that the clinical trials at Johns Hopkins and NYU were proving how psilocybin has great potential for treating depression, addiction and end-of-life anxiety, he felt a sense of urgency to help get these medicines incorporated into our society.  

“In my family, we're no strangers to severe depression. It's hit close to home,” Bronner says. “So, we just felt that need to integrate psychedelic-assisted therapy as fast as possible.”

It’s the reason Bronner recently donated $1 million to help put the legalization of psilocybin-assisted therapy on the ballot in Oregon this year. He and his company are taking an active stance on this issue; they’re trying to help usher in a new era of psychedelic healing in Oregon, and hopefully, across America at large.

“We've been working hard for many years to integrate cannabis and psychedelic allies to help heal us and to get us in touch with our deeper selves and with each other and the natural world,” Bronner says. “This is definitely one of the key efforts we can make during this time to help us wake up and grapple with the huge environmental and social problems we're facing.”

You might recognize the last name Bronner from the famous household soap bottles. That’s Bronner’s family company, he is the CEO and the grandson of Dr. Emanuel Bronner himself, the founder, self-proclaimed doctor and self-described rabbi who pushed a message of peace, love and unity via the labels on his soap bottles.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, the company, was started in 1948 as a non-profit religious group. They’ve always made soap, but that is just the vehicle for the message Emmanuel Bronner wanted to project into the world — a theological philosophy he called “All-One-God-Faith” — which he printed out on every label of every bottle of soap he sold. Those labels have become iconic. A bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap is recognizable from across any grocery store, and they’re all emblazoned with the doctor’s message.

“It was always mission first,” Bronner tells me. “For [my grandfather], the soaps were there to sell a label.”

Even without the label, though, their soaps are awesome. They’re all organic and ecological, they have superb moisturizing qualities, they lather smooth, and they’re three times more concentrated than most liquid soaps.  

And that “mission-first” mindset hasn’t gone anywhere since 1948. The company, now run by Emanuel Bronner’s grandson David, is still striving to make the world and our society a better place to live. They helped campaign to get cannabis legalized, they advocate for and invest in sustainable agriculture and animal rights and have transformed their business into a fair-trade-engine-for-good.

Now, they’re striving to help legalize a medicine that Bronner thinks, our society desperately needs.  

“While [psychedelic therapy] is controversial to an extent right now, it's fast becoming destigmatized,” Bronner says. “A lot of the D.A.R.E. hysteria and misinformation is evaporating … I feel like, in another couple of years, people are going to look back and say, ‘why was this not always a part of our lives?’”

That’s the goal, at least, he says. Bronner hopes to help create that reality, by getting psilocybin legalization on the ballot and maybe, even getting psychedelic mushroom-therapy legalized in Oregon outright.

Which, seems like a hopeful goal. As of April 28th there were 130,691 signatures of the 145,000 needed to get the measure on the ballot.

So, chances are, the good people of Oregon will soon be voting to legalize psilocybin therapy. And to convince them of the value of that therapy, Bronner tells me, Dr. Bronner’s is going to be producing new labels sometime in the next few months, to educate people about the powers and potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

This magic soap company is doing all they can to help get magic mushrooms integrated into our society, in a useful way, as fast as possible. Because, maybe, just maybe it will get the world one step closer to achieving Emanuel Bronner’s vision of a generous, fair and loving world.