Fremont Solstice Fair and Mike Maki Update

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Mike Maki

A big thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at the Fremont Solstice Fair and who helped spread the word about the event through social media. Though it was one of our best weekends for sales, even greater than any monetary gain was the opportunity to meet and talk with people in the vaping/cannabis community in person.

One of the more memorable conversations occurred on Sunday afternoon when the topic drifted from vaping and legal cannabis to the injustice of the war on drugs and unfair laws such as civil asset forfeiture. The man I was speaking with then recounted how he himself has had drug-related run-ins with the law and that his brother, Mike Maki, an environmental activist and sustainable agriculture entrepreneur, is currently serving time for distributing psilocybin mushrooms and risks having all of his property and assets taken away. Mike still keeps in touch with friends and family and even updates his Facebook page, though according to his brother the price of internet access for inmates is highly inflated. Fortunately Mike is doing okay given the circumstances and is scheduled to be released next January.

Not being familiar with the case, I learned through Mike’s bio page on his personal site that he was born in Aberdeen (also Kurt Cobain’s hometown). His many notable achievements include: being a founding board member of the Tilth Association (an influential Sustainable Ag group), longtime manager (20 years) of The Evergreen State College Organic Farm as adjunct faculty, early developer of the college’s ecological forestry program, working as a Salmon Safe program farm certification officer for Seattle-based NGO Stewardship Partners and grant coordinator for Washington State Salmon Recovery Fund. Maki also worked with individuals and businesses as a resource management consultant in the fields of bioremediation, biochar production and research, forest management and forest products development and marketing, and property management.

I learned through a couple posts on DMT Nexus written shortly after the arrest that Mike Maki is a friend of Dennis McKenna (brother of Terence McKenna). These are the full posts which include a message from Mike:

Dennis Mckenna wrote:

MIke Maki is a close friend, a completely ethical, kind, and decent person who has helped many people. I have known him for over twenty years, and in that time I can sincerely say that I have come to know a man whose character is impeccable. Now he has run into some trouble; he was recently arrested for growing and distributing psilocybin mushrooms in his home state of Washington. Rather than ‘cave’ and rat on his associates, as would be the usual pattern in Federal cases of this sort, Mike has chosen to fight back. He is using the power of the Internet to question the wisdom of Schedule 1 status for psilocybin and related sacred medicines. Many of these substances were dumped into Schedule 1 in the late 60’s in a fit of legislative hysteria, without any evidence that they were actually dangerous or lacked medical applications. Enough research has accumulated since to indicate that these substances, far from being without therapeutic value, in fact have the potential to help many people afflicted with the sickness of the soul that is so prevalent in our society. It’s time to re-examine the entire issue of the schedule 1 status of sacred medicines, and Mike is using his misfortune to put the issue on the table for broader discussion and hopefully for reconsideration. Here is a link to his blog: http://www.mushroomman.org/
Mike needs our help now. If you believe in this cause, please support him with a modest donation through Paypal. If you are unable to support him with a donation, please help by spreading the word to others of like mind. We may actually have the chance to change the tone of the conversation about sacred medicines such as psilocybin mushrooms and their proper role in our society.

Dennis Mckenna wrote:

Following up my previous post, I’m pasting in a personal letter from Mike Maki that will give more details on the situation and that appeals for your help. Some may ask, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Aren’t you risking your reputation? To the latter I’m inclined to say, ‘what reputation?’ More to the point, it’s simple: Friends should stand up for friends. Mike is the best friend a man could have, and I am doing what I can to help him in his hour of need. He would do no less for me, or any one of us.Dennis

Hello-

I write this to you following a set of most unfortunate circumstances that happened to me recently. On October 20 I was arrested by the DEA for cultivation and distribution of magic mushrooms, Psilocybe cubensis. This came apparently at the end of a considerable investigation. Four others were also arrested, including my son Peter. This will come to some of you as brand new news, and to some of you as not-so-news. I don’t advertise my interest in mushroom cultivation or their intelligent and therapeutic use, but neither do I try to lie about my interests. As I consider you all my friends, I assume that you in turn can appreciate the enthusiasm, honesty and honor with which I approach all of my many and varied interests and activities. I have proceeded these years on a need-to-know basis, since the current illegal status of these medicinal plants, etc. makes it appropriate to keep a more or less low profile. Now the mushrooms are out of the bag, so to speak, and I am going to speak out from my experience and conviction (pun intended!). My new blog, www.mushroomman.org will be the location of this discussion, and I encourage you to check it out, it will have much of general interest and I think you’ll enjoy following my story.

Part of what the Feds will be trying to do is seize my property and all assets. This will be a lengthy and expensive legal struggle to hang on to my home and property. I am now reaching out to you, my friends, for your support and assistance. While I can’t offer you a tax deduction, what I can offer and promise is that I will “Pay it forward” to help make my efforts to protect civil liberties serve the greater good. In short, I need your help right now to help with the legal costs that are coming my way and to my codefendants. Money orders or checks made out to Mike Maki will be greatly appreciated and well used. As you must know, I’m not used to asking for assistance and am usually on the other side of the equation, helping out in what ways I can to make our lives and planet better. Now it’s my time to ask for your generous assistance.

In my new blog, www.mushroomman.org I will relate the story as it unfolds, give you my background story, analyze the situation from my own as well as other perspectives. I think you’ll enjoy learning from my experiences. You will also note an advertisement for my own production of holiday garlands. A link is provided below. Feel free to share this with like-minded folks, and encourage them to contribute. Let’s build a network of light and mutual support.

For the benefit of all concerned, Mike Maki

PO Box 126 Hoquiam, WA 98550
360-987-2332 Skype: makimichael

(editor’s note: the http://www.mushroomman.org URL no longer works and his current donation site is at http://northcamp.org/donate/ )

Mike owns 15-acres on the Olympic Peninsula he hoped to develop into an agroforestry and permaculture demonstration site, a center of learning and healing. Though there was no illegal cultivation occurring on the land when he was arrested in October of 2011, the feds claimed forfeiture of the developed five acres of land including his home and surrounding buildings. The feds have not yet disclosed when they will foreclose on the land or how much they will charge for a buy-back, but it’s estimated to be $90,000. Mike is set to be released in January 2016. Please consider assisting his efforts to reclaim his property and to create a Permaculture teaching and healing center by making a PayPal donation through his website here: http://northcamp.org/donate/

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