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Madalyn McElwain
McElwain Law
Denver, CO

Madalyn is a fierce advocate for the dismantling of, and healing from, systems of oppression. She believes every individual should have access to healing services and sacred medicine–synthetic and natural alike–to assist in the deconstruction of the harms caused by colonialism, late stage capitalism, drug prohibition, and generational trauma. In her work at DanceSafe, she has helped foster and co-create a human-centered, consent-based workplace where people can show up wholly, and which recognizes the struggle and beauty of the human experience as we strive to enter into a new paradigm. Madalyn is outspoken about the potential harms of psychedelic exceptionalism and incrementalism in drug policy reform, and imagines equitable policies for psychedelics and other drugs that give the power back to communities and which are rooted in reparations and Indigenous reciprocity. She is an expert on nonprofit compliance and operations, has years of experience serving on nonprofit board of directors, and is a skeptic of moving forward with the legalization and regulation of psychedelics and other drugs under the current extractive dominant culture. Madalyn implores us to remember: the liberation being sought by spiritual uses of psychedelics is only attainable when everyone, not just the privileged, is liberated.

Start Within. As part of my evolution of self, which in turn informs my development as an attorney, I am engaging in deep medicine-assisted therapeutic and psychosomatic work that is helping me unravel, be with, and go through layers of generations and childhood trauma. The work that I am doing with my therapist has its roots in the connection between the psychospiritual, emotional, and body, and truly feels decolonizing in its nature. It is healing at the cellular level. This Northstar commitment in particular, to start within, is the foundation to all others that come after it, because we are only able to go further, deeper, once we’ve done that level of work on ourselves. Being committed to healing ourselves from the wounds and conditioning of the colonizer within is, in my opinion, vital for showing up wholly and in service to the psychedelic movement.