The Great Jamaican Patoo Trip

in Culture

The World Health Organization (WHO), recently citing one of their fresh, dark-timeline COVID-19 pandemic stats, alerted the world that there’s been a shocking/not-shocking 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression in adults across the world. A number which, frankly, begins to feel light when taking into context the various ugly aspects of these increasingly dystopian times.

Adults are hardly in solo sad company. Data from a youth charity The Prince’s Trust, says 23% of young people in the U.K. claim they are seeking psychedelic experiences and will “never emotionally recover from the emotional impact of the pandemic.” Existence itself, it seems, is more a burden emotionally than ever before.

Kevin Bourke agrees: “Global mental health has deteriorated and people need perspective and balance.” Bourke, co-founder of Patoo—Jamaica’s first legal psychedelic CPG line of psilocybin products—has a particularly astute vantage point to witness both the trending explosive interest and use of psychedelics as well as the return of tourism culture on his home turf after the devastation of COVID on the travel industry at large.

Particularly hard hit were places like the island’s longtime beach and cliff-lined bohemian playground of Negril in the West End, where I caught up with him in the spring of 2022 while on the island for my own physical and spiritual recharging of sorts. Patoo is quickly gaining traction around the island with dozens of retail partners all across Jamaica carrying their products, from legal cannabis dispensaries like Jacana, through to locally infamous mushroom cafes, weed huts, right up to posh resorts like Skylark along the beach, or Rockhouse in the cliffs, where Patoo is also hosting “Psilocybin Soundbath” experiences for guests.

Courtesy of PatooIn the gift shops, the eye-catching Patoo packaging is right at home alongside tanning oils and …

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Author: Daniel McCarthy / High Times

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