Archive

As COMPASS Pathways continues its attempts to build a psychedelic monopoly, Usona Institute keeps publishing open research

Since COMPASS Pathways filed for a controversial psilocybin patent in 2018, Usona Institute has consistently placed its research findings in the public domain.

Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories in Psychedelia

Conspiracy theories are nothing new when it comes to psychedelia. But in the context of coronavirus, they've become significantly more harmful.

LSD Chemist William Leonard Pickard Has Been Released From Prison

LSD chemist and longtime drug war prisoner, William Leonard Pickard, was officially released from prison on July 27, 2020. Pickard had been locked down since 2000 and was slated to serve two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

We Need to Talk About MAPS Supporting The Police, The Military, and Violent White Supremacism

For decades, MAPS and other proponents of psychedelic medicalization have justified their emphasis on treating police and soldiers as a political strategy in service to mainstreaming psychedelic drugs. This strategy perpetuates the logic of white supremacy, capitalism, and imperialism.

Magical (Psychedelic) Thinking in the Era of Climate Change and COVID-19

Two of our biggest crises—COVID-19 and climate change—lay bare the magical thinking that pervades psychedelic discourse: that individual experiences of oneness will necessarily transform our society for the better.

The George Floyd protests have reframed the debate around surveillance, encryption, and facial recognition The current spotlight on toxic law enforcement culture has propelled conversations about facial recognition and biometric surveillance into mainstream politics. Banning facial recognition is necessary to avoid automating racism and further institutionalizing white supremacy.

The current spotlight on toxic law enforcement culture has propelled conversations about facial recognition and biometric surveillance into mainstream politics. Banning facial recognition is necessary to avoid automating racism and further institutionalizing white supremacy.

DARE to Resist White Supremacy and The Police American policing is a white supremacist institution that has repeatedly demonstrated the degree to which it values property over human life. Our struggles against the police are inseparably entwined with similar struggles around the world, and they cannot be disconnected from larger struggles for human rights.

American policing is a white supremacist institution that has repeatedly demonstrated the degree to which it values property over human life. Our struggles against the police are inseparably entwined with similar struggles around the world, and they cannot be disconnected from larger struggles for human rights.

Decriminalization offers an ethical counterbalance to address sexual misconduct in psychedelic therapy Sexual violence is already notoriously under-reported, and barriers— including distrust in police—are amplified when victims are also members of a criminalized subculture and were under the influence of illegal drugs when the violence occurred.

Sexual violence is already notoriously under-reported, and barriers— including distrust in police—are amplified when victims are also members of a criminalized subculture and were under the influence of illegal drugs when the violence occurred.

Bicycle Day 2020 Was Truly Historic, But Not for the Reasons You Think Jamon A. Rahn, CEO of psychedelic pharmaceutical startup MindMed, offered a glimpse of the future of psychedelic science, including proprietary data and hints of an “LSD neutralizer.”

Jamon A. Rahn, CEO of psychedelic pharmaceutical startup MindMed, offered a glimpse of the future of psychedelic science, including proprietary data and hints of an “LSD neutralizer.”

Psychedelic Video Museum Celebrates Virtual Launch Contributors to the Daily Psychedelic Video platform gather on Zoom to bless the opening of the Psychedelic Video Museum: a collection of ten years’ worth of their shared visions.

Contributors to the Daily Psychedelic Video platform gather on Zoom to bless the opening of the Psychedelic Video Museum: a collection of ten years’ worth of their shared visions.

Amidst Pandemic, Psychedelic Investor Christan Angermayer Can’t Imagine Life Beyond Capitalism

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Christian Angermayer, the world’s largest psychedelic pharmaceutical investor and founder of ATAI Life Sciences, calls to sacrifice public health for the sake of “the economy.”

“Flattening The Curve is Complete BS”: Pandemic Advice From Psychedelic Investor Christian Angermayer

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Christian Angermayer—the world's largest psychedelic pharmaceutical investor and founder of ATAI Life Sciences—dismisses medical experts in his desperation to reboot the economy.

Dear Psychedelic Researchers

The coronavirus has made it clear that psychedelic medicalization will not revolutionize mental healthcare without systemic socioeconomic change.

Calm Down. What’s the Worst Thing That the Wellness Industry Could Do to Psychedelics?

As technology and psychedelics turn to mental health, we’ll likely see a future where we are treated based on our digital biomarkers, and sold mental health services based on the personal data we surrender.

Talking Psychedelic Capitalism in a WeWork Ballroom

Psychedelic capitalists justify their decision to go for-profit in the ballroom of America’s most recent for-profit flop.

Christian Angermayer’s ATAI Life Sciences is positioned to take the psychedelic throne from MAPS

After decades of psychedelic nonprofits paving regulatory pathways and priming wealthy investors, for-profits are moving in to reap the rewards.

“Making psychedelics boring again”— Unless you’re a privileged psychedelic executive, of course

The new leaders of the psychedelic medicalization industry seem to see themselves as above their own self-proposed rules.

Psychedelic Trade Secrets and Get-Rich-Quick Schemes —a Benefit to Investors, a Harm to Progress

“Play the field right and there’s money to be made even off some of the shit companies purely based on the wave.”

Never Forget: Before There Was A Mush Rush, There Was A Plea For Decency

Many predicted an ethical storm brewing in the lead-up to the explosion of for-profit interest in psychedelic pharmaceuticals. But, were their efforts to mitigate the damage enough to make a difference?

Eleusis Benefit Corp: Taking the “Psychedelic” Out of Psychedelics Shlomi Raz, CEO of Eleusis Benefit Corporation, made false claims about psychedelics. We asked multiple ethnobotanists, a medical anthropologist, and a chemist if they could help us set the record straight.

Using psychedelic compounds to treat inflammation is interesting, but claiming that, "the primary traditional use," of psychedelics was, "as imperceptible anti-inflammatory agents," just isn’t true.

Could wearable microdosing technology be a thing one day? Personalized perfume patent includes potential for wearable microdosing technology

Could a liquid-delivery system meant to help maintain a personalized “scent bubble” quietly usher in the creation of wearable psychedelic microdosing technology? A U.S. patent for this system is just one among an increasing list of psychedelic-inspired intellectual properties.

Lucy In The Sky With Nazis: Psychedelics and the Right Wing Psychedelic advocates have long asserted that broader psychedelic use will lead to a more open, progressive society, but there are too many instances of right-wingers who have taken them for that to be true.

Psychedelic advocates have long asserted that broader psychedelic use will lead to a more open, progressive society, but there are too many instances of right-wingers who have taken them for that to be true.

BBC Duped into Promoting Marketing Scheme for Microdosing Psychedelics A recent BBC story entitled “The ‘psychedelics coach’ with drug-fuelled career advice,” offers an opportunity to examine what happens when sloppy journalism and self-promotional psychedelic marketers collide.

A recent BBC story entitled “The ‘psychedelics coach’ with drug-fuelled career advice,” offers an opportunity to examine what happens when sloppy journalism and self-promotional psychedelic marketers collide.

31 miles and a tab of acid later…

A corrective experience achieved through dropping acid and running the 2019 Burning Man Ultramarathon

We Refuse to Endorse Daniel Pinchbeck as a Credible Voice in the Psychedelic Movement

Pinchbeck has not publicly engaged in the difficult work of reorganizing his relationship to power, which is a precondition for learning to wield power and authority responsibly. Instead, he has shown that he is predominantly concerned with reestablishing his career and with recentering himself as an authority figure

A Suburban Junkie’s Journal

The first time I bought a balloon of heroin I was 20 years old. Fresh out of rehab, I was craving opiates—specifically OxyContin.

As legal psychedelic therapy emerges, ethicists urge for more comprehensive frameworks to address sexual abuse

With a checkered history of misconduct, how will psychedelic-assisted therapists be held accountable in the emerging legal field?

Intersecting Movements: Drug Policy Reform and Climate Action

Climate justice is racial justice, and we cannot achieve racial justice without ending the War on Drugs.

Chicago could become largest city to Decriminalize Entheogenic Plants

Chicago’s Committee on Health and Human Relations unanimously passed (50-0) a resolution October 16 to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi.

What the heck happened to Reality Sandwich?

Reality Sandwich was sold to a group called Delic Corp. Now there's a lawsuit.

An open letter to the newly founded Center for Psychedelic Research at Johns Hopkins

With the recent creation of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, we must remember that, while industrialized medicine has never attempted to serve all people, institutional histories vary from one organization to the next.

SSDP Spotlight: Just Say Know, a peer education program for everyone

Although SSDP was founded upon political lobbying from the top down, it has also served as a platform for member-led initiatives of harm reduction and peer education.

Podcast Preview: We Hope Michael Pollan Changes His Mind

As Michael Pollan steps into the role of psychedelic gatekeeper, we critically examine his recent NYT op-ed on slowing down psilocybin decriminalization.

Forgiving psychedelic abusers should never be at the expense of their victims

A response to the recent Chacruna.net interview with Daniel Pinchbeck.

Young People of Color As Leaders in The Movement To End the War on Drugs

How do you center the needs and perspectives of people of color in your activism—not because you want to fill a quota, but because the success of your work depends on it?

Considerations for Engaging with Amazonian Ancestral Practices, People, and Places

If we truly believe in the positive transformational power of visionary plant experiences, we must support each other to make real social change happen, less this transformation stagnates at the individual level.

I Was Recorded During A 5-MeO DMT Ceremony Without My Consent

I was told that a video of me was recorded without my consent, and I could view it after some rest.

He said to me “all women secretly want to be raped”

Jay brought up the Me Too Movement and called it “hysteria” – I asked him if he has ever been raped. He had not.

Shipibo Women Healers on the Challenges and Opportunities of the Ayahuasca Boom

After the murder of a Peruvian healer in 2018, traditional healers, local political figures, and nonprofit allies gathered to address the complexities that come with the influx of foreigners seeking ayahuasca in the Amazon.

MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about?

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) submitted their MDMA PTSD expanded access protocol to the FDA on January 14, 2019.

This is what psychedelic mainstreaming looks like…in Arizona

As psychedelic medicalization and the potential profits of a “virgin market” loom large, new organizations are increasingly looking to gain legitimacy within the field. Mainstreaming means the doors of this field are being thrown wide open.

Will MDMA-assisted psychotherapy be covered by health insurance?

Until MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is proven without a doubt to reduce long-term costs, many insurance companies do not have an incentive to cover it.

How will MDMA be rescheduled in the future? You may be disappointed

What does MDMA rescheduling mean for the recreational user? If you are under the impression that MDMA is on its way to being rescheduled, across the board, you may be disappointed.

The Future of MDMA: Phase 3 and Beyond

What does the future hold for MDMA? We explore MAPS' ongoing FDA phase 3 clinical trials, rescheduling, health insurance, and expanded access. 

The First Step Act is not the criminal justice reform we need. But it’s a start.

Trump signed into law the First Step Act, which makes modest reforms that ease the federal prison population.

Time’s Up. The dance floor is not your colonial hunting ground

Dance has played a sacred role universally amongst indigenous cultures for millennia. Our dances may have nothing to do with attracting your gaze.

Let’s Talk About Psychedelic-Induced Psychosis

Comedian Shane Mauss and Zendo Project's Ryan Beauregard on psychedelic-induced psychosis. “It was really easy once I got past the big video game, ‘Truman Show’ feeling, to get to a place of, ‘oh, that was all in my head. I was crazy.’"

Safety Guidelines for Guides, Psychedelic Integration Practitioners, and Other Leaders

How can men, who participate in psychedelic community as members or leaders hold themselves to a standard that promotes safety for the people that really need it?

A Mother-Daughter Mushroom Trip Captured on Film

Would you take psychedelic mushrooms with your mom?

It’s my choice, but he wanted it more…

If it’s not a “fuck, yes!” then it’s not a yes. Inform yourself about systems of power and oppression so you can recognize and deconstruct the patriarchy, rape culture, and supremacy in your thoughts and actions. Listen to survivors.

Bunk Police Drug Testing

The Bunk Police is looking to destroy dishonesty in the drug market

If there are other harm-reduction organizations, such as DanceSafe, that are able to distribute test kits, then we won’t attend that event....the ones that refuse DanceSafe, we come in and do it anyways.

I Survived Sexual Abuse In The Amazon And Victim Blame At Home

The controlled narrative goes something like this: ayahuasca is good, and we need to control how people perceive it because this is a controlled substance we want to see legalized, a medicine we want to see legitimated. And if we have to sacrifice a few women who get themselves raped to keep ayahuasca’s name clean, so be it.

Time’s Up for “Silencing” Tactics

A few years ago, I witnessed the systematic silencing and shaming of Lily Kay Ross for having dared to call attention to severe abuses of power in the psychedelic space. Her extraordinary bravery in sharing her own experience with abuse was met with victim blaming and accusations of selfishness. Key members of the psychedelic research community turned on her for “jeopardizing” the entire field of psychedelic science with her “negativity” and “theatrics.”

Get up, stand up, speak up

Time stops as his open palm continues toward me, meeting my stomach with force, pushing me back several steps before releasing me.

Psychedelic Ethics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I have been deeply disappointed and angry at both men and women in our community who would rather sweep these experiences under the rug and avoid all criticisms that could make it harder for the mainstream to “accept” us and our drugs of choice.

Hey Psychedelic Science Community, we need to talk about consent

Consent is really pretty simple but also apparently complicated, due to our inheritance of a messed up culture.

Intentionally-diverse MDMA research at University of Connecticut Cut Short

The research team at UConn studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD is now defunct.

psychedelic.support creates a network for psychedelic therapists

psychedelic.support could soon become a useful asset to anyone interested in the professional world of psychedelic-related therapy.

It’s time to debunk prohibitionist narratives and calls for monopolies within psychedelic science

As venture-capital-backed, for-profit companies barrel into psychedelic therapy, the potential for the widespread privatization of psychedelic knowledge and profits looms large. Some researchers are so enthusiastic about medicalization by “any means necessary” that they’re resorting to prohibitionist historical narratives and calling for monopolies to push the agenda forward.

Finally, there’s a group giving grants to students researching psychedelics

We talked with Johns Hopkins psychedelic researcher, Alan Kooi Davis, about the Source Research Foundation, a non-profit awarding grants to students researching psychedelics.

Pulitzer Prize winner Terry DeMio on life as a heroin beat reporter

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Terry Demio talks about reporting on heroin for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

After 26 years in prison for LSD, and clemency from Obama, Timothy Tyler is a free man

What’s it like being sentenced to life in prison for selling LSD? Timothy Tyler, a Deadhead convicted of selling LSD and granted clemency by President Barack Obama, talked to Psymposia about his 26 years in prison, and the challenges of adjusting to a brave, new world.

Ayahuasca and the Global Marketplace

Narratives which gloss-over the history and socioeconomic dynamics of ayahuasca’s globalization may, despite good intentions, actually do more harm than good.

LSD liberated me from the prison I had built for myself

Four years since that trip, I’m no longer prescribed antidepressants.

A Doctor Explains How Prescribing Ketamine For Depression Works

We spoke with an experienced psychiatrist about how exactly prescribing ketamine for depression works.

Some colleges just don’t understand harm reduction

There's growing confusion about handling harm reduction on campuses.

What happens when you give an octopus MDMA?

A team of researchers bathed octopuses in MDMA. Here's what they learned.

A Conversation about Intersectionality in the Psychedelic Community

A conversation between two (white) activists to further the dialogue around inclusivity in the field of psychedelic research and culture.

Reclaiming Your Identity As A Drug User

Today, we have a world where we can say: “I’m proud to be a woman” and “I’m proud to be gay.” But we can’t say: “I’m a drug-user.”

Cartoon Dystopia: 25I-NBOMe and Why You Should Test Your LSD

Like the vast majority of psychonauts, I didn’t use a chemical reagent to verify I was taking LSD, even though I had been active in harm reduction work for three years prior and was aware of testing kits.

I talked with Adam Strauss about Ketamine for OCD, Trip Sitters, and The Mushroom Cure Los Angeles

Before I met Adam I didn’t really know anyone with OCD. It was just an abstract concept to me. Like most people, I had the image of the stereotypical germaphobe who obsessively scrubs their hands in a futile attempt at washing the thousands of bacteria away.

How should we be teaching students about drugs?

Rhana Hashemi is the site coordinator for drug and alcohol programs and services for Oakland Unified School District. But, to her students, she is just “the drug lady.”

How to meditate on psychedelics with Vincent Horn of Meditate.io

Vincent Horn of Meditate.io talks about psychedelics and meditation.

For someone who hasn’t taken a psychedelic drug it can be difficult to imagine what it’s like.

Think of a glass of water: under normal circumstances you might think ‘I drink water when I’m thirsty’. But when consuming a psychedelic substance you might think ’water is the essence of life’.

Salvinorin A. Is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

We Need New Drugs. The opioid epidemic gripping the United States has brought into public awareness a problem that has bedeviled the world of medical science for decades: is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

Becoming a Psychedelic Researcher: Alan Kooi Davis

Why researchers like Alan Kooi Davis — the newest addition to the Johns Hopkins psychedelic research team — decide to devote their careers to studying psychedelics.

How activists are fighting for full cannabis legalization in Washington, D.C.

When two men entered a party in Uneeda Nichols’ home in Washington, D.C. in August 2017 with a couple hundred dollars in cash, they were greeted as cannabis enthusiasts. No one realized they were undercover cops.

We talked with a researcher using psilocybin for cocaine addiction in Alabama

I came to a working hypothesis: at the center of the mystical experience is awe, wherein one is in the presence of something so great, so large, that it requires they completely reorder their mental structures - completely change the way they view reality.

LSD Cured My Eating Disorder

As a teenager, I was taking ten milligrams of Ritalin daily. Later, I grew to love the way these pills made it easier for me not to eat.

We now call ‘bad trips’ ‘challenging experiences’. Here’s why that’s misguided.

Renaming adverse effects of psychedelic drugs as “challenging experiences” minimizes, almost trivializes, their negative effects.

Psychedelics and the Full-Fluency Phenomenon

I first discovered the potential psychedelics have for treating stuttering during an experience with psilocybin mushrooms.

DREAMing about Drug Reform: An Interview with Arturo Lua Castillo

A candid talk with Arturo Lua Castillo, named Outstanding Student Organizer of 2018 by Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Humans of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Meet some of the people on the front lines of global drug reform at The Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.

Is ibogaine the cure for opioid addiction? It’s not that simple.

The Ibogaine Conversation Conclusion | The goal of this conversation was to provide a platform for a diverse range of perspectives on a single topic. Not everyone agrees, and that’s the point.

Ibogaine treatment comes with risks. We had a discussion about safety with medical providers.

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 10 | Unlike other psychedelic drugs, ibogaine is known to be potentially cardiotoxic. There are a number of fatalities associated with its use, and anyone considering working with it should be aware of the risks.

How safe is ibogaine? We asked Clare Wilkins who has facilitated over 700 treatments

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 9 | Using ibogaine can be fatal if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.

How Not to Do Ibogaine 101 with Juliana Mulligan

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 8 | This is not a do-it-at-home type thing.

Former underground provider, Dimitri Mugianis, on the regulation of ibogaine

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 7 | Prescription is not about accessibility, by definition it’s about restriction. Unless we start to use psychedelics as a way to tear apart these structures and build new ones in their place, then I think it's all a revolving door.

Patrick Kroupa, hacker and ex-heroin ‘junkie’, on microdosing and the medicalization of ibogaine

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 6 | My experience with heroin went from age 14 up to age 30, and taking ibogaine was as close to a miracle as I have ever experienced in my life.

Talking ibogaine research for opioid addiction with Thomas Kingsley Brown

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 5 | Thomas Kingsley Brown, PhD, studied the long-term outcomes of people who received ibogaine for the treatment of opioid addiction. We talked about the results.

We are Bwitists and healers in Gabon. Here’s what we think of the global interest in iboga.

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 4 | The Western world cannot receive the benefits of iboga if they don’t try to understand and assimilate the traditional approach.

How has Western influence changed the traditional use of iboga in Gabon?

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 3 | What is the authentic Bwiti tradition? The answer I got was that this idea of authenticity is an odd idea. It’s a very Western idea. Bwiti considers itself as a culture that’s changing.

Taking Iboga with the People of Gabon

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 2 | Our first stop is in Gabon, Africa, where consumption of the iboga root bark is intimately tied to the ancient spiritual discipline known as Bwiti.

Ibogaine presents unique challenges in how we approach harm reduction and treat addiction

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 1 | This series explores the unique challenges ibogaine presents in how we approach plant medicine, harm reduction, and treatment for addiction, through the lens of ibogaine researchers, providers, patients, and advocates from around the world.

Applying to Law School on LSD

My decision to attend law school was unconventional, at best.

Johns Hopkins studying effects of psilocybin on brains of long-term meditators

Are these states really similar? Many meditators have answered quite clearly, yes.

Could Oregon be the First State to Legalize Psilocybin Therapy?

A group in Oregon is drafting a ballot initiative for 2020 that would allow individuals to take psilocybin in supervised settings.

Cocaine Tourism in Colombia

Medellín attracts the attention of tourists seeking a new kind of experience: doing cocaine in the city of Pablo Escobar.

The State: The Opioid Epidemic

For anyone who remembers the Reagan Administration's awesome response to the '80s crack epidemic, the Trump plan may prompt discouraging deja vu.

Maine Gov vetoes (admittedly flawed) legal cannabis bill, leaving future sales uncertain

On Friday, November 3, 2017, Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) vetoed legislation to regulate cannabis sales in the state.

Whitewashing Psychedelics: A Lack of Diverse Voices in the Psychedelic Movement

Nick Powers stands alone on stage as the only black speaker and the last voice to close out a conference on psychedelics.

Your Brain on Psychedelic Drugs

What is it about psychedelics that has the power to change lives for the better? The answer might lie in the unique ways that psychedelics interact with the brain.

Fear and Loathing on Flatbush Avenue

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas can tell us a lot about the building of the system we are now finding ourselves stuck inside.

International Drug Policy Reform Conference Brings Harm Reduction into Spotlight

My destination was the International Drug Policy Reform Conference (Reform 2017). Judging by the throng of young college students crowding the lobby, I knew we were in the right place.

The State: Friday, Oct 27, 2017

To get a vision of the future of psychedelics from a legal and regulatory perspective, the most useful thing to do might be to see what's happening already in the realm of weed.

Psychedelics and Mental Health

Depression. Anxiety. Addiction. Most everyone of us knows somebody who is battling such a condition. Talk therapies may help, but sometimes they don’t. Antidepressants may help, but sometimes they don’t. Some patients are of the opinion that antidepressants are like “Band-Aids” in the way that they never really tackle the underlying issues of their problems.

This british conservative thinks drug prohibition is as intelligent as alcohol prohibition in US

Crispin Blunt suggested that legally regulating cannabis may well drag UK drug policy out of the dark ages.

Inspired by drugs

I would say that almost all my original ideas have in some way or another been inspired by drugs.

What’s so controversial about microdosing?

The incredible mainstream press microdosing has received has managed to avoid many discussions.

I was in the MAPS MDMA for PTSD study. It freed me from a childhood of abuse.

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy gave me the ability to feel compassion and empathy for myself.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. An Interview with Iker Puente on Holotropic Breathwork

Holotropic Breathwork is not just a breath technique. It was conceived as a non-drug way of accessing non-ordinary states of consciousness.

What the Scientologists can teach us about drug reform

Even with its straightforward-sounding name, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (FDFW) hides plenty beneath the surface—namely, a direct connection to the Church of Scientology.

How Psychedelic Science Privileges Some, Neglects Others, and Limits Us All

There is an urgent need for cultural humility in psychedelic science in order to prevent it from falling into the same limiting, and often unethical, traps that we see in Western science and medicine.

The State: Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017

Welcome to the first edition of The State. This column will look at a few of the more noteworthy stories making waves in the psychedelic and reform spheres, and when appropriate, examine how they fit into a larger context.

Psychedelic cluster busting headache medication saves me. And it’s completely illegal

Cluster headaches to me feel like someone has my eyeball in their fist, steadily putting more and more pressure on it until it threatens to pop like a grape

The first time I ate mushrooms a Papua New Guinea shaman showed up

We locked eyes for what felt like an eternity...like he and I had done this many times before.

Before LSD, I was a militant anti-theist

My life can be split into two parts: before and after LSD.

10 Reasons to End the War on Drugs and the War on Sex Workers

Just as the drug war makes drug-taking more dangerous and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, the War on Sex Workers makes sex work more dangerous too.

Here are 10 reasons ending the War on Sex Workers makes as much sense as ending the War on Drugs.

Does the First Amendment Protect Spiritual Cannabis Use? A D.C. Activist Plans to Argue For It

A group of cannabis activists held a demonstration outside the White House. They made a Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, non-sectarian, and Rasta prayer over the plant, seeking to highlight the spirituality of cannabis use.

Meet the professor who self-administered 73 high-dose LSD sessions

I chose to learn Grof’s methods for working therapeutically with LSD and use them in my private life to systematically explore my own mind and the mind of the universe as deeply as possible—73 high-dose sessions over 20 years.

My experience with mushrooms was an epiphany. There’s never been a need to revisit that depth of consciousness.

I realised everything is connected, and I felt that I was just stardust, along with other people, animals, plants, rocks, clouds and the whole universe.

You’ve had a life-changing experience with psychedelics. Do you tell your kids?

“Did you ever pick mushrooms off of cow poop when you were biking in Hawaii?” I ask her. “Actually, yes,” she admitted. I take advantage of the ease at which a conversation like this flows with my mom.

DMT showed me how my ego influenced my emotions

It made me aware that there are times where instead of vocalizing my opinions I could listen not to respond, but to understand.

2001: A Psychedelic Odyssey

One tagline for the movie was “the ultimate trip,” so clearly Kubrick, or at least the film’s marketing team, were very aware of the psychedelic implications of the film.

Of Molecules and Minds: The Science of Ayahuasca

There’s a beauty and sense of wonder that comes from knowing how the world works, and the nature of the psychedelic experience dovetails almost perfectly with that awareness.

Washington Man Facing Prison After Foraging for Wild Mushrooms

Corbett is facing a potential prison sentence of five years for possession of psilocybin mushrooms.

Using psilocybin mushrooms for anxiety and depression

Since I was 16 years old I have struggled with depression and anxiety.

The latest piece on psychedelic science in the New York Times is dead wrong

First, the entire premise—that Schedule I status is the primary obstacle to research—is flat-out wrong.

Meditation and psychedelics are synergistic

I've been a practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism for the past 50-years.

I wanted ayahuasca to teach me how to love the world despite its violence, destruction, and greed

After getting off my long dependence on anti-depressants, I found myself feeling open to natural therapies.

Psychedelic medicines can help heal the trauma of mass incarceration

Psychedelic therapy has the potential to ignite a paradigm shift within our culture by enabling us to reframe complex social problems as manifestations of trauma.

4 Reasons Why The U.S. Needs to Decriminalize Drugs, And Why We’re Closer Than You Think

There’s an emerging public, political, and scientific consensus that otherwise-law-abiding people should not be arrested simply for using or possessing a drug.

My first experience with DMT

After the trip, I stopped abusing xanax and oxycodone.

Psychedelic Harm Reduction in the Czech Republic

The Czech Psychedelic Society is creating the Czech version of Zendo Project and KosmiCare.

The Psychedelic Renaissance owes its life to an open internet

We must remember how in less than two decades, an open internet enabled us to bridge some deep cultural divides, dismantle three-quarters of a century worth of drug propaganda, crowdsource massive databases of drug information, and crowdfund millions of dollars for FDA-approved research on psychedelics.

Making a difference in West Africa

I started Ghana’s first and only Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter.

Drug prohibition is morally unjust and pragmatically useless, Pt. 2

Proponents of drug prohibition provide reasons why alcoholic substances should continue to remain legal while substances like LSD should not. No persuasive arguments of that sort are anywhere to be found.

A persuasive case for the decriminalization of drugs, Pt. 1

If neither the state nor defenders of our continued drug policies can provide a rational justification for the continued practice of incarcerating drug users, then the use of punishment by the state against drug users is morally unjustified.

I was an MDMA manufacturer in the ’80s. Then fled the country as a fugitive for 20 years. | Part 3

As far as the authorities knew, Robert Widdowson was still in the U.S. All I had to do was not contact anyone in the States, and I was safe.

I was an MDMA manufacturer in the ’80s. Then fled the country as a fugitive for 20 years. | Part 2

After looking around carefully, he passed me a small piece of paper. He said, “Memorize what’s on that paper, and then eat it.”

I was an MDMA manufacturer in the ’80s. Then fled the country as a fugitive for 20 years. | Part 1

They had me dead to rights. It was a familiar story: An old friend was caught and threatened with a long sentence unless he gave them someone important. Me.

We need ecstasy and opioids in place of Prozac and Xanax

Instead of worrying so much about addiction, which tends to correct itself when life becomes tolerable, maybe we should worry more about the sources of emotional suffering.

Psychedelic Stories | Snake: The Spirit of Ayahuasca

My rational mind told me that I should be absolutely terrified, but I felt no fear at all. As his consciousness merged with mine, I knew instinctively that he meant me no harm.

Dennis McKenna on his ethnopharmacology conference 50 years in the making

It’s been 50 years since the last one. The original idea was to hold followups every 10 years. But the war on drugs came along, and they were never held. It’s time to take another look at the current state of the art.

Psymposia’s Psychedelic Stories “Blue Dot Tour” Recap

Events ranged from small groups around the campfire to packed bars. People came out of the psychedelic closet in backyards, schools, libraries, and on our stage at Psychedelic Science 2017.

Why We Need to Talk About “Bad Trips”

Although psychedelics are going to shape the future of mental health therapy, these powerful mind-altering substances shouldn’t be taken lightly.

The Unexpected Trip

When I graduated from the Air Force Academy, it was George W. Bush who handed me my diploma.

Psychedelics Can’t be Tested Using Conventional Clinical Trials

Should these drugs become part of medicine cabinets from San Francisco to America’s heartland, it will be high time to develop drug tests that control for the cultural diversity of this country’s doctors and patients.

Caraballo & Norzi’s new film ‘Icaros: A Vision’ reinvents the aesthetic of psychedelics on screen.

An interview with Director Matteo Norzi. "We tried to re-invent the aesthetic of psychedelics, avoiding the clichés of the colorful motifs of the ’60s."

A Brief History of the Drug War

Why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal? It's not based on science or the relative risks – but has everything to do with who is associated with them.

How Social and Climate Justice Activism is Psychedelic

As I became activated to defend something bigger than my own immediate welfare, a shift took place—a shift toward seeing reality as a singular entity as opposed to a bunch of disjointed parts.

The families in México who’ve experienced the real consequences of drug prohibition.

The families of the disappeared people have had to organize among themselves, do their own investigations, and push state agents such as the police, judges, and the general attorney to do their job.

Nick Sand, Orange Sunshine LSD chemist, dies at 75

The undaunted spirit and psychedelic warrior of love and light, Nick Sand, the outlaw chemist, died in his sleep on Monday April 24th at the age of 75.

Where Eco-Feminism and Psychedelics Meet

We talked with Zoe Helene, the founder of Cosmic Sister, a group started as an underground network for women who have each other’s best interests at heart, women supporting women.

Ohio City Gov’t: We have to fine and jail overdose survivors to give them “treatment opportunities”

If someone overdoses from heroin or opiate drugs and has to be revived by paramedics or police with naloxone, they will be charged with “inducing panic.”

A Short History of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Pt. 2

Let’s go forward in time through the government’s ban on psychedelics, and look how it has blossomed into the psychedelic renaissance.

A Short History of Psychedelic Psychotherapy, Pt. 1

Psychotherapy-assisted psychedelic experiences may revolutionize how we treat mental illness. The philosophy and techniques have evolved over the past 50 years.

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #3

Dose #3 was the most intense, powerful, horrendous, terrifying, awful experience of my life. In the end, it was all worth it. Conclusion to a 3-part series.

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #2

This time my dose was 45 mg of pure psilocybin. I took it and waited for the show to begin. There was fear and a sincere hope that this experience would not be as hellish. Pt 2

I received the largest dose of psilocybin ever administered in a published FDA study. Dose #1

A 3-part series on one participant's high dose psilocybin experience in the Pharmacokinetics of Psilocybin in Normal Adult Volunteers study at the University of Wisconsin.

Meet the hypnotist who can get you high – without any drugs.

I hypnotized some of the attendees and put them on cocaine, pot, beer, and even ecstasy. I interviewed them afterwards and asked them if it felt real. And each of them said yes. Quite real. Then my head exploded.

Psychedelic Stories: The Mushroom Manifesto

We’re all just reflections of each other.

Precautions with Underground Psychedelic Therapy

In underground sessions, you’re taking a huge risk choosing to work with someone who may not have adequately prepared or may have dubious subconscious motivations.

Globalhuasca: Reciprocity and Integration of Indigenous and Scientific Worldviews

Even if we don't necessarily share religious, spiritual, or mythological assumptions, are we able to reconcile between such seemingly different and antagonistic worldviews?

Globalhuasca: A Closer Look at the Global Ayahuasca Movement

Many of us are well-meaning in our engagement with plant medicines, but we cannot disregard the real-world impact that our actions inevitably have, regardless of intent.

The DEA Scheduling System is a Joke

Reducing drug policy down to defining “good” substances and “bad” substances is missing the entire fucking point.

Want to reduce drug use? Listen to women drug users

The most common consequences of drug policies, whether focusing on the supply or the demand side, bring disproportionate harm to women and girls.

I served in the Israeli Defense Forces. Ayahuasca Healed my PTSD. Pt 2: Integration

I was able to heal my relationship with death, and that in turn allowed me to heal my relationship with life.

I served in the Israeli Defense Forces. Ayahuasca healed my PTSD

I was on duty the night Alex decided to commit suicide in the communal showers.

Addicted to Weed: VolteFace Launches Black Sheep Report

A legal, regulated cannabis market would help prevent problematic use and give treatment options the radical revamp they need.

In Sweden, Europe’s most LGBT-friendly country, admitting use of cannabis or psychedelics carries a big social stigma

You might imagine progressive drug laws go hand-in-hand with social democracy. It's not the case in Sweden.

How do we reform the police? We talked about it with Neill Franklin, a former cop

Eighty plus percent of police chiefs admit that the war on drugs has failed.

Do psychedelics trigger neurogenesis? Here’s what we know.

What is neurogenesis? Do psychedelics really cause it? If they do, what doors might that open up?

Non-PTSD Uses for MDMA

MDMA has the potential of treating and reversing even the most pervasive of pathologies in the mental health world

Rethinking the drug war in the classroom

UC Berkeley SSDP members are organizing college classes focused on drug education.

A Weekend for Women and Weed

The nation and the world were rocked this weekend by the Women’s March. The day before, cannabis activist group DCMJ distributed thousands of hand-rolled joints—for free.

Cosmo Feilding Mellen: Interview with a Sunshine Maker

1960's. Two men. One goal. Turn the world on to LSD.

Honoring My Inner Goddess: How Mushrooms Helped Me Love My Body

I had been defined by the diagnoses and labels put on me, but in that moment, I was peeling back every layer of self-hatred, criticism, and trauma.

Psychedelics exploded in the 60s like a nuclear bomb

We had never seen anything like them. We had no models, societal, medical, or religious, to deal with them. Many were threatened by them.

How Does LSD Induce Short-Term Psychosis but Long-Term Optimism?

There’s only one way to find out – more scientific experiments.

Adam Eidinger Calls on Cannabis Community to #SmokeSessions

Cannabis-activist group DCMJ sat in on the Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing.

Finding The Sweet Spot : At 62 I Had My First Dose Of Psilocybin At Johns Hopkins

A research program was seeking volunteers with a spiritual background to ingest a hallucinogen.

A Normal Person Who Does Drugs Sometimes

You might think Jane sounds like an asshole, but she is really just a mouthpiece for widely tolerated values.

Getting Way Too High At Work As A Santa’s Elf

I had not realized that this was a mushroom chocolate given to me as I was sitting there on his lap

4 tips to talk to family about drugs over the holidays

Here's some tips for having a transformative conversation over the holidays.

The Psychedelic Network, Pt 3: Mexico, Australia, and Israel

"The future will be awesome if we can strengthen and continue weaving the networks of networks so that our efforts are synergic and interconnected"

The Psychedelic Network, Pt 2: Europe field_533e6675a8eea

The internet is the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Psychedelic Network, Pt 1: USA field_533e6675a8eea

Over the past few years, psychedelic societies have begun popping up all over the world. We interviewed some of the pioneers. First stop: USA.

Will drug policy reform be Trumped? We asked the reform community to chime in.

It’s hard to imagine Trump & Sessions stuffing the toothpaste back in the tube, but remember drug prohibition is a lucrative business.

Psychedelics & Sexual Healing: A Talk with Dee Dee Goldpaugh

So much of the conversation surrounding sex, like that surrounding drugs, is fear-based and chock full of negativity.

Winter Blues Got You Down? Try These Integrative Antidepressant Approaches

Here's some integrative antidepressant approaches that have low or no side effects and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

Why Psychedelic History Matters

The psychedelic renaissance is afoot, and there’s almost no use arguing with the term anymore. It’s just too catchy.

We talked to Duncan Trussell about Microdosing and Donald Trump

The Trump victory is like watching a dart trap set up by the Founding Fathers spring into action. For better or for worse the system worked.

Union of Opposites: Trump Selects War Cabinet, Psychedelics Make Mainstream Waves

"We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist." Carl Jung

How Will History Remember the Psychedelic Renaissance?

Social movements are remembered in history for the things they do and the actions they take, not for what they inadvertently hope will happen.

Psychedelics and Social Justice

For the movement toward psychedelic consciousness to be as transformative as it can possibly be, it is our obligation as a psychedelic community to be aware of our shortcomings and to challenge them head-on.

Psychedelic Inclusivity: Hopes and Challenges

When stubborn drives for inclusion and connection in the present betray a racially divided past, psychonauts may be able to attend to histories of exclusion, separation and disconnection in order to deepen our understanding and engagement in the present.

Privilege and Safety in the Psychedelic Community

I feel safe openly advocating for the beneficial use of illicit substances because I have never been stopped by police without legitimate cause.

Why the Psychedelic Community is so White

The War on Drugs is inherently anti-black. Most psychedelic users that I’ve encountered are hesitant to take a stance on the racial aspects of the drug war.

The Psychedelic Community Needs More Diversity. Let’s Talk About That

Psymposia is focused on emerging social issues relating to psychedelic science and drug policy reform, and we are committed to highlighting diverse perspectives.

My First Psychedelic Experience at Johns Hopkins Changed My Life

It’s been more than six years since I participated in the Johns Hopkins Spirituality study, but it continues as the most life-changing event of my life.

We talked with Michael Verdon, an artist who burns down his work.

We talked with Michael Verdon, the artist behind the burning temple at Catharsis on the Mall

2016 Election: A State-By-State Cannabis Recap

A quick look at what happened with cannabis voting in all 9 states.

Mapping Marijuana Legalization

Five states have full legalization initiatives on the ballot. Four will be voting on medical cannabis. Here is a rundown of what each initiative aims to do.

Psychedelic Frontiers of Western Medicine

Johns Hopkins and Yale Schools of Medicine reviewed dozens of studies and recent trials on psychedelic compounds.

A Divine Encounter In The Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Study

"On Tuesday, you will be the only person in the U.S. who will be taking psilocybin legally.”

We Talked with World Ayahuasca Conference Organizer Ben De Loenen

"Too many people just see ayahuasca as a sales product and that’s a problem, where it becomes commodified."

For college students, marijuana regulations cause confusion

As states continue to legalize or decriminalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use, more and more students face confusing regulations.

Canada Approves Legal Heroin For Severely Addicted Patients

Canada has amended its policies on heroin to allow doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering severe addiction.

Half Baked Legalization Reflects Structural Inequalities of the System

Legalization should mean everyone has the right to grow, not just some people or corporations with money looking to profit.

Destigmatizing Marijuana and Psychedelics in Hong Kong

Through social media, student exchange, and American pop culture, perceptions of marijuana & psychedelics are slowly changing in Hong Kong.

LSD Helped Me Ditch My Crutches & Scale Mountains

We passed out the tabs of acid, we toasted, and we dropped. And then suddenly, up we went. I stood up, gingerly putting my weight on my right leg. And...nothing. No pain. No tenderness. I was invincible.

MDMA showed me there’s more to life than being stuck over an ex-girlfriend

“Let It Happen” by Tame Impala came on as if there was a switch inside my brain where the drug started working.

A Narc Gifts a Priest LSD

“Ralph, have you ever done LSD?” Of course, my dad’s speaking to a policeman, and it’s the 70’s, and my dad hadn’t done LSD.

Obama Commutes Sentences for 111, Including Deadhead Serving Life for LSD

Timothy Tyler, was serving a double-life sentence without the possibility of parole for selling LSD.

Getting High is a Human Right: Reflections from Uruguay After Cannabis Legalization field_533e6675a8eea

Activists have started creating new spaces for healing, acceptance, heightened consciousness, and fun—a completely legitimate reason to do anything, especially get high.

Envisioning a Sensible Psychedelic Drug Policy

What if honest drug education, harm reduction, long term integration, and acknowledging risks, took the place of propaganda?

J Walking along Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Trail

We would have only one chance to intercept Hillary Clinton in the parking lot.

A Montreal street artist eats psilocybin mushrooms for the first time

“Ya I love it, good taste. Fresh!” I had no idea what I’m doing.

Activists Bring 51-Foot Cannabis Joint to Hillary Clinton

I had the very strange joy of driving a Hillary Clinton rally with a van full of cannabis activists.

How About a Positive Nicotine and Alcohol Story?

I was a couple strong beers in when I reached over for my friend’s vaporizer and took several drags. It was pretty psychedelic.

Did Carl Sagan use LSD? We asked his son

I offered to take it with him, and suggested that the nearby greenery and scenery would be a good place to trip.

Why I Opposed Half-Baked Legalization in Ohio

Legalization should mean everyone has the right to grow, not just some people or corporations with money looking to profit.

I fell in love while candy flipping

The LSD rushed through my gums and into my jaw at the same time the bitter drip of MDA slowly ran down the back of my throat. I didn’t exactly understand what was happening nor did I care because I was excited.

Comedian Adam Strauss on treating OCD with psilocybin mushrooms

Inspired by a scientific study showing that psilocybin mushrooms can potentially cure OCD, Adam Strauss embarked on vigilante psychopharmacology.

Manny Pacquiao and Rodrigo Duterte support the death penalty for drug crimes

Pacquiao’s drive to reinstate capital punishment for drug crimes is in line with President Duterte: “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself, as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

Patterning a World of Mushrooms: The Challenges of Co-Production

‘Co-production’ refers to processes in which a range of experts and non-experts are enrolled as researchers and attempt to generate knowledge together.

My Story of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy after a Life Changing Rape

Fifteen years ago at the age of 15, I attended a house party where I was traumatically gang raped. I was so ashamed, humiliated, and terrified that I never spoke about it again. Until recently.

Coming Out of the Psychedelic Closet: Final Thoughts

Regardless of what conclusions we draw, the topic of psychedelics and identity politics is important at a time when public assumptions about psychedelics are transforming.

Baltimore Uprising: The Untold Story

The evening news showed the fires on loop, but on the ground, a beautiful unity followed.

Coming Out in Solidarity

Psychedelic users and sexual minorities are both involved in the same struggle. We both represent a valid threat to the same obsolete control mechanisms. We are on the same team.

The Youth Movement To End The War On Drugs

Most of the information the “D.A.R.E. generation” was taught in school was sensationalized, exaggerated, or simply factually incorrect (typically all three).

The Asymmetric Risk of Coming Out in Queer and Psychedelic Communities

The risk of coming out as queer is grossly unequal to the risk of disclosing as a psychedelic user.

Rick Doblin’s Psychedelic Dreams

In the late 70's, about seven years after Rick Doblin decided to become a psychedelic therapist and researcher at age 18, he had this potent dream that confirmed his choice of work.

Be Honest, Is Your Psychedelic Use Purely “Sacred”?

Isn’t it just as valid and meaningful for psychedelics to be used for diversion, entertainment, relaxation, and adventure?

The Psychonaut’s Dilemma

During an earlier era of psychedelic research, the 1950s-70s, some scientists believed that in order to ethically administer psychedelics to others it was necessary to first experience them oneself.

Out Yourself

You can’t expect to get equal rights unless you push for them, and you can’t push for them without first standing up and being “out.”

Why I’m Staying In the Psychedelic Closet

The demonization of psychedelic culture is not a social justice issue, and using the language of social justice is damaging to those causes.

Psychedelics and Identity Politics

The decades-long “War on Drugs” has created a situation in which the use of psychedelics is a social justice issue.

Why I Came Out of the Psychedelic Closet

I majored in physics at Princeton. I’m a lawyer who graduated from Georgetown Law. I clerked for a Federal Judge. And, of course, I had a positive, life-changing trip on LSD.

Taking Drugs Seriously: The Reagans, Socrates, and Hypocrisies

No offense to Nancy or the U$ government cocaine-smuggling rings that thrived under the regime of her anti-communist ideologue of a husband, but drugs are endemic to life.

Coming Out of the Psychedelic Closet

Who am I? How do you answer that question? I’m a mother, a wife, a teacher, a scholar. And I’m also a psychedelic woman


Archive

As COMPASS Pathways continues its attempts to build a psychedelic monopoly, Usona Institute keeps publishing open research

Since COMPASS Pathways filed for a controversial psilocybin patent in 2018, Usona Institute has consistently placed its research findings in the public domain.

Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories in Psychedelia

Conspiracy theories are nothing new when it comes to psychedelia. But in the context of coronavirus, they've become significantly more harmful.

LSD Chemist William Leonard Pickard Has Been Released From Prison

LSD chemist and longtime drug war prisoner, William Leonard Pickard, was officially released from prison on July 27, 2020. Pickard had been locked down since 2000 and was slated to serve two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

We Need to Talk About MAPS Supporting The Police, The Military, and Violent White Supremacism

For decades, MAPS and other proponents of psychedelic medicalization have justified their emphasis on treating police and soldiers as a political strategy in service to mainstreaming psychedelic drugs. This strategy perpetuates the logic of white supremacy, capitalism, and imperialism.

Magical (Psychedelic) Thinking in the Era of Climate Change and COVID-19

Two of our biggest crises—COVID-19 and climate change—lay bare the magical thinking that pervades psychedelic discourse: that individual experiences of oneness will necessarily transform our society for the better.

The George Floyd protests have reframed the debate around surveillance, encryption, and facial recognition The current spotlight on toxic law enforcement culture has propelled conversations about facial recognition and biometric surveillance into mainstream politics. Banning facial recognition is necessary to avoid automating racism and further institutionalizing white supremacy.

The current spotlight on toxic law enforcement culture has propelled conversations about facial recognition and biometric surveillance into mainstream politics. Banning facial recognition is necessary to avoid automating racism and further institutionalizing white supremacy.

DARE to Resist White Supremacy and The Police American policing is a white supremacist institution that has repeatedly demonstrated the degree to which it values property over human life. Our struggles against the police are inseparably entwined with similar struggles around the world, and they cannot be disconnected from larger struggles for human rights.

American policing is a white supremacist institution that has repeatedly demonstrated the degree to which it values property over human life. Our struggles against the police are inseparably entwined with similar struggles around the world, and they cannot be disconnected from larger struggles for human rights.

Decriminalization offers an ethical counterbalance to address sexual misconduct in psychedelic therapy Sexual violence is already notoriously under-reported, and barriers— including distrust in police—are amplified when victims are also members of a criminalized subculture and were under the influence of illegal drugs when the violence occurred.

Sexual violence is already notoriously under-reported, and barriers— including distrust in police—are amplified when victims are also members of a criminalized subculture and were under the influence of illegal drugs when the violence occurred.

Bicycle Day 2020 Was Truly Historic, But Not for the Reasons You Think Jamon A. Rahn, CEO of psychedelic pharmaceutical startup MindMed, offered a glimpse of the future of psychedelic science, including proprietary data and hints of an “LSD neutralizer.”

Jamon A. Rahn, CEO of psychedelic pharmaceutical startup MindMed, offered a glimpse of the future of psychedelic science, including proprietary data and hints of an “LSD neutralizer.”

Psychedelic Video Museum Celebrates Virtual Launch Contributors to the Daily Psychedelic Video platform gather on Zoom to bless the opening of the Psychedelic Video Museum: a collection of ten years’ worth of their shared visions.

Contributors to the Daily Psychedelic Video platform gather on Zoom to bless the opening of the Psychedelic Video Museum: a collection of ten years’ worth of their shared visions.

Amidst Pandemic, Psychedelic Investor Christan Angermayer Can’t Imagine Life Beyond Capitalism

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Christian Angermayer, the world’s largest psychedelic pharmaceutical investor and founder of ATAI Life Sciences, calls to sacrifice public health for the sake of “the economy.”

“Flattening The Curve is Complete BS”: Pandemic Advice From Psychedelic Investor Christian Angermayer

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Christian Angermayer—the world's largest psychedelic pharmaceutical investor and founder of ATAI Life Sciences—dismisses medical experts in his desperation to reboot the economy.

Dear Psychedelic Researchers

The coronavirus has made it clear that psychedelic medicalization will not revolutionize mental healthcare without systemic socioeconomic change.

Calm Down. What’s the Worst Thing That the Wellness Industry Could Do to Psychedelics?

As technology and psychedelics turn to mental health, we’ll likely see a future where we are treated based on our digital biomarkers, and sold mental health services based on the personal data we surrender.

Talking Psychedelic Capitalism in a WeWork Ballroom

Psychedelic capitalists justify their decision to go for-profit in the ballroom of America’s most recent for-profit flop.

Christian Angermayer’s ATAI Life Sciences is positioned to take the psychedelic throne from MAPS

After decades of psychedelic nonprofits paving regulatory pathways and priming wealthy investors, for-profits are moving in to reap the rewards.

“Making psychedelics boring again”— Unless you’re a privileged psychedelic executive, of course

The new leaders of the psychedelic medicalization industry seem to see themselves as above their own self-proposed rules.

Psychedelic Trade Secrets and Get-Rich-Quick Schemes —a Benefit to Investors, a Harm to Progress

“Play the field right and there’s money to be made even off some of the shit companies purely based on the wave.”

Never Forget: Before There Was A Mush Rush, There Was A Plea For Decency

Many predicted an ethical storm brewing in the lead-up to the explosion of for-profit interest in psychedelic pharmaceuticals. But, were their efforts to mitigate the damage enough to make a difference?

Eleusis Benefit Corp: Taking the “Psychedelic” Out of Psychedelics Shlomi Raz, CEO of Eleusis Benefit Corporation, made false claims about psychedelics. We asked multiple ethnobotanists, a medical anthropologist, and a chemist if they could help us set the record straight.

Using psychedelic compounds to treat inflammation is interesting, but claiming that, "the primary traditional use," of psychedelics was, "as imperceptible anti-inflammatory agents," just isn’t true.

Could wearable microdosing technology be a thing one day? Personalized perfume patent includes potential for wearable microdosing technology

Could a liquid-delivery system meant to help maintain a personalized “scent bubble” quietly usher in the creation of wearable psychedelic microdosing technology? A U.S. patent for this system is just one among an increasing list of psychedelic-inspired intellectual properties.

Lucy In The Sky With Nazis: Psychedelics and the Right Wing Psychedelic advocates have long asserted that broader psychedelic use will lead to a more open, progressive society, but there are too many instances of right-wingers who have taken them for that to be true.

Psychedelic advocates have long asserted that broader psychedelic use will lead to a more open, progressive society, but there are too many instances of right-wingers who have taken them for that to be true.

BBC Duped into Promoting Marketing Scheme for Microdosing Psychedelics A recent BBC story entitled “The ‘psychedelics coach’ with drug-fuelled career advice,” offers an opportunity to examine what happens when sloppy journalism and self-promotional psychedelic marketers collide.

A recent BBC story entitled “The ‘psychedelics coach’ with drug-fuelled career advice,” offers an opportunity to examine what happens when sloppy journalism and self-promotional psychedelic marketers collide.

31 miles and a tab of acid later…

A corrective experience achieved through dropping acid and running the 2019 Burning Man Ultramarathon

We Refuse to Endorse Daniel Pinchbeck as a Credible Voice in the Psychedelic Movement

Pinchbeck has not publicly engaged in the difficult work of reorganizing his relationship to power, which is a precondition for learning to wield power and authority responsibly. Instead, he has shown that he is predominantly concerned with reestablishing his career and with recentering himself as an authority figure

A Suburban Junkie’s Journal

The first time I bought a balloon of heroin I was 20 years old. Fresh out of rehab, I was craving opiates—specifically OxyContin.

As legal psychedelic therapy emerges, ethicists urge for more comprehensive frameworks to address sexual abuse

With a checkered history of misconduct, how will psychedelic-assisted therapists be held accountable in the emerging legal field?

Intersecting Movements: Drug Policy Reform and Climate Action

Climate justice is racial justice, and we cannot achieve racial justice without ending the War on Drugs.

Chicago could become largest city to Decriminalize Entheogenic Plants

Chicago’s Committee on Health and Human Relations unanimously passed (50-0) a resolution October 16 to decriminalize entheogenic plants and fungi.

What the heck happened to Reality Sandwich?

Reality Sandwich was sold to a group called Delic Corp. Now there's a lawsuit.

An open letter to the newly founded Center for Psychedelic Research at Johns Hopkins

With the recent creation of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, we must remember that, while industrialized medicine has never attempted to serve all people, institutional histories vary from one organization to the next.

SSDP Spotlight: Just Say Know, a peer education program for everyone

Although SSDP was founded upon political lobbying from the top down, it has also served as a platform for member-led initiatives of harm reduction and peer education.

Podcast Preview: We Hope Michael Pollan Changes His Mind

As Michael Pollan steps into the role of psychedelic gatekeeper, we critically examine his recent NYT op-ed on slowing down psilocybin decriminalization.

Forgiving psychedelic abusers should never be at the expense of their victims

A response to the recent Chacruna.net interview with Daniel Pinchbeck.

Young People of Color As Leaders in The Movement To End the War on Drugs

How do you center the needs and perspectives of people of color in your activism—not because you want to fill a quota, but because the success of your work depends on it?

Considerations for Engaging with Amazonian Ancestral Practices, People, and Places

If we truly believe in the positive transformational power of visionary plant experiences, we must support each other to make real social change happen, less this transformation stagnates at the individual level.

I Was Recorded During A 5-MeO DMT Ceremony Without My Consent

I was told that a video of me was recorded without my consent, and I could view it after some rest.

He said to me “all women secretly want to be raped”

Jay brought up the Me Too Movement and called it “hysteria” – I asked him if he has ever been raped. He had not.

Shipibo Women Healers on the Challenges and Opportunities of the Ayahuasca Boom

After the murder of a Peruvian healer in 2018, traditional healers, local political figures, and nonprofit allies gathered to address the complexities that come with the influx of foreigners seeking ayahuasca in the Amazon.

MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about?

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) submitted their MDMA PTSD expanded access protocol to the FDA on January 14, 2019.

This is what psychedelic mainstreaming looks like…in Arizona

As psychedelic medicalization and the potential profits of a “virgin market” loom large, new organizations are increasingly looking to gain legitimacy within the field. Mainstreaming means the doors of this field are being thrown wide open.

Will MDMA-assisted psychotherapy be covered by health insurance?

Until MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is proven without a doubt to reduce long-term costs, many insurance companies do not have an incentive to cover it.

How will MDMA be rescheduled in the future? You may be disappointed

What does MDMA rescheduling mean for the recreational user? If you are under the impression that MDMA is on its way to being rescheduled, across the board, you may be disappointed.

The Future of MDMA: Phase 3 and Beyond

What does the future hold for MDMA? We explore MAPS' ongoing FDA phase 3 clinical trials, rescheduling, health insurance, and expanded access. 

The First Step Act is not the criminal justice reform we need. But it’s a start.

Trump signed into law the First Step Act, which makes modest reforms that ease the federal prison population.

Time’s Up. The dance floor is not your colonial hunting ground

Dance has played a sacred role universally amongst indigenous cultures for millennia. Our dances may have nothing to do with attracting your gaze.

Let’s Talk About Psychedelic-Induced Psychosis

Comedian Shane Mauss and Zendo Project's Ryan Beauregard on psychedelic-induced psychosis. “It was really easy once I got past the big video game, ‘Truman Show’ feeling, to get to a place of, ‘oh, that was all in my head. I was crazy.’"

Safety Guidelines for Guides, Psychedelic Integration Practitioners, and Other Leaders

How can men, who participate in psychedelic community as members or leaders hold themselves to a standard that promotes safety for the people that really need it?

A Mother-Daughter Mushroom Trip Captured on Film

Would you take psychedelic mushrooms with your mom?

It’s my choice, but he wanted it more…

If it’s not a “fuck, yes!” then it’s not a yes. Inform yourself about systems of power and oppression so you can recognize and deconstruct the patriarchy, rape culture, and supremacy in your thoughts and actions. Listen to survivors.

Bunk Police Drug Testing

The Bunk Police is looking to destroy dishonesty in the drug market

If there are other harm-reduction organizations, such as DanceSafe, that are able to distribute test kits, then we won’t attend that event....the ones that refuse DanceSafe, we come in and do it anyways.

I Survived Sexual Abuse In The Amazon And Victim Blame At Home

The controlled narrative goes something like this: ayahuasca is good, and we need to control how people perceive it because this is a controlled substance we want to see legalized, a medicine we want to see legitimated. And if we have to sacrifice a few women who get themselves raped to keep ayahuasca’s name clean, so be it.

Time’s Up for “Silencing” Tactics

A few years ago, I witnessed the systematic silencing and shaming of Lily Kay Ross for having dared to call attention to severe abuses of power in the psychedelic space. Her extraordinary bravery in sharing her own experience with abuse was met with victim blaming and accusations of selfishness. Key members of the psychedelic research community turned on her for “jeopardizing” the entire field of psychedelic science with her “negativity” and “theatrics.”

Get up, stand up, speak up

Time stops as his open palm continues toward me, meeting my stomach with force, pushing me back several steps before releasing me.

Psychedelic Ethics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I have been deeply disappointed and angry at both men and women in our community who would rather sweep these experiences under the rug and avoid all criticisms that could make it harder for the mainstream to “accept” us and our drugs of choice.

Hey Psychedelic Science Community, we need to talk about consent

Consent is really pretty simple but also apparently complicated, due to our inheritance of a messed up culture.

Intentionally-diverse MDMA research at University of Connecticut Cut Short

The research team at UConn studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD is now defunct.

psychedelic.support creates a network for psychedelic therapists

psychedelic.support could soon become a useful asset to anyone interested in the professional world of psychedelic-related therapy.

It’s time to debunk prohibitionist narratives and calls for monopolies within psychedelic science

As venture-capital-backed, for-profit companies barrel into psychedelic therapy, the potential for the widespread privatization of psychedelic knowledge and profits looms large. Some researchers are so enthusiastic about medicalization by “any means necessary” that they’re resorting to prohibitionist historical narratives and calling for monopolies to push the agenda forward.

Finally, there’s a group giving grants to students researching psychedelics

We talked with Johns Hopkins psychedelic researcher, Alan Kooi Davis, about the Source Research Foundation, a non-profit awarding grants to students researching psychedelics.

Pulitzer Prize winner Terry DeMio on life as a heroin beat reporter

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Terry Demio talks about reporting on heroin for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

After 26 years in prison for LSD, and clemency from Obama, Timothy Tyler is a free man

What’s it like being sentenced to life in prison for selling LSD? Timothy Tyler, a Deadhead convicted of selling LSD and granted clemency by President Barack Obama, talked to Psymposia about his 26 years in prison, and the challenges of adjusting to a brave, new world.

Ayahuasca and the Global Marketplace

Narratives which gloss-over the history and socioeconomic dynamics of ayahuasca’s globalization may, despite good intentions, actually do more harm than good.

LSD liberated me from the prison I had built for myself

Four years since that trip, I’m no longer prescribed antidepressants.

A Doctor Explains How Prescribing Ketamine For Depression Works

We spoke with an experienced psychiatrist about how exactly prescribing ketamine for depression works.

Some colleges just don’t understand harm reduction

There's growing confusion about handling harm reduction on campuses.

What happens when you give an octopus MDMA?

A team of researchers bathed octopuses in MDMA. Here's what they learned.

A Conversation about Intersectionality in the Psychedelic Community

A conversation between two (white) activists to further the dialogue around inclusivity in the field of psychedelic research and culture.

Reclaiming Your Identity As A Drug User

Today, we have a world where we can say: “I’m proud to be a woman” and “I’m proud to be gay.” But we can’t say: “I’m a drug-user.”

Cartoon Dystopia: 25I-NBOMe and Why You Should Test Your LSD

Like the vast majority of psychonauts, I didn’t use a chemical reagent to verify I was taking LSD, even though I had been active in harm reduction work for three years prior and was aware of testing kits.

I talked with Adam Strauss about Ketamine for OCD, Trip Sitters, and The Mushroom Cure Los Angeles

Before I met Adam I didn’t really know anyone with OCD. It was just an abstract concept to me. Like most people, I had the image of the stereotypical germaphobe who obsessively scrubs their hands in a futile attempt at washing the thousands of bacteria away.

How should we be teaching students about drugs?

Rhana Hashemi is the site coordinator for drug and alcohol programs and services for Oakland Unified School District. But, to her students, she is just “the drug lady.”

How to meditate on psychedelics with Vincent Horn of Meditate.io

Vincent Horn of Meditate.io talks about psychedelics and meditation.

For someone who hasn’t taken a psychedelic drug it can be difficult to imagine what it’s like.

Think of a glass of water: under normal circumstances you might think ‘I drink water when I’m thirsty’. But when consuming a psychedelic substance you might think ’water is the essence of life’.

Salvinorin A. Is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

We Need New Drugs. The opioid epidemic gripping the United States has brought into public awareness a problem that has bedeviled the world of medical science for decades: is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive?

Becoming a Psychedelic Researcher: Alan Kooi Davis

Why researchers like Alan Kooi Davis — the newest addition to the Johns Hopkins psychedelic research team — decide to devote their careers to studying psychedelics.

How activists are fighting for full cannabis legalization in Washington, D.C.

When two men entered a party in Uneeda Nichols’ home in Washington, D.C. in August 2017 with a couple hundred dollars in cash, they were greeted as cannabis enthusiasts. No one realized they were undercover cops.

We talked with a researcher using psilocybin for cocaine addiction in Alabama

I came to a working hypothesis: at the center of the mystical experience is awe, wherein one is in the presence of something so great, so large, that it requires they completely reorder their mental structures - completely change the way they view reality.

LSD Cured My Eating Disorder

As a teenager, I was taking ten milligrams of Ritalin daily. Later, I grew to love the way these pills made it easier for me not to eat.

We now call ‘bad trips’ ‘challenging experiences’. Here’s why that’s misguided.

Renaming adverse effects of psychedelic drugs as “challenging experiences” minimizes, almost trivializes, their negative effects.

Psychedelics and the Full-Fluency Phenomenon

I first discovered the potential psychedelics have for treating stuttering during an experience with psilocybin mushrooms.

DREAMing about Drug Reform: An Interview with Arturo Lua Castillo

A candid talk with Arturo Lua Castillo, named Outstanding Student Organizer of 2018 by Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Humans of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Meet some of the people on the front lines of global drug reform at The Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.

Is ibogaine the cure for opioid addiction? It’s not that simple.

The Ibogaine Conversation Conclusion | The goal of this conversation was to provide a platform for a diverse range of perspectives on a single topic. Not everyone agrees, and that’s the point.

Ibogaine treatment comes with risks. We had a discussion about safety with medical providers.

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 10 | Unlike other psychedelic drugs, ibogaine is known to be potentially cardiotoxic. There are a number of fatalities associated with its use, and anyone considering working with it should be aware of the risks.

How safe is ibogaine? We asked Clare Wilkins who has facilitated over 700 treatments

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 9 | Using ibogaine can be fatal if proper safety precautions aren’t taken.

How Not to Do Ibogaine 101 with Juliana Mulligan

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 8 | This is not a do-it-at-home type thing.

Former underground provider, Dimitri Mugianis, on the regulation of ibogaine

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 7 | Prescription is not about accessibility, by definition it’s about restriction. Unless we start to use psychedelics as a way to tear apart these structures and build new ones in their place, then I think it's all a revolving door.

Patrick Kroupa, hacker and ex-heroin ‘junkie’, on microdosing and the medicalization of ibogaine

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 6 | My experience with heroin went from age 14 up to age 30, and taking ibogaine was as close to a miracle as I have ever experienced in my life.

Talking ibogaine research for opioid addiction with Thomas Kingsley Brown

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 5 | Thomas Kingsley Brown, PhD, studied the long-term outcomes of people who received ibogaine for the treatment of opioid addiction. We talked about the results.

We are Bwitists and healers in Gabon. Here’s what we think of the global interest in iboga.

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 4 | The Western world cannot receive the benefits of iboga if they don’t try to understand and assimilate the traditional approach.

How has Western influence changed the traditional use of iboga in Gabon?

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 3 | What is the authentic Bwiti tradition? The answer I got was that this idea of authenticity is an odd idea. It’s a very Western idea. Bwiti considers itself as a culture that’s changing.

Taking Iboga with the People of Gabon

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 2 | Our first stop is in Gabon, Africa, where consumption of the iboga root bark is intimately tied to the ancient spiritual discipline known as Bwiti.

Ibogaine presents unique challenges in how we approach harm reduction and treat addiction

The Ibogaine Conversation Part 1 | This series explores the unique challenges ibogaine presents in how we approach plant medicine, harm reduction, and treatment for addiction, through the lens of ibogaine researchers, providers, patients, and advocates from around the world.