Culture

An Open Letter and Call to Action for MAPS Canada

The following is an open letter by two former co-leads of the MAPS Canada Diversity Committee. It was written in response to a variety of racist and prejudicial behaviours they experienced from MAPS Canada leadership and the organization at large during their eight-month tenure as unpaid volunteers, including obstruction—by leadership—of their efforts to address long-entrenched discriminatory practices in the psychedelic research domain and to implement initiatives to combat race-based health disparities.

Psychedelic Media Should Stop Parroting Corporate Press Releases When the media republishes statements from psychedelic pharmaceutical startups and their executives with little-to-no vetting, it functions as a corporate megaphone and damages the field of psychedelic science.

When the media republishes statements from psychedelic pharmaceutical startups and their executives with little-to-no vetting, it functions as a corporate megaphone and damages the field of psychedelic science.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Washington Man Facing Prison After Foraging for Wild Mushrooms

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cosmo Feilding Mellen: Interview with a Sunshine Maker

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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 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.

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.

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


Culture

An Open Letter and Call to Action for MAPS Canada

The following is an open letter by two former co-leads of the MAPS Canada Diversity Committee. It was written in response to a variety of racist and prejudicial behaviours they experienced from MAPS Canada leadership and the organization at large during their eight-month tenure as unpaid volunteers, including obstruction—by leadership—of their efforts to address long-entrenched discriminatory practices in the psychedelic research domain and to implement initiatives to combat race-based health disparities.

Psychedelic Media Should Stop Parroting Corporate Press Releases When the media republishes statements from psychedelic pharmaceutical startups and their executives with little-to-no vetting, it functions as a corporate megaphone and damages the field of psychedelic science.

When the media republishes statements from psychedelic pharmaceutical startups and their executives with little-to-no vetting, it functions as a corporate megaphone and damages the field of psychedelic science.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Washington Man Facing Prison After Foraging for Wild Mushrooms

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cosmo Feilding Mellen: Interview with a Sunshine Maker

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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 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.

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.

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