The State: Tuesday, Sept 19, 2017

I just broke through, and boy, is my third eye tired! Hello? Is this thing on?

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.


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  • After decades of research, lobbying, and relentless dedication by MAPS and its allies, the US Food and Drug Administration has designated the use of MDMA as a “breakthrough therapy” for post-traumatic stress disorder. This means that although the treatment is not yet legally available, the ice is thawing—the FDA agrees that the treatment shows some efficacy and promises to help develop and review it more quickly than other candidate therapies. For those suffering with PTSD, and for those of us who have been paying attention, late beats never.
  • Meanwhile, Bay Area activist Kevin Saunders has submitted a California ballot initiative that would decriminalize the use, possession, sale, transport, and cultivation of psychedelic mushrooms in the state. In 2016, California broadly legalized marijuana, but its laws against mushrooms are among its most severe drug prohibitions. Clinical trials have indicated that psilocybin may be useful for treating anxiety, depression, addiction, and more, but people such as Paul Lee Corbett in Washington still face long prison stretches simply for picking these fungi in their natural habitats. The greatest dangers surrounding mushrooms come from ignorance, a problem that people such as Corbett are well positioned to help solve. You can read Saunders’s petition here.
  • In Vienna, Austria, the European Ibogaine Forum just took place September 8-10. Our team was there taking in all the information. Stay tuned for an upcoming conversation in Psymposia about iboga/ibogaine.
  • In Prague, Czech Republic, September 28 – October 1 will be the International Transpersonal Conference, featuring more than 150 speakers including renowned psychedelic psychiatrist Stanislav Grof.
  • Film buffs may be excited to note that the Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris is turning his attention to LSD in his forthcoming Netflix seriesWormwood addresses the CIA’s experiments with LSD in the 1950s, including the suicide of Frank Rudolph Olson. Morris is known for his raw, intense aesthetic, journalistic rigor, and treatments of difficult subjects including war crimes, the criminal justice system, and manufactured media outrage. Wormwood premiers worldwide on December 15.

  • On Saturday, September 23, Dennis McKenna will present “DMT: A Biospheric Catalyst for Conscious Evolution” with special guest Rick Doblin opening. The talks will be streamed to dozens of psychedelic societies and gatherings, connecting the international community in an intriguing fusion of broadcasting and live performance.
  • You can hobnob with the Psymposia team in Brooklyn on October 7 for our 4th annual celebration following day 1 of the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference. Comedy and podcasting legend Duncan Trussell joins Hamilton Morris (VICELAND’s Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia), Katherine MacLean, Sophia Korb, and Paul Austin to talk about everything you wanted to know about microdosing and more, surrounded by a live audience in Brooklyn. Tickets are available here. All Psymposia email subscribers have access to a promo code discount, and our Patreon supporters get a promo code for an even bigger discount.

We welcome any tips related to psychedelic/drug news, particularly if it relates to science, the law, and acceptance within the broader culture. Reach out here. Or if you join us as a supporter on Patreon, you will also get access to our Discord server, where you can chat directly with the Psymposia team and share your thoughts.

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