#005 The Week in Psychedelics 5/20/19
The Stories, Articles and Utterances That Mattered This Week
Last week I decided to launch The Trip Report - a regular (how regular? sign up to find out) briefing On the business, policy and impact of psychedelics.
There is change afoot in how psilocybin, DMT, LSD, and other psychedelics are to be legislated and regulated, used and consumed, bought, sold and marketed and it is going to be fascinating.
Since I thought of doing this I’ve been hemming and hawing about what this even is. I hope it becomes something that serves those with an interest, concern and curiosity about the future of psychedelics.
I would love feedback, critique and of course encouragement.
And on to the week’s Psychedelic haps:
Articles, Analysis and Commentary:
Psychedelic parenting: The sad new trend of microdosing moms
The cautionista author of this hum-drum, finger wagging, not-so-fast commentary about the taboo practice of microdosing is more about fear and less about reality as far as I’m concerned.
Judgmental parents of other parents’ parenting style are the worst.
“Raising kids, the day-to-day grunt work at least, just isn't fun most of the time for most people. We need accept this — before rushing to hit up a dealer.”
The Fascinating History of Mescaline, the OG Psychedelic
“Today, pure mescaline has pretty much disappeared from everywhere but the recesses of the dark web. Mescaline-containing cacti, by contrast, are more widely used than ever before. Along with the growth of the NAC, peyote is increasingly popular in Mexico for ceremonies and herbal remedies, to the point where the ecology of the cactus is becoming threatened. The San Pedro cactus, though, grows abundantly across Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia, and San Pedro shamans and healing ceremonies are spreading around the globe.”
Why the Denver decision matters to the rest of the nation
Shelby Hartman is a reliable and trusted voice in psychedelic journalism. She is also launching Double Blind Magazine soon which we’re excited about.
“The Denver measure is an indication of a shift in attitudes. It shows, Doblin says, “that people are having a more rational view about the actual risks” of psychedelics. It also proves, said Fluck, that there are “early adopters” of psilocybin decriminalization. And — Denver’s critical role in launching the legalization of cannabis has shown —“early adopters” are an essential component to any movement.”
The Ethics of Taking the Drugs You Study: Should psychedelic scientists trip on the drugs they research?
As an acupuncturist with a bent towards a scientific understanding this is a question that I often think about. Does the researcher have an obligation to experience or to not experience the thing that they study?
For nearly all scientific questions this has not been an issue. However, psychedelics and other alternative health promoting practices are clearly unique and this question is just another manifestation of their uniqueness.
But here’s the thing. All of the top psychedelic researchers are doing their research because of the profundity of their psychedelic experiences.
The concern of course comes from the tale of Timothy Leary;
“But a sticky question remains: how much first-hand knowledge should a researcher have with hallucinogens? Leary's scientific rigor was doubted because of his personal experiences (and exuberance) with these drugs. Unlike other medications, these compounds alter the mind and consciousness. Is it possible that they create a kind of positive bias, or are the insights from taking them important for scientists to experience?”
The Mushrooms are Slowly Taking Effect
“The argument against legalization includes warnings that the marijuana legalization now sweeping the nation also began with decriminalization in Denver. Mushrooms and marijuana have significant functional differences, but are sometimes conflated because both have medicinal values but are not pharmaceuticals in the traditional sense. At a time of mounting anti-corporate sentiment and diminishing access to affordable health care, alternative ideas about medicine are creeping into the mainstream.”
THE SAD TALE OF FRANK OLSON, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT'S HALLUCINOGEN FALL MAN
“Denver's mushroom legalization isn't just a major milestone on the path to drug legalization in the U.S. It's a governmental moment of clarity for a devoted scientist who was turned into a cautionary tale through no real fault of his own—and a body blow against the bygone boogeymen of drug-induced violence and criminality of a generation past.”
Cessation and reduction in alcohol consumption and misuse after psychedelic use
A handful of media outlets published articles, here, here, and here alluding to the utility of LSD as a treatment for Addiction. The study in question, however, is a survey.
I am a little reluctant to even include this here because surveys that claim to be research can be misleading at best and pure bullshit at worst, however it is related to the growing notion that psychedelics can play a role in the treatment of addiction and it was published this week.
“Although results cannot demonstrate causality, they suggest that naturalistic psychedelic use may lead to cessation or reduction in problematic alcohol use, supporting further investigation of psychedelic-assisted treatment for AUD”