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May 2011
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Psychedelic

At Alternet, Can Psychedelics Make You Happier?

Research suggests that psychedelics may be better than antidepressants, which tend to dampen or suppress psychological problems without necessarily curing them.

Interesting article, and a lot worth exploring in this area – an area where research has been, of course, hampered by the usual forces.

But when the government made them illegal in 1968, research in the U.S. ceased. As Sgt. Joe Friday said that year in the cop drama Dragnet, “Don’t you con me with your mind expansion slop.”

Only in the late 1990s did federal regulators begin easing restrictions on controlled experiments with psychedelics. “It’s experiencing a rebirth after being pretty much totally dormant for 30 years,” Richards said […]

But while Doblin is pleased that scientists are once again able to legally study psychedelics, he said that obtaining funding for such research is still difficult. No federal agency will direct money toward experiments involving substances that the Food and Drug Administration classifies as illegal, and the obvious funding alternative — the pharmaceutical industry — isn’t interested: Psychedelics cannot be patented and are meant only to be taken in small doses.

“No one’s going to take one psilocybin pill before breakfast and another one after dinner for 30 years,” Doblin said.

We have a drug problem in our country. No, not that drug problem. I’m talking about the fact that we have a completely dysfunctional approach to determining which drugs people should take and which ones they shouldn’t, which is more guided by profit and politics than by health and science.

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27 comments to Psychedelic

  • broken link pete — needs the “h” in http

  • LSD has been making me happy for over 40 years now – this is not news to me. And I doubt it will be considered relevant by those most in need of enlightenment. That said, it’s still a great, if not late, affirmation of dear Albert’s creation.

    In light of today’s military adventurism in the Middle East, it’s worth recalling one of the best placard slogans of the 60s: Drop acid, not bombs.

  • Nick

    The non-hallucinogen 2-bromo-lysergic acid diethylamide shows great promise for those who suffer from cluster headaches. Unfortunately, because it is an LSD, the federal government won’t sanction any studies of it. Once again we throw out the baby with the bath water.

  • auggie

    I used to megadose lsd (10 hits or more) at least once a year. I would think of it as cleaning and organizing my brain. I believe it kept me sane. I still like to indulge just not as often or with as much, I think the quality has dropped of the last 10 years or so. People should also be careful of research chemicals like LSA being passed off as lsd, it ain’t the same in a bad way.

  • Windy

    Ecstasy has the ability to allow one to look at oneself, including one’s faults and foibles and relationships, with uncritical acceptance and understanding. Back when it was first criminalized, psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists were very upset, they claimed that one session with their patients/clients ingesting MDMA created more breakthroughs than 6 months of intensive psychiatric/psychological/behavioral therapy.

    Having experienced the drug, myself (more than once, as a party drug), I would have to agree with their assessment. My husband and I worked out quite a few bones of contention while ingesting Ecstasy, and we had fun in the process. We only had access to it for about a year back in the late 70s or early 80s (it’s hard to recall exactly when that was), and if I could get it again from the same chemist (whom I trusted), I would. If we hadn’t had the opportunity to experience that drug, we probably wouldn’t be celebrating our 49th anniversary this coming fall.

    In contrast, LSD was a more spiritual mind opening experience. LSD and MDMA are two of my favorite drug experiences, cannabis is the other, for reasons all of you likely understand.

  • tensity1

    Here’s an article in the LA Times (among others), talking about how the VA is neglecting the needs of veterans with PTSD:

    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-0511-veterans-ptsd-20110511,0,1731423.story

    I mention this because I’ve read various stories about how MJ, MDMA, and other substances/psychedelics can help people with PTSD. I believe Israel has a pretty aggressive program in using MJ for medical/PTSD purposes, and our VA has said it wouldn’t penalize veterans in MMJ states who have recommendations. Anyway, a connection to keep in mind.

  • kaptinemo

    OT: Remember sheriff Lee Baca and his opposition to Prop19? It seems that he has a little personnel problem.

    “Sure, the “3,000 Boys” are a group of tattooed thugs from Los Angeles who spend a lot of time in jail, share cryptic hand signs, have a cultivated sensitivity to being “dissed,” routinely beat up people at parties and instigate fights in bars — but don’t you dare call them a “gang.”

    While law enforcement officials will concede that the group engages in “gang-like activity,” they refuse to designate the group itself as a gang. This may have something to do with the fact that this little knot of miscreants is composed of LA County Sheriff’s Deputies employed at the Men’s Central Jail.”

    Go on, read it. Your tax dollars at work…

  • DdC

    Weil Says LSD Cured His Allergy

    Andrew Weil on medical uses of Ecstasy, MDMA by Dan Skeen

    No Bad Drugs: The Newservice Interview: Dr. Andrew Weil

    From Chocolate to Morphine by Dr. Andrew Weil
    Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs.

    Dr. Andrew Weil of the University of Arizona College of Medicine states, “There is not a shred of hope from history or from cross-culture studies to suggest that human beings can live without psychoactive substances.” Bees drop to the ground after having nectar from certain orchards. Birds get drunk off berries and then fly into windows. After cats sniff certain plants they swing at imaginary objects. Certain range weeds will make cows shake, twitch, and stumble back for more. Elephants purposely get drunk on fermented fruits…”

  • kaptinemo

    Also off-topic: Having some fun over at Raw Story’s comment section. Posting as ‘K’. All are welcome…

  • Ned

    And the politics are driven by persistent 18th and 19th century religiously derived values and beliefs.

    It’s immoral to alter your consciousness. Pleasure experienced from an ingested substance is evil and a temptation indulged only by the morally weak. As a christian nation of the “highest” moral standards, laws are both a statement of our standards, and a method of deterrence along with being designed to allow forced behavior modification. Legalization would be a capitulation of our moral standards. A surrender to the indulgent weaklings among us. We are not quitters! Only the weak quit!

    • darkcycle

      I will not quit. Doing drugs, that is.

    • DdC

      AMERICA- Not A Christian Nation

      Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potato as an article of food. Government is just as fallible, too, when it fixes systems in physics. Galileo was sent to the Inquisition for affirming that the earth was a sphere; the government had declared it to be as flat as a trencher, and Galileo was obliged to abjure his error. … Reason and experiment have been indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
      — Thomas Jefferson, “Notes on the State of Virginia,” 1787

      Archeology: Hashish Incense, did Jesus inhale?

      Blasphemy

      “But I also know, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths are disclosed and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times…”
      — Thomas Jefferson, 40 years after ratification of the Constitution.

      The oppressed should rebel, and they will continue to rebel and raise disturbance until their civil rights are fully restored to them and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations are removed.”
      ~ Thomas Jefferson, 1776

  • darkcycle

    Around 1975-76, I was in high school, and because of an older connection, I had access to sheets and sheets of LSD,really, really good LSD. First, Mr. Natural, later orange sunshine, then purple barrel. I was the Dr. Feelgood of my high school.
    For about two months I dropped acid nearly everyday. It got so I had to drop and entire four-way, just to notice anything.
    After awhile, I realized that LSD is uni-dimensional. It can provide tremendous insight, but only CERTAIN insights. After the enlightenment, there was an overwhelming realization that LSD had done everything it could do for me, and the desire to drop left. I still drop once in a while, once every three to five years or so. Just to refresh my memory. And each time, it’s like an old friend, but one of those old friends who you visit, then realize that though you’ve moved on, they’re still in the same place. Tt has the exact same sort of bittersweet flavor.
    Mushrooms, though, and to some extent Mescaline, they are entirely dependent on your state going in. The experience will be different each time and the developements they allow will be salient to you now, where you’re at. DMT…. No discussion of DMT is adequate. Where the others are a thundering freight train to enlightenment, DMT is a quarter mile drag race in a jetcar.

  • vickyvampire

    Love everyone’s comments its sad that prohibibs cannot see them has sincere at all even if they helped with pain or marriage or a spiritual path they just deny it to the upmost degree.
    One such pro-hib I heard on radio was Dennis Prager,his show air before Coast to Coast with George Noory GeORGE has always been cool about Cannabis, this Dennis chap defends tobacco use like it was the Holy Grail and alcohol but can not understand the use of Marijuana or psychedelics for pain or spiritual benefit at all, he scoffs at it like everyone has pain all you need is a good positive attitude and a caller who told him pot helped him find God he just laughed it was like you fool, only rational thinkers find God not Druggies this what we are up against these folks will not listen at all and Dennis is a college graduate who writes books, travels extensively giving speeches on politics on debates on CNN and the human condition yet he does not even respect anyone nor will listen to them if they use ILLEGAL drugs WTF. oh and he has had back surgeries too. So did he use legal opiates who knows these folks are hypocrites.Yeah he said he is against Pot being legal. My God how many more like him are there out I truly hope there ranks are diminishing

  • Voltear

    Perhaps one way out of the impasse with the immovable mindset of the prohibition careerists would be if a lab endeavored to design the perfect “recreational” drug. The implications are interesting.

    • Malcomkyle

      I believe we already have that perfect drug:

      Want to chill with friends, listen to music and eat shedfulls of doritos, then ganja is the perfect solution.

      Want to dance all night, then ecstasy is the perfect solution.

      Want to concentrate for an important exam, then speed is the perfect solution.

      Want to shorten your own useless life with lung cancer or heart decease, then tobacco is the perfect solution.

      Want to shorten someone else’s useless life with a ton of steel on wheels, then alcohol is the perfect solution.

    • DdC

      Prohibies get off on their perfectly designed “recreational” drug Geeeeezus. Make all tax free donations payable to the The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc., A Non-profit 501 (c)(3) Charitable Organization. Now touch your TV and I’ll heal your Goiter!

      Ask Pat a Question
      Send an e-mail with your questions here. If chosen, your question will be answered by Pat or Gordon on The 700 Club.

      Hmmmmm? Dear Pat, Archeologists have discovered incense canters from early Christian Temples throughout Jerusalem and several Biblically named cities. Containing trace amounts of Hashish. We know Hemp was used frequently for rope and canvas and even fine linen. We also know of groups drinking it in Bhang or smoking it in Hookah’s and Chiloms as they have done for thousands of years. My question is did Jesus inhale?

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    It didn’t take much effort to get synthetic cannabinoids placed in the schedule I naughty list. I read one article which quoted a foaming at the mouth prohibitionist saying (more or less), “these chemicals where developed to be used in medical/scientific research, not for people to have yet another MAD to use to get high.” Umm so Mr. Prohibitionist why have you made them next to impossible for accredited scientists to use these chemicals in scientific research?

    Thalidomide, thalidomide, thalidomide. The primary catalyst for the extreme anally retentive testing procedures required to get a new medicinal substance approved. For those unaware Thalidomide was given to pregnant women in the late 50’s/early 1960s and produced some extremely hideous birth defects.

    OK, that was the sublime, are you ready for the ridiculous? Pregnant women very rarely qualify as subjects in Phase 3 FDA trials. None of these trials would have eliminated Thalidomide as causing horridly grotesque birth defects had the protocol been the same as today’s.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thalidomide

    Oh, for the exclamation point Thalidomide has been re-approved by the FDA after a multi decade hiatus. It seems that there is valid medical utility for people who aren’t pregnant. Wow, leprosy is one of those uses.

  • darkcycle

    Doctors routinely ignore warnings that drugs have not been tested in children and pregnancy as well. Psychiatric drugs in widespread use today have almost never been established safe in children. Yet the number of young patients of mine have been taking these drugs, sometimes for years, is incredible. Nothing will break your heart quicker than a 14 year old with irreversible Tardive Dyskinesia. When you know the child should never have been given neuroleptic drugs in the first place. Nine times out of ten these drugs were given by a family doctor, because it was just ‘too hard’ to identify and change the problems causing the behavior. But the medicine is only for symptoms. Therapy is the only treatment. But we don’t do therapy in this country anymore. Drug companies only profit from medicines. Better still, if the medicine doesn’t “cure” anything, and the patient can be enslaved for life.
    There you have it, in a nutshell: “Why darkcycle doesn’t do mental health work anymore.”

  • Scott

    I understand the past concern over a substance with a powerful dose measured in micrograms.

    However, with the focus these days on nanotechnology (including the likely — if not established — realization of a dose measured in nanograms), that concern should be greatly muted by now.

    A nanogram of LSD25 should produce no psychedelic (nor toxic) effect, and yet that intake is illegal, because the acts leading to that intake are illegal (even though such acts can never directly infringe upon the rights of another person — which should prevent the illegality of those acts in the U.S.)

    “We the people” are truly disconnected from the word unalienable contained in the revolutionary principles specified in our Declaration of Independence.

    Anyone who believes society is being civilized by allowing corruptible people define what presents a “clear and present danger” to prevent tragedy is being foolish.

    Regulating acts based solely on indirect or potential rights infringement has created a slippery slope increasingly eroding the aforementioned revolutionary principles as implemented in our society (though the instantiation of that slope already undermines them). That is the real clear and present danger.

    If liberty is not a self-evidently, naturally given and unalienable right protected by supreme law for individuals in a nation, then that nation can never justly call itself free.

    When liberty is defined that way, people have an ideal that is a guide for maintaining a just rule-of-law in a truly free nation.

    The authority illegally seized by the prohibitionists, preventing my kind from having a consistently reliable LSD25 experience, will be firmly met by whole truth (and nothing but) in the court of public opinion.

  • kaptinemo

    Regulating acts based solely on indirect or potential rights infringement has created a slippery slope increasingly eroding the aforementioned revolutionary principles as implemented in our society (though the instantiation of that slope already undermines them). That is the real clear and present danger.

    Which is, in essence, what Justice Thomas said in his dissent on Raich vs Gonzales. In that instance, you hear the voice of true, original American conservatism, Goldwater-style. Which sadly has gone out of fashion; the supposed ‘conservatism’ of today is wholly statist in its’ orientation, relying on the same power of The State to enforce its’ ideological prejudices and neuroses in exactly the way they claim ‘liberals’ do.

    • DdC

      Yup.

      But I still can’t get the foul taste of reading the words “Justice Thomas” together. I suspect an ulterior motive. Even if his spouse threatened him and he found geeeeeezus and a four leaf clover growing out of a rabbit’s foot Then repented his past ways kneeling on a corn cob. If you peeled the rot from this avocado all that would remain would be a seed. If they make it too hard for the growers, they might quit or go elsewhere. Zero tolerance is as bad or worse than legalizing. Like Peace is to the War Brokers and Paraphernalia Merchants.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    Well Joe Friday did say LSD is the bomb. No seriously, 40 seconds in:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Twre6ItGEI

    Is that Timothy Leary he’s talking to?