Misunderstood Hallucinogens

Interesting (though a bit meandering in focus) piece by Robbie Gennet in the Huffington Post: How Do You Quantify a Hallucination? And Why Are They Illegal?

The DEA has a nice hallucinogen page, though it’s sorely lacking in footnotes to back up their “facts”. Nor does it tell us why hallucinogens are so dangerous as to be banned from use. […]

If the only reason that these drugs are illegal is that they make you have hallucinations (sometimes) and they can be scary (sometimes) but are often pleasurable and enlightening, how is that grounds for banning them? […]

So they are admitting that the substances listed are not well understood on a variety of scientific levels, they might not even been correctly named and that they don’t even always work. If you refuse to test and understand them, how can you justify making them illegal? Without correctly defining them, how can hallucinogens be accurately applied to a scheduling chart full of quantifying statements? And furthermore, how can they refuse to let said substances be tested for the kind of empirical data they would need to properly schedule them? Do they not want to test hallucinogens and have to schedule them honestly?

Or is it that you can’t quantify a hallucination?

Perhaps it is time to reschedule ALL drugs to create policy based on scientific rationale and empirical data rather than propaganda and fear.

Of course, our political leaders have never felt the need to justify making anything illegal. And the mere mystery of hallucinogens is enough to give sadomoralists the screaming heebie-jeebies.

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27 Responses to Misunderstood Hallucinogens

  1. damaged justice says:

    The problem with basing laws on “rational science” instead of individual rights, consent and sovereignty is that nobody will ever agree on which science is “good” and which science is “bad”. Especially when their paycheck depends upon their not understanding or acknowledging proper science. See: USDA, FDA, “heart healthy whole grains”, “artery clogging saturated fat”, and the last few million years of human development.

  2. kaptinemo says:

    “Especially when their paycheck depends upon their not understanding or acknowledging proper science.”

    Or even worse, perverting science for political and/or economic gain (see Lysenkoism) which has been precisely what the entire gamut of Fed agencies charged with implementing drug prohibition have engaged in.

    I’ve long contended that one of the reasons why the Feds are so adamant in trying to maintain prohibition is the enormous dam of potential lawsuits that’s built up over the decades. Lawsuits brought by every person who’s had their lives ruined by the lies promulgated by these supposedly scientific bodies having engaged in the aforementioned Lysenkoism to maintain that prohibition.

    If one lawsuit gets through, the dam breaks. And the last of the country’s fiscal reserves, such as they are, would have to be expended in paying out the damages to the 20 million or so who’ve had their lives destroyed by laws based on lies that the ‘scientists’ and their bureaucratic handlers knew were lies.

    • damaged justice says:

      Regarding grains and fat as referenced above, I’m convinced this is the main reason the “experts” refuse to budge one inch from their carefully constructed house of cards. More than having to admit they were wrong, they fear the legal backlash and certain flood of lawsuits, class-action and otherwise. After all, when we gave up responsibility for our health, we ceded it to the supposed masters. No smart master would deliberately sicken and cripple his flock! Or so we think. But the forces that would use you don’t want you to have a healthy body or a healthy mind. They only want your unquestioning obedience, and for you to labor in their service until you drop dead, to be discarded and replaced by the next slave in line.

    • claygooding says:

      any chance of a class action suit against the federal government for having an agency required to lie to the people?

      • Windy says:

        If one could find the right attorney to handle it, that just might be one way to end this horrible war on people if Ron Paul doesn’t get the GOP nomination. Additionally there is the Constitutional issue, we should be suing for redress for the federal government’s gutting of the Bill of Rights in order to pursue this war on people.

  3. Duncan20903 says:

    The premise is that human beings are perfect by nature, and that it’s wrong to alter that perfection.

    Oh, let’s not forget the part about following orders.

    • Matthew Meyer says:

      Duncan, I submit that the premise is that of the Christian Fall: imperfect man doomed to live out an existence of suffering in the world of sin. Only God can grant surcease, and only after death. Remember what Dr. Moreau is supposed to have said to Theophile Gautier when dosing him with hashish: ‘This will be deducted from your share in Paradise.’

  4. DdC says:

    Hallucinogens started religion
    We have a state religion, evengelical christianity.
    Don’t need anymore. Therefore we don’t need Hallucinogens.


    Scythians High Plains Drifters

    Christ and Cannabis, Jesus Used Cannabis

    Kaneh Bosm: Cannabis in the Old Testament

    Cannabis lit.

  5. warren says:

    ANYTHING that allows a person to question the absolute rule of this fake democracy is illegal.

  6. Matthew Meyer says:

    The so-called hallucinogens were lumped in with the Drug Abuse Control Amendments of 1965 only because, as far as I can tell, politicians began to worry about the hippie vanguard’s drug consumption habits just as the hearings for the DACA were taking place.

    It seems the main rationale for making new laws was a problem confronting us now [newscaster voice]: the rising abuse of prescription drugs.

    So LSD, peyote, psilocybin, DMT, and a host of other substances got lumped together in the category “spawn of satan,” a placeholder for Schedule I. (That was a joke.)

    But seriously, who had even heard of DMT back then? Now the Brazilian church the União do Vegetal had to spend ten-plus years fighting the feds to be able to drink ayahuasca in its ceremonies, all because under the stupid reading imposed on these laws made for pharmaceutical companies, any “preparation” containing any amount of a substance that is proscribed is itself legally identical to that substance. (I think that’s how you get people busted for the paper their LSD is on.)

    Anyway, the DACA is a fascinating and under-appreciated aspect of American drug history. The hearings they held featured lengthy testimony from Tim Leary (who advocated the equivalent of driver’s licenses for psychonauts) and Allen Ginsberg, whose impassioned and sensitive statements to the Congress deserve to be more widely read.

    The hearing transcripts are available at Scribd:

    [Note: now I see my chronology is a bit confused; if the hearings were in 1966, they may have been part of the run-up to the CSA.]

  7. allan says:

    one of the things Tim Leary got right was his statement that psychedelics/entheogens are “de-conditioners”… and there is just something so flat-earth about banning that which is unknown…

    I suspect that besides the positive results the John Hopkins/MAPS trials are finding with psillycybin that when we get around to testing entheogens on violence prone criminals/individuals we will find drastic turnarounds. There is ALWAYS someone/something meaner and bigger and psychedelics have this thing about us eventually having to face that which we fear and even the baddest of the bad could become a bowl of jello in the presence and under the gaze of some of those residing on the other side…

    And re “hallucinations”… old Grampa Semu used to say, “you can’t see that which doesn’t exist.” I can’t claim to ever have hallucinated, even under some potent doses. I’ve heard god laugh, seen UFOs, seen my friends turn into warm fuzzy animapeople… I’ve felt the cosmic wind in my face standing on the bow of spaceship earth and seen creatures not from around here… but hallucinate? Nah…

    Never a flashback either… damn disappointed about that I am.

    • AeronwyRemembers says:

      Was told this just a few hours ago: Friends were engaged in an ayahuasca ceremony one fine afternoon in the open air at a very remote and picturesque location. Suddenly to everyone’s amazement, an air/sea rescue chopper lands and asks if anybody had seen a hot air balloon, ablaze and with people parachuting to safety. They took off again leaving everybody wondering if it had ever happened at all. A day later they learned from local radio that some idiot had made a hoax call. A few weeks later, and at the exact same location during a similar ceremony, an elderly couple, out hot air ballooning, made an emergency landing right next to them.

    • darkcycle says:

      Well said, Allan. And indeed…c’mon flashbacks!
      The entheogen can only show you what’s already there. It strips the rationalizations bare and tears away the blinders. It also fixes your gaze, so you can’t look away. That’s what is so terrifying for these people.
      I got a guy I know, belongs to the same motorcycle club as me. At a party we had a while ago, someone broke out the sugar cubes… and he literally ran from the room, got on his bike and went home. He doesn’t have an aversion to drugs, mind you, this guy was a hardcore drunk and sometimes seconal (reds) addict. Later he told me that he’s not afraid of anything, but he was afraid of “the things that come after you” when you did that stuff. I asked him what he meant and he said they were “Devils”. I asked why he left when he wasn’t using any. He said he believed that if people took it, and he was around,the devils would find him anyway and he had to leave. I remember thinking at the time ” Odd, he doesn’t seem delusional, he’s normally well compensated” Then I realized what he meant, and where those devils really came from. And from what I knew about that guy, I’d run like hell, too.
      Anyway, more useless rambling from darkcycle…

    • Windy says:

      When I was 6 (lordy, 61 years ago) I started having hallucinations in the dark, the first one was confusing and a little scary. My brother and I shared a room, I woke in the middle of the night and my bed was tilted up at an angle at the foot and was spinning slowly (it was kind of like a carnival ride) and something was watching thru my window, my bother’s bed was flat and he was still sleeping.

      The second one I recall was frightening, I was in bed at my cousin’s, the whole (big) family was there for New Year’s Eve, all we kids were in bed, the adults were still partying, I opened my eyes a saw a man with a lightning bolt shaped dagger behind the partially open door. I screamed and the adults came running, when they turned on the lights nothing was there, of course. They all tried to make me believe it was only a dream.

      I was an avid reader of comic books (zombies, mysteries, heroes, classics, all of em). Most of the images I saw were not menacing, not even the zombies I watched march out of the wall beside my parent’s bed past my mother and into the opposite wall when I was 9 (each of them unique). I found the hallucinations entertaining.

      The last one I had (in retrospect) should not have frightened me, I was 15, it was simply four heads looking down at me from the corners of the ceiling in my bedroom, I recall a lion and an eagle, but I don’t recall the other two. I shut my eyes and willed them away and I haven’t had an hallucination since, not even on LSD or psilocybin.

      My mind was very powerful when I was young. When I was 6 I had a lot of warts on my arms and hands, my mother made an appointment with my doctor (whom I adored) to remove them. The night before the appointment I went to bed with warts, but I woke up without them. I’m certain both effects (self healing and hallucinations) were connected somehow, and I shut off the ability to heal myself overnight when I shut off the hallucinations.

  8. http://allwithhate.blogspot.com/ a real drug blog comment, hate, like read, view

  9. DdC says:

    LSD was outlawed because of the electric kool aid acid tests as as far as I know. It also keeps people in cages on long stretches due to the paper being weighed, and sentencing is based on total weight = amount of time to serve. $72k/yr\head for Koch Bros private prisons.


    Leary v. United States

    The Great Marijuana Hoax

    Reefer Madness By Abbie Hoffman
    The Nation, November 21, 1987

  10. claygooding says:

    A good batch of shrooms will blow the wrinkles out of your brain.

    • allan says:

      … aaah… is that what happens? They sure smooth the wrinkles out of everything else too…

      One of my first weekend festivals doing rockmed was held out east of Eugene in a State Park along the Willamette River. Surrounded by giant oaks and maples, on a park lawn, the sound of the river always there… on my nite off those fun guys, instead of a concert they showed me an ancient village, with lanterns and color and smells and the friendly gaiety of the people… very sublime but sooo f’in cool… I love them little teonanacatl boogers. Wilderness is best of course, they love it outside with lots of room – a very different (yet similar) to the softened clinicity of the Johns Hopkins trials. To be with the plants, rocks, water and critters is unbeatable… at sunset on the beach… moonrise on a peak… I like to think wilderness taps a connection to our ancestral memory when the shroomies are present.

      And again, our use is grandfathered in. We’ve been consuming these things way waaay before we began forming gummints and laws… I’m part Finn and I’ve oft wondered if my people going way back were herding reindeer and sampling the amanita.

      At any rate, as usual they are wrong and we are right. So there, nanner nanner (and add a thumb on nose finger wave to that).

      • Windy says:

        Over at Digg, a non-drug using member was asking about my use of the term “mind expanding” for some drugs. This is most of my response:

        Not all drugs are mind expanding, and I didn’t intend to give that impression. But some of them absolutely are:
        MDMA (XTC, X, Ecstasy)
        I could go on to list more but those are the most popular.

        Many mental/emotional/relationship therapists who’ve used some of these (LSD, MDMA, and recently, psilocybin) say they are extremely helpful. With MDMA they claim they can get as much accomplished in one session with this drug as with 6 months of standard therapy. Cannabis is being used to treat PTSD.

        As for [cannabis] being mind expanding, it causes one to be a lot more aware of the subtleties of life (the various musical instruments played in a song, the play of light in a garden, the sensual pleasure of hot water running over one’s body in the shower, the savory goodness of foods, the beauty in the world that so many overlook because their eyes just are not open to it. Possibilities.

        The psychedelics help one explore the world within while cannabis helps one explore the world without.

  11. claygooding says:

    I found beauty sitting under a tree and becoming a mushroom while seeing exactly how a blade of grass is constructed,without a microscope.

    Onward,,thru the fog!

    US: Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies
    National Cancer Institute


    More scientific evidence of the medical benefits of the lowly hemp plant,to be ignored.

    The plant already has the chemical compounds in it.

  12. Shaman's Apprentice says:

    Timothy Leary and his bunch messed it up. They were advocating use of hallucinogens without any historical, metaphysical, or scientific data to back it up. People were going out and exploring these new dimensions lost in translation. This is a new era of psychedelics, I hope this time people are more responsible and respectable of these compounds. Much love people!

    • allan says:

      the counter to that is that there was a movement teaching responsible, respectable use – ceremonial even. Native folks taught us the sweatlodge, shared the teepee in peyote ceremonies… of course the Mammonites can corrupt anything.

    • allan says:

      and it’s a far bigger story than that simple sample. There was a reason we exploded culturally… we were suffering and stifled and the time was right. The psychedelic explosion was like a giant socio-religious spiritual enema.

      Color lines were being crossed, cultural barriers challenged if not removed. Social/environmental conscienceness expanded exponentially. Art, music, literature… look around and you’ll see the adopted remnants of that age everywhere. Long hair on men – even rednecks grow long hair these days. Recycling, alternative sustainable energy solutions… hell… Peace! The peace sign lives on.

      Don’t diss that era w/out considering all that went on. It was one of those tiny squares of paper that helped me to see I didn’t really like helping others bomb short brown people…

      The ’60s have to be viewed with a wide angle lens… imho.

      I’m kinda hoping that a similar wave of mass mind changing takes hold again, lord knows we’re more than a tad due for some more revolution.

  13. John says:

    In science a systemized way of determining damage from a substance is known as an LD50. This is the point where a Lethal Dose is determined for a substance, when 50% of the test subjects (rats or other animals) are found to have died from that dose.

    For instance if 85 units are given and 50 % of the test subjects die, 85 units would be the LD50 for that substance.

    NO LD50s have been established for any hallucinogens, as they are considered Non Lethal.

    The biggest dangers of hallucinogens are what you might do while using them, or the dangers of law enforcement. The greatest danger is the combination of law enforcement and hallucinogens at the same time.

  14. DrJOCostello says:

    HELP! Deep, magical, and pleasant religious experiences are frightening to some and those who aren’t afraid, are threatening the the same.

    It’s just so damn sad that we who enjoy are denied our God-given right to a preview of paradise.

    Vote with passion!

  15. Shmellix says:

    I personally believe psychedelics will change the world for the best, I had a life changing experience with Ayahuasca in Peru a month ago, 5 ceremonys, and it completely changed my view on life, I no longer have pointless fears, anxiety, judgements, unhappiness, insecuritys, the list goes on, it threw the usless information in my brain right out the window and has given me a chance to live life in a beautiful new way. I had dreamed of this happenening but never thought it possible, well its definatly possible. I have taken psychedelics over the last 9 years and had positive changes but Ayahuasca gave me a lifetime of change in a week. This needs to go world wide, we need to get psychedelic use into society and allow people to understand its potential

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