Last Week in Psychedelic Sundays
The potential significance of LSD and other psychedelics for psychiatry and psychology was comparable to the value the microscope has for biology or the telescope has for astronomy.
— Stanislav Grof
In this post, I will share with you some of what I found on my neverending journey through the psychedelic digital jungle of interesting articles, podcasts, and studies that I have found:
NORML leadership today sent an open letter to Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), asking her to recognize the detrimental impact that racially-discriminatory marijuana law enforcement has had on the public health of communities of color.
While my heart is broken for the countless African-American men, women, and trans lives taken too soon, the issue goes beyond their unjust killings. Merely hashtagging #blacklivesmatter on your company’s Instagram is not enough. This is an industry built on the pain, incarceration, and death of Black Americans. Cannabis is political and the revolution will be live-streamed. Now is the time to ask yourself: When the days of equality finally come, will you or your cannabis company have done enough?
The Oregon Cannabis Association (OCA) is calling on Portland city officials to cease using funds derived from the city’s cannabis tax to bolster law enforcement budgets, instead letting the revenue flow toward social programs and services that help minority communities, as per an agreement the organization had reached with the city when the new tax was implemented.
The principle of psychedelic intersectionality demands we use these medicines as a jumping off point to further justice within the psychedelic community, and beyond.
A new study published in the journal Psychopharmacology is presenting a comprehensive look at the long-term efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study finds not only do the substantial beneficial effects of the therapy hold strong for well over a year after completing the treatment, but patients continue to improve as time passes following the few MDMA sessions.
The resurging interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds is setting the stage for more investigation into DMT. Typically, the primary area of interest for DMT research is its hallucinogenic effects, mostly in the context of ayahuasca. However, some studies within the last decade indicate DMT may have health benefits all its own.
Somewhere around two million Americans suffer from opioid-related substance use disorder. Treatments like buprenorphine and methadone calm the brain circuits affected by opioids, reducing cravings and withdrawal. In conjunction with counseling, these medications can gradually ferry addicted individuals back to normalcy. Unfortunately, medications are underutilized and states generally lack the resources to provide them to all afflicted individuals.
Researchers have identified two brain phenomena that may explain some of the side-effects of ketamine. Their measurements of the brain waves of sheep sedated by the drug may explain the out-of-body experience and state of complete oblivion it can cause.
Help Decriminalize Nature Canada Petition the Canadian Government to Decriminalize Psychedelic Plants
After the groundbreaking success of Denver’s psilocybin measure and subsequent success of Decriminalize Nature Oakland, a national and now international movement has been sparked to reform harmful drug laws and make psychedelic plants more accessible. In Canada, a new ePetition (e-2534) is gaining traction to decriminalize psychoactive plants, backed by the group Decriminalize Nature Canada. We spoke with one the organization’s founders, Trevor Millar, about the goals of Decrim Canada and the effort to make this the most supported ePetition in Canada’s history.
"Instead of having one hit of a pipe and being instantly blasted off, with vapes you can control how fast and how deep you want go."
As the use of ayahuasca becomes increasingly widespread, the Amazonian vine has extended its roots beyond the traditional indigenous and religious contexts of South America, lending itself to a newly evolving field of practice. However, the economic viability of ayahuasca ceremonies combined with the vine’s complicated legal status opens the field to a plurality of malpractice, particularly when it comes to what practitioners actually serve in the cup.
There was one nagging question I had while reading this book, though: Why is it in drag? “Broken People” feels like a memoir dressed up as a novel. Unlike with other autofictional stories (say, Sheila Heti’s “How Should a Person Be?” or Edmund White’s “A Boy’s Own Story”), I struggled to accept the conflation between the protagonist and the author of “Broken People.” Readers presume Heti’s and White’s narrators have at least something in common with their authors, but those novels read at once like an abstraction from and a distillation of lived experience. If autofiction demands a refraction of reality, “Broken People” reads more like an artful recitation of it. Early in the novel, Sam has lunch with his book agent, Elijah, who advises him against writing a second memoir, not seeing a “commercial path forward” that way after the success of his first. “Now, maybe if you wanted to write a novel … that might make more sense for you,” Elijah says. It looks as if Sam took Elijah’s advice.