This week, myself and Alex Betsos went on This Week in Drugs to talk about the 920 Psilocybin Mushroom Day of Action, the legality of psilocybin spores and mushrooms, and more. Check out the episode here!
This Week in Drugs is a weekly podcast about drug news/science/policy/health and more, produced by Sam Tracy, Rachelle Yeung, and Tyler Williams. Check out the podcast on their website and find them on Twitter @ThisWeekInDrugs.
Alex Betsos is CSSDP’s Personnel Liaison and co-founder of Karmik, a harm reduction initiative based in Vancouver, BC. Check out his website, existentialawe.com and follow him on Twitter @existentialawe.
Adida’s live painting! Photo by Adam Kovac
Montreal’s 920 Psilocybin Mushroom Day festivities on Sept. 19 & 20 were covered by Adam Kovac for Vice Magazine! I’m fortunate to have gotten to work alongside friends in Montreal as well as from Psymposia to organize these events, and I’m looking forward to seeing those familiar faces at the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in less than two weeks!
The Montreal events turned out great, brought together a bright community, and generated much momentum to build on in the coming months. Check out the Vice article here; there’s a great quote from when an audience member asked Rick Doblin how to talk to his parents about drugs:
“Show them how they’ve contributed to your growth and the lessons you’ve learned from them,” Doblin advised. He described a Students for Sensible Drug Policy T-shirt that had a picture of a nuclear family with the slogan: “Kids, have you spoken to your parents about drugs?”
If you’re looking to pitch in some hard-earned cash to advance drug education and bring the future of legal, well regulated, socially accepted psychedelic use ever nearer, here are three great initiatives deserving of your attention and dollars:
1) Help make the non-profit production of MDMA & psychedelics a reality!
EmmaSofia, a Norwegian non-profit, is hoping to take a big step forward in increasing the accessibility of quality-controlled psychedelics around the world. If their Indiegogo campaign proves successful, they plan to manufacture MDMA, psilocybin, and perhaps LSD for “use in medical practice, research, and other legal purposes.” With a week left in their campaign, they’ve raised $18,000 of the $300,000 start-up cost for MDMA and psilocybin.
The two researchers behind this project have contributed significantly to psychedelic research in recent years. In 2012, Pål-Ørjan Johansen and Teri Suzanne Krebs conducted a meta-analysis that showed LSD could be a viable treatment for alcoholism — I covered this research here.
These same researchers are also behind a recent population study which demonstrated that psychedelic use does not increase the risk of psychosis or other mental health conditions, refuting a myth that has persistently clung to psychedelics for decades.
EmmaSofia is “working to ensure the human rights of people who choose to use MDMA and psychedelics whether for therapeutic, spiritual, personal development, or cultural purposes.” If you want to join the 500 people that have contributed to EmmaSofia’s mission so far, check out their Indiegogo campaign! Continue reading
An AskMen article I wrote on psychedelics caught the interest of Montreal’s CJAD radio station (hooray!), so on March 18 they brought me on The Exchange to talk about psychedelic research, some of their medical applications, and the role these substances might come to play in our society in coming years. Enjoy!
Tom Shroder recently took psilocybin mushrooms for the first time in 35 years and wrote an excellent trip report on his experience. He’s the author of Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal (book review), and a speaker at the Horizons conference in New York in October 2014; he also recently wrote a great long-form article on psychedelic science and history.
Here’s a quote from the write-up of his first ‘shroom trip in 35 years:
“I can’t think of any other way to put this but to say the sky opened, and grace poured down all around me. Light itself had transformed into a palpable substance, spilling down as if from a fountain. But it was more than light. It was blessings of every kind, goodness incarnate, flowing inexhaustible and immutable from above. I didn’t say to myself, “What is this?” I didn’t guess. I knew, I saw, I was in the presence of God. This wasn’t a God with whom I could have a conversation, at least not two-way. I think I said, or shouted, “Ok, I am DEFINITELY not an atheist,” but God was mute, or rather, I understood, or perceived, that the only response God would ever make was the boundless bounty of beauty cascading over me.”
Read the full trip report here!
(Header credit: shazbot on Flickr)
To complement my article on trip sitting, this week I wrote a brief guide with seven things you should think about if you’re considering taking psychedelics. Among them, the seeming paradox of setting intention while not having expectations; cleaning up your setting; and setting aside the following day for reflection and integration. Check it out here!
For more reading, you should check out Myron Stolaroff’s “Using Psychedelics Wisely”, hosted on Erowid and also appearing as chapter 8 of Charles Grob’s “Hallucinogens: a reader“.
illustration: Madeleine Gendreau
Today I published my first article in The Link! Titled “A Psychedelic Renaissance,” it goes over the need for people to become more educated about the drugs that surround them:
The word “drug” itself often keeps us from developing a more nuanced understanding of these substances. This is a term that places cannabis, heroin and MDMA into the same category, despite their radically different effects and harm profiles.
In political dialogue, the term “drugs” is Orwellian; it’s a scare-tactic word that lumps the good with the bad and the ugly.
. . .
The mindset regarding drugs is similar to sex: if we’re not well-informed, the first thing to do is educate ourselves in order to sort the facts from the stigma and sensational preconceived notions—and to ensure our safety.
Seek out information on substances that you’re curious about; ask friends that have experience with these substances, or spend some time reading the endless trip reports that exist on sites like Erowid to get a better idea of what the subjective experience is like on a particular substance.
The article also gives a brief overview of some exciting recent and ongoing psychedelic research. To check it out, click here!