Senator Di Natale spoke in Parliament recently about the Abbott Government’s planned move to tighten restrictions on “psycho active substances.” The guy has a point. Laura Norder and so called zero tolerance, so called because it only seems to apply to poor black people, has never worked, anywhere, ever. What’s more, there are effective models being used now in a number of countries around the world. Portugal has pretty much dealt with its drug problem. Addiction is handled as a health issue, and that has worked.
There’s a couple of other issues to this. Firstly, a glorious observation by a Benedictine monk, Br David Stendl-Rast. Since drug stores are on just about every block in the US, it’s not the drugs aspect of mind expanding drugs they’re scared of, it’s expanding their minds. Psychedelic, by the way, means mind manifesting. They’re also called entheogens because of the well established link with mystical experiences and inspiration.
It’s impossible to ban these substances because that would include neuro-transmitters in your own head. Tryptamines are found everywhere in the plant and animal kingdoms. Trying to ban them is like trying to ban seratonin. Your own body is producing both right now.
There’s enormous interest in these chemicals because of that. Being a naturally occurring neuro-transmitter it has a range of beneficial effects and lack of it in a person’s biology causes symptoms like insomnia and depression. They metabolise easily and are very safe in comparison to both illegal and pharmaceutical drugs. Being similar in chemical structure to seratonin, they have a distinct anti-depressant effect. That’s why so many people are taking them. Imagine a single dose anti-depressant that makes you brighter.
Research has been completed on MDMA use in conjunction with therapy for PTSD. The trials were an astounding success. The results were better and more consistent than any other therapy used for chronic PTSD. Whether backwards thinking politicians like it or not, the medical and scientific communities have a responsibility to investigate that potential. Trials with other psychedelics are ongoing and have had outstanding results.
Because of both the effects and safety of this class of chemicals as well as the dire need for new anti-depressants that actually work, this area is set to take off. Now that countries all over the world are decriminalising and regulating drugs, the medical community is able to get to work on these developments.
Since the psychedelics are nootropics, that will be huge. A nootropic is a “smart drug.” Taking it makes you brighter. You want to know what’s driving the innovation in silicon valley? All those folks dropped acid with Steve Jobs. They’re world leaders because they’re smart, educated and able to make good use of their talents. If you could take a pill that would help you do that, without side effects, why wouldn’t you? Like coffee without the shakes or distractions. Like nicotine without the addiction. Like existing anti-depressants but makes you sharper, not duller.
Restricting these drugs at a time when humanity needs all the smarts we can get to save ourselves from poisoning the planet to death is stupid politically, socially and yes, even on a business level. How are our grads going to compete Internationally with other people who have access to safe, legal thinking boosters? Whose interest does that serve?
Jim Fadiman did extensive research with this, involving micro doses of LSD. A very small amount of acid doesn’t cause hallucinations or visual distortions. It doesn’t even cause the aphrodisiac effect psychedelics are famous for. 10 mcg (1/30th the “visions” dose) functions as an anti-depressant that aids mental focus and clear thinking. And it doesn’t need to be taken daily even at that small dose rate. Remember at the end of the movie Limitless, where the protagonist has refined the pills he was taking to eliminate the spacing out or draining? That’s very similar to the micro dose LSD regimen.
Jim also refers people to a book How the hippies saved physics. Thank goodness someone rediscovered psychedelics or we’d all still be living in the 50’s. Every human population with the possible exception of some arctic First Peoples tribes had access to and many still make good use of psychedelics. Most of the visions in the Bible are likely the result of such rituals. The first plants humans ever domesticated and grew were these medicinal plants that contain tryptamine active compounds. It has attracted no small amount of satire that the US is driving the ban on such drugs.
Although banning something that could makes us all smarter sounds like the sort of thing the LNP would do. Religious devotees banning the Spirit molecule. That’s hilarious.
They don’t have a hope. Richard is right. Regulation is the only sensible way to proceed here. Everyone knows it except the US lunar right wing and a bunch of cowardly hangers on in certain English speaking countries. If they want to try to turn the whole Union into something David Koresh would admire, that’s their problem. The rest of the world is living in the 21st century where, yes, you can take a pill and be smarter.