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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:43:24 am

Title: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:43:24 am

Last Friday, a very interesting article about research into psychedelic substances appeared on The New Zealand Herald website. After reading the article, I carried out a search for further news articles about the research in question and discovered several fascinating articles about that and other recent research.

I'll post the articles to this thread, but first, I'll repost a large number of historic articles to give a background perspective. All of these articles have been posted by me to this group and/or various other messageboard forums over a period of several years, so I already have them formatted for these messageboard forums in the form of notepad documents saved to a USB stick.

Once I've posted the historic articles, I'll post the recent articles about the current scientific research.

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:44:14 am

Hello, I Love You...

In January 1967, the kids of San Francisco gathered for a celestially anointed day of
beat poetry, sun-kissed rock and powerful LSD. Even the local Hells Angels turned on,
tuned in and dropped out. Joel Selvin relives the legendary Human Be-In.

ALL THROUGH the previous year, word filtered out of San Francisco about remarkable happenings and a strange new community of youths gathering around the city's Haight-Ashbury district. In March 1966, the vastly influential Life magazine featured a cover article on LSD, titled ‘The Exploding Thread Of The Mind Drug That Got Out Of Control’. It was the best publicity the new movement could've had.

In October 1965, everybody who attended A Tribute To Dr Strange, the first ever acid-rock dance/concert, held at the Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco, was surprised to find as many as a thousand like-minded, long-haired, thrift-store-clad miscreants there. By January 1967, 15 months later, organisers of a Haight-Ashbury community celebration they were calling the ‘Human Be-In’ happily predicted a crowd of between 25,000 and 50,000.

Michael Bowen, an artist and what would become known as a community organiser dreamed up the event — A Gathering Of The Tribes. A dope dealer called John The Ghost knew about the Polo Fields, a gargantuan meadow at the west end of Golden Gate Park, large enough to encompass the entire six square blocks of the Haight-Ashbury. The people behind the event consulted with Gavin Arthur — grandson of the 21st US President, Chester A. Arthur — who was the city’s leading astrologist and something of a well-known local eccentric. He selected January 14th as the most likely date for positive communication. An application for a permit with the Park Department was approved.

Two days before the event, Bowen, beat poet Gary Snyder, Berkeley politico Jerry Rubin, Haight-Ashbury Oracle publisher Allen Cohen, and Jay Thelin, one of two brothers who ran Haight Street’s Psychedelic Shop, met the press in a room behind the Print Mint, a popular Haight Street store selling posters.

“Berkeley political activists and the love generation of the Haight-Ashbury will join together,” read the press release, “with members of the new nation who will be coming from every state in the nation, every tribe of the young (the emerging soul of the nation) to pow-wow, celebrate, and prophesy the epoch of liberation, love, peace, compassion and unity of mandkind. The night of bruited fear of the American eagle-breast-body is over. Hang your fear at the door and join the future. If you do not believe, please wipe your eyes and see.”

An unseasonably clear, bright sunny day dawned on Saturday, January 14th, 1967. Wind chimes marked the paths leading to the Polo Fields and the thousands came, bearing blankets, flags and flowers. At noon, poet Snyder blew a conch shell to open the rite, its bleating whine lost on the far reaches of a crowd that already extended across the vast meadow. The Pow-Wow — A Gathering Of The Tribes For A Human Be-In — was underway.

Poet Allen Ginsberg chanted mantras. Lenore Kandel read from her slim book of poetry, The Love Book, a current cause célèbre. Only a couple of months earlier, police busted the Psychedelic Shop for selling the tome, judging it obscene for a couple of lines about her giving her boyfriend a blowjob. Wearing yellow flowers behind his ears, LSD evangelist Dr Timothy Leary told everybody to “turn on, tune in and drop out”. “Whatever you do is beautiful,” he said.

Steve The Gemini Twin, wearing a mask, descended in a psychedelic-coloured parachute, landing just as The Grateful Dead finished a song. When the power cord came unplugged during Quicksilver Messenger Service’s set, members of the Hells Angels took it on themselves to guard the line. The Angels, who had menaced peace rallies in the area before, took over the job of security, while the San Francisco Police watched on horseback from a nearby hilltop. Chocolate George of the Oakland chapter, a brutish man with a thick beard and a fur hat, organised the lost children operation. The day was so beautiful, so without incident, that Freewheeling’ Frank, one of the most notorious Angels, spent the afternoon watching from the top of a bus, high on LSD, banging a tambourine on his leg. He burst into tears when his brethren reverted to form and kicked the hell out of some poor bastard who messed with their bikes.

LSD was everywhere. The latest from notorious local acid manufacturer August Owsley Stanley III was White Lightening, but there was plenty of his Orange sunshine still running around. Country Joe McDonald came over from Berkeley, painted his face and dropped a tab. Dino Valente, fresh out of jail on a pot bust, played Pan, tootling his wooden pipes on the edge of the crowd. All the bands played. The Jefferson Airplane invited jazzman Dizzy Gillespie onstage and jazz flautist Charles Lloyd joined The Grateful Dead for the Pigpen blues specialty, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl. The Sir Douglas Quintet and Loading Zone played (Big Brother And The Holding Company, often reported as performing, were out of town). Poets Michael McClure, Gary Snyder and Lawrence Ferlinghetti read, and there were speeches by Timothy Leary, his associate Richard Alpert, comedian Dick Gregory and an anti-war rant by Jerry Rubin that Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, high on acid, thought something of a bringdown.

But the speeches couldn’t be heard that clearly in the audience anyway, and the crowd were far more intent on grooving on the music and each other. The gathered were a colourful array of happy young people, sharing joints and bolta bags of wine. There were no fights, no trouble. It had been an extraordinarily peaceful, joyous day — probably one of the highpoints of the whole San Francisco hippie adventure. When it came to a close, six hours after it started, the Human Be-In had made its point.

As the day ended, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Ralph J. Gleason thought he heard the voice of Buddha — it was the poet Ginsberg — boom through the loudspeakers asking everyone to turn, face the sun and watch the sunset. He chanted a few more mantras and asked everybody to pick up the trash when they left. Snyder blew on the conch shell and, as fingers of fog snaked through the trees, everybody got up and left.

And they picked up the trash!

Turn Off Your Mind

A failed CIA “truth drug”, LSD first arrived in ‘Swinging London’ packaged in a
mayonnaise jar. Within two years it had inspired The Beatles to cut Sgt Pepper,
sent Pink Floyd's songwriter bonkers and led a whole generation towards astral
grace or disaster. Harry Shapiro guides us through the extraordinary story of “acid”.

JUNE 18, 1967. — The tabloids celebrated Paul McCartney’s 25th birthday by reporting he’d taken the most controversial and feared drug of the era. Declared illegal the previous year, LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) had been demonised in the press as a substance that sent users crazy, convinced them they could fly and altered minds forever. McCartney, however, had a different take on the drug. He told Queen, the British socialite magazine, that LSD had “opened my eyes”. “It made me a better, more honest person, a more tolerant member of society.”

Next day, he was interviewed for television news.

… “Paul, how often have you taken LSD?

McCartney: (pause) “About four times.

… “And where did you get it from?

McCartney: “Well, you know, if I was to say where I got it from, I mean... it’s illegal and everything... So I’d rather not say that.

… “Do you think that you have now encouraged your fans to take drugs?

McCartney: “I don’t think it'll make any difference. I don't think my fans are going to take drugs just because I did. But that's not the point anyway. I was asked whether I had or not. And from then on, the whole bit about how far it’s gonna go and how many people it’s going to encourage is up to the newspapers, and up to you on television. I mean, you’re spreading this now, at this moment.

… “But as a public figure, surely you’ve got the responsibility to...

McCartney: “...No, it’s you who’ve got the responsibility... If you’ll shut up about it, I will.

But nobody was going to shut up about it. McCartney had made a major gaffe. When it came to The Beatles and drugs, the cat was already half out of the bag. A Day In The Life, the closing track on Sgt Pepper, had already been banned by the BBC for alleged drug references, and there were some knowing winks about Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. What the press didn’t know was that, as Paul was speaking, The Beatles had arranged for a large consignment of super-strength acid to be smuggled into Britain. The opportunity came with the Monterey Pop Festival in June, the first international platform for the new wave of acid rock bands. The Beatles knew the film rights had already been sold, but they sent a large film crew anyway knowing they wouldn’t be allowed to work. Instead they filled the airtight film cans with liquid vials of LSD.

BACK HOME, their mortified manager Brian Epstein launched a damage limitation exercise in the wake of McCartney’s revelations by admitting publicly that he too had tried the drug. He was more worried for his other acts than for The Beatles. When she heard about Epstein’s confession, his other client Cilla Black was furious, fearing that she too would be tarred with the same brush. For the British public, back then the idea that pop stars used drugs was novel. The Stones had been famously busted in February, but as hairy, dangerous ne’er-do-wells who pissed up against garage walls, what could you expect? But The Beatles? And Paul McCartney? And wasn’t it LSD that only a few weeks ago The Sunday People had exposed as “the drug that is menacing young lives”? Ever hip to the jive, the paper also revealed that they had “obtained evidence of ‘LSD parties’ in London”.

In truth, LSD had been Swinging London’s best-kept secret since the psychedelic revolution arrived in September 1965, from the States in a mayonnaise jar. The jar belonged to an acid hustler named Michael Hollingshead who with the financial help of two Old Etonians established the World Psychedelic Centre in a Belgravia flat. Through word of mouth London’s cultural cognoscenti soon beat a path to his door.

Hollingshead’s supplies had come from an English psychiatrist, John Beresford. The two had shared a flat in the ’50s, then Beresford moved to the States to be followed later by his erstwhile flatmate who set up a cultural exchange network in New York. Like a number of psychiatrists and psychotherapists, Beresford was fascinated with the properties of hallucinogenic drugs such as mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms and LSD.

SINCE ITS accidental discovery in 1943 by Albert Hofmann working in the lab of the Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz, LSD had been put to use by both the military and the medics. The CIA thought they had found the perfect Cold War drug which could disable the enemy without destroying their weapons — and tested it as a truth drug. Neither proved viable, though not before at least one soldier committed suicide: like many others he had been dosed without his knowledge and thought he had gone mad.

Exploiting the drug’s capacity to dissolve the ego, some doctors were having success with those suffering personality problems and alcoholism. Others like Dr Humphrey Osmond (who coined the term ‘psychedelic’, meaning to ‘reveal the mind’, were conducting experiments with hallucinogenics to explore the mysteries of the human consciousness. The use of these drugs to enhance intellectual and creative pursuits began with Aldous Huxley, who took mescaline under Osmond’s guidance and wrote up his experiences in his book, The Doors of Perception. A Los Angeles psychiatrist Oscar Janiger introduced Hollywood to LSD; actors James Colburn and Jack Nicholson had a taste, while both Cary Grant and conductor André Previn declared how LSD had transformed their lives for the better.

Hollingshead pestered John Beresford for more LSD, convinced that it was the super-highway to personal enlightenment, and eventually the doctor handed over half a gram of finest Sandoz: enough for 5,000 doses each lasting eight to ten hours. Beresford then suggested Hollingshead visit an eminent professor of psychiatry at Harvard University who was also interested in the mind-expanding properties of certain drugs. Dr Timothy Leary was convinced that psilocybin mushrooms held the key to the great questions of the human condition, until at Hollingshead’s behest he tried LSD. It turned his life upside down and, within two years, Leary went from mainstream academic to international guru of psychedelia and the alternative society.

LSD became available, diverted from Sandoz and Czech labs. Newspapers, magazines and TV told gleeful stories of acid hedonism, people flying out of windows and going blind by looking into the sun. In the white heat of bad publicity, Sandoz quit manufacturing LSD. In stepped the grandson of a Kentucky senator — Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the world’s first underground chemist, the Henry Ford of acid who produced Rolls-Royce-quality product — including those supplies smuggled out of the Monterey Festival.

Meanwhile, the cultural landscape of London was changing. London in 1965 was all about Mod chic — amphetamine-driven ego and aggression, sharp suits, black-and-white colour schemes, angular hairstyles, targets and chevrons. It was crisp and clean and in your face. There was nothing alternative about Mod culture, a land grab for the best and coolest that the consumer society could offer. LSD began to dissolve those clean lines, offering a very different view of the world and, like most drug fashions going back to tobacco smoking and coffee drinking, it percolated through society from the top down.

It was during the filming of Help! that The Beatles first encountered LSD. A dentist friend threw a dinner party during which conversation turned to the subject of Timothy Leary. Only John Lennon had heard of him. The host passed round some of Hollingshead’s acid: his guests were not enlightened. John, George, Ringo and their partners left for a night club in a very strange state of mind, ending up back at George’s place having driven at 10mph, convinced they had gone insane.

Lennon, however, became a convert. Under the influence of LSD, he drew a childlike picture of Harrison’s house as a submarine in which they all lived, and the impact of acid (and cannabis courtesy of an introduction by Bob Dylan) began to infuse the music on Rubber Soul and Revolver.

In 1966, if you were part of the ‘in-crowd’ of musicians, designers, poets, sundry intellectuals and beautiful people, then acid was everywhere. Stash De Rola, part of The Rolling Stones’ inner circle, later commented, “Success on an unparalleled scale rewarded them with all the material trappings, but in a way it was treated as a bit of a joke. And there was constantly a worry and a quest: everyone sought a transcendental way to a paradise of some kind. There was this thirst of the soul.”

Gradually, psychedelia began to permeate the public consciousness. October 1966 saw the inaugural issue of International Times (IT); in the same month LSD was banned in the UK. And from there, everything moved very fast. The underground’s most significant mover and shaker, John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins, together with record producer Joe Boyd opened the UFO club in London’s Tottenham Court Road. Richard Neville launched the satorical Oz magazine in February 1967, designed by Martin Sharp whose signature artwork defined the psychedelic poster.

The music was changing and the business had to adapt. Just as R&B had swept trad jazz from London venues in the early ’60s, so those same musicians ditched suits for kaftans. And as Mods gave way to hippies, there were the bells, beads, fripperies and fineries, Afghans, kaftans and mirrored waistcoats, the Hendrix-afros, military jackets, painted guitars, walls and cars. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide dissembled into Pounds, Shillings and Pence. Acid culture — harsh sounding and a corrosive threat to society — was sanitised to become the less dangerous-sounding Flower Power. Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair sang Scott McKenzie. The underground was now well and truly out in the open.

While the press salivated over drugs, free love, naked hippy chicks and barefoot weirdos with long hair, the police focused on rock stars’ burgeoning consumption of illegal hallucinogens. Drug laws became the weapon with which the Establishment took on the acid toffs. Following on from the Stones bust at Keith Richards’ house, the World Psychedelic Centre was raided and Hollingshead served a jail term for possessing an ounce of cannabis. UFO was subjected to police harassment and had to move out of its premises.

In response to the Stones bust and the imprisonment of John Hopkins (again on cannabis charges), two students, Caroline Coon and Rufus Harris, came together and over the summer formed Release. Set up as a charity, Release soon became an invaluable source of legal advice for the increasing numbers of ordinary kids being busted for personal possession of cannabis and LSD.

IN AUGUST, Pink Floyd released The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Psychedelia had been good for the Flloyd. Like many bands of the time, they started out playing R&B, but as drummer Nick Mason later admitted the band weren't up to it musically: “If the Summer Of Love and the underground had never happened, I don’t think we would have passed the starting point.” Their frontman Syd Barrett’s appetite for cannabis and LSD would soon prove to be his undoing. By the end of the year, the singer was appearing onstage in a disorientated state.

By then, Brian Epstein had committed suicide, The Rolling Stones had released their own misguided attempt at psychedelia, Their Satanic Majesties Request and by the summer of ’68, flower power had been replaced in the headlines by student revolts, ghettos riots and political assassinations.

And what of LSD? Its popularity in Britain grew in the 1970s, with UK labs supplying the world through a network of chemists and entrepreneurs with links back to the US where the acid pioneers were on the run. It all came crashing down in 1977 with the success of Operation Julie, a massive police sting operation that smashed acid production in the UK. The drug enjoyed a minor renaissance in the early days of rave culture, and still has its fans today.

Albert Hofmann, now aged 101 (as this article was written — he eventually died in April 2008, aged 102), said that “LSD is the closest, the most dense, the most mysterious link between the material and the spiritual world. A hardly visible trace of LSD is capable of evoking heaven or hell.”

While most came through their acid travels unscathed, there were some who should never have touched it. Everyone from the psych era seems to have a tale of one ‘space cadet’ who reached for the stars and never quite made it back home. Some danced with angels, others struggled with demons, but for sure, wherever acid rained, no turn was left unstoned.

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:45:56 am

from the Hurriyet Daily News....

Ashes of LSD guru Timothy Leary blasted into orbit

Wednesday, April 23, 1997

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBpjUHKXNhI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBpjUHKXNhI)

THE ashes of 1960s LSD guru Timothy Leary and “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry were blasted into space on a rocket carrying Spain's first satellite.

The cremated remains of Leary, a former Harvard professor whose final request before dying was for “one last far-out trip”, were launched into orbit with those of Roddenbery and 22 other space enthusiasts for the world's first space funeral.

“This was a very special day ... the families know their loved ones will now be passing overhead every 90 minutes,” said Charles Chafer, vice president of Celestis, the Texas-based company organizing the venture.

The ashes, secured in sealed vials, piggybacked aboard a mission to send Spain's first satellite into orbit via a Pegasus rocket launched over the Canary Islands.

A Lockheed L-1011 jetliner carried the rocket aloft, releasing it at 11,000 meters (36,000 feet) above the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.

It roared into space and some 10 minutes later deployed its primary cargo, the Minisat, the first satellite to be entirely built and designed in Spain.

The lipstick-sized capsules containing the ashes were then free to orbit with what remained of the rocket.

The ashes will circle earth for anywhere between 18 months and 10 years before gravity pulls them back into the atmosphere when they will burn up like a shooting star.

Family and friends cried and held each other as they watched the launch from an airbase in the Canary Islands.

“It was very tense in there for a while but when we knew the ashes were successfully in orbit there was a lot of hand shaking and hugging,” said Chafer.

The space burial posthumously fulfills a lifelong dream for Leary, who urged a generation of Americans to get high on LSD so they could “turn on, tune in and drop out”.

“Timothy had always been a space pioneer and wanted to travel into space and now he has the opportunity,” said Carol Rosin, a close friend of Leary who was by his side when he died of prostate cancer last year.

Also celebrating the launch was Spain's Defence Ministry, which helped send a 4.5 billion pesetas ($31 million) Minisat satellite smoothly into orbit.

“Spain has achieved an incomparable success in space history today,” Spain's State Secretary for Defense Pedro Morenes told a news conference after the launch. “We are extremely satisfied by the way things have gone.”

Representatives from Orbital Sciences Corporation, which built the Pegasus rocket, hailed the launch as an overwhelming victory. Their last mission in November failed when the rocket's two cargoes failed to separate.

“Each launch is like a first date; you never know what is going to happen. But this date was a real success,” said J.R. Thompson, Orbital's group manager.

The Minisat, designed and managed by Spain's National Institute of Aerospace Technology (INTA), will start scientific studies in about two weeks, looking at ultraviolet light, gravity and low energy gamma rays.

Celestis is planning a second launch of ashes in September aboard a Taurus rocket from California with room for 150 passengers each paying $4,800 for the journey.

“This kind of memorial clearly is not to everyone's taste but we believe it will gather popularity and we expect to be doing three to five launches a year in the future,” said Chafer.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ashes-of-lsd-guru-timothy-leary-blasted-into-orbit.aspx?pageID=438&n=ashes-of-lsd-guru-timothy-leary-blasted-into-orbit-1997-04-23 (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ashes-of-lsd-guru-timothy-leary-blasted-into-orbit.aspx?pageID=438&n=ashes-of-lsd-guru-timothy-leary-blasted-into-orbit-1997-04-23)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:46:16 am

from The New York Times....

Nearly 100, LSD's Father Ponders His ‘Problem Child’

By CRAIG S. SMITH | Saturday, January 07, 2006

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix/20060111_AlbertHofmann100_zpsr44gg9sm.jpg) (http://www.islandbreath.org/2006Year/10-spirit/0610-02st_hofmann100.jpg)
A psychadelic portrait of Dr. Albert Hofmann by Alex Grey.

ALBERT HOFMANN, the father of LSD, walked slowly across the small corner office of his modernist home on a grassy Alpine hilltop here, hoping to show a visitor the vista that sweeps before him on clear days. But outside there was only a white blanket of fog hanging just beyond the crest of the hill. He picked up a photograph of the view on his desk instead, left there perhaps to convince visitors of what really lies beyond the windowpane.

Mr. Hofmann will turn 100 on Wednesday, a milestone to be marked by a symposium in nearby Basel on the chemical compound that he discovered and that famously unlocked the Blakean doors of perception, altering consciousnesses around the world. As the years accumulate behind him, Mr. Hofmann's conversation turns ever more insistently around one theme: man's oneness with nature and the dangers of an increasing inattention to that fact.

“It's very, very dangerous to lose contact with living nature,”' he said, listing to the right in a green armchair that looked out over frost-dusted fields and snow-laced trees. A glass pitcher held a bouquet of roses on the coffee table before him. “In the big cities, there are people who have never seen living nature, all things are products of humans,” he said. “The bigger the town, the less they see and understand nature.” And, yes, he said, LSD, which he calls his “problem child,” could help reconnect people to the universe.

Rounding a century, Mr. Hofmann is physically reduced but mentally clear. He is prone to digressions, ambling with pleasure through memories of his boyhood, but his bright eyes flash with the recollection of a mystical experience he had on a forest path more than 90 years ago in the hills above Baden, Switzerland. The experience left him longing for a similar glimpse of what he calls “a miraculous, powerful, unfathomable reality.”

“I was completely astonished by the beauty of nature,” he said, laying a slightly gnarled finger alongside his nose, his longish white hair swept back from his temples and the crown of his head. He said any natural scientist who was not a mystic was not a real natural scientist. “Outside is pure energy and colorless substance,” he said. “All of the rest happens through the mechanism of our senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings.”

He became particularly fascinated by the mechanisms through which plants turn sunlight into the building blocks for our own bodies. “Everything comes from the sun via the plant kingdom,” he said.

MR. HOFMANN studied chemistry and took a job with the Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz Laboratories, because it had started a program to identify and synthesize the active compounds of medically important plants. He soon began work on the poisonous ergot fungus that grows in grains of rye. Midwives had used it for centuries to precipitate childbirths, but chemists had never succeeded in isolating the chemical that produced the pharmacological effect. Finally, chemists in the United States identified the active component as lysergic acid, and Mr. Hofmann began combining other molecules with the unstable chemical in search of pharmacologically useful compounds.

His work on ergot produced several important drugs, including a compound still in use to prevent hemorrhaging after childbirth. But it was the 25th compound that he synthesized, lysergic acid diethylamide, that was to have the greatest impact. When he first created it in 1938, the drug yielded no significant pharmacological results. But when his work on ergot was completed, he decided to go back to LSD-25, hoping that improved tests could detect the stimulating effect on the body's circulatory system that he had expected from it. It was as he was synthesizing the drug on a Friday afternoon in April 1943 that he first experienced the altered state of consciousness for which it became famous. “Immediately, I recognized it as the same experience I had had as a child,” he said. “I didn't know what caused it, but I knew that it was important.”

When he returned to his lab the next Monday, he tried to identify the source of his experience, believing first that it had come from the fumes of a chloroform-like solvent he had been using. Inhaling the fumes produced no effect, though, and he realized he must have somehow ingested a trace of LSD. “LSD spoke to me,” Mr. Hofmann said with an amused, animated smile. “He came to me and said, ‘You must find me’. He told me, ‘Don't give me to the pharmacologist, he won't find anything’.”

HE experimented with the drug, taking a dose so small that even the most active toxin known at that time would have had little or no effect. The result with LSD, however, was a powerful experience, during which he rode his bicycle home, accompanied by an assistant. That day, April 19th, later became memorialized by LSD enthusiasts as “bicycle day”.

Mr. Hofmann participated in tests in a Sandoz laboratory, but found the experience frightening and realized that the drug should be used only under carefully controlled circumstances. In 1951, he wrote to the German novelist Ernst Junger, who had experimented with mescaline, and proposed that they take LSD together. They each took 0.05 milligrams of pure LSD at Mr. Hofmann's home accompanied by roses, music by Mozart and burning Japanese incense. “That was the first planned psychedelic test,” Mr. Hofmann said.

He took the drug dozens of times after that, he said, and once experienced what he called a “horror trip” when he was tired and Mr. Junger gave him amphetamines first. But his hallucinogenic days are long behind him.

“I know LSD; I don't need to take it anymore,” Mr. Hofmann said. “Maybe when I die, like Aldous Huxley,” who asked his wife for an injection of LSD to help him through the final painful throes of his fatal throat cancer.

But Mr. Hofmann calls LSD “medicine for the soul” and is frustrated by the worldwide prohibition that has pushed it underground. “It was used very successfully for 10 years in psychoanalysis,” he said, adding that the drug was hijacked by the youth movement of the 1960's and then demonized by the establishment that the movement opposed. He said LSD could be dangerous and called its distribution by Timothy Leary and others “a crime.”

“It should be a controlled substance with the same status as morphine,” he said.

Mr. Hofmann lives with his wife in the house they built 38 years ago. He raised four children and watched one son struggle with alcoholism before dying at 53. He has eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. As far as he knows, no one in his family besides his wife has tried LSD.

Mr. Hofmann rose, slightly stooped and now barely reaching five feet, and walked through his house with his arm-support cane. When asked if the drug had deepened his understanding of death, he appeared mildly startled and said no. “I go back to where I came from, to where I was before I was born, that's all,” he said.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9505E3DB153FF934A35752C0A9609C8B63 (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9505E3DB153FF934A35752C0A9609C8B63)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:47:02 am

from The Telegraph....

Albert Hofmann, LSD inventor, dies

Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist who invented the LSD
and became the first person in the world to experience
a full-blown acid trip, has died. He was 102.

By ANDREW McKIE | Tuesday, 29 April 2008

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix/20080429_AlbertHofmann_zps62z4zcvj.jpg) (http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00666/albert-hofmann-404_666429a.jpg)
Albert Hofmann. — Photo: EPA.

HE WAS working as a chemist in Basel, when he synthesised lysergic acid diethylamide. On April 19th, 1943, he took the substance before cycling home.

That day has become known among aficionados as “Bicycle Day” as it was while he was riding home that he experienced the most intense symptoms brought on by the drug.

Rick Doblin, who studied Hofmann’s work as part of his own research and knew Hofmann well, confirmed he died of a heart attack at 9am on Tuesday at his home in Basel.

As well as LSD, Hofmann later became the first person to synthesise psilocybin, the active constituent of “magic mushrooms”.

He also discovered the hallucinogenic principles of Ololiuqui (Morning Glory), lysergic acid amide and lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide.

In retirement, Hofmann served as a member of the Nobel Prize Committee. He was a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the International Society of Plant Research and of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

In 1988 the Albert Hofmann Foundation was established “to assemble and maintain an international library and archive devoted to the study of human consciousness and related fields.”

He disapproved of the appropriation of LSD by the youth movements of the 1960s, but regretted that its potential uses had not been explored.

Albert Hofmann was married and had three children.

The Albert Hofmann Foundation (http://www.hofmann.org)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1912499/Albert-Hofmann-LSD-inventor-dies.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1912499/Albert-Hofmann-LSD-inventor-dies.html)

from The Telegraph....

Obituary: Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann, who died on April 29th aged 102,
synthesised lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in 1938
and became the first person in the world to experience
a full-blown “acid trip” — that was on April 19th 1943,
which became known among aficionados as “Bicycle Day”
as it was while cycling home from his laboratory that
he experienced the most intense symptoms.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

ALBERT HOFMANN was working as a research chemist at the laboratory of the Sandoz company in Basel, Switzerland, where he was involved in studying the medicinal properties of plants. This eventually led to the study of the alkaloid compounds of ergot, a fungus which forms on rye.

In the Middle Ages, ergot was implicated in periodic outbreaks of mass poisonings, producing symptoms in two characteristic forms: one gangrenous (ergotismus gangraenosus) and the other convulsive (ergotismus convulsivus). Popular names such as “mal des ardents”, “ignis sacer”, “heiliges feuer” and “St Anthony's fire” refer to the gangrenous form of the condition.

Hofmann's studies led to many new discoveries, such as Hydergine, a medicament for improving circulation and cerebral function, and Dihydergot, a circulation and blood pressure stabilising medicine. His interest in synthesising LSD initially derived from the hope that it might also be useful as a circulatory and respiratory stimulant.

But when his molecule, known as LSD-25, was tested on animals, no interesting effects were observed, though the research notes recorded that the beasts became “restless” during narcosis. The substance was dismissed as of no interest and dropped from Sandoz's research programme.

But five years later, acting on some intuition, Hofmann decided to resynthesise LSD. In his autobiography, LSD, My Problem Child (1979), he recalled that in the final stage of the synthesis he was interrupted by some unusual sensations.

In a note to the laboratory's director, he reported “a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination.”

“In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed, I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours. After some two hours this condition faded away.”

Hofmann concluded that he must have accidentally breathed in or ingested some laboratory material and assumed LSD was the cause. To test the theory he waited until the next working day, Monday April 19th 1943, and tried again, swallowing 0.25 of a milligram. Forty minutes later, as his laboratory journal recorded, he experienced “dizziness, feeling of anxiety, visual distortions, symptoms of paralysis, desire to laugh”. Unable to write any more, he asked his assistant to take him home by bicycle.

“On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had travelled very rapidly.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBOPFWmZCdM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBOPFWmZCdM)

Back home, when a friendly neighbour brought round some milk, he perceived her as a “malevolent, insidious witch” wearing “a lurid mask”. After six hours of highs and lows, the effects subsided.

Sandoz, keen to make a profit from Hofmann's discovery, gave the new substance the trade name Delysid and began sending samples to psychiatric researchers. By 1965 more than 2,000 papers had been published offering hope for a range of conditions from drug and alcohol addiction to mental illnesses of various kinds. But the fact that the chemical was cheap and easy to make left it open to abuse, and from the late 1950s onwards, promoted by Dr Timothy Leary and others, LSD became the recreational drug of choice for western youth.

An outbreak of moral panic, combined with a number of accidents involving people jumping to their deaths off high buildings in the belief that they could fly, led governments around the world to ban LSD. Research also showed that the drug, taken in high doses and in inappropriate settings, often caused panic reactions. For certain individuals, a bad trip could be the trigger for full-blown psychosis.

Hofmann was disappointed when his discovery was removed from commercial distribution. He remained convinced that the drug had the potential to counter the psychological problems induced by “materialism, alienation from nature through industrialisation and increasing urbanisation, lack of satisfaction in professional employment in a mechanised, lifeless working world, ennui and purposelessness in wealthy, saturated society, and lack of a religious, nurturing, and meaningful philosophical foundation of life”.

ALBERT HOFMANN was born at Baden, Switzerland, on January 11th 1906, the eldest of four children of a factory toolmaker. Having graduated from Zürich University with a degree in Chemistry in 1929, he took a doctorate on the gastro-intestinal juice of the vineyard snail. After leaving university he went to work for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, where he researched the medicinal properties of the Mediterranean squill (Scilla maritima) before moving on to the study of Claviceps purpurea (ergot).

As a result of the use of LSD as a recreational drug, Sandoz found itself bombarded with demands for information from regulatory bodies, along with demands for statements after accidents, poisonings, criminal acts and so forth from the press.

For scientists unaccustomed to the glare of publicity, it became a headache: “I would rather you hadn't discovered LSD,” Hofmann's managing director told him. In the end the decision was taken to stop all further production.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpSLjdPiSH8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpSLjdPiSH8)

Hofmann laid some of the blame at the door of Dr Timothy Leary. In his autobiography he described meeting Leary in 1971 in the snack bar at Lausanne railway station. Hofmann began by voicing his regret that Leary's experiments had effectively killed off academic research into LSD and took Leary to task for encouraging its recreational use among young people.

Leary was unabashed. “He maintained that I was unjustified in reproaching him for the seduction of immature persons to drug consumption,” Hofmann recalled. Leary further insisted that American teenagers “with regard to information and life experience, were comparable to adult Europeans” and were able to make up their own minds.

Hofmann continued to work at Sandoz until 1971, when he retired as director of research for the Department of Natural Products. In addition to his discovery of LSD, he was also the first to synthesise psilocybin (the active constituent of “magic mushrooms”) in 1958; and he discovered the hallucinogenic principles of Ololiuqui (Morning Glory), lysergic acid amide and lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide.

In retirement Hofmann served as a member of the Nobel Prize Committee. He was a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, and a member of the International Society of Plant Research and of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

In 1988 The Albert Hofmann Foundation (http://www.hofmann.org) was established “to assemble and maintain an international library and archive devoted to the study of human consciousness and related fields”.

Albert Hofmann's wife, Anita, died in December. He was also predeceased by one of his four children.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1912485/Obituary-Albert-Hofmann-LSD-inventor.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1912485/Obituary-Albert-Hofmann-LSD-inventor.html)

from The New York Times....

Albert Hofmann, the Father of LSD, Dies at 102

By CRAIG S. SMITH | Wednesday, April 30, 2008

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix/20080430_AlbertHoffman2006_zpsckbzcpzy.jpg) (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/30/world/hoffman190.jpg) (http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix/20080430_AlbertHoffmanLSD_zpsyqbzm3jr.jpg) (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/04/30/world/hoffman02190.jpg)
LEFT: Albert Hofmann in 2006. — Photo: Patrick Straub/EPA.
RIGHT: Dr. Hofmann, date unknown, with a chemical model of LSD.
 — Photo: Novartis, via AFP/Getty Images.

PARIS — Albert Hofmann, the mystical Swiss chemist who gave the world LSD, the most powerful psychotropic substance known, died Tuesday at his hilltop home near Basel, Switzerland. He was 102.

The cause was a heart attack, said Rick Doblin, founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a California-based group that in 2005 republished Dr. Hofmann’s 1979 book “LSD: My Problem Child”.

Dr. Hofmann first synthesized the compound lysergic acid diethylamide in 1938 but did not discover its psychopharmacological effects until five years later, when he accidentally ingested the substance that became known to the 1960s counterculture as acid.

He then took LSD hundreds of times, but regarded it as a powerful and potentially dangerous psychotropic drug that demanded respect. More important to him than the pleasures of the psychedelic experience was the drug’s value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanity’s oneness with nature. That perception, of union, which came to Dr. Hofmann as almost a religious epiphany while still a child, directed much of his personal and professional life.

Dr. Hofmann was born in Baden, a spa town in northern Switzerland, on January 11th, 1906, the eldest of four children. His father, who had no higher education, was a toolmaker in a local factory, and the family lived in a rented apartment. But Dr. Hofmann spent much of his childhood outdoors.

He would wander the hills above the town and play around the ruins of a Hapsburg castle, the Stein. “It was a real paradise up there,” he said in an interview in 2006. “We had no money, but I had a wonderful childhood.”

It was during one of his ambles that he had his epiphany.

“It happened on a May morning — I have forgotten the year — but I can still point to the exact spot where it occurred, on a forest path on Martinsberg above Baden,” he wrote in “LSD: My Problem Child”. “As I strolled through the freshly greened woods filled with bird song and lit up by the morning sun, all at once everything appeared in an uncommonly clear light.”

“It shone with the most beautiful radiance, speaking to the heart, as though it wanted to encompass me in its majesty. I was filled with an indescribable sensation of joy, oneness and blissful security.”

Though Dr. Hofmann’s father was a Roman Catholic and his mother a Protestant, Dr. Hofmann, from an early age, felt that organized religion missed the point. When he was 7 or 8, he recalled, he spoke to a friend about whether Jesus was divine. “I said that I didn’t believe, but that there must be a God because there is the world and someone made the world,” he said. “I had this very deep connection with nature.”

Dr. Hofmann went on to study chemistry at Zurich University because, he said, he wanted to explore the natural world at the level where energy and elements combine to create life. He earned his Ph.D. there in 1929, when he was just 23. He then took a job with Sandoz Laboratories in Basel, attracted by a program there that sought to synthesize pharmacological compounds from medicinally important plants.

It was during his work on the ergot fungus, which grows in rye kernels, that he stumbled on LSD, accidentally ingesting a trace of the compound one Friday afternoon in April 1943. Soon he experienced an altered state of consciousness similar to the one he had experienced as a child.

On the following Monday, he deliberately swallowed a dose of LSD and rode his bicycle home as the effects of the drug overwhelmed him. That day, April 19th, later became memorialized by LSD enthusiasts as “bicycle day”.

Dr. Hofmann’s work produced other important drugs, including methergine, used to treat postpartum hemorrhaging, the leading cause of death from childbirth. But it was LSD that shaped both his career and his spiritual quest.

“Through my LSD experience and my new picture of reality, I became aware of the wonder of creation, the magnificence of nature and of the animal and plant kingdom,” Dr. Hofmann told the psychiatrist Stanislav Grof during an interview in 1984. “I became very sensitive to what will happen to all this and all of us.”

Dr. Hofmann became an impassioned advocate for the environment and argued that LSD, besides being a valuable tool for psychiatry, could be used to awaken a deeper awareness of mankind’s place in nature and help curb society’s ultimately self-destructive degradation of the natural world.

But he was also disturbed by the cavalier use of LSD as a drug for entertainment, arguing that it should be treated in the way that primitive societies treat psychoactive sacred plants, which are ingested with care and spiritual intent.

After his discovery of LSD’s properties, Dr. Hofmann spent years researching sacred plants. With his friend R. Gordon Wasson, he participated in psychedelic rituals with Mazatec shamans in southern Mexico. He succeeded in synthesizing the active compounds in the Psilocybe mexicana mushroom, which he named psilocybin and psilocin. He also isolated the active compound in morning glory seeds, which the Mazatec also used as an intoxicant, and found that its chemical structure was close to that of LSD.

During the psychedelic era, Dr. Hofmann struck up friendships with such outsize personalities as Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Aldous Huxley, who, nearing death in 1963, asked his wife for an injection of LSD to help him through the final painful throes of throat cancer.

Yet despite his involvement with psychoactive compounds, Dr. Hofmann remained moored in his Swiss chemist identity. He stayed with Sandoz as head of the research department for natural medicines until his retirement in 1971. He wrote more than 100 scientific articles and was the author or co-author of a number of books.

He and his wife, Anita, who died recently, reared four children in Basel. A son died of alcoholism at 53. Survivors include several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Though Dr. Hofmann called LSD “medicine for the soul,” by 2006 his hallucinogenic days were long behind him, he said in the interview that year.

“I know LSD; I don’t need to take it anymore,” he said, adding. “Maybe when I die, like Aldous Huxley.”

But he said LSD had not affected his understanding of death. In death, he said, “I go back to where I came from, to where I was before I was born, that’s all.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/world/europe/30hofmann.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/world/europe/30hofmann.html)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:47:43 am

from the San Francisco Chronicle....

Remembering Woodstock — or at least trying to

By JOEL SELVIN - San Francisco Chronicle Senior Pop Music Correspondent | Friday, August 07, 2009

Country Joe McDonald can't remember which day he played.
Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane can't remember which
day he left. Michael Carabello of Santana can't remember
how long it lasted. If nobody can remember, it must be
the '60s. Who remembers the '60s?

THOSE veterans of the historic 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York, shared a table recently outside Caffe Trieste in North Beach, across the street from where Kantner lives. Forty years later, like old soldiers recalling their time in the French Foreign Legion, they start reminiscing without cue. Nobody has to ask too many questions to keep it going. Happy anniversary.

Kantner: What do you want to know? What was Woodstock like? There's a stupid question.

Selvin: You had a good gig, didn't you?

Kantner: We had a great gig. We didn't know how good a gig we had until I saw the film afterward recently. Immediately I thought we sucked completely, which in many ways we did. But it was 7am in the morning, so there was an excuse for it. We're doing a bunch of Woodstock shows with Joe actually in August to commemorate or whatever you do in those kinds of things. I think we're playing at Woodstock around the very date that Woodstock was, somewhere in August.

McDonald: August 15 at Bethel.

Kantner: On the actual place.

McDonald: Bethel Woods Amphitheater.

Kantner: We're getting all schmaltzy in our old age. We'll be on Regis Philbin next.

McDonald: Nicest venue I've ever been in my life.

Country Joe McDonald ended up playing a lot more than expected; and performing solo; at Woodstock.
 — Photo: Handout Art.

Carabello: Did you guys go there, like, a couple of days before the gig?

Kantner: We went a couple days early and it was really nice moving around in that area.

Carabello: We went like two weeks before and stayed in Woodstock.

Selvin: That was Santana's first gig out of town wasn't it?

Carabello: Yeah.

Kantner: Oh, they did good.

Carabello: Yeah, we did really good.

Kantner: Oh, no. You guys killed.

Carabello: We were ready.

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, participants (from left) Country Joe McDonald,
Michael Carabello and Paul Kantner reminisce about what happened; and what they can remember;
as they gather at Caffe Trieste in San Francisco. — Photo: Lance Iversen/The San Francisco Chronicle.

Selvin: You were there before the show started?

Kantner: Saw them building up the stage, Wavy Gravy's food camps, walking through the forest, the lakes. We walked all around and did everything, a couple days before the show even started. Just cause we had time off, let's go check it out. I had an inclination it was going to be an interesting day. It was much more interesting than I thought it was going to be in the long run.

Carabello: You guys did the first day?

Kantner: It was two days, right?

Carabello: I think.

McDonald: Three days.

Carabello: If you remember, you weren't there.

Kantner: I don't remember.

McDonald: You were there on Thursday when Richie played?

Kantner: I wasn't there the last day because we had to go down and do a TV show, Dick Cavett, so I missed Jimi Hendrix.

Carabello: Richie Havens? He was there the first day. Wasn't he the first act?

McDonald: I was there from Thursday through Sunday. I saw Richie play and I saw a lot of stuff in between and I saw Jimi play. I was there in front of the stage.

Carabello: We stayed in the town of Woodstock and Paul Butterfield's band was there. There was a saloon of some sort that for a week and a half we made into a jam place and everybody would come down there and play. It was great, just great, even before getting to the gig.

Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane recently saw the Woodstock film.
 — Photo: Lance Iversen/The San Francisco Chronicle.

Selvin: When you showed up at Woodstock, everybody still thought it was going to be a paid concert?

Kantner: Not that we were hardly concerned one way or the other, but, yeah. We thought it was a regular show, people were buying tickets and a whole lot of people showed up and everything went crazy. We were immersed in the craziness to the point where we didn't pay attention to the details, so much as finding where the bathroom was. As Grace always liked to say, “Is there a bathroom around here?” And food. They had no food for us. So I had grapes and a slice of cheese all day the day we played. That's all I had. We were supposed to go on at 10 at night, at the end of the show and finish up Saturday night, but we didn't get on until seven the next morning because of the all f♠ck-ups.

Carabello: The show was running behind, like, eight hours.

Selvin: You followed The Who?

Kantner: I don't remember. I'll take your word for it. We were completely out there by the time we got on. Not problematical in terms of playing badly, we played quite good, except for one song. I was amazed that we played well at seven in the morning.

Carabello: Yeah, I wonder why.

Kantner: We weren't big speed freaks. It had to do more with a lot of acid.

Carabello: We got to the Holiday Inn and they said there's no way in. We got in the helicopters. That was a scene in itself.

Kantner: It was very chaotic. I love chaos, coming out of military school.

Joe McDonald reminisces about Woodstock. — Photo: Lance Iversen/The San Francisco Chronicle.

McDonald: Santana was the best of the Bay Area bands.

Kantner: They were hot. Janis wasn't too bad.

McDonald: Not just at Woodstock. Of all the Bay Area bands, the original lineup. Carlos became Carlos, but that f♠cking rhythm section. You took that Joe Cuba shit to a whole other level.

Carabello: Yeah, we did.

Kantner: Country Joe and Santana and Big Brother and Quicksilver and the Dead, it was just a great era of great bands. And each one of them totally unlike the other. Nobody was trying to be like somebody else. And we got away with it.

Michael Carabello recalls Santana's performance. — Photo: Lance Iversen/The San Francisco Chronicle.

Selvin: Joe, how did Woodstock change things for you?

McDonald: When I came onstage as a solo act as Country Joe by accident, I was with Country Joe and the Fish, but when I came off, I was a solo act, Country Joe. I was just sitting onstage. They had no one to go on.

Kantner: They were totally disorganized.

McDonald: They said if it rained they needed somebody to play that didn't need electric instruments. I told them I couldn't do it. I told them I didn't have a guitar because I didn't bring an acoustic guitar. I had acoustic guitars at home. I didn't bring one. Why would I bring one? The roadies brought my electric guitars. I came to watch Thursday. I watched Friday. I watched Saturday. It was the best f♠cking concert I'd seen in my life. It was unbelievable. And I was stealing shit from everybody.

Going “Wow, we could do that.” I loved rock ‘n’ roll. (Stage manager) John Morris came over and said, “How'd you like a solo career?” and I said, “What the f♠ck?” I said I don't have a guitar and they went and got an FG 150 Yamaha. It was like a hundred-dollar acoustic guitar. They gave it to me and I said I don't have a guitar strap — I can't play. And (Country Joe's manager) Bill Belmont went and cut a piece of rigging off the stage and tied it to the guitar. I said I don't have a capo and he went over and got a capo from one of the stagehands and said, "Well, now?"

I went on and I played, like, 12 songs. Nobody paid any f♠cking attention to me at all. Nobody. It was a beautiful sunny day at the moment. I walked offstage and nobody even knew I walked offstage. They didn't even notice I walked offstage. I said to Bill Belmont, who was standing there watching, I was saving stuff for the set on Sunday with the band and I ran out of stuff to do. I said is it OK if I do the Cheer and “Fixin' to Die Rag”? He said, “Nobody's paying attention to you — what the f♠ck difference would it make?” I said OK, he's right. Nobody's paying attention to me — what difference does it make? I walked back and yelled, “Gimme an F.” And they all stopped talking. They looked at me and yelled, “F.”

Rhino has just mixed through the whole tapes. I just got a CD of my own set two weeks ago, and a CD of the Country Joe and the Fish set. This is a funny thing. I thought I played like three songs and did the ‘F’ Cheer. The Web sites all over the place list the songs. And they're all wrong because I've listened to the tapes. For 40 years, I've said that I followed Richie Havens on Friday.

Michael Lang changed it in his book from Friday to Saturday, right before Santana. I said, “I'd remember something like that — that didn't f♠cking happen.” I argued with everybody. I called up Chip Monck in Australia. I said, “Did I go on Friday?” He said, “I dunno.” I called up John Morris and he said, “I think so.” And then Bill went over to (photographer) Jim Marshall's house to look at the proof sheets and said, “I don't know — I can't tell.” So I get the CD that Rhino sent me and, in the end, after my encore, Chip Monck says, “And now Santana will be on in a few minutes.” I had to make a lot of amends that day. I had to call and say I'm sorry, you're right, I'm wrong.

That was a telling moment to me. I went down to the screening last year in the academy at Hollywood of the digitally remixed soand — it was really great — and they had a big panel. They had, like, 30 people. (Woodstock promoter) Mike Lang was there. John Morris was there. All these people. So it went like this: Who booked the acts? I did. No, I did. No, I did. Where was the original place? It was here. No, it wasn't. It was over here. No, it wasn't. It was over here. Nobody really knew what happened. But we know it happened. We know it happened. But nobody who was there really remembers what happened.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/07/PKN6190DDL.DTL (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/07/PKN6190DDL.DTL)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:48:00 am

From the Los Angeles Times....

To Woodstock, on the ‘Frankly Dankly’ school bus of '69

Forty years ago, an oil-dripping heap with the name of a fictitious band
painted on its side took a coterie of young activists to the famed
music festival 40 years ago, and to their own turning points.

By PAUL LIEBERMAN | 2:17AM PDT - Saturday, August 15, 2009

Writer Paul Lieberman, shown in 1969, traveled to Woodstock on a bus
painted with “Frankly Dankly and his Seven Little All-Americans”, the
name of a fictitious band. — Photo: provided by Paul Lieberman.

NORTH ADAMS, MASSACHUSETTS — The statute of limitations should protect us from prosecution, so let the truth be told — we used anti-poverty funds to buy the Frankly Dankly bus in the landmark summer of '69. One of our group still insists we “passed the hat” to pay for the thing. But he's a respectable lawyer now, so we'll allow him that fog of memory. Everyone else is willing to 'fess up that we dipped into money intended to help the poor to procure the oil-leaking school bus we saw sitting in a lot with a “For Sale” sign.

Oh, we had a cover story for spending the $500 — that we could use a roving tutorial center to reach kids beyond the old mill towns where we were soldiers in the war on poverty. We no doubt hoped that would be the fate of the bus, eventually. But first we tore out the seats, painted the sides bright red, white and blue, and etched on the name of a nonexistent rock band, Frankly Dankly and His Seven Little All-Americans. Then we loaded it up with turkeys and pancake mix and headed over the Berkshires to a muddy farmland in Bethel, New York.

We actually had tickets for the three-day Woodstock Music and Art Fair, our coterie of idealistic college students who exemplified an era that blurred the line between political activism and experimenting with new lifestyles. We'd spend days helping low-income families find housing, then gather at night to mull over our motives and shed our inhibitions with encounter groups that left us half-naked on the floor. We would open a community center with a parade down Main Street.

This weekend's 40th anniversary of Woodstock is spawning a new torrent of recollections of that summer that may leave generations born before and after screaming, “Enough!” But trust me, the Frankly Dankly saga is not just another baby boomer nostalgia trip, for from our crew came a movement that's a lightning-rod today.

Salli Benedict, the group's “Earth mother” at 21, roasted
the turkeys that would sustain the festival-goers, who
started the drive to Upstate New York playing Canned
Heat's “Going Up the Country” on kazoos.
 — Photo: provided by Salli Benedict.

The Office of Economic Opportunity had been established by President Lyndon Johnson to spearhead his Great Society anti-poverty efforts, but President Nixon was skeptical of it and in 1969 put a pair of up-and-coming Republicans in charge. Let's not blame Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, however, for what we did with their money — North Adams, Massachusetts. was far below their radar.

Our adventure began with two fellow Williams College students who had spent time in this community of 18,000 built around a brick factory that once made Civil War uniforms. The southward flight of the textile industry had devastated New England, so a team of 18 was assembled to help out here and in nearby Adams, some with full slots in VISTA (the Volunteers in Service to America), others dubbed VISTA summer associates.

Several of the group had just graduated from college, but two girls from Bennington College were merely through freshman year, and sauntered about in big, floppy hats. I was only a year older but had street cred as a New Yorker who'd marched in my first demonstration while in my mother's womb, though I'd also worked as a riflery instructor, trained by the NRA.

Bill Cummings was the son of a West Point graduate and had married a fellow military brat, Salli Benedict. Bill had become disenchanted with the war after seeing the wounded in a hospital in the Philippines, where his father was based while staging night bombing raids over Vietnam. Chris Kinnell was a lanky basketball player from supposedly laid back Pacific Palisades. Bruce Plenk was a self-described "save the world type" from Utah who believed that a crusade for social change could be waged with “a lightness and fun to it.”

Wade Rathke was not about lightness and fun. The onetime Eagle Scout from New Orleans was, like Cummings, married already at 20. Though he attended the same elite college as us, Wade had supported himself for a time driving a forklift. He had taken a year off to do draft counseling only to become disillusioned when better-off kids were all that came through the door. Now he'd lean silently against a wall at our meetings, a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

Community organizer Wade Rathke, who went on to found ACORN,
now a lightning rod for conservatives, skipped Woodstock.
 — Photo provided by Wade Rathke.

Our orientation coincided with a Boston rally of the National Welfare Rights Organization, where we met Saul Alinsky, who had become a legend organizing around the Chicago stockyards. “When you come into a community, you don't have ‘issues’,” Alinsky told us. “You have ‘sad scenes’. Your job is to turn those sad scenes into issues.”

But how many college kids had what it took to go door-to-door in housing projects to persuade welfare mothers to sit in at a government office to obtain back-to-school clothing for their kids? The Welfare Rights honchos saw one candidate in our crowd, Rathke. I think many of us were relieved when he agreed to organize the city of Springfield, an hour southeast of our western Massachusetts towns.

For the rest of us, the work seemed snake-bitten that summer. We spent weeks promoting a meeting of tenants at a church in North Adams only to have astronaut Neil Armstrong pick that night to step on the moon. The two locals who showed up must have been the only ones without TVs. It poured the day we opened the community center in an old supermarket. Still, we danced into the wee hours to a band that did perfect covers of Three Dog Night hits (“One is the loneliest number ...”)and soon would play as a warm-up act at ... well, enter the bus.

Ads for the August 15th-17th Woodstock festival promised “Three Days of Peace & Music”, peace first, music second. The promoters expected 50,000 people for a celebration of an egalitarian spirit with “painting and sculpture on trees [by] accomplished artists, ghetto artists and would-be artists”. But what attracted us were acts such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. If purchased well in advance, three-day tickets cost $18, so the Bennington girls collected that and mailed in our money. Cummings floated the idea of buying the school bus a week into August, saying we could reach rural families. That's when I piped up, “Why kid ourselves?” We all knew the real motive. Counterarguments flew back: The bus cost next to nothing. We were paying ourselves a pittance, $25 a week. We could say the $500 was from donations from college alumni, never mind that all our funds were mingled. But I was an effective spoilsport. We voted down the purchase.

Then everyone got drunk, or whatever, and in the morning we bought the bus.

We did paint it off-hours. Then we paid a local sign man to letter on “Frankly Dankly and his Seven Little All-Americans”, a name fellow students used for a phantom band they kept promising would play at parties. We bought sleeveless T-shirts and painted “F.D.” in red on each. Salli, our Earth mother at 21, roasted the turkeys. We took off mid-morning Friday, August 15th, our kazoos playing Canned Heat's “Going Up the Country".

The bus drew stares whenever we stopped, which was at almost every gas station because it wouldn't hold oil — there was a reason we got it for $500. In quaint Millbrook, New York, a couple hurried their children into their car at the sight of our bus. There was a power to the budding Youth Culture, even if it split our society.

The traffic became inch-along dense miles from Max Yasgur's farm, where the festival would be, but we talked our way through one checkpoint by insisting, “We've got Mr. Dankly's equipment in the back!” Then a second security guy checked, saw only our kazoos, and guided us into a field with two dozen other painted buses. Mud caked the sneakers and moccasins of the thousands of youths in their own floppy hats and painted t-shirts trudging like refugees in a war zone past where cattle had grazed a day before.

The traffic became inch-along dense miles from Max Yasgur's farm, where the
festival was held. Thousands of youths headed toward fields where cattle had
grazed the day before, and where artists like Jimi Hendrix and Joan Baez
would make history. — Photo by Baron Wolman.

We joined the procession and 45 minutes later heard the dim sound of music. We glimpsed the makeshift towers behind the stage. They'd given up on taking tickets. We were directed up the far side of a hill, sensing the mass of people but seeing little.

Finally, we made a left and took in the spectacle through dimming light: We were halfway up a natural amphitheater that once was an alfalfa field but now resembled a staging ground for the Roman legions. Though we were a quarter mile from the stage, it looked as if every inch was packed, with more people than we'd seen in one place.

Years later, we could not be sure what we witnessed and what we saw in the Woodstock movie. A few of us thought we caught the opening act, Richie Havens, but the first I recall was Country Joe McDonald, doing his anti-war ditty: “And it's one, two, three … What are we fighting for? … Don't ask me, I don't give a damn … Next stop is Vietnam”.

Then I went exploring up the hill and lost our group. The youth culture that had gotten us so much attention en route swallowed me up. After the night ended with Joan Baez singing “We Shall Overcome”. I feared I'd never find the bus, but did, somehow. The next morning, Bill and Salli made pancakes for hundreds of passersby. So the bus did do some good for humanity.

The Woodstock festival promoted as “Three Days of Peace and Music”
drew more than 400,000 people to farm fields. Organizers had
expected closer to 50,000. — Associated Press/August 16th, 1969.

Saturday was a wet blur. Someone had to wake Bill so he could hear Sly and the Family Stone. Sunday, we were gone long before Hendrix performed his agonized Star Spangled Banner. We were intent on being at our $25-a-week jobs Monday morning.

Before we knew it, most of us were back at college, but a core stayed in North Adams and engineered one tangible success, construction of low-cost housing. Little was said of the bus, which never made any community rounds. Suffering from a cracked block, it was last spotted in a field, left to rust into oblivion with our memories.

It took work to find some of the crew: Bill Cummings is a PhD ecologist who monitors development projects in Pakistan but lives outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Though he's no longer married to Salli, she's there too, directing public health programs, the latest targeting obesity among poor women. They dote on four grandkids and recently took a couple to an outdoor concert by Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp.

After years as a legal aid attorney, Bruce Plenk coordinates solar energy projects for the city of Tucson. Our basketball player from Pali high, Chris Kinnell, is a minister in upstate New York, just back from a mission to Zimbabwe. The guy who swore we passed the hat to buy the bus, John Kitchen, is a lawyer who works with the disabled in New Hampshire. One of the Bennington girls became a psychologist.

Wade Rathke, in contrast, was a snap to find. He's been living what he calls his “Britney Spears moment” since the presidential race that put Barack Obama, a onetime community organizer, in the White House. That's when the organization Wade founded, ACORN, hired 8,000 canvassers to register 1.3 million voters. Backers of Senator John McCain accused it of trying to steal the election.

Wade never did return to school that fall of '69, but the local papers reported his progress in Springfield, where he led hundreds of welfare mothers demanding vouchers for winter coats. He was thinking of returning south to establish “a strong conflict group,” concentrating on poor whites. Then he was gone, to Arkansas, to launch the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Nowadays, he's a favorite villain of the right. “I'm not surprised that I'm seen as a dangerous dude,” Wade said when we reconnected for the first time in four decades. “In fact, I am.”

I asked him about his bid to organize “the rest of the planet”, as one report put it, but I mostly wanted his explanation for missing the Frankly Dankly bus. “Knew about the bus,” he replied. “We had seats on the bus.”

It seems his wife, Lee, (now his ex) had been intent on going with us and shelled out $36 for two sets of tickets, but Wade was not going to be diverted from his Welfare Rights work. Yet over the years his memory combined the summer's events into a semi-fable that had Woodstock weekend as the turning point in his life. The tale had him driving his Ford Econoline van to meet us only to have it break down, so he hitched instead to Springfield and resolved to become an organizer.

“Who knows where I would have wound up if I had gotten on the bus with you guys,” he said. “I might have thought I had a future shaking a tambourine in a rock 'n' roll band.”

The summer of '69 was a turning point for me, as well. I found I was a pretty good observer and, perhaps, had a conscience. Later, when I gravitated to investigative reporting, and projects on working conditions and healthcare, I thought of Saul Alinsky's exhortation to turn “sad scenes” into issues. But I was pulled toward entertaining people, as well, and thought of our embrace of lightness, a quality often overwhelmed by the meanness of today.

My wife and I go to the Berkshires each summer, and North Adams is a regular stop, for the factory that made Civil War uniforms has become a great museum, MASS MoCA. I take back roads, indulging the fantasy that I'll spot kids playing in a patch of high grass, in the corroded hull of vehicle with a trace of odd lettering on its side.

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-woodstock15-2009aug15,0,4479312.story (http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-woodstock15-2009aug15,0,4479312.story)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:48:16 am

from Fairfax NZ....

Alcohol worse than crack, heroin

REUTERS | 1:38PM - Monday, 01 November 2010

DAMAGE: British scientists say the effects of alcohol
can be worse than those of heroin or crack cocaine.
 — Photo: Fairfax Media.

ALCOHOL IS A MORE DANGEROUS DRUG than both crack and heroin when the combined harms to the user and to others are assessed, British scientists said.

Presenting a new scale of drug harm that rates the damage to users themselves and to wider society, the scientists rated alcohol the most harmful overall and almost three times as harmful as cocaine or tobacco.

According to the scale, devised by a group of scientists including Britain's Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) and an expert adviser to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), heroin and crack cocaine rank as the second and third most harmful drugs.

Ecstasy is only an eighth as harmful as alcohol, according to the scientists' analysis.

Professor David Nutt, chairman of the ISCD, whose work was published in the Lancet medical journal, said the findings showed that “aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy”.

He said they also showed that current drug classification systems had little relation to the evidence of harm.

Alcohol and tobacco are legal for adults in Britain and many other countries, while drugs such as ecstasy and cannabis and LSD are often illegal and carry the threat of prison sentences.

“It is intriguing to note that the two legal drugs assessed — alcohol and tobacco — score in the upper segment of the ranking scale, indicating that legal drugs cause at least as much harm as do illegal substances,” Nutt, who was formerly head of the influential British Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), said in a statement about the study.

Nutt was forced to quit the ACMD a year ago after publicly criticising ministers for ignoring scientific advice suggesting cannabis was less harmful than alcohol.

The World Health Organisation estimates that risks linked to alcohol cause 2.5 million deaths a year from heart and liver disease, road accidents, suicides and cancer — accounting for 3.8 percent of all deaths. It is the third leading risk factor for premature death and disabilities worldwide.

In an effort to offer a guide to policy makers in health, policing, and social care, Nutt's team rated drugs using a technique called multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) which assessed damage according to nine criteria on harm to the user and seven criteria on harm to others.

Harms to the user included things such as drug-specific or drug-related death, damage to health, drug dependence and loss of relationships, while harms to others included crime, environmental damage, family conflict, international damage, economic cost, and damage to community cohesion.

Drugs were then scored out of 100, with 100 given to the most harmful drug and zero indicating no harm at all.

The scientists found alcohol was most harmful, with a score of 72, followed by heroin with 55, and crack with 54.

Among some of the other drugs assessed were crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine or speed (23), cannabis (20), benzodiazepines, such as Valium (15), ketamine (15), methadone (14), mephedrone (13), ecstasy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7) and magic mushrooms (5).

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/4295108/Alcohol-worse-than-crack-heroin (http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/4295108/Alcohol-worse-than-crack-heroin)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:48:37 am

from the Los Angeles Times....

Owsley Stanley dies at 76 — ‘Acid King’ of the '60s psychedelic era

He reputedly made more than a million doses of LSD,
much of which fueled Ken Kesey's notorious Acid
Tests — rollicking parties featuring all manner of
psychedelic substances, strobe lights and music.

By ELAINE WOO | Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Owsley “Bear” Stanley, left, and the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia in 1969.
Stanley, a 1960s counterculture legend who flooded the flower power
scene with LSD and was an early benefactor of the Dead, died in a car
crash in his adopted country of Australia. He was 76. — Photo: Reuters.

NEARLY EVERYONE familiar with the history of the 1960s has heard of Timothy Leary (http://articles.latimes.com/1996-06-01/news/mn-10774_1_timothy-leary) and Ken Kesey (http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/ken-kesey-PECLB002777.topic), the pranksters who spread the gospel of psychedelics to the countercultural generation. But far fewer remember Owsley Stanley.

Stanley, who died Saturday at age 76, was arguably as pivotal as Leary and Kesey for altering minds in the turbulent '60s. Among a legion of youthful seekers, his name was synonymous with the ultimate high as a copious producer of what Rolling Stone once called “the best LSD (http://www.latimes.com/topic/health/drugs-medicines/lsd-HEDAR00193.topic) in the world … the genuine Owsley.” He reputedly made more than a million doses of the drug, much of which fueled Kesey's notorious Acid Tests — rollicking parties featuring all manner of psychedelic substances, strobe lights and music. Tom Wolfe (http://www.latimes.com/topic/arts-culture/tom-wolfe-PEHST002139.topic) immortalized Stanley as the “Acid King” in the counterculture classic "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" (http://www.tomwolfe.com/KoolAid.html) (1968).

The music that rocked Kesey's events was made by the Grateful Dead (http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/music/grateful-dead-%28music-group%29-PECLB0017764617.topic), the iconic rock band of the era that also bears Stanley's imprint. His chief effect on the band stemmed not merely from supplying its musicians with top-grade LSD but from his technical genius: As the Dead's early sound engineer, Stanley, nicknamed “Bear”, developed a radical system he called the “wall of sound”, essentially a massive public address system that reduced distortion and enabled the musicians to mix from the stage and monitor their playing.

“Owsley was truly important in setting the example of someone who would go to almost any length, beyond what anyone would think reasonable, to pursue the goal of perfection … sonic perfection, the finest planet Earth ever saw,” Grateful Dead publicist Dennis McNally said on Monday. “They never would have done that without Bear. Furthermore, the greater San Francisco scene never would have been what it was without the opportunity for thousands of people to experience psychedelics, which would not have happened without Bear.”

Stanley, who moved to Australia more than 30 years ago, was driving his car in a storm near the town of Mareeba in Queensland when he lost control and crashed, said Sam Cutler, a longtime friend and former Grateful Dead tour manager. He died at the scene. His wife, Sheilah, sustained minor injuries.

Described by Cutler as a man who held “very firm beliefs about potential disasters,” Stanley relocated to Australia because he believed it was the safest place to avoid a new ice age. He was a fanatical carnivore who once said that eating broccoli may have contributed to a heart attack (http://www.latimes.com/topic/health/physical-conditions/heart-attack-HEISY000062.topic) several years ago. In his later years he was mainly a sculptor and jeweler, and his works were sought by many in the music industry, including the Rolling Stones (http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/music/the-rolling-stones-%28music-group%29-PECLB004371.topic)' Keith Richards (http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/music/keith-richards-PECLB003531.topic), Cutler said.

“He was a very sophisticated man,” Cutler said, “an amalgam of scientist and engineer, chemist and artist.”

With artist Bob Thomas, Stanley designed the Dead's distinctive logo: a skull emblazoned with a lightning bolt. He also recorded about 100 of the band's performances, many of which later were released as albums. He once said that he considered preserving the live concerts one of his most important accomplishments.

Born Augustus Owsley Stanley III in Kentucky on January 19th, 1935, he was the grandson of a Kentucky governor and son of a naval commander. His nickname, Bear, reputedly was inspired by the profuse chest hair he sprouted in adolescence.

He studied engineering briefly at the University of Virginia before dropping out and joining the Air Force, where he trained as a radio operator. After completing his military service in 1958, he moved to California and worked at a variety of jobs, including a stint at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. He also studied ballet, Russian and French.

He enrolled at UC Berkeley (http://www.latimes.com/topic/education/colleges-universities/university-of-california-berkeley-OREDU00000197.topic) in 1963 as the Free Speech Movement was erupting and drugs such as LSD began flowing. He got his first taste of LSD in April 1964. “I remember the first time I took acid and walked outside,” he told Rolling Stone in 2007, “and the cars were kissing the parking meters.”

That experience convinced him that he needed a steady and trustworthy supply. He found a recipe at the campus library. Then, with a chemistry major named Melissa Cargill, he started a lab and began manufacturing a very pure form of the drug.

His lab was raided twice; Stanley spent two years in prison. According to “A Long Strange Trip”, McNally's history of the Grateful Dead, Stanley estimated that he had produced enough LSD to provide about 1.25 million doses between 1965 and 1967.

After his release from prison in 1972, he returned to the Dead and began working on a new sound system, a monolithic collection of speakers and microphones that channeled the music through a single cluster of equipment. The band introduced it in 1974 at San Francisco's Cow Palace, but it was too expensive to sustain and Stanley later gave most of it away. But his ideas were later adopted by concert equipment makers.

Not everyone was a fan of the system. “It was always malfunctioning,” Country Joe McDonald, of the '60s psychedelic band Country Joe & the Fish, said in an interview on Monday. “The Grateful Dead and their extended family were like a unit, a nine-headed hydra. They did things their own way. People loved it. It was part of their mystique.” Stanley, whom McDonald knew slightly and remembered as “kind of an obnoxious” person, “fit in really well.”

For a brief time Stanley was the Grateful Dead's main financial backer and put them up in a pink stucco house in Watts, where he had moved his LSD lab. A 1966 Los Angeles Times profile described Stanley roaring up to a Sunset Boulevard bank on a motorcycle with wads of money crammed in his helmet, pockets and boots. The L.A. Times' and other accounts described him as an LSD millionaire, a status Stanley denied. But it inspired a Dead song, “Alice D. Millionaire” (see video clip below). He also was immortalized in a Steely Dan composition, “Kid Charlemagne” (also below), and in a Jimi Hendrix (http://www.latimes.com/topic/entertainment/music/jimi-hendrix-PECLB002336.topic) recording of the Beatles' “Day Tripper”, in which Hendrix can be heard calling out “Owsley, can you hear me now?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2W0vcKttHs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2W0vcKttHs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylr2D4Pwn58 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylr2D4Pwn58)

Stanley downplayed his influence on the psychedelic explosion, explaining that he began producing LSD only to ensure the quality of what he ingested.

“I just wanted to know the dose and purity of what I took into my own body. Almost before I realized what was happening, the whole affair had gotten completely out of hand. I was riding a magic stallion. A Pegasus,” he told Rolling Stone. “I was not responsible for his wings, but they did carry me to all kinds of places.”

In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Pete and Starfinder; daughters Nina and Redbird; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-owsley-stanley-20110315,0,3733346.story (http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-owsley-stanley-20110315,0,3733346.story)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:49:01 am

from the San Francisco Chronicle....

Magic Mushrooms Can Make Lasting Personality Changes, Study Says

Business Report — San Francisco Chronicle with Bloomberg News

By ELIZABETH LOPATTO | Thursday, September 29, 2011

PSYCHEDELIC: Hallucinogenic mushrooms are weighed and packaged at a farm in the Netherlands.
 — Photo: Peter DeJong/Associated Press.

PSILOCYBIN, or “magic mushrooms”, can make people more open in their feelings and aesthetic sensibilities, conferring on them a lasting personality change, according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

People who had mystic experiences while taking the mushrooms were more likely to show increases in a personality trait dubbed “openness”, which is related to creativity, artistic appreciation and curiosity, according to the study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The change was still in place a year later, suggesting a long-term effect.

“The remarkable piece is that psilocybin can facilitate experiences that change how people perceive themselves and their environment,” said Roland Griffiths, a study author and professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore. “That's unprecedented.”

Magic mushrooms, also known as “shrooms”, are hallucinogens native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and the U.S. The fungi were favored by former Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary, who founded the Harvard Psilocybin Project, and explored by '60s writer and anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. They are typically eaten but can also be dried and smoked or made into a tea.

Openness is one of five major personality factors known to be constant throughout multiple cultures, heritable in families and largely unvarying throughout a person's lifetime. The other four factors, extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness, were unchanged by being dosed with the hallucinogenic mushrooms, the study found. This is the first finding of a short-term intervention providing a long-term personality change, researchers said.

Mystical Experiences

The 51 participants, who had an average age of 46, completed two to five eight-hour drug sessions at least three weeks apart. They were asked to lie down on a couch, use an eye mask and listen to music on headphones while focusing on an inner experience. Their personalities were screened initially, one to two months after each drug session and about a year after the last trip.

In the test, 30 people had a mystical experience, as established by a set of psychological scales. On tests of major personality traits, their openness scores rose, suggesting a greater interest in imagination, aesthetics, feelings, ideas and values. The 22 patients who didn't have a mystical experience showed no change.

Potential for Abuse

Psilocybin mushrooms are a schedule I substance in the U.S., which means the government considers them to have a high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical purpose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Griffith disagrees. He has started two studies, one in people distressed by recent diagnoses of cancer, and another in cigarette smokers. “The changes to patients' personalities may make them more at ease with their cancer diagnosis or make it easier to give up cigarettes,” he said.

“There's reason to suggest a treatment program may help patients in opening the mind to other ways of seeing their behavior,” Griffith said.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/29/bloomberg_articlesLS96451A74E9.DTL (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/29/bloomberg_articlesLS96451A74E9.DTL)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:49:24 am

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/sfgate_morfordbanner2.jpg) (http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/morford)

When Jesus ate the magic mushrooms

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist (mmorford@sfgate.com) | Wednesday, October 05, 2011

People who had mystic experiences while taking the mushrooms were more likely to show increases in a personality
trait dubbed ‘openness’... The change was still in place a year later, suggesting a long-term effect.
” — Bloomberg (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/29/bloomberg_articlesLS96451A74E9.DTL)

Just look at us, would you? Are we not the most adorable creatures ever? The most perplexed and beautiful and lost?

Look at us, with our mountains and lifetimes of obvious empirical evidence proving this or that glorious fact of numinous human consciousness — meditation! MDMA! Orgasm! Love! Dreams! — and yet somehow it takes us 5,000 years and about five million dollars to get around to officially confirming that all that evidence and all those years might be onto something after all.

And I'm looking at you, Johns Hopkins University, for once again coming out with a timid little study (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/09/29/bloomberg_articlesLS96451A74E9.DTL) reinforcing what everyone already knew and what you yourself already suggested about five years ago (I know because I wrote about it (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2006/08/04/notes080406.DTL), mostly sober), which is the same as others discovered 20 years ago, and also 50, and 500, and throughout the entire continuum of lustful cosmic spacetime. Let us sigh.

Shall we recap? Once again, we find that magic mushrooms (AKA psilocybin), really are rather astonishing wonderfungi that, when used in moderation and with all due respect, can induce a potent, lasting sense of "openness," creativity and artistic curiosity in the otherwise stressed, compressed, far-too-depressed animal you see right there in the mirror. No! Really? Go figure.

Is it not a wonder? I personally love the muted tone of such findings, the staid language, the flatly studious textures. “Why yes,” John Hopkins University seems to say, “many of the subjects did seem to rather enjoy themselves while warmly hallucinating on a couch (http://www.good.is/post/intermission-watch-a-1950s-housewife-drops-acid) while blindfolded listening to nice music for multiple uninterrupted hours.”

“Our careful scientific measurements show that many appear to have, technically speaking, lightened the hell up, as their neural pathways were groped by God and licked by Mother Nature and gently whipped by the divine riding crop of their own deeper consciousness.”

“Perhaps this is worth noting in our scientific journals. Perhaps even more studies are in order. Perhaps we should note that the effects were amplified tenfold when said subject was dancing uproariously next to a gaggle of dusty, semi naked females by a giant flame-throwing steampunk octopus deep in the Nevada desert.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMfzFIERJIg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMfzFIERJIg)

Should we be celebrating? Should we be awaiting the next big announcement that psilocybin will soon be available to the masses in convenient pill form? After all, with such good news, it can't be long now until mainstream culture gets hold of such remarkable findings and American entrepreneurialism kicks in and you soon see premium 'shroom chocolates in the wine aisle at Whole Foods. Right?

As if. The U.S. Centres for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov) still ranks psilocybin a schedule I illegal, which means they believe it has no therapeutic value and has too much potential for abuse (unlike, say, alcohol or tobacco or the Tea Party or guns or television or hate or junk food or Rush Limbaugh or religion or oil or money or Facebook) which is just another way of reiterating the great American truism: Money trumps all.

It's true. If there's no serious corporate profit to be made from a given life enhancer (psilocybin, like pot or MDMA, can't exactly be trademarked) it therefore cannot be allowed to legally exist. It must be banned. Outlawed. After all, we can't have everyone running around feeling all “open” and fearless and defining god on their own delirious terms completely gratis, can we?

What a strange and wobbly time in which to live. We refuse to believe something until it's “proven” via scientific method, but once it's proven half the nation immediately discredits it because science is for elitist liberals and only creationist Jesus and a sad gang of very dead, enormously repressed Bible-writing priests from 1,500 years ago actually know anything about “truth.”

Meanwhile, the best and most illuminating of nature's medicines remain underground, sidelined and fringe while the costly synthetics rage on full force, addicting millions, numbing out the soul of world, most no better (and often far, far worse) than placebos (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/04/28/notes042810.DTL).

Did Jesus take magic mushrooms? Can we deliberate for a moment? How about Buddha? Allah? Eve? Was the gleaming apple from the tree of knowledge not laced with ayahuasca and wormwood and dark rum? Can we safely assume? Oh, we absolutely can.

This much we know: mushrooms inspire a numinous state, and Jesus was nothing if not a card-carrying mystic. A seer. An anti-establishment, proto-hippie, street-screamin' visionary who hung out with prostitutes and freaks and loved everyone equally, saw everyone as full incarnation of pure divinity right here on earth. And he was what, sober? Sure.

What street mystic worth his or her cosmic epiphany wouldn't eagerly sample from the garden of earthly delights to better jack into the holy mainframe? What, you think Jesus was eating bologna straight from the package and sucking Bud Light and watching NASCAR and “Jersey Shore” like a dupe?

Let us not be too flip. Of course drugs are not the answer. Of course psilocybin can be risky and potent and isn't for everyone (though the standard argument that those who need it most — Tea Party, conservatives, war hawks, homophobes, et al — sadly remain the least likely to experience it). Abuse really is all too possible in our unhinged, anti self-control culture, and results vary wildly. Caveat emptor, excitable seeker.

What's more, this is where we as a species often get confused and lost, substituting the tool for the solution, the “high” for the deeper awareness. This way addiction and ignorance lie. All such entheogens, it's worth remembering, are merely instruments of insight and wisdom, one of a thousand paths to gnosis, to understanding that God isn't out there, that you are not the slightest bit separate from the thing you seek, and consciousness is available in a blink of a slap of a yes.

In other words, you are God, silly. The mushrooms just kinda sorta show you how.

So what can we do? We sigh at science's adorable audacity, nod gratefully at all the swell, relatively impact-free studies that prove something everyone already knew, that actually make very little dent in the greater continuum of timeless spiritual wisdom, and go on sampling from all the funky, chthonic, fungi-riddled gardens we can find. The journey continues. It's what Jesus would have wanted.

Email: Mark Morford (etc@markmorford.com)

Mark Morford (http://www.markmorford.com) on Twitter (http://twitter.com/markmorford) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/markmorfordyes).

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/morford/article/When-Jesus-ate-the-magic-mushrooms-2322813.php (http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/morford/article/When-Jesus-ate-the-magic-mushrooms-2322813.php)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:49:39 am

from The INDEPENDENT....

Stoned seniors: Germany faces epidemic of hippy pensioners

By TONY PATERSON | Saturday, December 31, 2011


BERLIN — They include sixty-plus grandmothers spaced out on LSD and 70-year-old grandpas in court for dealing dope: Germany is struggling to cope with a rapid increase in “pensioner hippies” who are still hooked on drugs nearly half a century after the end of the Flower Power era.

The “stoned grandparent” phenomenon has begun to alarm legal and welfare authorities in the country’s most populous state of North Rhine Westphalia, where the number of pensioners annually convicted of drug offences has almost doubled over the past decade to around 117 each year.

The problem has prompted the launch of a scheme to help geriatric specialists familiarise themselves with addiction and old age. “Older people are increasingly turning to illegal drugs,” Gaby Schnell of the regional senior citizen’s association told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine. “This is a new development which has only surfaced over the last few years.”

Most of the cases on record have involved pensioner-aged hippies convicted of drug related offences. In one incident, a narcotics crime squad in Dortmund arrested a 69-year-old drugs dealer nicknamed “Opium grandpa”. Officers tricked the pensioner into selling them 20 grams of the drug in exchange for €250. He was given a two year suspended sentence.

Other cases included a 71-year-old pensioner convicted of selling marijuana to adolescents in a Cologne park and a 73-year old who required medical treatment after consuming too many “hash cookies”. A recent police investigation in Solingen broke up a ring in which an 85-year-old woman was actively engaged in pushing hard drugs. Three kilos of heroin, a quantity of cocaine and two guns were found in her apartment.


The crime figures are taken as evidence of a vast, yet hidden number of older people who are either regular drug users or addicts.Sociologists say Germany’s hippie senior citizens are merely copying their rock star heroes of the hedonistic late Sixties, when drug taking was an essential part of being cool. Among the examples they point to is of the 77-year-old American singer Willie Nelson who was caught last year carrying 170 grams of marijuana. “A whole generation is appearing on the scene which will have big difficulties with the problems of addiction and old age,” Ms Schnell said.Her predictions are borne out by statistics from Germany’s Central Agency for Addiction which show that the number of people over forty who are undergoing treatment for hard drugs dependency has more than trebled to over 22 percent of the total over the past decade and is continuing to rise.

Peter Raiser, the agency’s project leader says that heroin surrogates such as methadone have helped many addicts who might have died young to escape an early death. However, he adds that most who have spent a lifetime on drugs suffer from severe premature aging.

The growing problem of drug-addicted “hippie pensioners” has also started to concern experts within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. “These sort of people cannot simply be looked after in old people’s homes,” Mechthild Dyckmans, the government’s special advisor on drugs and addiction, admitted in an interview with Der Spiegel yesterday. “We have started a few  communal living pilot projects, but we are just at the beginning.”

She points out that 14 percent of the pensioners currently in care in Germany are either alcohol- or drug-dependent. She plans to make addiction in old age the focus of government health policies “As society becomes ever older, the number of  cases will only increase,” she said.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/stoned-seniors-germany-faces-epidemic-of-hippy-pensioners-6283352.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/stoned-seniors-germany-faces-epidemic-of-hippy-pensioners-6283352.html)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:50:07 am

from CBS News....

Magic mushrooms may help treat depression: How?

By RYAN JASLOW | 11:00AM - Wednesday, January 24, 2012

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202012/20120124_MagicMushrooms_zpstrlaxpcw.jpg) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Psilocybe_cyanofriscosa_62599.jpg)

FEELING BLUE? Two new studies suggest taking a trip might help — but we're not talking vacations.

Tripping on “magic mushrooms” appears to change the brain in ways similar to antidepressants, the study found.

“We're not saying go out there and eat magic mushrooms,” Professor David Nutt, a neuropsychopharmacology researcher at Imperial College London and senior author of both studies, told Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-magic-mushroom-idUSTRE80M2C620120123). “But...this drug has such a fundamental impact on the brain that it's got to be meaningful — it's got to be telling us something about how the brain works.”

The first of these studies, published in the January 23rd issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/01/17/1119598109.abstract), took 30 healthy volunteers and infused the shrooms' active ingredient — called psilocybin — into their bloodstreams while they were lying in an MRI machine. The researchers looked at the volunteers' brain scans, which showed decreased levels of activity in “hub” regions of the brain that connect areas responsible for consciousness, self-identity, and organizing sensory information that constantly floods the brain.

The second study — to be published in the January 25th issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry (http://bjp.rcpsych.org) — gave 10 volunteers in MRI machines written cues to look at that would prompt them to think about their memories. Then the researchers gave the volunteers psilocybin, and found it enhanced their recollections of personal memories. Their brain scans also reflected these changes in areas of the brain that process vision and sensory information.

The researchers say psilocybin might be an effective supplement to psychotherapy.

“Psychedelics are thought of as ‘mind-expanding’ drugs so it has commonly been assumed that they work by increasing brain activity, but surprisingly, we found that psilocybin actually caused activity to decrease in areas that have the densest connections with other areas,” Nutt said in a written statement (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-01/icl-mme012312.php). “These hubs constrain our experience of the world and keep it orderly. We now know that deactivating these regions leads to a state in which the world is experienced as strange.”

The study raises several questions — aside from who would want to volunteer to go in an MRI machine while on magic mushrooms. Can psychedelic mushrooms conceivably be used to treat people's depression?

The researchers said the brain's biology might provide some clues. One of the brain hubs that were shown to be affected in the study — the medial prefrontal cortex — is found to be hyperactive in people with depression. So psilocybin's affects on this area could cause mimic antidepressants' effects. Also, psilocybin was found to slow blood flow to the brain's hypothalamus. When blood flow is increased to the hypothalamus, people typically experience cluster headaches, so this might explain why some volunteers reported feeling better after “shrooming”.

In 2011, a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed people taking psychedelic mushrooms experienced personality changes that reflected increased “openness” to other senses and emotions, according to HealthPop (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-improve-personality-what-study-says). Some participants in that study also experienced more anxiety, however.

“This is a research tool which may give us insights into how to treat depression,” Nutt told The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9034669/Magic-mushrooms-could-treat-depression.html). But he warned, “I would strongly resist people self-medicating.”

The cops would agree with Nutt on that point. According to the U.S. Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center, psilocybin is an illegal drug, classified as a Schedule I substance, along with heroin and LSD.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-may-help-treat-depression-how (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-may-help-treat-depression-how)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:50:29 am

from CBS News....

LSD, ‘magic mushrooms’, and other psychedelics
not linked to mental health woes

By RYAN JASLOW | 3:58PM - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202013/CBS_20130821_Mushrooms_zps5kthzair.jpg) (http://cbsnews2.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2012/11/30/40f67b8b-1c4c-11e3-9918-005056850598/thumbnail/620x350/73b60ae9d480ce51977f3ce2cf6fb489/mushrooms.jpg)

NEW RESEARCH out of Norway shows that taking LSD, “magic mushrooms”, and peyote — so-called psychedelic drugs — won't raise risk for mental health problems as previously thought.

Published in the August 19th issue of PLoS One (http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0063972), the study says that some psychedelic drugs may even reduce risk for psychological problems.

“After adjusting for other risk factors, lifetime use of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline or peyote, or past year use of LSD was not associated with a higher rate of mental health problems or receiving mental health treatment,” study author Pal-Orjan Johansen, a neuroscientist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, said in a statement (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-08/nuos-lao081813.php).

Psychedelic drugs have similar structures to naturally-occurring neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers found in the brain, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens-lsd-peyote-psilocybin-pcp). The exact way they work is unclear, but they're thought to temporarily interfere with neurotransmitter action, leading to rapid emotional swings and hallucinogenic “trips” that can last hours (on average six hours for magic mushrooms, or psilocybin, and up to 12 hours for peyote and LSD).

A 2007 government survey found about 1.1 million people aged 12 and older had used a psychedelic drug for the first time in the year prior to being surveyed, NIDA reported.

There haven't been properly controlled studies on these drugs, according to the government drug agency, but some case reports and smaller studies suggest there could be long-term effects like flashbacks, impaired memory, and risk of psychiatric illness.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data on more than 130,000 randomly chosen Americans who took a drug use survey between 2001 and 2004, including 22,000 who had used a psychedelic drug at least once. They were also asked about any mental health symptoms and treatments that took place in the year prior to being surveyed. The symptoms in the survey were associated with mental health woes including psychological distress, anxiety disorders, psychosis and mood disorders.

They found no association between the drugs and this range of mental health problems. Instead, the researchers found lifetime use of psilocybin or mescaline and use of LSD in the past year were linked to lower rates of major psychological distress. Lifetime LSD users were also less likely to receive outpatient mental health treatment, such as from a therapist, or take psychiatric prescription medications.

The research only found links to mental health benefits, not a cause-and-effect relationship, and the study's design made it impossible to determine why these results were occurring.

While they can't rule out the possibility that using these drugs might negatively affect mental health, Johansen and colleagues pointed out that recent studies have also failed to find evidence of lasting harmful effects from psychedelic drugs. The researcher added that studies of people who used psychedelics hundreds of times for religious ceremonies found no evidence of health or social problems.

If there are negative effects from these drugs, they may be counterbalanced at the population level by people experiencing positive mental health effects, according to the researchers.

“Early speculation that psychedelics might lead to mental health problems was based on a small number of case reports and did not take into account either the widespread use of psychedelics or the not infrequent rate of mental health problems in the general population,” study co-author Teri Krebs added in the statement.

Previous studies have also suggest psychedelics may have protective benefits for mental health. Two studies released in January 2012 found reduced risk for depression in psilocybin-takers (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-may-help-treat-depression-how).

Krebs and Johansen also teamed up for a March 2012 study that found LSD may help serious alcoholics stay sober (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-should-be-considered-for-alcoholism-treatment-study-says). Many of the alcoholics who took LSD reported “greater self-acceptance and openness”, and said they gained a new appreciation for their problem and new motivation to address it.

“Having personally worked in mental health and trained in psychiatry, I am yet to see any individual suffering from significant mental health problems as a result of using psychedelic,” Dr. Mark Bolstridge, a research fellow at the Centre for Neuropsychopharmacology of the Imperial College of London in the U.K., said to Medscape (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-magic-mushrooms-and-other-psychedelics-not-linked-to-mental-health-woes/www.medscape.com/viewarticle/809724). “Alcohol, amphetamines, and cannabis, yes, but never psychedelics,” added Bolstridge, who was not involved in the research. “I think the paper is an important addition to the scientific literature, and it can only help in dispelling the myths surrounding these much maligned substances and in reinforcing the case for continued investigations into how these fascinating compounds work in the brain.”

Dr. Matthew Johnson, a psychologist in the psychiatry department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, told NPR (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/08/19/213550995/study-finds-no-link-between-hallucinogens-and-mental-problems) that the new study does not guarantee that people taking these drugs won't face mental health harms.

“This should not be taken to state that there are never individual cases of harm,” he said. “We know that there are. It's a question of how frequent they are and under what circumstances they happen.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-magic-mushrooms-and-other-psychedelics-not-linked-to-mental-health-woes (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-magic-mushrooms-and-other-psychedelics-not-linked-to-mental-health-woes)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:50:47 am

from CBS News....

How magic mushrooms really ‘expand the mind’

By RACHAEL RETTNER | 3:38PM - Thursday, July 03, 2014

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202014/CBS_20140703_Mushrooms_zpsztv295fl.jpg) (http://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2010/09/07/8d71543c-a642-11e2-a3f0-029118418759/thumbnail/620x350/3d6d6b6fc54e909e5eec2cfb91a82c13/magimushrooms-630_1.jpg)
“Magic” or psychedelic mushrooms

YOUR BRAIN on psychedelic drugs looks similar to your brain when you're dreaming, suggests a new study that may also explain why people on psychedelics feel they are expanding their mind.

In the study, the researchers scanned the brains of 15 people before and after they received an injection of psilocybin, the hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms (http://www.livescience.com/18067-psychedelic-mushrooms-brain-activity.html).

Under psilocybin, the activity of primitive brain areas thought to be involved in emotion and memory — including the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex — become more synchronized, suggesting these areas were working together, the researchers said.

This pattern of brain activity is similar to that seen in people who are dreaming, the researchers said. [Trippy Tales: The History of 8 Hallucinogens (http://www.livescience.com/16286-hallucinogens-lsd-mushrooms-ecstasy-history.html)]

“I was fascinated to see similarities between the pattern of brain activity in a psychedelic state and the pattern of brain activity during dream sleep (http://www.livescience.com/21904-lucid-dreamers-offer-clues-to-consciousness.html),” study researcher Robin Carhart-Harris, of Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. “People often describe taking psilocybin as producing a dreamlike state and our findings have, for the first time, provided a physical representation for the experience in the brain.”

In contrast, the activity in brain areas involved in "high-level" thinking (such as self-consciousness) were less coordinated under psilocybin (http://www.livescience.com/37914-psilocybin-eliminates-traumatic-memories.html), the study found.

Finally, using a new technique to analyze the brain data, the researchers found that there were more possible patterns of brain activity when participants were under the influence of psilocybin, compared with when they were not taking the drug. This may be one reason why people who use psychedelic drugs feel that their mind has expanded — their brain has more possible states of activity to explore, the researchers said.

The researchers caution that, because some techniques used in the study are new, more research is needed to confirm the findings. The study is published today (July 3rd) in the journal Human Brain Mapping.

Related articles:

 • 7 Mind-Bending Facts About Dreams (http://www.livescience.com/17290-facts-dreams-nightmares.html)

 • The Drug Talk: 7 New Tips for Today's Parents (http://www.livescience.com/36148-talk-kids-drugs-alcohol-tips.html)

 • 6 Party Drugs That May Have Health Benefits (http://www.livescience.com/41277-health-benefits-illegal-drugs.html)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-magic-mushrooms-really-expand-the-mind (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-magic-mushrooms-really-expand-the-mind)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:51:06 am

from CBS News....

Magic mushrooms could help smokers kick the habit

By JESSICA FIRGER | 2:31PM - Thursday, September 11, 2014

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202014/20140911_PsilocybeSemilanceata_zpsfpdeyol0.jpg) (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/Psilocybe_semilanceata_6514.jpg)

NO, you're not tripping! A chemical in the hallucinogenic drug known as “magic mushrooms (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-magic-mushrooms-really-expand-the-mind)” could help longtime smokers kick the habit, according to a new study.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that smokers who have a history of failed cessation attempts were able to successfully quit when they took psilocybin under the guidance of a physician, along with receiving cognitive behavior therapy.

For the study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers gave doses of psilocybin to 10 men and five women who had a history of heavy smoking. They smoked an average of 19 cigarettes a day for 31 years and had a history of failed attempts to quit. Two-thirds of the group reported they'd used psychedelic drugs recreationally at some point in their life but as much as three decades before; the remaining five had never taken hallucinogenics.

The researchers counseled study participants on what effects they might feel from the drug, then provided one psilocybin pill to each participant on the day they wished to begin a cessation program. After taking the drug, study participants spent a session of at least six hours with researchers in a “homelike” setting. They wore eye shades and headphones to help relax. They were given additional, higher doses two weeks and eight weeks later.

Each smoker also received regular cognitive behavior therapy on an individual basis that included techniques such as keeping a diary to track triggers that resulted in cigarette cravings.

The study found that after six months, 80 percent of participants who were given the psychedelic drug were still not lighting up, compared with 35 percent of people who took varenicline, the most effective medication currently prescribed to help smokers quit (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/quitting-smoking-may-bring-mental-health-benefits). Other aids, such as nicotine replacements, typically have a success rate of less than 30 percent. Researchers also found the smoking-cessation benefit of psilocybin continued, even after the effects of the drug wore off.

The researchers strongly cautioned that their study is not an endorsement of do-it-yourself psychedelic drug use for smoking cessation.

This study was federally-funded and part of long-term research into how psychedelic drugs could be used to help to treat addiction. The researchers plan next to look at the efficacy of psilocybin versus nicotine patches and use MRIs to study brain activity.

This is not the first study to examine how magic mushrooms may alter the brain in therapeutic ways (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-magic-mushrooms-and-other-psychedelics-not-linked-to-mental-health-woes). A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, in 2012, found that the substance could be an effective treatment for depression (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-may-help-treat-depression-how). In that study, brain scans of study participants showed decreased levels of activity in the “hub” regions of the brain (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/smoking-and-suicide-risk-may-be-closely-linked/), which are responsible for consciousness, self-identity, and organizing sensory information.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-could-help-smokers-quit-the-habit (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-could-help-smokers-quit-the-habit)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:52:37 am

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/sfgate_morfordbanner2.jpg) (http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/morford)

Magic mushrooms make life better.
Want some?

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist (mmorford@sfgate.com) | 1:16PM PST - Monday, November 03, 2014

LOTS OF weird, wonderful stories about the transformative powers of hallucinogens and psychotropic drugs pass through my Prismatic feed every week, most coming from oddball quirkblogs (http://collectivelyconscious.net) I’ve never heard of, referencing cool but suspicious-sounding studies that might or might not be the slightest bit legit and written in a style that you might call “excited New Age hippie”, and therefore, despite my own admiration for all things altered consciousness, not all that useful for tossing into the columnal mix.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/sfg_20141103_Mushrooms_zps0dcdf69c.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/files/2014/11/mushrooms.jpeg)
Better than Prozac, more natural than candy.

Ah, but the good news is, science is increasingly stepping up and (nervously, tentatively) proposing what everyone from Tim Leary to Terence McKenna, ancient shamans to all those old dudes at Burning Man have known since the dawn of man putting weird plants into his body and chatting with God for three days straight:

That these fascinating, mysterious compounds are all kinds of miraculous, and really do re-wire the brain — and the heart, and the soul — in ways that might hold a key to not merely healing a few dire ailments (that’s obvious) but could actual transform our way of being in a violent, dying world.

Of course, researchers can’t actually say that. The rigid confines of science dictate that, in order to ensure continued funding from the anxious governments of the world — most of which are eternally terrified that citizens might begin to question the cruel, institutional reality they’ve been force fed for millennia — researchers must focus on how these “dangerous” Schedule I compounds (http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v14/n8/abs/nrn3530.html) can be used to treat, say, mental illness, or PTSD, or depression.

Which of course they do, and quite successfully. But there’s so much more to it than that.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/sfg_20141103_MushroomsSpheres_zps258cf8f8.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/files/2014/11/mushrooms-spheres.png)
Which brain activity would you rather have?

The image immediately above? Been making the rounds over the past few days, featured in Wired (http://www.wired.com/2014/10/magic-mushroom-brain), on Raw Story (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/neuroscientists-shroom-induced-brain-rewiring-could-hold-the-key-to-fighting-mental-illness) and who knows where else, referencing a study they did at the Imperial College London that shows how the primary compound in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, actually rewires the normal synaptic patterning of the mind in all sorts of remarkable ways.

But here’s the amazing part: It does so not in some messy, haphazard splatter of trippy synaptic chaos.

Indeed, there’s method to the altered-state madness, neuroscientists say; under psilocybin, the brain actually makes completely new connections between formerly uncommunicative parts of itself, mixing senses, memories, experiential phenomena in ways that awaken a entirely new shape and tone of reality, one that has its own rationale and cognizance, no less “real” or legitimate than our plain-ol’ linear, rote default.

Which is simply another way of repeating the great mantra, the same one chanted by the hippies and the gurus, the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Vedas, Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids and far beyond: Reality isn’t what you think it is. And it never was.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/sfg_20141103_MushroomsBox_zps3b755613.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/files/2014/11/mushrooms-box.jpg)
Basketful of dreams.

Of course, Imperial College London isn’t alone. There was this fantastic article (http://www.themorningnews.org/article/the-heretic). There was this study (http://www.businessinsider.com/magic-mushrooms-change-brain-connections-2014-10), and this article (http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2014/07/psilocybin_in_brain_scans_magic_mushrooms_mimic_sleep_and_enhance_associations.html), and this one (http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/16/magic-mushrooms-can-improve-psychological-health-long-term), and this one (http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/health/magic-mushroom-chemical-depression). There was the San Francisco startup dude who said everyone should take magic mushrooms (http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/More-Entrepreneurs-Should-Be-Eating-Magic-4733378.php) to enhance creativity and reveal what’s really important, echoing Steve Jobs’ famous statement (http://www.thefix.com/content/steve-jobs-think-different-and-lsd-9143) that he owes much of his “visionary” status and creative spirit to his experiences with LSD.

On it goes. The literature and empirical evidence are vast and downright irrefutable. And science is only beginning to catch up. (Actually, it never really will. But never mind that now.)

Could psilocybin become a wonder drug of the near future? Who knows. But one thing seems certain: There’s simply zero chance of these compounds being made in any way legal for the masses. Governments are just too terrified. What’s more, Big Pharma can’t trademark MDMA, or psilocybin, or DMT, or LSD, so of course it’s in their best interest to ensure they remain illegal. Can you imagine if some miraculous, easily available natural compound could eliminate the need for all those toxic, expensive drugs, rehab clinics, self-help books and costly psychotherapists? Capitalism shudders.

Shame, really. Because, medical treatment aside, it’s actually the general populace that needs these compounds the most. Let’s just say it outright: We should all be taking mushrooms. Maybe just a little bit (http://www.highexistence.com/microdosing-lsd-psychedelic), every day.

Why not? In a country ferociously addicted to alcohol, sugar, junk food, reality TV, prescription medication, self-destruction and endless fear of Other, a gentle, natural re-wiring of our exhausted, overstuffed consciousness — in non-addictive, non-violent, soul-honoring ways — could be the answer we didn’t even know we were looking for. Doesn’t that sound nice? You have a better idea?

Email: Mark Morford (etc@markmorford.com)

Mark Morford (http://www.markmorford.com) on Twitter (http://twitter.com/markmorford) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/markmorfordyes).

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/11/03/magic-mushrooms-transform-your-brain (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/11/03/magic-mushrooms-transform-your-brain)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:52:55 am

from Collective Evolution....

She Was Given LSD, Psilocybin, & MDMA In The Final Days
Before Her Death — What Happened After Was Beautiful

By JEFF ROBERTS | Thursday, November 13, 2014

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/ce_20141113_Mara_zps14226c07.jpg) (http://cdn3.collective-evolution.com/assets/uploads/2014/11/mara.jpg)

MARA HOWELL Mara Howell was in pain, the type of pain so severe it found her bedridden in a hospital at 33 years old. Cancer was killing her.

Conventional pain killers weren’t providing any relief. She tried them all, opioids, methadone, IV ethanol, and more, but to no avail. On top of the physical pain, Mara was also battling severe depression and anxiety.

Mara’s mother, Marilyn Howell, recalls her daughter’s struggles in a memoir published for MAPS (http://www.maps.org/maps-media/2628-mom-shares-psychedelic-drugs-with-dying-daughter):

“However much courage Mara had, the waves of illness that washed over her were unrelenting. Diligent exercise didn’t make her stronger, an antidepressant didn’t make her happier.”

Cannabis had provided temporary ease for Mara, but nothing substantial enough to make her situation bearable.

Being a mind-body educator, Mara’s mother suspected that her daughter’s pain was perhaps connected to something less tangible than what Western medicine was willing to accept. It was deeper than the physical.

Working with Mara’s nurse, Marilyn eventually discovered an alternative treatment option for her daughter: Psychedelic therapy.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/ce_20141113_Psychedelics_zps5812f780.jpg) (http://cdn3.collective-evolution.com/assets/uploads/2014/11/600_2973513421.jpeg)
Psychedelics helped Mara find peace in the final days before her death. What happens during
the experience that helps people come to terms with their imminent passing?

Mara had heard about the use of psychedelics before from Aldous Huxley’s 1954 book The Doors of Perception, wherein Huxley described using LSD to subdue his own suffering from terminal cancer. In his final moments, Huxley was injected with a strong dose of LSD by his wife, who recorded the experience in her book The Timeless Moment.

Marilyn was aware of the theraputic applications of such drugs as MDMA and LSD from her youth, before the Controlled Substances Act had its strong grasp on psychedelic research decades ago. During the 1980’s, Marilyn recalled how MDMA assisted therapy was a popular treatment for anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms (In recent years, the FDA has even allowed for a limited amount of research in this field once again).

Thankfully, Mara’s nurse was able to track down a qualified psychiatrist who had just worked on MDMA-assisted therapy research at McLean Hospital. He travelled to Mara’s bedside and administered a controlled dose of MDMA in a guided session. Remarkably, Mara’s pain vanished during the session:

“He came and did a guided session with [Mara] with MDMA, and Marilyn did it with her,” Joyce (Mara’s nurse) said. “They reported that she was pain free during that time. I think [she] died pain free a few days after that.”

In her final days of life, Mara underwent carefully supervised psychotherapy sessions under the influence of MDMA, LSD and psilocybin “magic” mushrooms. The treatments eased her pain, and she was able to get out of bed to take walks in a nearby park. The drugs also helped Mara reach a deep sense of acceptance of her imminent death.

Mara’s hospice care worker, Vassallo, was blown away by the results of the therapy:

“[For Mara] it was just always about pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, no matter what we did,” Vassallo said. “And we did a lot … to try to control her pain, and really nothing worked. My theory is that the pain — I don’t think it was conscience, but it was on the subconscious level — [Mara] needed to have the pain, because if everyone was focused on the pain, that kept everyone unfocused on the fact that this 32-year-old was dying.”

Vassallo said that psychedelics seemed to open Mara up to a new reality that provided imminent peace during her final days.

Check out Marilyn’s blog for more on her daughter’s story, Honor Thy Daughter (http://honorthydaughter.wordpress.com).

Current Psychedelic-Therapy Research

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/ce_20141113_PsychedelicBrain_zpsa0e8c66c.jpg) (http://cdn3.collective-evolution.com/assets/uploads/2014/11/psychedelic-brain.jpg)
Psychedelic assisted therapy is showing amazing results in treating depression, anxiety,
PTSD symptoms, as well as even fear of death.

Although limited, there have been successful applications of psychedelic therapy during studies in recent years.

Last year a study concluded that LSD-assisted psychotherapy is effective in easing anxiety in dying patients (http://www.alternet.org/drugs/lsd-can-ease-anxiety-dying-patients). The double-blind, placebo-controlled study was sponsored by MAPS and conducted by Swiss psychiatrist Peter Gasser and his colleagues.

They tracked 12 people who were in the process of dying, primarily due to terminal illness, as they attended LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions. All but one of the participants had never taken LSD prior to participating in the study. An Austrian participant named Peter described the experience as follows:

“My LSD experience brought back some lost emotions and ability to trust, lots of psychological insights, and a timeless moment when the universe didn’t seem like a trap, but like a revelation of utter beauty.”

Charles Grob, a psychiatrist and researcher at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center, completed a study in 2008 (http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/pdf/20.pdf) that showed the ability of psilocybin (the active component in psychedelic mushrooms) to ease fear of death in 12 end-stage cancer patients. The study results, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 2011, concluded that the treatment could be done safely and successfully reduced all subjects’ anxiety and depression about impending death.

Research involving ayahuasca has also turned out encouraging data showing its ability to reduce psychological traumas and anxieties, and several studies involving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/09/08/new-study-uses-mdma-to-treat-social-anxiety-in-autistic-people-can-psychedelics-find-a-place-in-modern-medicine) have shown it to be statistically significant in reducing anxiety and PTSD symptoms in study participants. To date, clinical trials looking specifically at psychedelics for the end of life are limited, but determined researchers continue to delve into the potentials of various substances.

What Does The Future Hold For Psychedelic Therapy?

Mara’s story is yet another example of the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. If utilized properly, psychedelics can serve as an immensely accelerated means of healing deeply-rooted trauma and anxiety. One of the most exciting factors within this field of research is that it still yields so much potential, as we’ve only  begun to scratch the surface of what psychedelics have to offer. If studies keep producing promising results, we could very well be seeing some major changes within psychedelic legislation very soon.

What are you thoughts on psychedelic intervention in easing the dying process?

• Art credit: Cameron Gray — Parablevisions.com (http://parablevisions.com).

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/11/13/she-was-given-lsd-psilocybin-and-mdma-in-the-final-days-before-her-death-what-happened-after-was-beautiful (http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/11/13/she-was-given-lsd-psilocybin-and-mdma-in-the-final-days-before-her-death-what-happened-after-was-beautiful)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:54:52 am

That's all the re-posted historic stuff.

I did update pictures and video-clips in some of them before re-posting.

Now for the very interesting news articles about recent and on-going scientific research into this subject.

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:55:13 am

from The Guardian....

Psychedelic drugs like LSD could be used to treat depression, study suggests

Researchers warn that patients are missing out on potential benefits
due to prohibitive regulations on research into recreational drugs.

By HANNAH DEVLIN - Science Correspondent | 12:52AM GMT - Thursday, 05 March 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Guardian_20150305_LSD_zpsqz6xalac.jpg) (http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/3/5/1425516613459/efb65761-32f6-4c63-b7a3-d377020e0bcf-1020x612.jpeg)
Professor David Nutt’s study has suggested mind-altering drugs — like LSD — could help reverse
entrenched patterns of addictive or negative thinking. — Photo: Mark Linfield/Rex Features.

PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS could prove to be highly effective treatments for depression and alcoholism, according to scientists who have obtained the first brain scans of people under the influence of LSD.

Early results from the trial, involving 20 people, are said to be “very promising” and add to existing evidence that psychoactive drugs could help reverse entrenched patterns of addictive or negative thinking.

However, Professor David Nutt, who led the study, warned that patients are missing out on the potential benefits of such treatments due to prohibitive regulations on research into recreational drugs.

Speaking at a briefing in London, the government’s former chief drugs adviser, said the restrictions amounted to “the worst censorship in the history of science”.

After failing to secure conventional funding to complete the analysis of the latest study on LSD, Nutt and colleagues at Imperial College London, are now attempting to raise £25,000 through the crowd-funding site Walacea.com (http://walacea.com/campaigns/lsd).

“These drugs offer the greatest opportunity we have in mental health,” he said. “There’s little else on the horizon.”

There has been a resurgence of medical interest in LSD and psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, after several recent trials produced encouraging results for conditions ranging from depression in cancer patients to post-traumatic stress disorder.

A US study in 2014 showed that LSD helped patients with life-threatening illnesses overcome anxiety about death, in 2012 MDMA (the active ingredient in ecstasy) in combination with psychotherapy was shown to be effective at treating post-traumatic stress disorder and a 2006 study from scientists in Arizona found that psilocybin relieved symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

But government and funders in the UK remain unwilling to engage with the potential clinical benefits of psychoactive drugs, Nutt claimed.

He equated the barriers to research to the Catholic church’s censorship of Galileo’s work in 1616. “We’ve banned research on psychedelic drugs and other drugs like cannabis for 50 years,” he said. “Truly, in terms of the amount of wasted opportunity, it’s way greater than the banning of the telescope. This is a truly appalling level of censorship.”

Ravi Das, a neuroscientist at University College London who is researching the effects of ketamine, agreed that there is an institutional bias. “The potential benefits are definitely downplayed in face of these drugs being used recreationally,” he said. “People view their use in a research setting as ‘people are just having a good time’.”

However, the Medical Research Council, said that funding is simply allocated according to the quality of research. “We’re certainly not cautious about funding studies just because they relate to an illegal drug,” a spokesman said. “Professor Nutt currently receives over three quarters of a million pounds directly from the MRC for his psilocybin research and last year alone we spent over £860,000 on studies related to cannabis.”

In the latest study, carried out at Cardiff University, 20 healthy volunteers who had previous experience of LSD were injected with a “moderate” (75 microgram) dose of the drug before having the activity of their brains monitored using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Robin Carhart-Harris, also from Imperial College, said the dose produced “quite profound effects”, in terms of brain activity and the mood and mental state of the participants. None of the volunteers reported having a “bad trip”, although three suffered some anxiety and temporary paranoia.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s a dangerous experiment but I would say that LSD has potential negative effects,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for people to have anxiety during a psychedelic drug experience. The experience can be nightmarish at times.”

He added that even those who had a challenging experience were “somehow psychologically refreshed” afterwards.

A previous brain imaging study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277566), by the same team, showed that psilocybin decreased blood flow to certain important “hub structures” in the brain, meaning that closely linked brain areas became less tightly synchronised. The scientists believe that this could explain why the drug appears to help patients overcome conditions such as depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress where pathological patterns of thought become so entrenched they are difficult to reverse.

The team are planning a new psilocybin study in patients with depression, due to begin in May.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Drugs are illegal where scientific and medical analysis has shown they are harmful to human health. We have a clear licensing regime, supported by legislation, which allows legitimate research to take place in a secure environment while ensuring that harmful drugs are not misused and do not get into the hands of criminals.”

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/05/psychedelic-drugs-like-lsd-could-be-used-to-treat-depression-study-suggests (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/05/psychedelic-drugs-like-lsd-could-be-used-to-treat-depression-study-suggests)

from Counsel & Heal — Mental Health....

LSD May Boost Emotional Wellbeing

LSD and magic mushrooms don't increase the risk of
mental health problems, according to new research.

6:01PM EST - Thursday, March 05, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150305_Tripping_zpskl5ejbyz.jpg) (http://images.counselheal.com/data/images/full/4200/lsd-tripping-drugs.png)
LSD and magic mushrooms don't increase the risk of mental health problems,
according to new research. — Picture: DEA.

AFTER analyzing data from more than 135,000 randomly chosen participants of the US National Health Survey (2008-2011), researchers found no link between the use of psychedelic drug use and psychological distress, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, plans, and attempts.

Lead researcher Teri Krebs of Norwegian University of Science and Technology said the latest findings support previous findings from earlier population studies.

“Over 30 million US adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems,” clinical psychologist Pål Ostroke Johansen said in a news release.

“Drug experts consistently rank LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as much less harmful to the individual user and to society compared to alcohol and other controlled substances,” Krebs added.

Researchers noted that psychedelic drug use might also promote mental wellbeing.

“Many people report deeply meaningful experiences and lasting beneficial effects from using psychedelics,” explained Krebs.

“With these robust findings, it is difficult to see how prohibition of psychedelics can be justified as a public health measure,” said Johansen.

“Concerns have been raised that the ban on use of psychedelics is a violation of the human rights to belief and spiritual practice, full development of the personality, and free-time and play,” Krebs concluded.

• The findings were published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/onlineFirst).

http://www.counselheal.com/articles/13898/20150305/lsd-boost-emotional-wellbeing.htm (http://www.counselheal.com/articles/13898/20150305/lsd-boost-emotional-wellbeing.htm)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:58:04 am

from The New Zealand Herald....

‘Exciting’ results from controversial LSD brain scan study

9:05AM - Friday, March 06, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150306_LSDbrain_zpsw0wje1vc.jpg) (http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/201510/10365430_l_620x310.jpg)
LSD STUDY: Early results are said to be “exciting” but the full findings must wait until funding
can be found to complete the research.

A GROUP of 20 British volunteers are the first in the world to have had their brains scanned while high on LSD.

The controversial study, which took place at the University of Cardiff and finished this year, was co-led by ex-drugs tsar Professor David Nutt.

Early results are said to be “exciting” but the full findings must wait until funding can be found to complete the research.

Nutt was sacked from his job as the UK government's chief adviser on drugs in 2009 after saying saying ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than alcohol.

At a briefing in London he spoke out against restrictions on research on recreational drugs, which he called “the worst censorship in the history of science”.

Having been turned down by “classic funders” he is now campaigning to raise the £25,000 needed to carry out analysis of the brain scanning data from the science crowd-funding site Walacea.com (http://walacea.com).

He compared current attitudes to studying recreational drugs with the Catholic church's clampdown on pioneering Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei in the 17th century.

“The only comparable example is when the Catholic church banned the telescope in 1616,” said Nutt, who is based at Imperial College London.

“We've banned research on psychedelic drugs and other drugs like cannabis for 50 years. Truly in terms of the amount of wasted opportunity, it's way greater than the banning of the telescope. This is a truly appalling level of censorship.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiQNdYqboYM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiQNdYqboYM)

The LSD study involved giving the volunteers injections of a 75 microgram dose of LSD before probing the activity of their brains.

Two kinds of scans were used, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (Meg) which measures small magnetic fields generated in the brain.

None of the participants reported having a bad experience but three described some anxiety and temporary paranoia.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, also from the Imperial College team, said the dose of LSD given to the volunteers was a “tiny speck”.

“The effects are quite profound. It would be described as a moderate dose but a moderate dose of LSD can still produce a profound state of consciousness,” he said.

“I wouldn't say that it's a dangerous experiment but I would say that LSD has potential negative effects. Probably the crucial one is a bad trip. It's not uncommon for people to have anxiety during a psychedelic drug experience ... the experience can be nightmarish at times.”

“What's especially intriguing ... is that people can have a very challenging experience yet afterwards they seem to be somehow psychologically refreshed by the experience. That's how they describe it.”

He said there had been no evidence of psychedelic drugs such as LSD triggering psychosis in research studies, although there were anecdotal reports of this occurring through recreational use.

Nutt said LSD was widely studied in the 1950s and 1960s and shown to be therapeutically useful in treating “many conditions”, in particular alcoholism.

Since it was made illegal in 1967 it had only been the subject of one clinical study in Switzerland and two neuroscience studies.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11412744 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11412744)

from CBS News....

This is your brain on LSD? Scientists want to find out

By PARVATI SHALLOW | 3:51PM - Friday, March 06, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/CBS_20150306_LSDstudy_zpsrwnptua4.jpg) (http://cbsnews1.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2015/03/06/24a75d3b-1f3c-4efd-bb8f-c7fe08318268/thumbnail/620x350/6e0059bab80fad95dbe81eac60bd67a4/lsd-study.jpg)
One of the subjects being prepared to enter the MEG scanner. — Photo: Beckley Foundation.

WOULD YOU pay money to support a scientific experiment involving illegal drugs?

A group of British scientists started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the remaining 25,000 pounds (about $37,600) needed to complete the first scientific study ever to image the brains of people “tripping” on the psychedelic drug LSD (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-magic-mushrooms-and-other-psychedelics-not-linked-to-mental-health-woes).

“We only asked for a small amount because we didn't know how people would respond,” Amanda Fielding, the director of the Beckley Foundation Psychedelic Research Foundation, told CBS News.

Led by neuroscientists at Imperial College London, the study seeks to use MRI and MEG imaging to show how LSD affects brain processes. It is part of a research project that the scientists say could revolutionize the understanding of the human brain. Researchers hope the images will begin to reveal the way the drug could work to heal many debilitating conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, alcohol addiction (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/14days-dr-drew-says-addiction-is-not-a-moral-failing), depression and anxiety.

The public's response to the crowdfunding appeal was overwhelming. Within the first 24 hours after its request was posted online, the Beckley Foundation/Imperial College Psychedelic Science Programme reached — and then exceeded — its goal.

“We went into it tenuously and have been delighted by the response,” said Fielding. “It's an incredibly important area. LSD is something that can expand certain areas of the human personality: openness, spirituality, and creativity. But because of the government prohibition of these substances there has been no recent scientific research.”

In the 1950s and '60s, LSD was explored as an aid to psychotherapy for various psychiatric illnesses. LSD research was short-lived, however, and the drug was declared illegal in the late 1960s. Its classification as a Schedule I drug — meaning it has high potential for abuse and lacks any currently accepted medical use in treatment — has made it nearly impossible for scientists to research.

Only recently have scientists begun to push the door back open to study LSD and other hallucinogenic substances. Fielding's team is working hard to provide substantial scientific research to help eliminate the taboo of LSD and other hallucinogenic substances (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-magic-mushrooms-really-expand-the-mind) and loosen regulations on scientific testing.

“There are many millions of people who have experienced the benefits of psychedelics (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/magic-mushrooms-could-help-smokers-quit-the-habit), and there are millions of people who are suffering with illnesses that want to see if these drugs can help,” said Fielding.

Researchers at the Beckley Foundation have previously conducted studies with psilocybin, the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/14-days-psilocybin-hallucinogen-in-mushrooms-addiction-treatment), and found it suppresses activity in certain “hub” areas of the brain that normally play a constraining role. Fielding says this effect can help psychiatrists and other doctors overcome cognitive barriers to get to the root of a patient's trauma and begin to help that person heal.

Beckley's latest study involved giving 20 volunteers a small dose of LSD and then using the latest imaging technology to capture its effect on the brain. Researchers said they expect to find that LSD's effects were similar to those of psilocybin, but more profound and longer-lasting. The money they're raising online will fund efforts to analyze data from those tests.

The crowdfunding campaign is hosted by the science-funding platform Walacea.com (http://walacea.com/campaigns/lsd) and will run through to April 18th. Any money raised over the 25,000 pound goal will go to support what Fielding called phase two of the research.

“Phase two will be a further study involving LSD and creativity,” she explained. “Does LSD extend the propensity of creativity by loosening the controlling of the default mode network [of the brain] — which is really the physiological basis of the ego.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-scientists-crowdfunding-research-on-psychedelic-drug (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-scientists-crowdfunding-research-on-psychedelic-drug)

from the Daily Express....

Legal ban on LSD and magic mushrooms
‘against human rights’, say scientists

PSYCHEDELIC drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms should be made
legal as banning them is “against human rights”, scientists have said.

By SCOTT CAMPELL | 5:32PM GMT - Friday, March 06, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Express_20150306_Psychedelics_zpsgefnngrh.jpg) (http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/11/590x/562399_1.jpg)

RESEARCHERS say the drugs are much less harmful than alcohol, and banning them is a human rights issue because of their “spiritual” links.

The Norwegian researchers also claim there is no link between LSD and magic mushrooms and mental health problems.

They analysed information from more than 135,000 random people, including 19,000 who had used psychedelics, and found no association between the drugs and psychosis.

The study used data from the US National Health Survey and found there was no relationship with psychological distress, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, plans and attempts.

A previous study by the same researchers also failed to tie up LSD and magic mushrooms, also known as psilocybin, with brain damage.

Clinical psychologist Dr Pal-Orjan Johansen, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said: “Over 30 million US adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems.”

“Concerns have been raised the ban on use of psychedelics is a violation of the human rights to belief and spiritual practice, full development of the personality, and free time and play.”

He believes it is time to end the 50-year ban on the hallucinogenic drugs which inspired the Beatles and other pop groups of the Sixties.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Express_20150306_TheBeatles_zpspyw4ebvc.jpg) (http://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/11/590x/secondary/the-beatles-261841.jpg)
Psychedelic drugs are said to have inspired Sixties groups like The Beatles.

His researcher Dr Teri Krebs added: “Drug experts consistently rank LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as much less harmful to the individual user and to society compared to alcohol and other controlled substances.”

The researchers, whose findings are published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, pointed out that unlike alcohol, psychedelics are not addictive.

They found the use of psychedelic drugs is correlated with fewer mental health problems.

Dr Krebs said: “Many people report deeply meaningful experiences and lasting beneficial effects from using psychedelics.”

But Dr Johansen admitted, given the design of the study, they cannot “exclude the possibility use of psychedelics might have a negative effect on mental health for some individuals or groups”.

He said: “With these robust findings, it is difficult to see how prohibition of psychedelics can be justified as a public health measure.”

Earlier this week British scientists claimed psychedelic drugs could prove to be highly effective treatments for depression and alcoholism after the first brain scans of people under the influence of LSD.

Early results from the trial, involving 20 people, are said to be "very promising" and add to existing evidence that psychoactive drugs could help reverse entrenched patterns of addictive or negative thinking.

Professor David Nutt, who led the study, warned patients are missing out on the potential benefits of such treatments due to prohibitive regulations on research into recreational drugs.

Speaking at a briefing in London, the government's former chief drugs adviser said the restrictions amounted to “the worst censorship in the history of science”.

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/562399/drugs-ban-LSD-magic-mushrooms-psychedelic (http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/562399/drugs-ban-LSD-magic-mushrooms-psychedelic)

from The INDEPENDENT....

Professor David Nutt: Why I think the terminally ill should take LSD

By CHARLIE COOPER | Friday, 06 March 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150306_ProfessorDavidNutt_zps0ohyxyvk.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article10092205.ece/alternates/w1024/Professor_David_Nutt.jpg)
Professor David Nutt. Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs
have a place on the prescription pad?

PROFESSOR DAVID NUTT has been no stranger to controversy over the years. So the psychiatrist and former Government drugs tsar, will not have been fazed when he raised eyebrows recently by drawing a parallel between the repression of research into the effects of psychedelic drugs like LSD with the censorship of Galileo and the banning of the telescope.

“It has been the great unanswered question in neuroscience,” he argues. “What is the nature of the profound psychedelic experience that LSD produces, with long-lasting changes in the way people view themselves and the world around them?”

Now, he believes, scientists are coming close to an answer. His team at Imperial College London, having overcome numerous regulatory hurdles, are the first in the world to scan the brains of volunteers under the influence of LSD. Professor Nutt announced this week they would need to crowd-fund £25,000 to pay for an analysis of the findings, after funding sources dried up. Not following through on their work, he believes, would be a tragedy.

He and a growing number of scientists around the world are beginning to revive interest in LSD as a medicine: for addiction, for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It could even, some believe, help alleviate the anxiety felt by terminally ill people at the end of their life.

“People are very, very frightened of dying. They see it as the end. On psychedelics, this sense of self begins to break down,” says Professor Nutt.

“People in the psychedelic trip often experience being at one with the world or even with the universe. It’s as if they have died, as if they’ve gone out to another place. They exist beyond their body. That experience can give them a sense of perpetuity, of permanence, of being part of the cycle of life, which of course we all are.”

A recent study in Switzerland has already looked at the use of LSD for this purpose. After two months, a small number of terminally ill patients given doses of LSD in sessions with a psychiatrist experienced improvements in their anxiety levels — findings which persisted for a year among those who survived.

Professor Nutt thinks using LSD in this way, strictly on a voluntary basis, should be further investigated. It is, after all, how the most famous exponent of psychedelics, the author Aldous Huxley, ushered in his own eternal rest.

“The way we deal with death is to poison people with opiates so that they can’t think,” Professor Nutt says. “They’re pain-free but they’re constipated, can’t speak, and are numbed before they die. I think the idea that there might be an alternative strategy is something we should at least explore.”

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150306CannabisIndex_zpsilaw9rhv.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article10084072.ece/alternates/w1024/cannabis-index-2.jpg)
Professor David Nutt appeared discussed his “harm index”, which in 2010 ranked alcohol
as three times more harmful than cannabis.

Professor Nutt is one of the leading figures in a recent renaissance of interest in psychedelic drugs. In the 1950s and 1960s, hundreds of studies were carried out into these substances, and LSD — then legal — was tested as a treatment for alcoholism, depression, and as end-of-life therapy.

Then came the wide-scale, counter-culture use of psychedelics as recreational drugs, quickly followed by criminalisation. Research into them was, if not banned, regulated almost out of existence.

It is these missing decades that so frustrate Professor Nutt, who says that scientists are only just catching up with “50 years of censorship”.

Exactly how the psychedelic trip can lead to long-term benefits in a person’s thinking is one of the mysteries scientists hope to uncover.

“Our work with psilocybin [the magic mushroom compound] points to a circuit in the brain called the default mode — where your persona and your ego lies. When you’re sitting, relaxing, thinking about yourself, your past, your future, your family — that’s the default mode. In addictions and depression and OCD that can become disorganised and locked on to different targets. It gets locked into thinking negative thoughts, or craving thoughts. We think that [psychedelics] could well unlock that, and break that terrible habit of thinking inappropriately and let you go back to thinking normally again.”

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150306_JimiHendrix_zpsfmutaj6h.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article10092528.ece/alternates/w1024/Hendrix-Hulton-Getty.jpg)
Recreational use of the drug influenced the likes of Jimi Hendrix. — Photo: Getty Images.

Since being dismissed as chair of the Government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in 2009, after saying that ecstasy, cannabis and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, Professor Nutt has maintained a high profile, taking part in Channel 4’s Drugs Live, in which volunteers have been filmed taking illegal substances, and the effects on the brain are explained by himself and other scientists.

Criminalisation of drugs, while appropriate for the most dangerous substances like heroin and crack, has been wholly counterproductive at the less harmful end of the spectrum, Professor Nutt argues.

Skunk, a high-strength variety of cannabis, which was recently shown to be responsible for one in four new cases of psychosis in a recent King’s College London study, has become common, Professor Nutt believes, as a direct result of criminalisation: pushed by black market dealers who in a decriminalised system would lose their monopoly.

“We need to accept the fact that most people like to change the way they feel,” Professor Nutt said. “Most people use alcohol. My view is that any drug that is less harmful than alcohol should be made available in some kind of regulated fashion because that will reduce the harms of alcohol.”

Drug reform is back on the agenda after Nick Clegg announced this week that the Liberal Democrats manifesto would include proposals to soften penalties for drug users. Professor Nutt said the party should be willing to use the issue as a deal-breaker in any coalition negotiations that may follow the election.

“The drug laws are some of the most archaic and corrupt laws present in this country,” he said. “They destroy lives through criminalisation and they really impede medical research. We deal with drugs in a pre-Victorian fashion. We need to move into the 21st century.”

Acid test: The dope on LSD

First synthesised by Swiss scientist Alfred Hofmann in 1938, in its early years lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) was relatively easy to come by.

Between 1953 and 1973, the US government spent $4m (£2.66m) on 160 studies involving LSD to determine its medicinal value and its effects on creativity and spirituality. Participants regularly had very positive experiences.

By the 1960s advocates of LSD included Aldous Huxley and Timothy Leary, who popularised the “turn on, tune in, drop out” philosophy of a 1960s counter-culture that was defined by the psychedelic (meaning “to manifest the soul”) experience.

The imagery and ethos of psychedelia, and the recreational use of the drug, soon spread throughout the western world, influencing art and music. The Beatles experimented with it, although probably not as much as some suggest, and The Doors and Jimi Hendrix also combined LSD use with the creative process.

Concerns about the drug’s long-term health effects led to LSD being included in the list of prohibited substances of 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

A pictoral trip through time: The history of LSD ...

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150306_AlbertHofmann_zpscdilm9ag.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article9672841.ece/alternates/w1024/4368135.jpg)
19th April 1943: Having accidentally ingested LSD three days earlier, Albert Hofmann takes the world's first intentional
acid trip and rides home from the lab on his bike. The event is commemorated annually on “Bicycle Day”.
 — Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150306_LSDarticle_zpscp9jyrir.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article9672849.ece/alternates/w1024/AssetAccessCAZSZLV8.jpg)
May 1950: The first article about LSD appears in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150306_AldousHuxley_zpsyr3ksn5j.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article9672840.ece/alternates/w1024/3634281.jpg)
22nd November 1963: Aldous Huxley, author of The Doors of Perception, instructs his wife to administer him with LSD
on his deathbed, and passes away “very, very gently”. — Photo: Associated Press.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150306_TheBeatles_zpsaaqnyhqo.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article9672847.ece/alternates/w1024/5725584.jpg)
April 1965: The Beatles are introduced to acid by George's dentist. Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band comes
out in June 1967, and while John denies “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was an intentional expansion of “LSD”,
few believe him. — Photo: Rex Features.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Independent_20150603_DrTimothyLeary_zpsau1vytnu.jpg) (http://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/article9672842.ece/alternates/w1024/4962278.jpg)
14th January 1967: Four years after he is sacked from the psychology department at Harvard, acid evangelist Dr Timothy
Leary tells a 30,000-strong gathering at the Human Be-In in San Francisco to, “Turn on, tune in, drop out”.
 — Photo: Getty Images.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/professor-david-nutt-why-i-think-the-terminally-ill-should-take-lsd-10092213.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/professor-david-nutt-why-i-think-the-terminally-ill-should-take-lsd-10092213.html)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:58:52 am

from The Atlantic....

Seeing Opportunity in Psychedelic Drugs

New research into LSD and psilocybin makes
a powerful argument against prohibition.

By MATT SCHIAVENZA | 5:37 PM EDT - Sunday, March 08, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Atlantic_20150308_Mushrooms_zpsudkkmzkj.jpg) (http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/newsroom/img/mt/2015/03/Magic_mushrooms/lead.jpg)

IN A massive study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, scientists at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology at Trondheim concluded that there is no link (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290461.php) between the use of LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and mental-health problems. The study selected 135,000 participants at random—including 19,000 who had used psychedelic drugs—and found no evidence linking such drugs to the onset of mental disorders.

“Over 30 million U.S. adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems,” the author and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen said.

Johanesen was careful to acknowledge that users of psychedelic drugs are not immune to bad trips, and are as susceptible as anyone else to mental-health issues. But his findings negate a common perception that drugs like LSD put users directly in danger—a justification used in criminalization.

“This study assures us that there were not widespread ‘acid casualties’ (http://www.nature.com/news/no-link-found-between-psychedelics-and-psychosis-1.16968) in the 1960s,” Charles Grob, a pediatric psychiatrist at UCLA, told Nature.

The study's publication arrives at a time when interest in psychedelic drugs—or at least their scientific usefulness—is surging. In The New Yorker, the journalist Michael Pollan profiled scientists at New York University whose experiments (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment) with administering psilocybin have had largely positive results—particularly among participants stricken with terminal cancer. And in the U.K., 12 patients suffering from clinical depression (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/oct/05/healing-trip-psychedelic-drugs-treat-depression) will take magic mushrooms in a study next year at London's Imperial College.

Most psychedelic drugs—including LSD and psilocybin—have been illegal in the United States since 1970, the year President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act. The legislation classified LSD and mushrooms under Schedule 1, prohibiting not only their consumption and sale but also their use in medicine. Research into the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs largely froze after decades of frenetic scientific investigation.

Despite a revival in scientific interest, a legislative reconsideration of LSD and mushrooms is not yet on the table, and may not be desirable (http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2015/02/09/as-psychedelic-revival-continues-dont-forget-bad-trips). But a renewed enthusiasm for examining psychedelic substances hints, as with the gradual relaxing of marijuana laws (http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/state-laws-related-to-marijuana) across the country, at a more humane, rational approach to the criminalization of drugs.

Matt Schiavenza (http://www.theatlantic.com/matthew-schiavenza) is a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He is a former global-affairs writer for the International Business Times and Atlantic senior associate editor.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/a-psychedelic-revival/387193 (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/a-psychedelic-revival/387193)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 12, 2015, 11:59:18 am

from the Birmingham Examiner....

Research shows use of psilocybin and LSD reduces suicide

By PAUL HAMAKER | 4:04AM MST - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Examiner_20150310_Acid_zpstotxlrfl.jpg) (http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/61/4c/614c34f28f50b9f4bb0c9438d8ac79bd.jpg)
Pink elephant blotters containing LSD. — Picture: Psychonaught PD.

NEW RESEARCH conducted by scientists at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and Johns Hopkins indicates that the much vilified and illegal psychedelics may actually have a medical benefit. People that used the psychedelics regularly were found to be less prone to suicide and suicidal thinking than the general population. The research was reported in the March 9th, 2015, edition of the Journal of Psychopharmacology (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/psychedelic_drug_use_could_reduce_psychological_distress_suicidal_thinking).

The study group included 190,000 U.S. adults who claimed to have had a lifetime use of LSD (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens-lsd-peyote-psilocybin-pcp) or psilocybin (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens-lsd-peyote-psilocybin-pcp). The data was pooled data from five years of results of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2008 to 2012. The people that used psychedelics at least weekly reported a 19 percent reduced likelihood of psychological distress, a 14 percent reduced likelihood of suicidal thinking, a 29 percent reduced likelihood of suicide planning, and a 36 percent reduced likelihood of attempting suicide versus the general population that did not use psychedelics.

The researchers do not advocate the wholesale use of LSD or psilocybin or the legalization of the drugs. The reduced tendency toward suicide is indicative of a treatment value for depression under controlled conditions. Depression produces a very high risk of suicide in the general population of the United States.

Previous research by the U. S. Department of Defense and other agencies used doses of LSD that were 500 to 5,000 times the normal dosage taken by people to “prove” the drug caused mental ailments. Taking any psychedelic can be dangerous. The tendency to act on the illusions that are produced by a psychedelic is dependent on a given individual’s grip on reality. Some people cannot accept that what they see under the influence of a psychedelic is not real. Possibly, Timothy Leary (http://deoxy.org/leary.htm) was right after all.

http://www.examiner.com/article/research-shows-use-of-psilocybin-and-lsd-reduces-suicide (http://www.examiner.com/article/research-shows-use-of-psilocybin-and-lsd-reduces-suicide)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on March 13, 2015, 05:43:52 pm

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20News%20Pix/sfgate_morfordbanner2.jpg) (http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/morford)

Study says: Skip breakfast, take some LSD

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist (mmorford@sfgate.com) | 3:00AM PDT - Wednesday, March 11, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311a_MushroomWallpaper_zpss4nq2kxg.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/mushroom-wallpaper.jpg)
The hippie cliché. Of course, there IS some truth to the “trip” visual experience you might have.

YOU'VE been lied to about so many things, haven’t you? Money, God, meat, drugs, sex, gluten, which wine goes best with fish — it’s all a ruse, a set of weirdly hardwired myths we’re trained to cling to, feverishly, until we die. Who’s to blame? Obama? Jesus? The Illuminati? Your grandma? Your frail and gullible ego? Take your pick.

Take drugs. No, really. Take some LSD, some magic mushrooms (psilocybin). Take some freaky crazy acid, man. Do you know what will happen if you do? Will you suddenly leap out your window, arms flailing, believing you can fly as you plunge instantly to your bespattered doom? Will you go on a delirious rampage and wake up a week later in a ditch in Mexico, missing a kidney? Will you short circuit your cerebral wiring and end up muttering gibberish into your shoe in the Tenderloin?

You’re so silly. Of course you won’t. Just the opposite, in fact.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311g_Trippy_zpsddfnd5qu.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/trippy.jpg)
You might indeed “see” something like this during a psychedelic trip. Or you might just feel like you're enjoying a perpetual orgasm,
sent by the gods, with really nice, trippy lighting, for six hours straight.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311h_MagicMushrooms_zpstl9sz2gq.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/magicmushrooms.jpg)
Nature's version of an anti-depressant also doubles as a way to access a deep sense of connectedness, of one's true nature,
of the essential thing that's lost and forgotten amidst the deafening white noise of modern life.

Here’s the thing: Study after study not only reveals psychedelics to be safe and non-addictive (within reason, obviously), but they appear to actually be an astounding boon to psychiatric health, often delivering far more than mere balm or distraction from “real” symptoms, but rather something more like — dare we speak it’s name aloud? — a cure.

Did you read Michael Pollan’s superlative piece over at the New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment), on this very topic? Or this summation (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/03/a-psychedelic-revival/387193), over at the Atlantic, pointing to one of the largest studies ever conducted, which supports the same conclusion? They are but restating the obvious, what’s been known by shamans and healers, practitioners and common-sense users, for millennia. Psychedelics, done right and in proper dosage, can be astonishingly good for your mental well-being. Particularly when compared with the toxic, relative failures that are synthetic anti-depressants — which are no more or less effective than placebos — magic mushrooms are like being tongue kissed by God. You know, in a good way.

Despite all the therapuetic promise, the odds of ever buying LSD or psilocybin legally in America are basically nil. People are just too scared. Besides, legalized pot is one thing, but threaten the billions Big Pharma makes every day via hooking the planet on expensive synthetic antidepressants, and they’ll come after you with switchblades and explosive lobbyists.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311b_Waffles_zpswdiqz9wl.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/waffles.jpg)
Skip it. Or rather, enjoy it on rare occasion. Have a banana and an espresso and some sex, instead.

Shall we perhaps talk of food? What is it you think you know? What false truths have been drilled into you since birth by your grandmother, by General Mills, by McDonald’s and pseudo-nutritionists and various billion-dollar marketing juggernauts that taste like Pop-Tarts and sadness?

Here’s one: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Gotta jump start your metabolism, right? Put some fuel in the tank, get the engines running? And so on?

Guess what? It’s bullshit. You don’t actually need to eat breakfast at all. Or lunch. Or dinner. Better if you skip all of them, in fact, and switch up how you eat entirely. The all-American, three-meals-a-day thing is just a haphazard (and slightly racist) myth, tidbits of past half-truths that have been forcibly calcified into modern, irrefutable certainty. And it’s completely wrong.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311c_Fat_zpsjltlvje3.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/fat.jpg) (http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311k_ReallyFat_zpskjqhx1ux.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/reallyfat.jpg)
LEFT: Three solid, regular meals a day, right? That's the healthy way to eat, right? Wrong!
RIGHT: Your body, after a lifetime of three ginormous, fried, American-sized meals a day
and an extra huge one on Sunday.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311e_Fotolia_zpskipdbev8.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/fotolia_1996988_xs.jpg) (http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311i_McDBreakfast_zpscsetyhsu.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/mcd-breakfast.jpg)
LEFT: Tasty, but also one of the worst ways to start the day — especially if you're not really all that hungry.
RIGHT: If you think this is breakfast, if you think this is somehow essential, odds are very good you're
already sick, or overweight, or deeply unhealthy. And missing the point entirely.

As Keira Butler points out in her piece at Mother Jones (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/03/against-meals-breakfast-lunch-dinner), “Science shows that when it comes to maintaining your metabolism — the bodily system that helps us turn food into energy and, when out of whack, can lead to diabetes and other disorders—it doesn’t make a whit of difference whether you eat breakfast or not.”

The truth? Experts say you only need to eat occasionally, when you’re truly hungry — not just because it’s noon, or because there’s a pile of food in front of you — and not too much, either; and feel free to skip the sugar and the heavily refined anything and hell, maybe even fast once in awhile — that is, skip the food entirely for a day, and instead sip some tea and oh hey why not try meditating for a few minutes, too, because obviously (http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967).

What might happen if you did this? If you defied every obese mega-meal myth? You might become neither fat, nor sick, nor bloated, nor whatever-intolerant, nor addicted to meds, or sugar, and in fact you’d stay healthier and full of energy and people might like to be around you more. Go figure.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311d_MushroomsSpheres_zpsmlf7noli.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/mushrooms-spheres.png) (http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311f_Jobs_zpsecj91nde.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/jobs.jpg)
LEFT: Read that caption again. | RIGHT: “Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s
another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great
things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.
” — Steve Jobs.

Isn’t it curious? How much we adore our convictions, refuse to abandon our beloved habits even in the face of obvious evidence, proofs, science to the contrary?

Illegal drugs are bad. Breakfast is essential. I must have a giant pile of pancakes, six eggs, a gallon of coffee and a fistful of Xanax just to get through my morning commute. Magic mushrooms are for hippies and losers. A friend of mine tried LSD once and freaked out and now he’s in an asylum, so obviously they’re evil. Ad nauseam.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311j_Mice_zpsblblwlzj.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/mice.jpg)
Lab mice, after taking magic mushrooms. Seriously!

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/SFGate%20Pix%202015/20150311l_WelcomeHome_zpsyx2zsqgt.jpg) (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/wp-content/blogs.dir/2467/files/skip-breakfast-take-some-mushrooms/welcomehome.jpg)
You might indeed experience something like this on psychedelics. Or you might just feel something akin to the totality of consciousness.
Who can say? Try it and see! What, you prefer slumping in an office chair under a bank of harsh fluorescents all day?

What if we’ve had it all wrong? What if nearly all our most fundamental, intrinsic, nervously gripped beliefs are, in fact, silly mass delusions? What if you could entirely upend your relationship with food? What if you tried psilocybin and didn’t, in fact, feel depressed, lost or traumatized anymore? What if Jesus was a Buddhist? What if America isn’t what you think it is? What if you realized, in a giant existential whomp, that time is an invention? What if blue is really white, and vice-versa (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2015/03/02/the-awesome-lie-of-your-foolproof-perception)? What if you’re looking in exactly the wrong place for your salvation?

Email: Mark Morford (etc@markmorford.com)

Mark Morford (http://www.markmorford.com) on Twitter (http://twitter.com/markmorford) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/markmorfordyes).

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2015/03/11/skip-breakfast-take-some-lsd (http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2015/03/11/skip-breakfast-take-some-lsd)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 19, 2015, 12:22:39 pm

from Radio New Zealand....

Do hallucinogenic drugs have therapeutic effects?


This Way Up” with Simon Morton | Saturday, 14 March 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150314_Psilocybin_zps40i8brje.jpg) (http://www.radionz.co.nz/assets/pictures/21074/eight_col_Psilocybin.jpg)

PSILOCYBIN is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms. It's been used in spiritual and religious ceremonies for millennia. It's also used as a recreational drug.

Back in the 1950s, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann isolated psilocybin in the lab and Sandoz, the company he worked for, started selling it worldwide for medical use in psychotherapy. It was Hofmann who 20 years earlier had synthesized and studied lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD.

As part of its marketing, Sandoz encouraged psychotherapists and researchers to try their hallucinogens, so they'd better understand the patient experience. Their popularity grew with a flurry of research in US medical centres, prisons and universities, and it didn't take long for these psychedelic substances to be enthusiastically embraced by the 1960s countercultural movement to “turn on, tune in, drop out”.

By 1970 these drugs were on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act in the US, meaning a substance has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Here in NZ both LSD and psilocybin are classified as Class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

After years of being demonised, there's growing scientific interest (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment) in these psychoactive substances, and their potential medical and therapeutic effects. There are studies worldwide evaluating the use of psilocybin as a treatment for depression, anxiety and addiction (http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/mar/05/psychedelic-drugs-like-lsd-could-be-used-to-treat-depression-study-suggests).

Stephen Ross (http://www.med.nyu.edu/biosketch/rosss01) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU School of medicine, who's been involved in a number of studies involving psilocybin.

He told This Way Up's Simon Morton that he is soon to publish a study looking at the effect of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy among a group of cancer patients.

He says a single dose led to immediate and sustained reductions in anxiety, depression, existential distress and death anxiety, with the effects lasting for up to 6 months. “That's relatively unique in psychiatry. We don't really have a model where a single dose of anything leads to immediate and sustained effects... What we found is therapeutic benefit from a single dose that lasted several months.”

In the future he wants to broaden the study to include treatment for alcohol addiction and he is also about to oversee a phase 3 controlled clinical trial involving psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for cancer patients. “This is significant because phase 3 is the final stage before a drug is developed and if this trial is positive it's possible that in the coming three to seven years psilocybin could be rescheduled for cancer related distress which would be historic and it would then be available as a prescribable medicine ... it would be a new therapy and it would change history.”

But Mr Ross also says that although the early signs in some of these studies are promising, they are being conducted under strictly controlled and supervised conditions, and involve drugs that are illegal and can be dangerous. So the very clear message is don't try this at home.

TRIPPY TREATMENTS (http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/twu/twu-20150314-1215-trippy_treatments-048.mp3) (left-click to listen directly from Radio NZ's website; or right-click and select Save target as... to save as MP3 to your own storage medium)

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thiswayup/audio/20170796/trippy-treatments (http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thiswayup/audio/20170796/trippy-treatments)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on April 19, 2015, 12:23:03 pm

from the HERALD on SUNDAY....

Curious young birds in Wellington sanctuary trip on magic mushrooms

By MATTHEW THEUNISSEN | 5:00AM - Sunday, April 19, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150419_SpacedBird_zpsyws7d5cm.jpg) (http://)
All the birds recovered after being placed in cardboard boxes and left to come down for a few hours.

A GROUP of inquisitive birds were left out of their tree after eating what is believed to be magic mushrooms at a Wellington wildlife sanctuary.

Five rare little hihi — mostly juveniles — were found “sort of paralysed or spasming” on the ground in the Zealandia Sanctuary in Karori after a ranger noticed them pecking at an unidentified fungus.

Zealandia lead ranger conservation Matu Booth said the age of the birds that ate the mushrooms may go some way towards explaining their strange behaviour.

“Maybe it was a bit of a teenage ‘let's try it’ mentality. Perhaps one bird was down there trying it and others were encouraged to do it, too,” he said.

All the birds recovered after being placed in cardboard boxes and left to come down for a few hours.

Booth said the birds were always looking for new food sources.

“But for a species to suddenly go from nectar and insect eating to apparently eating fungi, that's a bit of a strange one. One explanation may be that there were some insects on the fungi.”

The hihi, or stitchbird, is one of New Zealand's rarest birds because of its carefree, friendly nature and propensity to nest in tree holes, making it an easy target for rats and other predators.

Zealandia conservation manager Raewyn Empson said hihi usually ate nectar, fruit and insects and consuming mushrooms was unheard of.

It could not be confirmed that the birds' condition had been caused by the fungi, nor what sort of mushrooms they were.

“We've never heard of hihi eating mushrooms before, but that's not to say that they don't,” she said.

“We do know that tui get drunk on the nectar of flax flowers and have been affected by rhododendron flowers, so it's not unusual for animals to have effects from eating something.”

There was no way to know whether animals deliberately consumed mind-altering substances.

“We can't get into their heads so we don't really know what's going on,” she said.

The hihi was wiped out from New Zealand's mainland by 1885 and at one time the only surviving population was located on Little Barrier Island.

After extensive conservation efforts, the birds have been reintroduced to the Karori reserve, Tiritiri Matangi and Kapiti Island.

Even if their penchant for hallucinogenic substances cannot be proved, hihi are undoubtedly quirky characters famous for being the only bird known to sometimes mate face to face.

Their Maori name translates to “rays of sun”, the story being that the demigod Maui threw the bird into a fire after it refused to fetch him water, resulting in the male's yellow breast plumage.

“They're a delightful little bird,” Booth said. “They are special on lots of levels — they're special because they're endangered but also because they're quite unusual.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11434904 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11434904)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on May 02, 2015, 06:32:12 pm

from The Guardian....

Is LSD about to return to polite society?

For 40 years, Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, has
believed psychedelics are an effective treatment for depression and
anxiety. Now a growing number of scientists agree.

By ED CUMMING | 8:00AM BST - Sunday, 26 April 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/guardian_20150426a_AmandaFielding_zpsdh1k75zw.jpg) (http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-700/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/24/1429897693431/d824b1f6-f27a-4d34-af02-b9de2b6b5acc-1020x612.jpeg)
“I've always been something of an outsider”: Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March,
at her home in Oxford, England. — Photo: Richard Saker/The Observer.

IMAGINE a family of drugs that could treat addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress: sicknesses of the soul for which modern medicine, in all its surgical wizardry, has few cures. Substances that were a fillip to creativity and could provide those who took them with an experience comparable to seeing God or witnessing the birth of a child. Say these wonder chemicals were found: why would a society make them illegal?

The question has dogged Amanda Feilding (http://www.theguardian.com/profile/amanda-feilding) since the 1960s, when during her teens and early 20s she first tried psychedelics. Through cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms she found that the doors of perception were flung wide open. A blissful period of experimentation followed, in the heyday of that swinging decade, before the doors were slammed shut again in what she says was a panic about their dangers.

“It was a tragedy,” she tells me on a wet morning at Beckley Park, her home outside Oxford. “Ann Shulgin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Shulgin) [psychedelics pioneer, and widow of its patron saint, Alexander] is a great friend. She said that on the day they heard they couldn’t use LSD or MDMA for their research they were in tears at the loss for the patients. They knew the real value of these substances to aid so many areas that are intractable.”

Feilding has dedicated her life to the reversal of this proscription, first as an artist and latterly as a tireless supporter of scientific research, courtesy of her Beckley Foundation (http://www.beckleyfoundation.org). The dangers of abusing recreational drugs have been well documented since the 1960s, and for many scientists and policy-makers they remain as urgent as ever. Feilding hopes to show that the risks are overstated and that the laws surrounding their use should be relaxed. After decades of perseverance, there are signs that her work is coming to fruition. A handful of studies using LSD and psilocybin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psilocybin) (the psychedelic compound found in mushrooms) has turned into a steady trickle, and the results have been promising to her cause. More remarkably, some of the theories thrown about half a century ago might be borne out by modern science.

Feilding would be the first to concede that her background is not that of a neuroscientist. She is descended from the House of Habsburg and can trace a direct line back to Charles II. Beckley Park is a Tudor hunting lodge, a mile down a muddy driveway from the main road. It has three moats and three towers, and inside is a rambling warren of antique furniture and well-stocked fireplaces. As I made my way around, dogs sheltered from the rain under rose-covered stone arches. Courtesy of her husband, Jamie, Feilding is the Countess of Wemyss and March (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Wemyss_and_March). She is a bit like the cool aunt you never had: a little eccentric around the edges, perhaps, but warm, smart and fiercely devoted to the cause. “My background is a gain and a hindrance,” she says. “One is who one is. We lived in this incredibly beautiful house, but we never had any money or heating. I was quite isolated and I’ve always been something of an outsider.”

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/guardian_20150426b_AmandaFielding_zps7swz4zvt.jpg) (http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-605/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/22/1429699183415/6916a417-c762-4005-b55c-431340fceba4-bestSizeAvailable.jpeg)(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/guardian_20150426c_AmandaFielding_zpssftyifmf.jpg) (http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-605/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/22/1429699183415/6916a417-c762-4005-b55c-431340fceba4-bestSizeAvailable.jpeg)(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/guardian_20150426d_AmandaFielding_zpsr8ogjtlp.jpg) (http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-605/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/22/1429699183415/6916a417-c762-4005-b55c-431340fceba4-bestSizeAvailable.jpeg)
“It has had subtle but definite benefits for me”: Amanda Feilding trepans herself on film in 1970.

In 1966, when she was 22, she met Bart Huges, a Dutch chemist with whom she had a long romantic relationship. He introduced Feilding to the psychedelics and the science of consciousness, and in particular to his theories about how blood circulates in the brain. He described two theories controlling blood supply to the brain: a ‘large mechanism’ of overall blood volume, and a ‘small mechanism’ which controlled the distribution of blood in the brain more specifically. “Funnily enough, that second mechanism has been shown to be more or less what we’re picking up now in our studies,” Feilding says.

Huges’s other interest was trepanation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepanning), the practice of drilling a hole in the skull to expose the outer layers of the brain. Proponents claim that it is one of the earliest forms of surgery — ancient skulls have been found with holes in them — but it is fair to say that modern medical consensus is against it. The zenith of Feilding’s experimentation with cerebral circulation was in 1970 when she trepanned herself, an experience that was turned into an art film, Heartbeat in the Brain. A short excerpt is on YouTube (see below). In the film the 27-year-old Feilding explains that if the public is not made aware of trepanation’s benefits then it will never be available free on the NHS. Next she chops her fringe off and drills a hole in her forehead. The available clip (the whole film is not online) cuts to the moments after the procedure. Feilding, her head bandaged and white apron stained red, wipes the blood off her face and smiles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yedh582zyT0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yedh582zyT0)

“The video is frustrating in terms of public perception,” she says. “But trepanation has had subtle but definite benefits for me, and to the other people I know who have had it done. Jamie had chronic headaches until he was trepanned, but not since. I think it has a lot of potential advantages. My theory is that trepanation improves the level of blood circulation round the brain to that of childhood. You get more blood into the brain with each heartbeat, and also an increase in washout of toxins. I’d suggest that cannabis and psychedelics do the same thing, but at a higher level. There are other techniques that can achieve this, like yogic breathing or cranial osteopathy, but trepanation is permanent.”

You can see why Feilding might be wary of associating these more far-out views with her campaigning. “We have always been in favour of serious, controlled use of psychedelics. For 20 years they were hailed as a wonder drug. There was a whole range of potential areas for their use. But in the 1960s the recreational aspect got out of hand. I think people like Timothy Leary (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Leary) did a lot of damage.” Leary, the chemist and LSD pioneer, was called America’s most dangerous man by President Richard Nixon. “There was a backlash, and the reputation of these drugs was much worse than it should have been. The harm was thoroughly exaggerated. But it left a long trail of anti-LSD feeling.”

It also put the brakes on a lot of research. Between 1953 and 1973, the US government funded 116 studies of LSD, among thousands of trials in total. Test subjects included those with depression, autism and cancer as well as prisoners. As the journalist Michael Pollan put it, writing in the New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment) recently: “The results reported were frequently positive. But many of the studies were, by modern standards, poorly designed and seldom well controlled, if at all.” The issue of controls is still an issue; unlike with, say, paracetamol, it can be hard for researchers to be blind to which of the volunteers has taken a psychedelic. (In some famous American studies, those who had been given the drug wandered around claiming to have seen God.)

In 1998, encouraged by the advent of MRI scans, Feilding founded the Beckley Foundation. “I had been exploring these ideas in art; nobody takes any notice of art, so you can say whatever you want. The new techniques meant that finally it was possible to measure, however vaguely, what actually went on in the brain. I realised that I could have more impact with science.”

The foundation works to understand drugs better, Feilding says, reducing the harm they cause and demonstrating their therapeutic potential. Often this has been a thankless role. Newspapers still feature regular horror stories about the consequences of recreational drug use, particularly among young people. These substances are controlled “more tightly than nuclear weapons”, Feilding says, even for research purposes. Scientists have been wary of being affiliated with such a murky field, and no government wants to touch it. There are few votes in encouraging people to take acid. Funding is scarce, the research expensive. Even for a small study, the MRI costs can run into the tens of thousands of pounds.

Feilding and her small team of supporters have remained undaunted and now hope that the wheel is starting to turn. In the UK, Beckley has worked closely with Professor David Nutt (http://www.theguardian.com/profile/david-nutt), the former government chief adviser who was sacked for suggesting that taking ecstasy was less dangerous than riding a horse, and Dr Robin Carhart-Harris (http://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/r.carhart-harris), at Imperial College, London. Carhart-Harris and his team have just completed the first modern imaging study into the effects of LSD on the brain; full results will be out later this year. It’s the latest in a series of experiments into the effects of drugs, including psilocybin, MDMA and LSD, on the brain and consciousness, and the foundation is involved in a number of upcoming and ongoing schemes in the UK and abroad.

“These are good times. We feel like we’ve got our money on the right horse,” says Carhart-Harris. “None of it would have been possible without Amanda and the Beckley Foundation. We are about to start a clinical trail using psilocybin to treat depression, which feels historic. The World Health Organisation has estimated that depression is set to become the leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Given the magnitude of the problem, there’s huge potential that psilocybin, and maybe other psychedelics, will be a big help. Other researchers are looking at psilocybin to treat alcohol dependency or smoking addiction. And there’s also the end-stage anxiety stuff, which has been around for a little while.” A small study at UCLA suggested that psilocybin could help terminal cancer patients come to terms with their mortality. In a study led by Roland Griffiths (http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/profiles/results/directory/profile/1311852/roland-griffiths) at Johns Hopkins University, more than 70% of 36 patients given psilocybin reported that they had had one of the five most meaningful experiences of their lives.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/guardian_20150426e_DrRobinCarhartHarris_zpss2bjwtnt.jpg) (http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/22/1429699319056/189f946e-c8e1-4afe-ac59-d3ac9ab1dad6-620x372.jpeg)
“We feel we’ve got our money on the right horse”: Dr Robin Carhart-Harris and his team have
just completed the first modern imaging study into the effects of LSD.
 — Photo: Francesco Guidicini/Camera Press.

Ideas about the effect of psychedelics tend to focus on something called the default-mode network, a theory that there is a group of areas that are active when the brain is at “wakeful rest” and not focused on anything else. It’s a kind of “engine running” system that operates above other functions and takes up a large amount of the brain’s energy.

“It is complicated,” says Carhart-Harris, “but one way of summarising it is that there is a principle that there are similarities among certain pathological states, like depression or addiction. Negative patterns of thought can become entrenched, with the ruts getting deeper and deeper. Think of it as being like a spiral — it’s interesting that these metaphors often turn out to speak to the underlying mechanisms, as well as being true on a poetic level. What you see with psychedelics is this dismantling of organisation, a scrambling in the cortex. These drugs introduce a kind of storm, but in the context of treating a pathology, it can be a useful storm, a reboot of the system.”

The research is bearing fruit but still needs money, which is why Feilding has come forward. The foundation depends mainly on a small number of individual donors, although they used a crowdfunding site, Walacea (https://walacea.com), to raise money for the LSD imaging study. Despite her key role, Feilding has been wary of putting herself in the foreground of publicity about the foundation. Partly this is because she is not a “scientist with a diploma”, as she puts it, but she also worries about how she comes across, that she risks being seen as a kind of aristocratic hippy with a personal interest in getting high. A Daily Mail article about her in 2010 was headlined “The Cannabis Countess”. This kind of thing is unhelpful when your goal is a revolution in international drugs policy.

As far as Carhart-Harris is concerned, Feilding needn’t worry. He argues that the research she helped to initiate has gathered so much scientific momentum that no amount of tabloid mischief can derail it. “There are as many studies now as there were in the 60s,” he says. “The increase has been exponential. It’s more exciting than it has ever been, and the results are really impressive. There has also been a generational change with drugs: more people have had experience with a range of different substances, and they’re more educated and more mature about them. They see a silly story about drugs as being silly. Even for the newspapers that thrive on sensationalism, the bigger story is that psychedelics can be used therapeutically.”

Feilding, Carhart-Harris and others inside the camp tend to be evangelical about their work. You sense this is partly because they feel like pioneers. But it is also because compared to other areas of medicine, present cures for these conditions seem so frustratingly vague. A rogue appendix can be chopped out; an infection can be treated with antibiotics. But if you are depressed, or terrified by your terminal cancer, what then? Mood-numbing drugs to manage your feelings, or a chat with a doctor in a tastefully decorated room. Psychedelics, they feel, dangle the possibility that there is a way to measure the unconscious, to go beneath the operating system and see what’s really wrong with the computer.

Although results have been promising, sample sizes are still small. Even if everything goes to plan, serious clinical applications are many years and more sophisticated tests away. These drugs were not banned by accident. In 1971 the Journal of the American Medical Association (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx) warned that repeated consumption of psychedelics would usually result in permanent “personality deterioration”.

“Twenty years ago I thought that many recreational drugs were beneficial, but the more research I’ve done, the more I’ve found that the beneficial effects are pseudo phenomena, and they’re almost invariably outweighed by negative effects,” says Andrew Parrott (http://www.swansea.ac.uk/staff/human-and-health-sciences/psychology/a.c.parrott), a professor of psychology at the University of Swansea, who has long opposed these kinds of studies. He is at the other end of the spectrum of belief on this topic, but his remarks show the scale of the task on the Beckley Foundation’s hands.

“If you look at the research, a lot of it is giving drugs to relatively normal people and then asking questions along the lines of: ‘Have you had a nice mystical experience?’ Now and again you get people who’ve had a bad reaction, but in a controlled situation on a lowish dose that’s going to be quite unusual. You get a kind of halo effect, where you ask people the right questions, and a lot of the researchers tend to be users themselves.”

“Science goes in cycles, and at the moment this kind of research is very trendy. Lots of people I know are applying for research grants to look at these drugs, but theoretically I can’t really see why these drugs would benefit people with clinical disorders. Every drug has acute positive effects in the short term, but long term the negatives take over. Psilocybin and LSD will have dramatic changes to brain function, to people’s beliefs and attitudes, but if you’re looking at therapy, I don’t see it. For me, therapy always means a talking therapy.”

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/guardian_20150426f_AmandaFielding_zpsndb2d5y4.jpg) (http://i.guim.co.uk/static/w-620/h--/q-95/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2015/4/22/1429699319056/189f946e-c8e1-4afe-ac59-d3ac9ab1dad6-620x372.jpeg)
“In the 1960s the recreational aspect got out of hand. There was a backlash, and the harm was
thoroughly exaggerated. It left a long trail of anti-LSD feeling”: Amanda Feilding.
 — Photo: Richard Saker/The Observer.

He adds that there is a certain irony in the possible use of these drugs to treat people for tobacco addiction — one idea that is being mooted. “In the 1930s doctors prescribed smoking to treat anxiety, because smokers felt less anxious when they had a cigarette. We’ve since realised that you’re simply getting rid of withdrawal symptoms. Youngsters who take up smoking become more stressed, and then if you give up you become less stressed six months or a year later.”

When Amanda Feilding first tried psychedelics the space race was at the front of the public imagination. Cosmonauts floated in orbit; Americans walked on the moon. Dreams of galactic travel have faded over the half-century since, as the cold distances of space seem ever more insurmountable. Our brains, on the other hand, have revealed more explorable depth with every study. So if larger, more wide-ranging trials can expand on the promise of the Beckley Foundation’s work, Feilding could find herself the spiritual godmother of a large and important field of medicine.

“Amanda should enjoy her position,” says Carhart-Harris. “History will see her as one of the initiators of this whole movement, and rightly so.” And if it comes to naught, nobody can say she did not give it her all.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/26/lsd-amanda-feilding-depression-anxiety-science (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/26/lsd-amanda-feilding-depression-anxiety-science)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on May 05, 2015, 01:28:07 pm

from Radio New Zealand....

David Nutt: reinvestigating psychedelics

Saturday Morning” with Kim Hill | Saturday, 02 May 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/Psychedelic_zpspfhoatth.jpg) (http://www.newrockstarphilosophy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/3420524749_415eab979d_b.jpg)

CHAIRMAN of independent, science-led drugs charity DrugScience, and is Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Molecular Imaging at Imperial College London. His team are the first in the world to scan the brains of volunteers under the influence of LSD.

REINVESTIGATING PSYCHEDELICS (http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20150502-0815-david_nutt_reinvestigating_psychedelics-048.mp3) (left-click to listen directly from Radio NZ's website; or right-click and select Save target as... to save as MP3 to your own storage medium)

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/201752758/david-nutt-reinvestigating-psychedelics (http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/201752758/david-nutt-reinvestigating-psychedelics)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on May 05, 2015, 01:28:28 pm

from The New York Times....

Pushing LSD in Nanny-State Norway, as a Human Right

By ANDREW HIGGINS | Monday, May 04, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/NYT_20150504_MrJohansenMsKrebs_zps53njzyql.jpg) (http://static01.nyt.com/images/2015/05/05/world/05norway-web2/05norway-web2-superJumbo.jpg)
Pal-Orjan Johansen and his wife, Teri Krebs, with their children in Oslo. Mr. Johansen and Ms. Krebs are leading a drive to provide safe
and regulated access to drugs like LSD and Ecstasy, which they say have health benefits. — Photo: Bryan Denton/The New York Times.

OSLO — In a country so wary of drug abuse (http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/specialtopic/drug-abuse/overview.html) that it limits the sale of aspirin, Pal-Orjan Johansen, a Norwegian researcher, is pushing what would seem a doomed cause: the rehabilitation of LSD.

It matters little to him that the psychedelic drug has been banned here and around the world for more than 40 years. Mr. Johansen pitches his effort not as a throwback to the hippie hedonism of the 1960s, but as a battle for human rights and good health.

In fact, he also wants to manufacture MDMA and psilocybin, the active ingredients in two other prohibited substances, Ecstasy and so-called magic mushrooms.

All of that might seem quixotic at best, if only Mr. Johansen and EmmaSofia (http://www.emmasofia.org), the psychedelics advocacy group he founded with his American-born wife and fellow scientist, Teri Krebs, had not already won some unlikely supporters, including a retired Norwegian Supreme Court judge who serves as their legal adviser.

The group, whose name derives from street slang for MDMA and the Greek word for wisdom, stands in the vanguard of a global movement now pushing to revise drug policies set in the 1960s. That it has gained traction in a country so committed to controlling drug use shows how much old orthodoxies have crumbled.

The Norwegian group wants not only to stir discussion about prohibited drugs, but also to manufacture them, in part, it argues, to guarantee that they are safe. It recently began an online campaign (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mdma-psychedelics-to-the-world-round-2) to raise money so that it can, in cooperation with a Norwegian pharmaceuticals (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/drugspharmaceuticals/index.html) company, start quality-controlled production of psilocybin and MDMA, drugs that Mr. Johansen says saved and transformed his life.

“I helped myself with psychedelics and want others to have the same opportunity without the risk of arrest,” said Mr. Johansen, a 42-year-old researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (http://www.ntnu.edu) in Trondheim. He recalled how, as a young man, he defeated an alcohol problem, a smoking habit, post-traumatic stress disorder (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/overview.html) and depression by taking psilocybin and MDMA.

The drugs are banned in Norway (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/norway/index.html), as in most countries, but can, under tight supervision, be used for medical purposes and in scientific research.

While it took decades for pro-marijuana campaigners in the United States to shift public attitudes and government policy, Norway’s psychedelic champions insist that they already have science and even the law on their side.

But even politicians who support them, all of them quietly because of the extreme sensitivity of drug policy, caution that it will be a long struggle. EmmaSofia has nonetheless succeeded in making its cause an issue, with Mr. Johansen appearing in debates on NRK (http://www.nrk.no), the state broadcaster, and in a lengthy profile in a leading newsmagazine.

Eager to sidestep the strictures of Norway's intrusive “nanny state”, Mr. Johansen and his supporters tap into a more freewheeling side of this button-down Nordic nation and point to a long tradition of nature-worshiping shamans, particularly among Norway’s indigenous Sami people (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/520463/Sami).

Also lending a hand are the Vikings, who, at least according to fans of psychedelic drugs, ate hallucinogenic mushrooms to pep them up before battle.

Cato Nystad, a 39-year-old drum maker, EmmaSofia supporter and organizer of traditional ceremonies that involve psychedelic potions, said many Norwegians wanted to get in touch with their wilder, more spiritual sides.

Steinar Madsen, the medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (http://www.legemiddelverket.no/english/Sider/default.aspx), said he had no objection in principle to what he called EmmaSofia’s “interesting project,” but cautioned that “it is a very long shot.”

He scoffed at the argument that Norway needs to reconnect with its shamanistic past. “I don’t believe this stuff,” he said, adding that “drugs were not part of this tradition in Norway.”

Ina Roll Spinnangr, a Liberal Party politician who supports a more relaxed policy on drugs, said the best way to bring about change was not to attack Norway’s paternalistic government but to turn it on its head.

“You have to use a nanny argument: The government needs to take control and regulate the market instead of leaving it to criminals,” she said. “The argument that you decide yourself what you put in your own body will never work in Norway.”

As a result, she added, “I would never use the word ‘legalize’, but talk instead about regulating, not liberalizing.”

Ketil Lund, 75, the retired Supreme Court justice who advises EmmaSofia on its legal strategy, said he had never used psychedelic drugs and had no interest in trying them. But, he said, he supported Mr. Johansen’s campaign as part of a “bigger struggle” against antidrug policies in the West that he described as “an absolute failure.”

“The present narcotics policy in the West has so many detrimental effects,” he said. “These have to be balanced against detrimental effects of the drugs themselves.”

He said he was not qualified to adjudicate a raging debate over the possible hazards and benefits of psychedelic drugs like LSD. But he had been impressed by research suggesting that they were less harmful than alcohol. “People have used psychedelics for centuries,” he added.

The taboo in the West on psychedelics, however, is deeply entrenched — a legacy of government campaigns against drug use and a long backlash against the counterculture of the 1960s, when Timothy Leary (http://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/01/us/timothy-leary-pied-piper-of-psychedelic-60-s-dies-at-75.html), a Harvard professor and zealous promoter of LSD, urged Americans to “turn on, tune in and drop out.”

“LSD terrifies governments. It is their ultimate fear because it changes the way people look at the world,” said David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London (http://www.imperial.ac.uk). He was fired in 2009 as the British government’s drug policy adviser after he told a radio interviewer that alcohol was far more harmful than LSD and other psychedelics.

He praised EmmaSofia and other groups for helping to lift the stigma and fear long attached to psychedelics, adding that “there has definitely been a renaissance” in recent years of medical research after decades of science-killing “paranoia and censorship” based on scare stories about psychedelics that fed public panic.

“We are not in the 1960s anymore and have moved on,” said Mr. Johansen, a clinical psychologist, adding, “This is a question of basic human rights.”

LSD, which was first synthesized in a Swiss pharmaceuticals laboratory in 1938, and MDMA, which was patented in 1914, won wide acceptance in Europe and the United States in the middle of the last century when they showed early promise against alcoholism (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/alcoholism/overview.html) and other maladies.

But initial euphoria over their medical use was then swamped by deep alarm as recreational use of psychedelics surged, leading to a cascade of horror stories in the news media.

The United States banned LSD in 1970. A year later, the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (http://www.unodc.org/pdf/convention_1971_en.pdf) classified LSD and MDMA as “Schedule I” drugs, those that pose a serious threat to public health.

The United Nations convention banned their use “except for scientific and very limited medical purposes by duly authorized persons.” It also exempted psychedelics contained in plants “used by certain small, clearly determined groups in magical or religious rites.”

Mr. Johansen said the dangers connected with psychedelic drugs had been exaggerated by stories that did not take into account probability. “Everything carries a risk. If you walk in a forest, a tree may fall on your head, but does this mean you should never go in the woods?”

Dr. Madsen, of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, conceded that there “are a lot of myths” about psychedelic drugs like claims that “if you use LSD, you will jump from the roof.”

All the same, he sees no quick way around a thicket of laws and strict regulations on their use. “Everyone sees we have to be very careful with these drugs,” he said. “I don’t think the time is ripe.”

Henrik‎ Pryser Libell contributed reporting from Oslo.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/world/europe/an-uphill-campaign-in-norway-to-promote-lsd-as-a-human-right.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/world/europe/an-uphill-campaign-in-norway-to-promote-lsd-as-a-human-right.html)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on June 04, 2015, 12:03:27 pm

from The Daily Beast....

This LSD Could Save Your Life

A psychiatrist in London is calling for the reclassification of
drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms to treat mental illness.
Why we’ve been underestimating psychedelics for decades.

By CHARLOTTE LYTTON | 5:15AM EDT - Saturday, June 02, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/DailyBeast_20150602_Psychedelia_zpscfmyqkzr.jpg) (http://cdn.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2015/06/02/this-lsd-could-save-your-life/jcr:content/image.crop.800.500.jpg/1433236511346.cached.jpg)
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast.

A LEADING PSYCHIATRIST has called for the reclassification of magic mushrooms, LSD, and other psychedelic drugs on the grounds they could be crucial in treating mental health problems.

James Rucker, honorary lecturer at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, proposed that legal restrictions on the use of such substances be lifted and used to aid ailments such as anxiety and addiction.

Such drugs “were extensively used and researched in clinical psychiatry” during the '50s and '60s, Rucker wrote in the British Medical Journal (http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2902), but were prohibited in 1967 following fears that they were causing psychological harm—in spite of medical evidence to the contrary. But more than two decades after they were classified as Schedule 1 materials in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the U.S.'s war on drugs was revealed to be little more than fear mongering.

In 1992, John Ehrlichman, former assistant to Richard Nixon, admitted that the administration had stoked misgivings about the harmful effects of drugs and exploited the public’s lack of awareness for their own political gain—a move which means, 50 years later, psychedelics face more restrictions than heroin and cocaine.

“Hundreds of papers, involving tens of thousands of patients, presented evidence for their use as psychotherapeutic catalysts of mentally beneficial change in many psychiatric disorders, problems of personality development, recidivistic behaviour, and existential anxiety,” Rucker says of the drugs’ medical history. “No evidence shows that psychedelic drugs are habit forming; little evidence shows that they are harmful in controlled settings; and much historical evidence has shown that they could have use in common psychiatric disorders.”

Christopher Evans, director of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, agrees with Rucker’s examination: “Many of these highly restricted hallucinogenic drugs should be considered for their therapeutic potential in well-controlled clinical studies in controlled environments. Though I believe the drugs should remain closely regulated (like opiates), the restriction should be geared to allow clinical research.”

Organizations around the world—most recently in Norway—have begun contesting the current restrictions. There have also been a number of pilot studies undertaken to test the clinical efficacy of psychedelic substances when used as treatment for ailments such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol addiction, and cluster headaches, the results of which support Rucker’s claims. A study published last week in the Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry journal has even suggested psychoactives such as MDMA may help treat PTSD (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/05/30/can-ecstasy-replace-xanax.html).

One of the principal qualms surrounding the use of psychedelics is that they will induce dependence, but existing research shows that this is not the case. LSD was named the safest psychotropic—a substance that alters brain function and perception—in a 2010 analysis of potential harms caused by drugs of this nature, and is significantly less likely to result in a toxic dose than alcohol, cocaine, or heroin.

“Drug legislation has been bias toward groups of people that are associated with the drug and of course financial interests as opposed to the intrinsic harm the drugs cause to the population and addiction liability,” Evans says. “Hallucinogens certainly have potential therapeutic value in many diseases and are much less likely to become problematic to society than psychostimulant therapeutics such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, and opiate therapeutics such as Oxycodone or Vicodin.”

“Addiction is not the problem.”

It is not only that its effects have been misrepresented, then, but that its benefits (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/05/longtime-sufferers-of-cluster-headaches-find-relief-in-psychedelics.html) have been suppressed in favor of antediluvian political propaganda. A U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2001-2004 found that those who reported use of psychedelics had lower levels of serious psychological distress (http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2014/03/04/study-lsd-has-therapeutic-effects.html), with no need for mental health treatment. No association with psychosis was uncovered.

The classification means that pilot studies on the effects of the drugs remain challenging. Rucker cites the “practical, financial and bureaucratic” barriers to carrying out trials with psilocybin—the naturally occurring compound in magic mushrooms—as a result of the UN’s mandate. Only one manufacturer in the world holds enough of the correct quality to be used effectively, and costs some $153,000 for 50 doses. In the UK, holding the drug requires a $750,000 license (which only four hospitals have) and regular inspections from police. As such, the price of clinical trials for psychedelic substances is up to 10 times higher than those for heroin.

In view of the evidence, then, perhaps it’s time we stop dismissing 'shrooms and hallucinogens as the pastime of underachieving college kids and re-examine their potential impact on the medical world.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/02/this-lsd-could-save-your-life.html (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/02/this-lsd-could-save-your-life.html)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on June 19, 2015, 03:27:05 pm

from RAW STORY....

Microdosing — a new, low-key way to use psychedelics

By PHILLIP SMITH - AlterNet | 1:28AM EDT - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150617_CreativeMind_zpszmxzbsdf.jpg) (http://2d0yaz2jiom3c6vy7e7e5svk.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Creative-Mind-via-Shutterstock.jpg)

AT THE fifth annual Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference (http://horizonsnyc.org/2013b/one-page-home) in New York City in October 2011, pioneering psychedelic researcher Dr. James Fadiman solidified his reemergence as a leading researcher of and advocate for psychedelic substances. Fadiman had done groundbreaking research with LSD up until the very day it was federally banned in 1966, but after that, he retreated into a life of quiet conventionality—at least on the surface.

While Fadiman disappeared himself from the public eye for decades, he never did give up him interest in and enthusiasm for psychedelics. A year before appearing at Horizons, he published his life’s work, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051OHLVG), an amazing compendium of hallucinogenic lore, as well as a user’s manual for would-be psychonauts.

The book examined the primary uses for psychedelics, such as spiritual enlightenment at high doses and improvements in creativity at smaller ones. It also addressed a lesser-known but increasingly popular phenomenon: microdosing.

Microdosing refers to taking extremely small doses of psychedelics, so small that the affects usually associated with such drugs are not evident or are “sub-perceptual,” while going about one’s daily activities. It’s being done by anyone from harried professionals to extreme athletes to senior citizen businesswomen, and they’re claiming serious benefits from it.

To trip brains (or have a transcendental experience) on LSD, a dose of 400 micrograms or more is called for; to explore your inner self, take 200 micrograms; for creative problem solving, try 100 mikes; but for microdosing, take only 10 to 15 micrograms. Similar microdoses for other psychedelics would include 0.2-0.5 grams of dried mushrooms (about one-fifth the normal dose) or about 50-75 micrograms of mescaline.

At that Horizons conference, as reported by Tim Doody in a fascinating profile of Fadiman (http://www.themorningnews.org/article/the-heretic), the bespectacled 70-year-old at one point asked his audience “How many of you have heard about microdosing?” A couple of dozen hands went up. “Whoa!,” he exclaimed.

He explained that, beginning in 2010, he had been doing a study of microdosing. Since research with LSD remains banned, he couldn’t do it in a lab, but had instead relied on a network of volunteers who administered their own doses and reported back with the results. The subjects kept logs of their doses and daily routines, and sent them via email to Fadiman. The results were quite interesting, he said.

“Micro-dosing turns out to be a totally different world,” he explained. “As someone said, the rocks don’t glow, even a little bit. But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day’. You know, that kind of day when things kind of work. You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day. That seems to be what we’re discovering.”

Study participants functioned normally in their work and relationships, Fadiman said, but with increased focus, emotional clarity, and creativity. One physician reported that microdosing put him “in touch with a deep place of ease and beauty.” A singer reported being better able to hear and channel music.

In his book, a user named “Madeline” offered this report: “Microdosing of 10 to 20 micrograms (of LSD) allow me to increase my focus, open my heart, and achieve breakthrough results while remaining integrated within my routine. My wit, response time, and visual and mental acuity seem greater than normal on it.”

These results are not yet peer-reviewed, but they are suggestive.

“I just got a report from someone who did this for six weeks,” Fadiman said. “And his question to me was, ‘Is there any reason to stop’?”

It isn’t just Fadiman acolytes who are singing the praises of microdosing. One 65-year-old Sonoma County, California, small businesswoman who had never heard of the man told AlterNet she microdosed because it made her feel better and more effective.

“I started doing it in 1980, when I lived in San Francisco and one of my roommates had some mushrooms in the fridge,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. “I just took a tiny sliver and found that it made me alert and energized all day. I wasn’t high or anything; it was more like having a coffee buzz that lasted all day long.”

This woman gave up on microdosing when her roommate’s supply of 'shrooms ran out, but she has taken it up again recently.

“I’m very busy these days and I’m 65, so I get tired, and maybe just a little bit surly sometimes,” she admitted. “So when a friend brought over some chocolate mushrooms, I decided to try it again. It makes my days so much better! My mood improves, my energy level is up, and I feel like my synapses are really popping. I get things done, and I don’t notice any side-effects whatsoever.”

She’s not seeking visionary experiences, just a way to get through the day, she said.

In an in-depth post on the High Existence blog (http://www.highexistence.com/microdosing-lsd-psychedelic), Martijn Schirp examined the phenomenon in some detail, as well as describing his own adventure in microdosing:

“On a beautiful morning in Amsterdam, I grabbed my vial of LSD, diluted down with half high grade vodka and half distilled water, and told my friend to trust me and open his mouth. While semi-carefully measuring the droplets for his microdose, I told him to whirl it around in his mouth for a few minutes before swallowing the neuro-chemical concoction. I quickly followed suit,” Schirp wrote. “We had one of the best walking conversations of our lives.”

James Oroc, author of Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad (http://www.highexistence.com/recommends/tryptamine-palace), exposed another realm where microdosing is gaining popularity. In a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies monograph titled Psychedelics and Extreme Sports (http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v21n1/v21n1-25to29.pdf), Oroc extolled the virtues of microdosing for athletes. Taking low-dose psychedelics improved “cognitive functioning, emotional balance, and physical stamina,” he wrote.

“Virtually all athletes who learn to use LSD at psycholytic [micro] dosages believe that the use of these compounds improves both their stamina and their abilities,” Oroc continued. “According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your reflex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience ‘tunnel vision,’ and make you impervious to weakness or pain. LSD’s effects in these regards amongst the extreme-sport community are in fact legendary, universal, and without dispute.”

Even the father of LSD, Albert Hofman seems to have been a fan. In his book, Fadiman notes that Hofmann microdosed himself well into old age and quoted him as saying LSD “would have gone on to be used as Ritalin if it hadn’t been so harshly scheduled.”

Psychonauts, take note. Microdosing isn’t going to take you to another astral plane, but it may help you get through the day. For more infomation on the microdosing experience, dig into the links up-story, as well as the Reddit user forum on microdosing (http://www.reddit.com/r/microdosing). Surprisingly enough, the vaults of Erowid, that repository of drug user experiences, returned only one entry about microdosing (http://www.gwern.net/LSD%20microdosing), from someone who appears to have been a subject in the Fadiman microdosing experiments.

And, of course, if you want to try this, you have to obtain some psychedelics. They’re illegal, which doesn’t mean they aren’t around. An increasing number of people are finding them on the dark web; others obtain them the old-fashioned way: from within their own communities. Those who are really interested will get to work.

Related story:

 • Watch: The fascinating reason magic mushrooms make you trip (http://www.rawstory.com/2015/03/watch-the-fascinating-reason-magic-mushrooms-make-you-trip)

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/microdosing-a-new-low-key-way-to-use-psychedelics (http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/microdosing-a-new-low-key-way-to-use-psychedelics)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on June 19, 2015, 03:27:20 pm

from Munchies....

Should You Be Eating LSD for Breakfast?

By MUNCHIES STAFF | 1:00PM EDT - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150617_BreakfastAcid_zps2yftnxve.jpg) (https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/115/363863773_950f14440d_z.jpg?zz=1)

PUT ASIDE the over-easy egg, the lox and schmear, and even the chia seed pudding. If you want clarity and focus throughout your day, perhaps you should be eating powerful psychedelic drugs for breakfast.

That’s if you believe a small group of scientists and psychonauts who have increasingly sung the praises of microdosing, or the ingestion of small amounts of LSD.

A just-published Alternet feature (http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/microdosing-a-new-low-key-way-to-use-psychedelics) by Phillip Smith delves into the phenomenon, crediting psychedelic researcher Dr. James Fadiman for popularizing the practice in his 2011 book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys.

“Microdosing,” writes Smith, “refers to taking extremely small doses of psychedelics, so small that the affects [sic] usually associated with such drugs are not evident or are ‘sub-perceptual’, while going about one’s daily activities. It’s being done by anyone from harried professionals to extreme athletes to senior citizen businesswomen, and they’re claiming serious benefits from it.”

A Hunter S. Thompson-caliber ball-tripping dose of acid tends to fall in the 400-microgram realm, sending you into deep conversations with ancient platypus warrior spirits on planet Xenu. But Smith claims that a mere 10 to 15 micrograms can impart “increased focus, emotional clarity, and creativity” that your cup of cold brew can’t.

Bonus effect: You won’t get screamed at by disembodied eyeballs in your glove compartment.

During a speech at the “Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics” conference in New York City in 2011, Fadiman explained that with microdoses of LSD, “the rocks don’t glow, even a little bit. But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day’. You know, that kind of day when things kind of work. You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day.”

Smith spoke to a 65-year-old Bay Area woman who has been microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms, rather than LSD, for 35 years. “I just took a tiny sliver and found that it made me alert and energized all day. I wasn’t high or anything; it was more like having a coffee buzz that lasted all day long.”

Indeed, author James Oroc has suggested a “secret affair between psychedelics and extreme sports,” (http://disinfo.com/2014/11/microdosing-revolutionary-way-using-psychedelics) with athletes microdosing in an effort to increase their performance. Oroc rather breathlessly claims that “LSD can increase your reflex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience ‘tunnel vision’, and make you impervious to weakness or pain.”

With those kind of gains, who needs bulletproof coffee (http://munchies.vice.com/articles/bulletproof-coffee-is-not-for-the-faint-of-heart)? A mere 15 micrograms of LSD spread on your blueberry coffee cake muffin might just be the best part of waking up.

Related story:

 • Magic 'Shrooms Deserve to Be Elevated Into Quiches (http://munchies.vice.com/articles/magic-shrooms-deserve-to-be-elevated-into-quiches)

http://munchies.vice.com/articles/should-you-be-eating-lsd-for-breakfast (http://munchies.vice.com/articles/should-you-be-eating-lsd-for-breakfast)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on August 09, 2015, 08:44:17 pm

from Forbes....

Why Did My Grandmother Try LSD For Multiple Sclerosis In The 1960s?

By EMILY WILLINGHAM | 2:26PM - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/LSD_zpsxpqkakkr.jpg) (http://i.ytimg.com/vi/vQpVAWFvkbU/maxresdefault.jpg)

LAST YEAR, LSD took a tentative, presumably groovy step back into the medical limelight when it was the featured performer in a controlled human trial (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/health/lsd-reconsidered-for-therapy.html) for the first time in 40 years. Its re-debut involved a role as an anti-anxiety drug in 12 patients (http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Fulltext/2014/07000/Safety_and_Efficacy_of_Lysergic_Acid.1.aspx) in Switzerland, most of them with cancer, and marked a new interest in LSD and other psychadelics for things beyond having a long, strange trip.

This resurrection of a drug that was made illegal in 1966, putting the brakes on a fairly robust research interest, reflects the fact that history can repeat itself. After all, the '60s and earlier were a great time to try these not-yet-illegal, mind-altering substances for a variety of human ills, or at least to try to figure out how they work.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, where results of this most recent LSD trial appeared, offers up four pages (http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/pages/results.aspx?txtkeywords=lsd) of … hits … on LSD, from the 1950s through the 1970s, covering everything from therapeutic uses in psychotherapy to basic discoveries about how it works to why people like it (sample paper from 1973: College students  and LSD: Who and why? (http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/1973/04000/COLLEGE_STUDENTS_AND_LSD__WHO_AND_WHY__.5.aspx). Sample phrase from abstract: “While there are students who use almost any and all drugs ….”).

But I don't find much about using LSD for multiple sclerosis (MS), which is interesting because my grandmother took the trouble to visit a clinic in the 1960s on several occasions for experimental LSD treatments for her MS. Why is unclear, although some research had looked at LSD's effects on spinal reflexes [in cats (http://ebm.sagepub.com/content/99/1/179.short), research done at the US Army Chemical Warfare Laboratories (!)] and possibly something to do with myelin (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v240/n5383/abs/240561a0.html), the target of the neurodegenerative processes that result in MS. It was definitely something that researchers like Antonio Balestrieri, working in Italy in the 1950s (http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=487648), tried out in patients with MS and other neurodegenerative diseases (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00402747?LI=true%22%20%5Cl%20%22page-1), and I assume my grandmother was one of the “human subjects” of similar experimentation.

The physician who treated her was one T.T. Peck, who had a clinic at San Jacinto Memorial Hospital in Baytown, Texas (https://books.google.com/books?id=o4_pLqCOyDsC&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=T.T.+Peck,+MD,+Baytown,+Texas&source=bl&ots=lq-DNkbFmf&sig=C7HO5KScko4fpMeYfMURTX4870w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAmoVChMIkpbZ48SQxwIVAzeICh28cg3r#v=onepage&q=T.T.%20Peck%2C%20MD%2C%20Baytown%2C%20Texas&f=false). This self-described ‘country doctor’ came to his interest in LSD by way of peyote, which intrigued him based on a “Latin-American patient” having told him that he stayed healthy by chewing peyote buttons. Peck also tried LSD on a 5-year-old girl (http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/staf4.htm#back2) because she was “completely rebellious about everything”. That intervention does not seem to have been successful.

Given her typical non-tripping behavior, the mix of my grandmother and LSD must have been … interesting, even under controlled clinical conditions. As with the rebellious 5-year-old, LSD did not, however, do much for her MS, which progressed until she was in a wheelchair, where she stayed, ruling the world around her for 5 more decades (http://www.senseaboutscience.org/blog.php/123/john-maddox-prize-guest-post-by-emily-willingham).

According to reports, therapies like this in controlled clinical spaces didn't carry a risk of permanent psychosis, but concerns about that popular perception were very much to the fore in the mid-1960s, and justifiably so, given the 1966 ban.

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150804_ClareBootheLuce_zps72h1lhwt.jpg) (http://specials-images.forbesimg.com/imageserve/1911795e3ae5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/640x0.jpg)
Clare Boothe Luce. — Photo: Associated Press.

But before those rumors about brain damage and psychosis associated with LSD and those darned college students who would try anything, the drug carried a sort of cachet that made it rather popular in a certain set. Around the time my grandmother was taking her clinically controlled acid trips, people like conservative Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce (http://www.biography.com/people/clare-boothe-luce-9388265) were also giving it a spin (http://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1997/10/22/clare-boothe-luces-acid-test/a099084f-9bb7-48d7-80a4-39a58cf43ec5) as research subjects in a government-sponsored study of LSD.

Perhaps the most famous legacy of Luce's meticulously journaled acid trips is a line that encapsulates the feeling of heightened consciousness associated with hallucinogens: “Capture green bug for future reference.” What did the green bug mean? What would secrets would it unlock? That part remains obscure.

Although some see the potential return of LSD, marijuana, and other currently illegal drugs as triumphant and hopeful, with therapeutic potential for anxiety and pain—which is a key feature of multiple sclerosis (http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis/MS-Symptoms/Pain) — others are a tad dismissive. One expert quoted in a Bloomberg piece (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?sid=abLqQSVXWFjI&pid=newsarchive) published when the Swiss study was just enrolling in 2008 was particularly down on the renewed interest and super satisfied with the effectiveness of current pharmaceuticals:

“Detachment from reality isn't a good way to address illness, said Ken Checinski, a fellow of the U.K.'s Royal College of Psychiatrists (http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/default.aspx?page=0%22%20%5Ct%20%22_blank). New anti-depressants and psychological techniques make LSD irrelevant to modern medicine, while the potential side effects and findings of previous studies don't justify renewed research, he said.

“Sometimes if patients take drugs such as LSD, they perceive benefit, maybe because they become detached from reality, but we all have to come back and live in the real world,” Checinski said.

That assertion, of course, begs some philosophical questions about perception and the real world and biological questions about the role that our sensory systems play in both. But it also elides the very real physiological effects that any psychoactive drugs can have that might be worth exploring. For now, they're effects that we don't understand well enough in part because of the four decades that they were the noli me tangere of research chemicals.

As a family member informs me.

Emily Willingham is a science writer, editor, and educator with a background in developmental biology, physiology, and English literature. Read more about Emily HERE (http://www.emilywillinghamphd.com/p/about.html) and find Emily (too often) on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ejwillingham).

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2015/08/04/why-did-my-grandmother-try-lsd-for-multiple-sclerosis-in-the-1960s (http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2015/08/04/why-did-my-grandmother-try-lsd-for-multiple-sclerosis-in-the-1960s)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on August 09, 2015, 08:44:39 pm

from The New Zealand Herald....

Can magic mushrooms cure schizophrenia?

By BEN ELLERY | 3:15PM - Sunday, August 09, 2015

(http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/RasputinDude/News%20Story%20Pix%202015/20150809_MagicMushrooms_zpsksrxjmbz.jpg) (http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/201533/SCCZEN_A_250507NZHSROMUSH02_620x310.jpg)
Magic mushrooms growing in the wild. — Photo: The New Zealand Herald.

A HALLUCINOGENIC DRUG derived from magic mushrooms is being given to human guinea pigs in a controversial experiment aimed at curing schizophrenia.

Professor David Nutt, who was sacked as a Government adviser after a controversy about the dangers of drugs, is leading the study that is costing the taxpayer £250,000 (NZD$585,000).

Volunteers at King's College London will be given psilocybin — the naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms — and placed inside an MRI scanner to monitor their brain activity.

They will experience a “high” for an hour and have been warned “the size and shape of things can appear distorted, walls may appear to move, shapes and colours may be seen on surfaces, the room may appear to get bigger or brighter, and time may appear to pass more slowly”.

The scientists believe the hallucinations experienced by users of magic mushrooms are caused by the same part of the brain that is active during a schizophrenic episode.

After the 24 volunteers have had their dose, they will then be given an experimental drug called saracatinib. The hope is that if the saracatinib stops the hallucinations of the psilocybin, then it could also alleviate schizophrenia.

Using psilocybin has required special permission from the Home Office. The drug is being sent from Germany, at a cost of £1,000 a dose.

The participants will all be male, aged between 18 and 50, and have previously used hallucinogenic drugs. They are being paid £350 each for taking part. Professor Nutt claims the study, funded by the Medical Research Council and conducted in conjunction with Imperial College, could provide a huge leap forward in the treatment of schizophrenia. He said: “There have been no breakthroughs in the treatment of schizophrenia for 50 years because it is such a complicated illness. Because psilocybin is a controlled substance, we have had to jump through a lot of hoops — the study was delayed for a year while we got the Home Office licence.”

“Magic mushrooms can be picked for free but we are having to pay £1,000 a dose. It's madness. Our volunteers will experience the effects of the psilocybin for about an hour and there will be some of the world's best psychiatrists on hand.”

“If this is successful, it could pave the way for a much larger study of the drug on people with schizophrenia. We have decades to catch up on as many drugs such as psilocybin were made illegal, and that has made studying them very difficult.”

Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, of charity DrugFAM, said: “Magic mushrooms are a powerful hallucinogen which can cause real harm to the brain. As with all hallucinogenic drugs, the impact on anyone's brain is a game of Russian roulette.”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11494437 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11494437)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on August 27, 2017, 06:48:57 pm

from The Washington Post....

Ecstasy could be ‘breakthrough’ therapy for soldiers,
others suffering from PTSD

The psychedelic drug is headed for fast-track FDA review based on latest research.

By WILLIAM WAN | 6:04PM EDT - Saturday, August 26, 2017

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_900w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/26/Others/Images/2017-08-25/20170824PTSDstudyWaPoE0009.JPG) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/26/Others/Images/2017-08-25/20170824PTSDstudyWaPoE0009.JPG)
Jonathan Lubecky, a Marine Corps and Army veteran, returned from a deployment to Iraq with severe PTSD. His participation in
a study of MDMA, the drug commonly known as ecstasy, proved life-saving. — Photograph: Travis Dove/The Washington Post.

FOR Jon Lubecky, the scars on his wrists are a reminder of the years he spent in mental purgatory.

He returned from an Army deployment in Iraq a broken man. He heard mortar shells and helicopters where there were none. He couldn't sleep and drank until he passed out. He got every treatment offered by Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder. But they didn't stop him from trying to kill himself — five times.

Finally, he signed up for an experimental therapy and was given a little green capsule. The anguish stopped.

Inside that pill was a compound named MDMA, better known by dealers and rave partygoers as ecstasy. That street drug is emerging as the most promising tool to come along in years for the military's escalating PTSD epidemic.

The MDMA program was created by a small group of psychedelic researchers who had toiled for years in the face of ridicule, funding shortages and skepticism. But the results have been so positive that this month the Food and Drug Administration deemed it a “breakthrough therapy” (https://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/LawsEnforcedbyFDA/SignificantAmendmentstotheFDCAct/FDASIA/ucm329491.htm) — setting it on a fast track for review and potential approval.

The prospect of a government-sanctioned psychedelic drug has generated both excitement and concern. And it has opened the door to scientists studying new uses for other illegal psychedelics (https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/04/01/lsd-could-make-you-smarter-happier-and-healthier-should-we-all-try-it) like LSD and psilocybin (commonly known as magic mushrooms).

“We're in this odd situation where one of the most promising therapies also happens to be a Schedule 1 substance banned by the [Drug Enforcement Administration],” said retired Brigadier General Loree Sutton, who until 2010 was the highest ranking psychiatrist in the U.S. Army.

Because of the stigma attached to psychedelics since the trippy 1960s, many military and government leaders still hesitate to embrace them. Some scientists are also wary of the nonprofit spearheading ecstasy therapy, a group with the stated goal of making the banned drugs part of mainstream culture.

But the scope and severity of PTSD makes it all irrelevant, said Sutton, who now works as New York City's commissioner of veteran services. “If this is something that could really save lives, we need to run and not walk toward it. We need to follow the data.”

PTSD has been a problem for the military for decades, but America's recent wars have pushed it to epidemic-level heights. Experts estimate (https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp) between 11 and 20 percent of soldiers who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.

The affliction is typically triggered (https://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/ptsd-overview/basics/what-is-ptsd.asp) after experiencing or witnessing violence, including assault and abuse. It has ravaged lives and broken up marriages. It often leaves its victims in sudden panic and prevents them from dealing with the original trauma.

And that last symptom is what makes PTSD particularly hard to overcome with traditional talk therapy. Because patients can't talk about and process the trauma, experts say, it lingers like a poison in their mind.

Only two drugs are approved for treating PTSD: Zoloft and Paxil. Both have proved largely ineffective when it comes to veterans, whose cases are especially difficult to resolve because of their prolonged or repeated exposure to combat.

“If you're a combat veteran with multiple tours of duty, the chance of a good response to these drugs is one in three, maybe lower,” said John Krystal, chairman of psychiatry at Yale University and a director at the VA's National Center for PTSD. “That's why there's so much frustration and interest in finding something that works better.”

ECSTASY has long been a favorite at trance parties and raves because of its unique ability to flood users with intense feelings of euphoria (http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/ecstasy/imaginary-love-pill.html). But as a byproduct, it also reduces fear and imbues users with a deep sense of love and acceptance of themselves and others — the perfect conditions for trauma therapy.

By giving doses of MDMA at the beginning of three, eight-hour therapy sessions, researchers say they have helped chronic PTSD patients process and move past their traumas.

In clinical trials with 107 patients closely monitored by the FDA, 61 percent reported major reductions in symptoms — to the point where they no longer fit the criteria for PTSD. Follow-up studies a year later found 67 percent no longer had PTSD.

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_900w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/26/Others/Images/2017-08-25/20170824PTSDstudyWaPoE0016.JPG) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/26/Others/Images/2017-08-25/20170824PTSDstudyWaPoE0016.JPG)
A dose of MDMA in the office of South Carolina psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer, who has studied its use as a treatment for PTSD.
 — Photograph: Travis Dove/The Washington Post.

“If you were to design the perfect drug to treat PTSD, MDMA would be it,” said Rick Doblin, who three decades ago founded the California nonprofit behind the clinical trials.

It is no accident that the group — the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (http://www.maps.org) (MAPS) — chose PTSD as its argument for ending the government's ban on psychedelics.

“We wanted to help a population that would automatically win public sympathy,” he said. “No one's going to argue against the need to help them.”

Doblin, now 63, talks openly about his own history with drugs. He began tripping on LSD as a rebellious, long-haired college freshman in the 1970s. He says it helped him see the world and himself in new ways. He wanted to become a therapist and use psychedelics to help others achieve similar insights, but he couldn't because LSD was already banned.

“The flaw of the early psychedelic movement was that they made it countercultural, a revolution,” he said. “Culture is dominant. Culture is always going to win.”

For a decade, he worked in construction until he came across MDMA for the first time. When the DEA moved to criminalize it in 1984, Doblin created MAPS and sued the agency. The lawsuit failed, and Doblin realized that psychedelics were perceived as too fringe to win public support.

To succeed, he decided, both he and the issue had to go mainstream.

Doblin talked his way into the public policy PhD program at Harvard University and learned to navigate the federal bureaucracy. He shaved off his mustache, cut his shaggy hair and learned to dress up.

“I used to laugh about how simple it was,” he said. “You put on a suit, and suddenly everyone thinks you're fine.”

The external switch reflected an internal one as well. Instead of fighting government officials, he began plotting to win them over, especially those at the FDA.

And the key, he realized, was science.

BEFORE the FDA would even talk about clinical trials for MDMA, the agency needed proof it wasn't dangerous. Previous studies suggesting its neurotoxicity had been limited to rats. So in 1986, Doblin scraped together money to buy monkeys for those same researchers, who found the risks to be much less at human-equivalent doses than previously thought.

The next step was investigating MDMA's effects on people. Doblin again raised money to fly psychedelic users he had befriended to Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University for spinal taps. The studies were approved by review boards at both institutions. Doblin also participated, undergoing two spinal taps.

In the two decades that followed, Doblin and MAPS inched toward progress.

The nonprofit grew from a one-man band to a staff of 25 with headquarters in Santa Cruz. It tapped into the scene in Silicon Valley — where many tech entrepreneurs have used psychedelics to spark creativity. (Steve Jobs famously praised LSD as “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”)

MAPS received a $5.5 million bequest from the founder of a software company. The hipster soap company Dr. Bronner's pledged $5 million. A professional poker player who attributed his wins to microdosing on LSD gave $25,000. Recently, an anonymous $21,000 bitcoin donation came in.

Much of that money funded small-scale clinical trials, which laid the groundwork for the last remaining hurdle: Large-scale “phase 3” trials that will begin next year, involving 200 to 300 patients in 14 locations.

If those future trials yield similar results, the FDA could approve the MDMA treatment for PTSD as soon as 2021, according to Doblin.

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_900w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/26/Others/Images/2017-08-26/_scientists_in_decades-courtesy_Nirvan_Mullick.JPG) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2017/08/26/Others/Images/2017-08-26/_scientists_in_decades-courtesy_Nirvan_Mullick.JPG)
Rick Doblin founded a nonprofit advocating research into the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. — Photograph: Nirvan Mullick.

Yet his dream extends beyond that. He envisions a future where psychedelic treatment centers are in every city — places people can visit for enhanced couples therapy, spiritual experiences and personal growth. He believes psychedelics can help address the country's biggest problems, from homelessness and war to global warming.

“These drugs are a tool that can make people more compassionate, tolerant, more connected with other humans and the planet itself,” he said.

That kind of talk makes many in the medical community nervous.

It's hard to measure the exact dangers of ecstasy. Because it is not used as widely as marijuana or cocaine, for example, fewer statistics are available on overdoses or injuries. In 2011, a public health monitoring system (https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/DAWN2k11ED/DAWN2k11ED/DAWN2k11ED.htm) identified 22,498 emergency department visits nationwide related to ecstasy.

MDMA researchers point out that one key difference between MDMA and street ecstasy (along with another variant called “molly”) is the street versions often contain other harmful drugs, experts say. Sometimes the pills don't even contain MDMA.

But even in its purest clinical form, MDMA can pose risks (https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Ecstacy.pdf). At high doses, it can cause the body to overheat. It can cause anxiety and increase the stress hormone cortisol. Chronic use can also cause memory impairment.

“I think it's a dangerous substance,” said Andrew Parrott, a psychology professor at Swansea University in Wales who spent years researching the drug's harmful effects. He worries FDA approval for the treatment of PTSD could lead many in the public to believe ecstasy is safe for recreational use.

Other experts, however, have become increasingly intrigued by its promising results.

“Anytime you have an organization that is advocating for drugs that are illegal, it marginalizes them in the research field. MAPS still isn’t seen as mainstream. But it's possible they have a point here,” said Krystal, the Yale psychiatrist, who has not been involved with the group's research. “I can't think of a single medication that doesn't carry some side effect. The question here is whether the benefits outweigh the risk.”

FOR Lubecky, the drug can't be approved fast enough.

The Marine Corps and Army veteran recalls coming home from Iraq in 2006 to discover his wife had left him, sold his motorcycle and taken his dog. That, coupled with the trauma of what he had saw at war, sent him over the edge.

On Christmas Eve, he put the muzzle of his Beretta to his temple and pulled the trigger. The gun malfunctioned, he said, “but that microsecond after the hammer fell is when I finally felt at peace because I knew the pain would finally be over.”

One incident in Iraq in particular tormented him — a shot he took while protecting his unit. “It was a situation where the right thing to do was the immoral thing,” he said, declining to describe it in detail. “You're looking through a scope at another human being and you do one thing and suddenly they don't exist anymore.”

For years he told no one about it. He would panic even thinking about it.

After he was accepted into the MDMA clinical trial in South Carolina, he found himself on a futon with two counselors on either side as the effects of drug sunk in.

“I was in such a comfortable place,” recalled Lubecky, 40, who now works in Charleston as a political consultant. “I didn't even realize I was finally talking about it, admitting it for the first time to anybody.”

Since then, he said, he has learned to accept what happened in Iraq. And the guilt he now struggles with is the fact he got chosen over others for the clinical trial.

“I was the 26th veteran chosen for a 26-person study,” he said. “I have friends who are suffering every day like I was. But they can't do it because it's illegal. This could save their lives.”

• William Wan is The Washington Post's roving national correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. He previously served as the paper's religion reporter and diplomatic correspondent and for three years as The Post's China correspondent in Beijing.


Related to this topic:

 • Onetime party drug hailed as miracle for treating severe depression (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-one-time-party-drug-is-helping-people-with-deep-depression/2016/02/01/d3e73862-b490-11e5-a76a-0b5145e8679a_story.html)

 • Key ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’ eased cancer patients' fear of death (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/hallucinogenic-drugs-relieved-cancer-patients-of-existential-distress/2016/11/30/fed60968-b1ab-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ecstasy-could-be-breakthrough-therapy-for-soldiers-others-suffering-from-ptsd/2017/08/26/009314ca-842f-11e7-b359-15a3617c767b_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ecstasy-could-be-breakthrough-therapy-for-soldiers-others-suffering-from-ptsd/2017/08/26/009314ca-842f-11e7-b359-15a3617c767b_story.html)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: aDjUsToR on August 28, 2017, 12:05:10 am
Yes sounds tantalising however I have heard some horror stories such as people experiencing hell-like hallucinations which took months or years to recover from.

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on October 02, 2017, 11:58:53 am
Yes sounds tantalising however I have heard some horror stories such as people experiencing hell-like hallucinations which took months or years to recover from.

Well, if people have mental hang-ups and are stupid enough to take “magic” substances, they only have themselves to blame.

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on October 02, 2017, 11:59:01 am

from the San Francisco Chronicle....

Free the magic mushrooms, arrest Big Pharma

By MARK MORFORD | 2:46PM PDT - Thursday, September 28, 2017

(http://ww3.hdnux.com/photos/66/20/17/14222278/5/675x675.jpg) (http://ww3.hdnux.com/photos/66/20/17/14222278/5/920x920.jpg) (http://ww1.hdnux.com/photos/60/40/77/12718068/5/675x675.jpg) (http://ww1.hdnux.com/photos/60/40/77/12718068/5/1024x1024.jpg)
LEFT: 700 pounds of psilocybin “magic mushrooms” with a street value of $1 million found in house in Berkeley, California. Destroy the cure,
reward the poison. Ah, America. — Photograph: Berkeley Police Department. | RIGHT: In this April 13th, 2010 photo, Dr. Stephen Ross shows
an example of the pill a patient would take in a study on the effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the emotional and psychological state of cancer
patients in New York. The pill could could either contain a placebo or psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
 — Photograph:  Seth Wenig, Associated Press.

HERE is what you most definitely do not do, if you're storing somewhere around 700 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the living room of your Berkeley house (http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/1-million-worth-of-magic-mushrooms-found-12228202.php), stacked like manna in large plastic tubs, just waiting to make life better for countless thousands of hippies and hipsters, enlightened seekers and people who like to commune with trees.

You do not start screaming. You do not start yelling at your husband/wife/business partner, right there in your home/mushroom production facility, arguing so loudly that it alarms the neighbors, and they call the police and the police arrive and bang on the door and you finally have to let them in and, whoops, there's $1 million worth of trippy goodness, sitting right there on the floor, because you really need a garage.

Another lesson? If you are a dealer in large quantities of home-grown magic fungus, do not skip the couple's counseling. I mean, obviously.

And thus did the Berkeley cops seize all 700 pounds of happy fungus and arrest our bickering young couple, thus yanking a sizable portion of product off the Bay Area hallucinogen market and jacking up the price for, oh, about an hour, given how even that much psilocybin is but a sliver of what Berkeley likely produces every week, and if you could peel back the roof and peer through the walls of every home in the East Bay you will possibly find that magic mushrooms are more populous than smoothies and Birkenstocks and Subarus, combined, because Berkeley.

It's all sort of sad, isn't it? And numbly ironic? It very much is.

(http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/65/06/50/13920777/3/985x985.jpg) (http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/65/06/50/13920777/3/1024x1024.jpg)
Fresh Colombian magic mushrooms legally on sale in Camden market London in June 2005. A ballot measure could legalize psilocybin
in California as early as 2018. — Photograph: Photofusion/UIG/Getty Images.

For one thing, it dovetails — albeit a bit tragically — with the recent news that California might indeed decriminalize psilocybin as soon as next year (http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Magic-mushrooms-could-be-legal-in-California-as-11973494.php#photo-13920777), assuming the ballot measure Kevin Saunders, a mayoral candidate in Monterey County, submitted to the state, earns enough signatures.

After all, psilocybin's medicinal qualities are becoming increasingly well documented (not to mention the centuries of evidence from shamans and healers), helpful in treating everything from PTSD to cancer-related death anxiety, various neurological and emotional disorders and which, along with MDMA, gives users in controlled environments a truly precious, life-affirming reconnection to something quite sacred indeed (Self, God, Goddess, soul, the divine, love — call it what you want but don't call it hippie nonsense because then you clearly have no idea what you're talking about, and should probably take some mushrooms for yourself).

Saunders himself claims that psilocybin helped him kick heroin over a decade ago. And, let us be reminded, it's fentanyl-laced heroin that's killing tens of thousands of Americans right now, the ones who've been blocked from getting their doctor-overprescribed opioids. See how that works?

There is indeed irony afoot, and it's vicious. The opioid crisis (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/05/upshot/opioid-epidemic-drug-overdose-deaths-are-rising-faster-than-ever.html), the one spurred by shameless pharma companies shoving hundreds of millions of pricey painkillers down the throats of millions of unsuspecting Americans (and now developing countries) and thus co-creating, along with inept, overprescribing doctors, the worst epidemic in our nation's history (http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/23/health/heroin-opioid-drug-overdose-deaths-visual-guide/index.html), one which is currently killing more Americans every year than the Vietnam war (https://www.statnews.com/2016/12/09/opoid-overdose-deaths-us), and rising fast, this crisis could be well helped by the very thing we still dumbly fear and continue to outlaw.

Is it not curious? And ridiculous? And brutally tragic? How we condemn and destroy the natural spiritual enhancer/potential cure, and reward, to the tune of billions of dollars to Big Pharma, the obvious poison?

• Mark Morford has been providing hyper-literate, award-winning commentary and cultural criticism to the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate since 1998, which probably astounds him more than it does you. He's also one of the Bay Area's premier yoga instructors, leading classes, workshops and retreats in SF and around the world since 2001. Read his latest stories, follow him on Twitter (http://twitter.com/markmorford), Facebook (http://facebook.com/markmorfordyes) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/markmorford), or just visit MarkMorford.com (http://markmorford.com) for the whole of it.

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Morford-Berkeley-magic-mushrooms-Big-Pharma-12238372.php (http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Morford-Berkeley-magic-mushrooms-Big-Pharma-12238372.php)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Donald on October 02, 2017, 02:46:55 pm
...all is not what it seems...to the naive😉

Epic moment at UN as truth teller ambushes them and shatters their lies
by SB on October 2, 2017 at 2:30pm

Above: PLO delegate goes into shock listening to UN Watch speaker Mosab Hassan Yousef expose PLO lies.
There is nothing I enjoy more than good political ambush and Palestinian Mosab Hassan Yousef on behalf of UN Watch made a speech that made heads turn and eyes bulge. It is crude to say it but I see the UN as one big circle jerk who only allow Israel to be described in the vilest of terms. Because they expect all Palestinians to stick to the prescribed anti-Israel narrative they were totally shocked by Yousef’s speech.

Statement by United Nations Watch
36th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council
Delivered by Mosab Hassan Yousef

Thank you, Mr. President.

I take the floor on behalf of UN Watch.

My name is Mosab Hassan Yousef. I grew up in Ramallah as a member of Hamas.

I address my words to the Palestinian Authority, which claims to be the “sole legitimate representative” of the Palestinian people.

I ask: where does your legitimacy come from?

The Palestinian people did not elect you, and they did not appoint you to represent them.

You are self-appointed.

Your accountability is not to your own people. This is evidenced by your total violation of their human rights.

In fact, the Palestinian individual and their human development is the least of your concerns.

You kidnap Palestinian students from campus and torture them in your jails. You torture your political rivals. The suffering of the Palestinian people is the outcome of your selfish political interests. You are the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people.

If Israel did not exist, you would have no one to blame. Take responsibility for the outcome of your own actions.

You fan the flames of conflict to maintain your abusive power.

Finally, you use this platform to mislead the international community, and to mislead Palestinian society, to believe that Israel is responsible for the problems you create.

Thank you.

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on October 02, 2017, 03:18:35 pm

I reckon you need to take some psilocybin to loosen up your mind.

Or even better....a full-on dose of mescaline to “blow your mind” for about twenty-four hours.

It may even improve your intelligence....it would certainly open your mind up to some of the hidden dimensions.

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Donald on October 02, 2017, 03:21:46 pm
Haha...yes I have some ideas on how to "open up your mind" also...do you have access to firearms😉

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on May 09, 2019, 08:32:48 pm

from The Washington Post…

Denver voters approve decriminalization of ‘magic mushrooms’

Already awash in legal marijuana, Denver endorses psilocybin as a mind-altering option.
The referendum was the first in the country to consider changing the status of psilocybin
mushrooms, which some say could have positive effects on depression, pain and addiction.

By ROM JACKMAN | 7:58PM EDT — Wednesday, May 08, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/tQBf9hjH0UmLa9MpEWRraWxWl4Q=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/BCAEQNDQOII6TEZRGC6FQNXURY.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/tQBf9hjH0UmLa9MpEWRraWxWl4Q=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/BCAEQNDQOII6TEZRGC6FQNXURY.jpg)
Chris Olson holds a sign near a busy intersection in downtown Denver on Monday as he urges voters to decriminalize the use of psilocybin,
the psychedelic substance in “magic mushrooms”. — Photograph: Thomas Peipert/Associated Press.

VOTERS in Denver approved the nation's first referendum on decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms on Tuesday. Though it took election officials until Wednesday afternoon to tabulate the vote, 50.6 percent of the 176,000 voters picked “yes,” and 49.4 percent voted no.

The voters endorsed a change in Denver law that will require police to make arresting people for personal possession or use of psilocybin mushrooms “the lowest law enforcement priority in the City and County of Denver.” The final vote total still must be certified by Denver election officials.

“We're sending a clear signal to the rest of the country,” Kevin Matthews, the leader of the “Decriminalize Denver” (https://decriminalizedenver.org/) movement, which placed Initiative 301 (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5bb4f9c27046803ce123a760/t/5c6360158165f54e1f1b090a/1550016533926/DPMDI.pdf) on the ballot, said. “that America is ready to talk about psilocybin. We have work to do, we're ready for it and we couldn't be happier.”

In early returns, it appeared the measure might not pass. City residents had three weeks to cast votes, and a large number of votes submitted on Tuesday enabled the yes votes to reverse a 4,700-vote deficit in the final count.

Although recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, the mushroom referendum affected only Denver. Hallucinogenic mushrooms remain illegal in Denver and the rest of Colorado, and selling them will still be a felony. They also remain a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Matthews said they would not have been available in the city's cannabis dispensaries and should still be used carefully.

The initiative also establishes a review panel to analyze the public safety, administrative, fiscal and health impacts of the decriminalization of mushrooms.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/Ym5ist3MDqIMXOOhYEj7KfGeAyE=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/VNJ3RSDN4AI6TO7HDR4Y7OAFGY.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/Ym5ist3MDqIMXOOhYEj7KfGeAyE=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/VNJ3RSDN4AI6TO7HDR4Y7OAFGY.jpg)
Denver voters decided on Tuesday to decriminalize possession and use of hallucinogenic mushrooms. — Photograph: Peter Dejong/Associated Press.

Denver's law enforcement community was not thrilled by the prospect of more readily available hallucinogens. The Denver Police Department declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (Democrat), who was leading in his bid for a third term in a race that was still undecided on Wednesday, said he opposed the initiative, and Denver District Attorney Beth McCann (Democrat) also voiced opposition.

“We're still figuring out marijuana, and even though things are going well so far, we're still measuring the impacts on the people of Denver,” McCann said. She said she feared that, if the measure passed, Denver would attract more drug users and mushroom-influenced drivers would create havoc.

After the measure passed, McCann's spokeswoman, Carolyn Tyler, said the prosecutor supported the review committee created by the referendum and “we'll study how it's going to affect the city.” Tyler noted that “the language in the initiative is open-ended and it will take us some time to implement next steps,” including figuring out how a section about not funding prosecution of mushroom cases would be interpreted. Tyler said the measure would not change much in the district attorney's office because “we are not putting people in jail for low-level possession.”

But a number of studies (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25586402) have shown that psilocybin can have positive (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2006/GriffithsPsilocybin.pdf), lasting effects on depression (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5813086/), chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions and anxiety. Matthews said his own experience with mushrooms had helped him overcome major depression.

The federal Food and Drug Administration has granted “breakthrough therapy” status to study psilocybin for treating depression. The FDA describes breakthrough therapy as designed to expedite development of a drug after preliminary evidence shows “the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy.”

Matthews said psilocybin has been shown to help reduce dependence on opioids. “Given our national crisis with opioids, that's a big one,” he said. He also noted that a large, and rising, percentage of the American populace is taking medication for mental health. “It's pretty clear” from the FDA granting psilocybin “breakthrough status,” Matthews said, “that the federal government knows we need some other solutions as well.”

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/eGfMjtbefAxBQFiQJSePigG7HyA=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/QUR7ZBDN4EI6TO7HDR4Y7OAFGY.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/eGfMjtbefAxBQFiQJSePigG7HyA=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/QUR7ZBDN4EI6TO7HDR4Y7OAFGY.jpg)
Kevin Matthews led the campaign for magic mushrooms in Denver, called “Decriminalize Denver”. — Photograph: Hyoung Chang/Associated Press.

The Denver Psilocybin Initiative raised about $45,000 in support of the campaign, advertising mostly on social media and posters around Denver, and it gathered more than 9,000 signatures to get Initiative 301 on the ballot. There was no organized opposition.

Early totals on Tuesday night had the mushroom referendum trailing by as much as 55 percent to 45 percent, but by 1 a.m., the margin had narrowed to about three percentage points. The final total was released about 4:30 p.m. Mountain time.

“What an amazing 22 hours,” Matthews said. “We're really looking forward to creating a positive relationship with city officials in Denver and working with and educating Denver residents, and being part of the continuing conversation.”

“No one should be arrested or incarcerated simply for using or possessing psilocybin or any other drug," said Art Way, Colorado State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. ““If anything, this initiative doesn't go nearly far enough. Given the scientific and public support for decriminalizing all drugs, as Portugal has done successfully, we need broader reforms that can scale back the mass criminalization of people who use drugs.”


Tom Jackman (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/tom-jackman) has been covering crime and courts for The Washington Post since 1998, after handling similar beats at the Kansas City Star. Jackman helped lead the coverage of the D.C. sniper trials in 2003 and was the lead writer on The Washington Post's breaking news coverage of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, which won the Pulitzer Prize. More recently he focused on the police killing of an unarmed man in Fairfax County, Virginia, which ended with the officer convicted of manslaughter and serving jail time. In 2016, Jackman launched the True Crime blog, which looks at criminal justice issues and important cases locally and nationally. Jackman holds a BA in English and American studies from the University of Notre Dame.


Related to this topic:

 • As legal marijuana booms, Denver votes on decriminalizing hallucinogenic mushrooms (https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/05/06/legal-marijuana-booms-denver-votes-decriminalizing-hallucinogenic-mushrooms/?utm_term=.70fe1a6770a5)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/05/08/denver-voters-apparently-reject-decriminalization-magic-mushrooms (https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/05/08/denver-voters-apparently-reject-decriminalization-magic-mushrooms)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on May 24, 2019, 07:34:55 pm

from Consequence of Sound…

Synth repairman accidentally gets high after
touching old LSD on a vintage '60s synthesizer

The strain was possibly from Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead's notorious sound engineer.

By NINA CORCORAN | 3:17PM — Thursday, May 23, 2019

(https://consequenceofsound.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/vintage-Buchla-Model-100-modular-synthesizer-from-Cal-State-University.png?w=925) (https://consequenceofsound.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/vintage-Buchla-Model-100-modular-synthesizer-from-Cal-State-University.png)
Vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer from California State University. — Photograph: via KPIX 5.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you found a 50-year-old dose of LSD laying around? If you're Eliot Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Manager for KPIX Television, you get high on acid… accidentally.

Curtis recently undertook the project of restoring a vintage Buchla Model 100 modular synthesizer. According to San Francisco KPIX 5 (https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2019/05/21/1960s-rock-music-san-francisco-lsd-buchla-100-synthesizer-grateful-dead), the instrument had been sitting in a cold, dark room at California State University East Bay since the 1960s, so he lugged it home and began repairing it.

After opening a red-paneled module on the synthesizer, he noticed there was “a crust or a crystalline residue on it.” Naturally, he did what any person tasked with fixing up an old instrument would do: spray some cleaner on it, pick at the residue with his finger, and try to dislodge it by scratching it off. But 45 minutes later, he started to feel some tingling. It was the start of a nine-hour acid trip.

Three individual chemical tests identified the substance on the synthesizer as LSD. An anonymous LSD researcher explained what happened. It turns out that when stored in a cool, dark place, LSD can remain potent for decades. On top of that, there's written evidence from Albert Hoffman, the first person to ingest LSD, that he believed it could be ingested through the skin.

What was LSD doing on the instrument in the first place? Nobody knows, but there's plenty of theories. Look no further than Don Buchla, the instrument's inventor. Not only was Buchla part of the '60s counterculture at large, but his synthesizers ended up on an old school bus purchased by LSD advocate Ken Kesey and his followers in 1966. During Kesey's acid tests at Winterland on Halloween, electronic sounds interrupted an interview with Kesey. Additionally, Buchla was a friend of Owsley Stanley, the Grateful Dead (https://consequenceofsound.net/artist/grateful-dead)'s sound engineer and an infamous manufacturer of an extremely pure strain of LSD.

Those looking for a similar experience will have to look elsewhere. Curtis finished cleaning the vintage Buchla model for good — and this time around, he made sure to wear gloves.


Nina Corcoran (https://consequenceofsound.net/author/nina-corcoran) is a writer and photographer based in Boston. Her work has been published on Pitchfork, Paste Magazine, The Quietus, Impose, DigBoston, and more. When not reading n+1 or raiding the nearest candy store, she's busy practicing banjo for her world tour with Kermit.

https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/05/synth-repairman-accidentally-gets-high-after-touching-old-lsd-on-a-vintage-60s-synthesizer (https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/05/synth-repairman-accidentally-gets-high-after-touching-old-lsd-on-a-vintage-60s-synthesizer)

Title: Re: Psychedelia
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on June 07, 2019, 07:57:22 pm

from The Washington Post…

James Ketchum, who conducted mind-altering
experiments on soldiers, dies at 87

He spearheaded a Cold War research program searching
for “an alternative to bombs and bullets”.

By HARRISON SMITH | 9:55PM EDT — Tuesday, June 04, 2019

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/LA43FNs6SB8p2hxUHVWjBSM3HTA=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/DMAQNKUG2UI6THLT4K5GXPY3TM.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/LA43FNs6SB8p2hxUHVWjBSM3HTA=/1484x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/DMAQNKUG2UI6THLT4K5GXPY3TM.jpg)
James S. Ketchum, right, then an Army lieutenant colonel and chief of the clinical research department at Edgewood
Arsenal in Maryland in 1969, stands with Seymour D. Silver, front, Henry T. Uhrig, left, and Joseph R. Blair.
 — Photograph: Bob Daugherty/Associated Press.

JAMES S. KETCHUM, an Army psychiatrist who studied the effects of LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs on American soldiers, overseeing classified Cold War-era experiments that spurred a debate on medical ethics, died on May 27 at his home in Peoria, Arizona. He was 87.

His wife, Judy Ketchum, said she did not know the cause.

As American scientists raced to develop new missile systems in the 1960s, vying to outpace the Soviet Union in battlefield advances, Dr. Ketchum stood on the front lines of a parallel effort to modernize — some said civilize — human warfare.

“I was working on a noble cause,” he once said, according to a 2012 profile (https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/12/17/operation-delirium) by New Yorker journalist Raffi Khatchadourian. “The purpose of this research was to find something that would be an alternative to bombs and bullets.”

In search of a “war without death,” he and other Army researchers explored the use of mind-altering, nonlethal drugs, envisioning a day in which enemy combatants could be incapacitated by a breeze bearing psychedelics or a water supply tainted with LSD. Conducted from 1955 to 1975 at Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, the experiments echoed studies conducted through Project MKUltra, a CIA program that focused on the mind-control potential of drugs such as LSD.

Both initiatives were halted amid media reports and withering congressional hearings, during which the Edgewood project's founder and director, Van Murray Sim, was criticized for failing to provide follow-up medical care for the 7,000 soldiers who participated as test subjects. An Army investigation found no evidence of deaths or “serious injury” as a result of the testing, although researchers later noted the possibility of long-term psychological effects.

For the most part, Dr. Ketchum was a fierce defender of the Edgewood studies and of “psycho­chemical warfare” more broadly — as when, in 2002, Russian authorities pumped a gas (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/articles/A21613-2002Oct26.html) into a Moscow theater where Chechen militants had seized more than 700 hostages. The gas enabled Russian special forces to storm the theater but killed scores of innocents.

“It's been looked at by some skeptics as a kind of tragedy,” Dr. Ketchum said, according to the New Yorker. “They say, ‘Look, 130 people died’. Well, I think that 130 is better than 800, and it's also better, as a secondary consideration, not to have to blow up a beautiful theater.”

Raised in New York City, with a literary bent and self-described “appetite for novelty,” Dr. Ketchum arrived at Edgewood in 1961 as a research psychiatrist amid reports that the Soviet Union was also developing robust chemical warfare capabilities. He rose to lead the arsenal's pharmacology branch and clinical research department, designing and overseeing experiments on hundreds of healthy soldiers.

The research center tested toxic nerve agents such as VX and sarin gas, and some scientists conducted experiments that contributed to the development of bulletproof Kevlar vests and chem­otherapy treatments for cancer. Dr. Ketchum specialized in drugs that caused delirium — throwing the mind into chaos, sometimes for several days — including phencyclidine, or PCP, and lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD.

Before his arrival, he said, the latter was occasionally tested on unwitting subjects: dropped into the coffee cup of a commanding officer at breakfast, mixed into cocktails at a party or added to an Army unit's water supply. Dr. Ketchum insisted that he ended such practices and described his experiments as scarcely different from civilian drug tests.

His subjects volunteered through an Army recruitment program, but they were not told what they were given or how it would affect them, leading critics to insist that the experiments violated medical ethics by failing to obtain patients' full consent.

Colonel Douglas Lindsey, the arsenal's chief medical officer, once declared that his volunteers were “not really informed at all.” Dr. Ketchum, by contrast, denied that subjects were “unwitting guinea pigs,” and in 2008 told the San Jose-area website MetroActive (http://www.metroactive.com/bohemian/07.02.08/cover-Ketchum-0827.html) that his volunteers “performed a patriotic service.”

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/IORoJjyZa0PiP9q4btKEg7FIwPk=/480x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/FQ6K7KEHBEI6THLT4K5GXPY3TM.jpg) (https://www.washingtonpost.com/resizer/IORoJjyZa0PiP9q4btKEg7FIwPk=/480x0/arc-anglerfish-washpost-prod-washpost.s3.amazonaws.com/public/FQ6K7KEHBEI6THLT4K5GXPY3TM.jpg)
Dr. Ketchum spent most of the 1960s conducting experiments at Edgewood,
including studying the effects of LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs
on American soldiers. — Photograph: U.S. Army.

Soon after his arrival, Dr. Ketchum began focusing on 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, or BZ, a white crystalline powder initially produced to treat ulcers. In small doses, it wreaked havoc on users, triggering a delirium in which patients exhibited obsessive behaviors, repeatedly fell down, experienced strange visions and more or less lost their minds.

Dr. Ketchum built padded cells for test subjects and, in one 1962 experiment, effectively created a Hollywood film set, constructing a makeshift “outpost” at which several soldiers were dosed with BZ, filmed by hidden cameras and ordered to prepare for an imminent chemical attack. In separate experiments, one subject tore down a panel of padding, “broke a wooden chair and smashed a hole in the wall,” according to notes kept by Dr. Ketchum. Another told him, “I feel like my life is not worth a nickel here.”

BZ was tested as a potential weapon, blown through wind tunnels to simulate a battlefield spray. But it proved difficult to control the size of doses and logistically challenging to administer — notably when Dr. Ketchum developed a plan, dubbed Project Dork, to disable the crews of Soviet trawlers sighted in 1964 off the coast of Alaska.

To test his proposal, a generator was used to produce a mist of BZ at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. The experiment was filmed by the Army, and Dr. Ketchum used the footage to direct a propaganda film, Cloud of Confusion (https://tinyurl.com/y4woc8ur), featuring ominous voice-over narration: “And on this desert this cloud was unleashed so men could measure the dimensions of its stupefying power.”

Project Dork failed to convince military leaders that BZ was worth using on the battlefield, however, and Dr. Ketchum left Edgewood for another Army post in 1971. He took many of the arsenal's papers with him — a vast collection of documents that filled fireproof safes and boxes scattered across his home — and spent decades ruminating on his work, writing a memoir and weighing the duties of a doctor against those of a soldier.

“I struggle with these things,” he told the New Yorker. “But I have always had the feeling that I am doing more the right thing than the wrong thing.”

The older of two sons, James Sanford Ketchum was born in Manhattan on November 1, 1931. His mother was a secretary, and his father was a telephone company manager who worked closely with Norman Vincent Peale, their church pastor and the author of The Power of Positive Thinking (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0743234804).

Dr. Ketchum received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1952, graduated from medical school in 1956 at Cornell University and — tired of being broke and starting most days with “an old pickle jar half-filled with black coffee” for breakfast — joined the Army.

He initially worked at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and he took a sabbatical from Edgewood in the mid-1960s to study at Stanford on a post-doctoral fellowship; while there, he also treated drug addicts at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics. After resigning his colonel's commission in 1976, he taught medicine at the University of Texas and the University of California at Los Angeles and worked at hospitals and clinics until retiring in the early 2000s.

His marriages to Joan O'Leary, Phyllis Pennington and Margot Turnbull ended in divorce. His marriage to Doris Fautheree was annulled, and in 1995 he married Judy Ann Schaller. In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Kevin Ketchum, from his marriage to Fautheree; a daughter, Robin Ketchum, from his marriage to Turnbull; a brother; and a grandson. A daughter from his marriage to Fautheree, Laura, died in 2017.

Dr. Ketchum's archives featured in a 2009 class-action lawsuit, filed by a veterans' advocacy group on behalf of soldiers who participated in the chemical weapons testing program. In 2017, the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California ordered the Army to provide medical care (https://armymedicine.health.mil/CBTP) to the surviving volunteers.

In his memoir, Chemical Warfare: Secrets Almost Forgotten (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1424300800) (2006), Dr. Ketchum said that although he abstained from taking BZ, he was sometimes mystified by what he saw at Edgewood. One day, he said, he walked into his office to find a “large black steel barrel.” Inside were glass canisters filled with LSD — enough to intoxicate several hundred million people, by his estimate, and worth nearly $1 billion on the street.

Within a week, the barrel was gone. Dr. Ketchum said he never learned what it was for.


Harrison Smith (https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/harrison-smith) is a reporter on The Washington Post's Obituaries (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries) desk, where he has worked since 2015. He covers people who have made a significant impact on their field, city or country — a group of the recently deceased that includes big-game hunters, single-handed sailors, fallen dictators, Olympic champions and the creator of the Hawaiian pizza. He previously worked for KidsPost (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost) and contributed to Washingtonian and Chicago magazines, among other publications. He was born in Dallas and lived in Chicago, where he co-founded the South Side Weekly newspaper before moving to the District in 2015.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/james-ketchum-who-conducted-mind-altering-experiments-on-soldiers-dies-at-87/2019/06/04/7b5ad322-86cc-11e9-a491-25df61c78dc4_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/james-ketchum-who-conducted-mind-altering-experiments-on-soldiers-dies-at-87/2019/06/04/7b5ad322-86cc-11e9-a491-25df61c78dc4_story.html)