Horizons Perspectives On Psychedelics Conference

Submitted by Xi Wang

The waves of mass psychedelic utopianism have come and gone, the hippie movement of the late ’60s and its electronic terpsichorean echo in the rave scene of the ’90s. But there’s a small but devoted community of scientists, spiritual seekers, artists and grown-up hedonists exploring the value of these drugs.

The “Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics” conference, held in New York Sept. 19-21, sought to present an older and wiser psychedelic movement, focusing on medicine, art, spirituality, and culture. It drew around 300 people, a mix of academic and hippie types, with the white button-down shirts slightly outnumbering the dreadlocks and the NASA T-shirts.

Psychedelics are “the most powerful psychiatric medicine ever devised,” says psychotherapist Neal Goldsmith, who curated the speakers. But because the way they work as medicine — when used in the proper setting — is by generating mystical experiences, “science has to expand.” Solid research, he adds, could change government policy, which classifies psychedelics as dangerous drugs with no accepted medical use.

The most promising current medical research, said Rick Doblin of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, is in coupling MDMA (Ecstasy) with intensive psychotherapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Preliminary studies, he said, have had “very encouraging results” with patients who did not respond to talk therapy and conventional medications.

The group hopes to win FDA approval within 10 years. But pharmaceutical companies aren’t interested — the MDMA molecule is in the public domain, the number of pills used in the therapy is unprofitably low, and the drug is controversial. So the model for developing it, Doblin said, will probably be along the lines of Planned Parenthood’s support for RU486.

Why are the FDA so quick in giving the green light to anti depressants for expectant mothers and ‘drugs’ to keep kids, er, ‘drugged up’ in classrooms with apparent ADHD etc, and yet chemical and non-chemical compounds are categorised as illegal because they actually genuinely help people. Who’s in it for profit huh?

For the full article What Happens When You Put 300 Experts on Psychedelics in the Same Room? HERE

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