Deepak Chopra's psychedelic experiences inspire a new meditation video
game for Kinect and Wii, Bill Maher describes acid as safer than
processed sugar and "mind-narrowing pharmeceuticals", and brain scans
reveal the "reality" of ayahuasca visions in this week's psychedelic
news.

  • Leela, a new meditation and chakra-based game for Kinect and Wii, was inspired by spirituality guru Deepak Chopra's early experiments with psychedelic drugs. (Wired)
  • Bill Maher explains the value of tripping on acid, and why "it's one of the least harmful drugs a child could ever take." (Mediaite)
  • A study correlates high IQ in children with subsequent use of illegal drugs, including "cocaine, cannabis, LSD (acid), heroin, downers (tanks, blues, barbiturates), and uppers (speed and wiz)". (Medical News Today, TIME)
  • A study suggests that LSD use in Australia has increased significantly in the last year. (Sydney Morning Herald)
  • Brazilian scientists report ayahuasca visions may be as real as anything the eyes actually see, according to brain scans of activity in the primary visual cortex. (New Scientist)
  • Amazonia, a new documentary by Alberto Villoldo, addresses the power of healing with jungle plants. (Technorati)
  • A new film looks at the work of a Canadian doctor and author who travelled to the Amazon to larn about ayahuasca, a psychotropic medicine that may help drug addicts recover. (Yahoo News)
  • This same Canadian doctor, who allowed a film crew to document his use of ayahuasca to help treat drug addiction, has been ordered to end his treatments. (CBC News)
  • Canadian researchers have sequenced the genome of Cannabis sativa, the plant that produces both industrial hemp and marijuana, revealing the genetic changes that led to the plant's drug-producing properties. (Science Daily)
  • David Jay Brown explains how ibogaine, a derivative of the psychoactive African plant iboga, can offer hope for people with severe drug addictions. (Santa Cruz Patch)
  • An article reviews recent evidence that MDMA and other illegal drugs like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms can help treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (Miller-McCune)
  • A feature article describes NYU's project using psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat end-of-life distress in people with cancer, and the current state of palliative care in the United States. (Institute of Noetic Sciences)
  • James Fadiman, PhD describes the growing field of psychedelic psychotherapy research. (Institute of Noetic Sciences)
  • The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies will be celebrating 25 years of research and education from December 8-12 in Oakland, CA. (Santa Cruz Patch)
  • The Ecuador National Assembly is to begin a debate on the decriminalization of possession of drugs for personal use. (Talking Drugs)
  • Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian president, has called for the global legalization of marijuana to help combat the trafficking of harder drugs and related violence. (Telegraph, Guardian)
  • A Forbes article highlights the many failures of the drug war, asserting that "it's time to declare peace in the war against drugs." (Forbes)
  • An editorial addresses the fact that even though a major international summit on drugs will be hosted in the UK by Baroness Meacher in the House of Lords, no front line British politicians are involved. (Guardian)
  • 1,000 people attended the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Los Angeles. (Huffington Post)
  • An Atlantic article reports on new research from Johns Hopkins that suggests a single dose of psilocybin can result in a measurable increase in qualities of "openness" for months afterward. (Atlantic)
  • A coalition of medical marijuana reform backers in California is working on an initiative for the 2012 ballot that would impose statewide regulation on California's medical marijuana dispensaries. (Stop the Drug War)
  • The federal crackdown on cannabis threatens California's legal marijuana trade. (Guardian)
  • 4 Bay Area dispensaries received letters from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag setting a November 21 deadline for the dispenaries to shut down, or risk asset forfeiture proceedings against their landlords and up to 40 years in prison for the operators. (SF Weekly)
  • Hundreds of marijuana advocates gathered in downtown San Francisco to protest the recent federal crackdowns on California's medical cannabis industry while President Obama attended a fundraising luncheon nearby. (Huffington Post)
  • The White House responds to NORML's "We the People" petition for marijuana legalization. (NORML)
  • Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) responds to the White House, stating that marijuana is more popular than President Obama. (Toke of the Town)
  • 7 members of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco signed in support of legislation urging the feds to reverse its crackdown on medical marijuana. (SF Gate)
  • The DEA conducts the largest medical marijuana raid in Washington state history. (Seattle Times)
  • Arrests in California in every category of crime are down except for misdemeanor marijuana possession, which have doubled since 1990 to 54,800 arrests in 2010. The vast majority of those arrested were black youths. (SF Weekly)
  • A former Mohawk chief who once ran on an anti-drug platform in a tribal election has been charged with ecstasy-trafficking in New York City. (NY Post)
  • A Vancouver man appeared in Federal Court arguing for an exemption to drug laws because they infringe on his constitutional freedom of religion to smoke marijuana. A federal lawyer argued that he failed to make the case that marijuana is sacred to him. (Vancouver Sun)
  • 11/16 is celebrated as the day Swiss chemists Arthur Stoll and Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD in 1938. (Euro News)
  • Albert Hoffman's letter to Steve Jobs about LSD is reproduced in the Atlantic Wire. (Atlantic Wire)
  • Indian cities see a steep rise in party drugs. (Yahoo News)
  • Police seize raw materials for the equivalent of $20 to $30 million worth of product at a synthetic drug lab in Las Vegas. (Fox 5 Vegas)
  • Psychedelic "bath salts" are back on the shelves of head shops in Ohio two weeks after becoming illegal. (WTOL 11)
  • A burglar high on bath salts breaks into a family's home and puts up Christmas decorations. (NY Daily News)
  • A four-year-old girl is taken to the hospital after allegedly ingesting LSD. (Herald Sun)
  • A UK man narrowly avoids jail after taking "hundreds of magic mushrooms" and assaulting 2 people in a pool bar. (County Times)
  • An American high school student was on LSD during a field trip when he fell to his death at Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver. (NS News)
  • 2 teenagers are arrested for shoplifting kitchen utensils to "cook" dimethyltryptamine, or DMT. (Denver Post)
  • One man explains why he never plans to try LSD. (CNJ Online)

"This Week in Psychedelics" is a Reality Sandwich column that follows the multifaceted media appearances of this class of chemicals and their effects in popular culture. Share your psychedelic news links on the facebook page.

Image by Christopher Martin Adams.