This Week in Psychedelics


 

Colorado and Washington vote to legalize marijuana, Peruvian ayahuasca shamans call the election for Obama, and a new online course examines the neuroscience of drugs for therapy and recreation in this week's psychedelic news.

 

  • Colorado and Washington voters passed amendments to legalize the use and sale of marijuana for recreational purposes. (Mercury News, Huffington Post, Businessweek, Huffington Post)
  • Colorado officials and marijuana advocates anticipate an imminent confrontation with the federal government over conflicting marijuana laws. (Denver Post)
  • Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, an ardent opponent of marijuana legalization, said he would respect the will of Colorado voters but urged the U.S. Department of Justice to block the new marijuana laws. (Mercury News)
  • A former high-ranking official in Mexico's internal intelligence service expressed optimism that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington would damage the income of Mexican drug cartels. (ABC)
  • Massachusetts voters approved a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana. (Boston)
  • Alternet reports that the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) commissioned Dr. Donald Tashkin to prove that marijuana causes lung cancer, but both NIDA and the media ignored the unexpected results that suggest marijuana prevents lung cancer. (Alternet)
  • The Huffington Post asks why the Obama administration is obstructing the ability of scientists to conduct new marijuana research. (Huffington Post)
  • The New York Times cited the avoidance of issues related to the drug war by both US presidential candidates as one reason why many young people were hesitant to vote. (NY Times)
  • Peruvian shamans used ayahuasca, maracas, and coca leaves to predict that Barack Obama would win the US presidential election. (Raw Story, Slate)
  • A new Harvard library collection features 30,000 books and 25,000 posters, photographs, and other ephemera on the topic of drugs and altered consciousness. (Harvard Gazette)
  • Producer Silkky Johnson released "Debauched Legend," a new "psychedelic rap album" featuring A$AP Rocky, Metro Zu, Western Tink, and trippy remixes of French Montana, Drake, and others. (SPIN)
  • Erik Davis asks whether there is any room for sacred forces in the increasingly dominant neurological portrait of the human being painted by contemporary psychedelic research. (Aeon Magazine)
  • "Drugs and the Brain," Henry A. Lester's online course via Caltech and Coursera, will examine the neuroscience of drugs for therapy, prevention, and recreation beginning 12/1. (Coursera)
  • Psychedelic researcher Dr. James Fadiman spoke at a Master's Dessert at Yale University and was featured in an interview with Yale Daily News. (Yale Daily News)
  • Scott A. McGreal, MSC. explains why more research is necessary to connect psilocybin to decreased brain activity and an unconstrained style of cognition. (Psychology Today)
  • The Huffington Post reviews "The Shaman and Ayahuasca," a documentary based on filmmaker Michael Wiese's healing trip into the Peruvian Amazon. (Huffington Post)
  • Psychiatrist James Ketchum's book "Chemical Warfare Secrets Almost Forgotten" details the military projects at the Army's Chemical Center at Edgewood Arsenal, MD from 1955 to 1975. Several thousand U.S. soldiers volunteered to take LSD and other powerful psychoactive drugs in an attempt to develop non-lethal military weapons. (Santa Cruz Patch)
  • Amsterdam's mayor has decided to allow the city's 220 coffee shops to continue to marijuana and hashish to patrons in spite of a new Dutch law meant to reduce drug tourism. (NY Times)
  • Dutch Iboga therapist Sara Glatt has been released from custody after spending over 100 days in pre-trial custody. She is due back in court later this month, when a verdict is set to be made on whether she was responsible for the death of a man who was hit by a truck 56 hours after she gave him Ibogaine. (Psychedelic Press UK)
  • The Om Shan Tea tea house and cultural center in the Mission District of San Francisco shut down amid the drug trial of owner and community leader Oshan Cook. Oshan was subsequently found guilty in federal court for distributing MDMA and LSD, a conviction that carries a minimum ten year federal prison sentence. An online fundraising campaign established by friends and family is helping to cover his legal fees. (Huffington Post, Mercury News, IndieGoGo)
  • A Washington man was sentenced to four years in prison after selling 160 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms to a federal informant. (Seattle Pi)
  • Three men were arrested in Massachusetts for possession of ecstasy, nitrous oxide, and 20,000 doses of LSD. (Wicked Local)
  • California authorities have busted the third DMT lab in the state and the first in the Bay Area. (KTVU)
  • A sensationalistic article from the UK examines the risks of growing trends in legal highs. (Live)
  • The son of a former lawmaker says the CIA covertly tested LSD on his father with deleterious effects on his mental health. (WSB TV)
  • Police discovered a stash of drugs in an Indiana apartment after a 19 year old confessed to taking 30 hits of acid, ranted about aliens hiding in his apartment, and claimed dinosaurs were chasing him as he ran screaming down the road. (Fox 59)
  • The Mobile County district attorney hopes to have a toxicology report by the end of the week for 18-year-old Gil Collar, who was killed by a police officer while naked and allegedly on LSD. Samples were sent to an independent lab because the state isn't equipped to test for bath salts, synthetic marijuana, or LSD. (SF Gate)
  • A scathing coroner's report compares the Australian police that fatally tasered a student who was under the influence of LSD to the "schoolboys from Lord of the Flies." (Sky)
  • At least three people were treated for 25I-NBOMe overdoses at Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans. Friends of all three indicated it was their first time taking the research chemical, which dealers were marketing as artificial LSD or artificial mescaline. One young man slipped into a coma and died several days later after being offerered one drop from a vial. (Times-Picayne)

 

Image by Christopher Martin Adams.

"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 or twitter.

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the "news" links presented here. The purpose of this blog is to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation. This presentation format encourages an open dialogue, and allows for misinformation to be noticed and addressed by interested and informed parties. We provide the content; you provide the analysis and debate.