This Week in Psychedelics


 

The NY Times describes efforts to treat PTSD with MDMA, the world's largest independent survey of drug use collects data online, and new Australian legislation allows drug scheduling to bypass parliament in this week's psychedelic news.

 

  • The New York Times and Military.com describe efforts to treat veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder with MDMA, the main ingredient in ecstasy. (NY Times, Military.com)
  • The Herald Sun reviews the work of Australian scientists to test the potential medical uses of illicit drugs, including an effort to treat war veterans with PTSD. (Herald Sun)
  • Amanda Feilding, the countess of Wemyss and March, is being taken seriously in her quest to change drug policy across the world after years of being portrayed as an eccentric aristocrat. (Guardian)
  • "Breaking the Taboo," a new documentary against the war on drugs, is narrated by Morgan Freeman and features interviews with former US presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. (Telegraph)
  • The online Global Drug Survey, which runs for four weeks until late December, is the largest independent survey of drug use patterns in the world. (Global Drug Survey)
  • A government-led legalization bill will allow Uruguayans to cultivate and sell marijuana at home and in clubs. (Reuters)
  • A cross-party committee in New South Wales, Australia will examine whether marijuana can be used as an effective and safe form of relief for sufferers of certain illnesses, such as cancer and AIDS. (ABC)
  • The Sydney Morning Herald describes what cannabis legalization might look like in Australia. (SMH)
  • New legislation in Victoria, Australia will allow the government to update its list of illegal drugs without needing to change the Commmonwealth Criminal Code, which would have required approval from both houses of parliament. (The Age)
  • Larry Hagman, who played J. R. Ewing on the television show "Dallas," passed on November 23 at the age of 81. He was an outspoken advocate of the potential values of LSD and spoke at the MAPS Catalysts conference in 2010. (NY Times, Santa Cruz Patch)
  • The latest issue of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs contains several articles on ayahuasca, including a study that demonstrates increased creativity following two weeks of ayahuasca ceremonies. (Taylor & Francis)
  • A NY Times editorial argues that US federal marijuana policy is increasingly out of step with both the values of American citizens and with state law, resulting in an unjust and schizophrenic system of justice. (NY Times)
  • A Washington Post editorial advocates a treatment- and evidence-based system in place of the war on drugs and mass incarceration for nonviolent drug-related crimes. (Washington Post)
  • A CNN editorial argues for controlled drug legalization as an alternative to prohibition, which has increased turf wars, gang violence, and access to drugs. (CNN)
  • Timothy Egan argues for the federal government to support legalization and regulation in the "cannabis spring." (NY Times)
  • A 7-year-old girl suffering from leukemia has become one of Oregon's youngest medical marijuana patients. The girl's father reported her mother to child welfare officials for administering one gram of cannabis oil daily. (NBC)
  • Nearly 60 years after the death of Frank Olson, a government scientist who had been given LSD by the CIA without his knowledge, his family says it plans to sue the government, alleging that he was murdered and did not commit suicide as the CIA maintains. (NY Times)
  • Filmmaker and performance philosopher Jason Silva argues that big ideas should instill a sense of wonder in people as if they're high on drugs. (CNN
  • A Scientific American feature analyzes the language of drug experiences. (Scientific American)
  • NPR connects the ingestion of psychedelic amanita muscaria mushrooms to the Santa story and tales of flying reindeer. (NPR)
  • Chance the Rapper talks about LSD and his new mixtape, "Acid Rap." (Chicago Reader)
  • A presentation at the 2012 US Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress outlined the neuropsychiatric effects of emerging drugs of abuse. (Psychiatric Times)
  • A record 57 new "legal highs" were detected in Europe this year as the number of online retailers increased to 693 from 170 in 2010. Salvia, magic mushrooms, and kratom are among the list of "new substances." (Guardian)
  • A drug and alcohol conference in Melbourne, Australia addressed the legal system's struggle to cope with the spread of synthetic drugs. (ABC)
  • Police in Australia warn that the "zombie drugs" known as bath salts are sold as legal highs despite their deadly contents, which are causing people to go on psychotic and naked rampages. (Courier Mail)
  • The alleged distributors of a deadly drug linked to Australia's first "bath salts" death have been arrested after raids of about 20 businesses and homes in southeast Queensland. (Courier Mail)
  • A Colorado State editorial argues that the significance of marijuana legalization on the illegal drug trade pales in comparison to the impact of websites like Silk Road. (Rocky Mountain Collegian)
  • The District Attorney in Boulder, Colorado dismissed all pending criminal cases of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, saying that the overwhelming support for Amendment 64 makes it highly unlikely that a jury would ever reach a guilty verdict in those cases. (Daily Camera)
  • An online petition asks President Obama to respect the will of the people in Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana use. (World War-D)
  • A Whitehouse.gov petition is urging the government to decriminalize the use and distribution of entheogenic plants and fungi, including psilocybin-containing mushrooms, ayahuasca, mimosa hostels, peyote, and iboga. (Whitehouse.gov)
  • The Oakland Press describes efforts to institute a temporary ban of the synthetic drug 25I-NBOMe, or N-Bomb, which is currently unscheduled. (Oakland Press)
  • A bail of $1,006,000 was set for a man in Alabama after police discovered cocaine, prescription medication, counterfeit money, and 200 hits of LSD. (Alabama)
  • A couple from Scottsbluff, Nebraska was sentenced to several years of probation for receiving delivery of LSD and other drugs through the U.S. Postal Service. (Star Herald)
  • After an Australian man committed an "indecent act" while naked in public, police found 25 grams of magic mushrooms during a search of his home. (The Australian)

 

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.