This Week in Psychedelics


 

Washington and Colorado marijuana legalization laws go into effect,
former US Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter speak out against the
global drug war in a new documentary, and the UN General Assembly plans
a Special Session on drug policy in this week's psychedelic news.

 

  • Early bird registration for MAPS' Psychedelic Science 2013 conference is available until December 21. (MAPS)
  • "Breaking the Taboo," a new documentary against the global war on drugs, premiered at the Google headquarters in New York City and is available to stream free online. (Politico, Death and Taxes)
  • Australia's "The Age" asks why MDMA (the main ingredient in ecstasy) is illegal when health experts say it is less harmful than alcohol to both the individual and society. (The Age)
  • "The Zone" argues that the widespread demonization of drug use is often hypocritical and borders on collective hysteria. Citing the failure of the drug war, it argues that an emphasis on health over criminality is the best route forward. (The Age)
  • A powerful committee of British Members of Parliament argued that Britain is losing the war on drugs and should consider the radical option of legalization. (Daily Mail)
  • CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta profiled Rachel Hope, who overcame severe PTSD after participating in MAPS' pilot MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study in 2005. (CNN)
  • Jezebel explains how MDMA, the main ingredient is ecstasy, can help survivors of sexual assault. (Jezebel)
  • The web-based "Net Pleasure Index" is gathering information about the personal values behind recreational drug use. (Guardian)
  • Jamen Shively, a former Microsoft executive, has decided to build a retail marijuana business that he hopes will bring legitimacy to the industry. The buisness will be named after his great-grandfather, Diego Pellicer, who was the world's largest marijuana producer in the late 19th century. (Kiro TV)
  • A CBS News poll found that 59% of Americans think that marijuana's legal status should be determined by the states rather than the federal government. This number includes 65% of responding Republicans and 49% of those who oppose legalizing marijuana in general. (Drug Policy Alliance)
  • Speaking to a CNN panel, former US President Jimmy Carter stated that he is in favor of marijuana legalization. (NORML)
  • Marijuana was officially legalized in Washington state as the law passed by voters on Election Day went into effect. (Drug Policy Alliance)
  • The Seattle Police Department has told its 1300+ officers that until
    further notice, officers should not take any enforcement action, other
    than issuing a verbal warning, against public marijuana use. (SPD Blotter, Seattle Times)
  • Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use on Monday 12/10, when Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an "official declaration of the vote" related to Amendment 64. The governor opposed the measure but had no veto power. Although he had until Jan. 5 to declare marijuana legal, he took the purposely low-key procedural step without forewarning the media in order to avoid a countdown to legalization as seen in Washington, where the law's supporters gathered to smoke in public to celebrate. (Huffington Post)
  • Nearly three years after New Jersey legalized medical marijuana, the state's first dispensary opened on 10/6, but Philly420 columnist Chris Goldstein cautions that New Jersey's medical marijuana regulations are the toughest in the nation. (Philly420, Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • The New York Times cites a growing list of vocally pro-cannabis female pop stars, connecting the public's support of marijuana law reform to a parallel increase in support among women voters. (NY Times)
  • The UN General Assembly approved a resolution presented by Mexico to hold a Special Session on drugs. The last UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs took place 14 years ago, in 1998, also at the initiative of Mexico. (Drug Policy Alliance)
  • Medical Daily reports that magic mushrooms may hold benefits that can fight addiction, anxiety, and depression. (Medical Daily)
  • Filmmaker Seti Gershberg is raising funds to finish a documentary about shamanism and the sacred plants in the high Andes and the Amazon. (Kickstarter)
  • Evolver's Jonathan Talat Philips interviews Mitch Schultz, director of "DMT: The Spirit Molecule," in the Huffington Post. (Huffington Post)
  • British professor Andrew Wilson debunks the "Mayan Apocalypse," arguing that the December 21 date came out of a 1975 book by Terence McKenna and lacks any significant longer history beyond its New Age popularization. (Yahoo, Global Post)
  • "The Karl Ferris Psychedelic Experience," a retrospective of one of the pioneers of 60s and 70s photography, opened at the Proud Camden art gallery in London. (The Upcoming)
  • In a series of anecdotes about the U.S. Army's chemical research program on American soldiers during the Cold War, Gawker recounts how Colonel James Ketchum encountered a barrel filled with a billion dollars worth of LSD. (Gawker, New Yorker, NPR)
  • LA Music Blog reviews the top ten psychedelic albums of 2012. (LA Music Blog)
  • Two boys in Pennsylvania, aged 7 and 10, were rushed to a hospital after inadvertently taking liquid "LSD" from a bottle of breath mint drops they found on the ground. (Yahoo News, Pocono Record, Daily Mail
  • A Peruvian shaman was arrested after a mother and daughter were given ayahuasca and ended up in the hospital. (Trompe)
  • The Daily Beast asks whether LSD is to blame for "Two and a Half Men" star Angus T. Jones's recent YouTube "meltdown" and turn to fringe Christianity. (Daily Beast)
  • Debbie Calitz, a Somali pirate kidnap survivor, was arrested for possession of cannabis and magic mushrooms. (Sowetan Live)
  • A Zeds Dead concert in Philadelphia was cancelled after several audience members were hospitalized before the concert due to drug overdoses. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Concert Tour)
  • The Hill Post claims that efforts to "reintroduce" LSD to Uttarakhand, India have been "thwarted" by police. (Hill Post)
  • Police in Pune, India deported five Nigerian nationals for peddling cocaine and LSD. (Times of India)
  • 55 people were arrested on drug charges at the Strawberry Fields Music Festival in NSW, Australia, including possession of LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy, and cannabis. (Yahoo News)
  • Australian police raided a "drug ring" that operated through retail stores in north Queensland, seizing more than two kilos of suspected synthetic drugs worth around $60,000. (Australian)
  • An 18-year-old Australian on vacation in Bali punched a woman in the face while under the influence of magic mushrooms. (ninemsn)
  • A 15-year-old Australian boy died after experiencing respiratory problems and heart complications from what authorities believe to be a bad batch of LSD. (news.com.au)
  • Three Clarkson University students were hospitalized after reportedly taking LSD. The alleged seller was arrested and is facing felony charges. (North Country Now)
  • Under "Operation Cinder," detectives in Australia are intercepting packages of synthetic cannabis in the mail every day in cooperation with Australia Post staff. (Esperance Express)
  • Catch "This Week in Psychedelics" with a psychedelic news roundup on the Enpsychedelia podcast. (Enpsychedelia)

 

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.