The University of Maryland approves a Good Samaritan 911 policy,
ayahuasca subcultures spread in the US, and Colombia weights
decriminalization of synthetic drugs in this week's psychedelic news. 

  • Psychedelic researchers Charles Grob, MD (UCLA) and Anthony P.
    Bossis, PhD (NYU) speak with AirTalk on Southern California Public
    Radio. (SCPR)
  • After 6 years, the University of Maryland has approved a Good
    Samaritan policy that would protect students from university sanctions
    if they call 911 for themselves or a friend because of drugs. (SSDP)
  • A new bill in Colombia would decriminalize personal use of synthetic drugs such as ecstasy. (BBC)
  • Men's Journal describes how ayahuasca has developed into a
    full-fledged, increasingly trendy subculture in the United States.
    Reality Sandwich and are singled out as websites that offer
    "easy entry points to the would-be novitiate interested in locating
    ceremonies and sharing experiences." (Men's Journal)
  • Men's Journal reports on the dark side of ayahuasca, including the death of Kyle Nolan. (Men's Journal)
  • Vice describes toé as the "witchcraft plant" that's spoiling ayahuasca tourism. (Vice)
  • Fox News describes DMT as a "new hallucinogenic drug on the
    streets" of North Carolina after law enforcement discovered a duo
    "growing" the "highly addictive" drug in a clandestine lab. The
    television reporter explains that "people can use bark from any tree,
    mix it with some lye and ammonia, and DMT is formed." (Fox 8)
  • A "Red Alert" has been issued by the Trans European Drug
    Information Project (TEDIP) over 25I-NBOMe, which is sometimes sold as
    LSD. (The Australian)
  • Fox 29 Philly warns parents of teenagers and young adults to watch
    out for "Molly" use. Narcotics offers cite as warning signs the need to
    drink a lot of water or withdrawal and paranoia. (Fox 29)
  • Three people in suburban Chicago were criminally charged with LSD
    possession after being stopped for speeding. 200 doses were found tucked
    in a passenger's bra after a drug-sniffing dog reacted to the presence
    "marijuana residue." The trio was charged with a "Super X" felony, which
    carries enhanced penalties of between nine and 40 years in prison. (News-Gazette)
  • An Ohio man was convicted for his part in a large-scale psychedelic
    mushroom growing operation, facing a fine of up to $55,000 and up to 30
    years in prison. (Toledo Blade)
  • After being arrested at a supermarket, a homeless man in the UK was
    found in possession of magic mushrooms, which he admitted to finding
    and drying himself. His punishment was to be "detained in the public
    gallery of the courtroom" until the end of the day. (This is Somerset)
  • A fugitive from the state of Indiana was arrested for selling drugs
    including LSD and prescription pills. He was found in possession of
    "significant quantities" of psilocybin mushrooms, marijuana, LSD,
    concentrated cannabis, and ecstasy. (Times Union)
  • After "Castaway" star Ben Fogle tried to jump out of a window and
    spent 12 hours in a hospital during a "full-on psychotic episode," he
    suspects his pub drink had been spiked with LSD. (Mirror, Mirror, Digital Spy)
  • Croatian artist Paolo ?eri? turns gifs into a psychedelic art form. (Wired UK)
  • British psychedelic rock pioneer Kevin Ayers, a founding member of Soft machine, passed away at the age of 68. (Pitchfork)
  • The Village Voice writes that Owsley "Bear" Stanley, the Grateful
    Dead soundsman and self-taught LSD chemist, was also a proto-"foodie". (Village Voice)
  • SFGate points out that while drug overdose deaths rose for the
    eleventh straight year in the United States, medical cannabis continued
    its 10,000-year streak of not killing anyone by overdose. (SFGate)
  • John H. Schwarz, a Caltech physicist, suggests that if all science
    were run like marijuana research in the United States, paleontology
    would be controlled by creationists and climate research by oil
    companies. (Think Progress)
  • MAPS Director Rick Doblin and Professor Lyle Craker spoke with
    Boston's NPR news station about how proposed scientific research is
    being prevented by the federal government's medical marijuana blockade. (WBUR)
  • The weed blog lists ten major health benefits of marijuana. (The Weed Blog)
  • Florida police raided the home of wheelchair-bound medical
    marijuana activist Cathy Jordan, whose name was given to the Cathy
    Jordan Medical Cannabis Act that will come before Florida legislators
    later this year. (Miami Herald)
  • In his 2013 state of the city address, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn declared that legal marijuana will reduce crime. (Seattle Pi)
  • Attorney General Eric Holder says that the federal government is
    "nearly ready" to announce how its law enforcement personnel and
    prosecutors will respond to marijuana legalization in Colorado and
    Washington. (Politico)
  • When plans for a cannabis-focused venture-capital fund were
    scrapped due to concerns over legal liabilities, Brendan Kennedy set up
    "Privateer Holdings," which has received pitches from cannabis testing
    labs, informational websites, and clothing companies. He believes the
    American cannabis market to be worth $50 billion. (Economist)

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 and twitter or by emailing nese /at/

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.