Psychedelics should only be available medicinally. I’m not just saying that because of legal reasons. I really believe it.
For those of you who think they should be legal everywhere, or don’t think they should be legal at all, don’t turn back yet! You might actually agree with me.
And, since Colorado just decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms, there might be a lot of you in that group (oh Colorado, always setting trends). Just hear me out.
So, psychedelics are becoming the new wonder drugs in medical trials lately, which is probably the reason for the decriminalization. They are treating a variety of things, like:
- Terminally ill cancer anxiety and/or pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Smoking addiction
- Cocaine addiction
- Treatment-resistant depression
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Phase 2 of the trials, are what we’re currently in. The trials received funding from different organizations like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Phase 3 is the last step before allowing doctors to prescribe it, so it’s getting close to being available medicinally.
But, the reason they shouldn’t be available without a prescription (yet!) concerns the history of psychedelics and what recreational use implies.
Psychedelics are historically ceremonious
Oddly enough, the only culture who hasn’t tried in some way to change their state of consciousness are the Inuit. They are eskimos though, and I bet if something good grew around them they would probably be on it.
This is totally normal if you think about it, considering around 85% of Americans use caffeine daily mainly in coffee, but also tea, soda and energy drinks.. And, it’s the only drug we give our kids in the form of soda or tea. Loads of people drink tea or alcohol, and smoke too. Heck, even chocolate has caffeine in it!
Changing our state of mind is something humans OBSESS over. We think things like caffeine and alcohol are normal, but really they are powerful drugs. In the same way, many cultures use psychedelics to change their state of consciousness.
Different cultures using different psychedelics
For instance, Amazonian tribes have shamanic rituals where they use DMT. It usually comes from the Sonoran Desert toad.
The Native American Church uses peyote during a holy ceremony, which is a psychedelic that comes from a cactus. They believe it’s God incarnate. As Leonard Crow Dog explains, “it’s opening three doors to me: makes me recognize myself, makes me understand the people around me, makes me understand the world.”
The Aztecs used morning glory seeds sacramentally.
Maztec Indians use mushrooms. Michael Pollan explained it well in How to Change Your Mind, because they thought “granted anyone who ate it direct, unmediated access to the divine-to visions of another world, a realm of the gods.”
Ibogaine comes from an African shrub. Its uses are for sacred and spiritual purposes, as well as physical and mental conditions.
There’s even a church in America that uses ayahuasca. The church says there are few reasons to attend an ayahuasca ceremony. Mainly because they believe people will find answers to certain questions they have. Questions like, “What am I really here to do? What’s the point of any of this? Am I really here to just work my whole life?”
In other words, psychedelics are powerful drugs. Traditionally, psychedelics are ceremonious or for healing because they have the ability to change minds and lives. Most cultures have been using them for hundreds of years and believe psychedelics are divine.
Fun fact: Bill Wilson founded Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) after a doctor gave him the psychedelic plant belladonna. Later on in the 50s he tried to introduce LSD therapy into the group. This was due to the groundbreaking research happening with LSD and alcoholism at the time.
Psychedelics shouldn’t be what we consider recreational
Typically, when people think of recreational drugs, they usually think of fun, party vibes. I mostly think we can have fun without drugs like alcohol and psychedelics are no exception.
When taken correctly, psychedelics they are drugs transformational to the person. Psychedelics bring insight to our lives and we should treat them like it.
Once we move past thinking about it like party drugs then recreational legalization should happen. If people want to use it recreationally to have profound life changes I think they should.
Eventually, when it’s legal.
Eventually psychedelics should be legal
Now, for the people who want it legalized everywhere, I agree with you.
But until our society develops a healthy relationship with psychedelics, they should only be available with a doctor’s prescription. We need to respect the history these substances have, and not take them lightly. They should occasion big, meaningful transformation. They aren’t party drugs.
Once we develop a healthy relationship with the psychedelic substances that change our state of mind, we should legalize them everywhere. They are different from other drugs.
They do come from plants, after all.
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