His timing was less than fortuitous. In 1970, the year after Nichols started grad school, Richard Nixon signed into law the Controlled Substances Act, designed to clamp down on the manufacture and distribution of drugs in the U.S. The act classified hallucinogenic substances like LSD, DMT, psilocybin (the psychedelic alkaloid in mushrooms) and mescaline as Schedule I substances--the most restrictive use category, reserved for drugs with high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Marijuana was also placed in this category, and 15 years later when ecstasy came onto the scene, MDMA was emergency-classified as a Schedule I substance as well. By contrast, cocaine, opium and morphine are Schedule II substances, meaning they can be prescribed by a doctor.
Despite some promising results from trials of psychedelics in treating alcoholism, psychiatric conditions and modeling mental illness, by the early '70s, the government had tightened control of Schedule I substances, even for research. It's only now that we're starting to return to the notion that these drugs could be medicine.
last decade, researchers have been approved to conduct clinical trials with human subjects, and there are promising results showing that substances like MDMA could be useful in treating depression and curing PTSD, and that classical psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD could be a way to soothe anxiety in the terminally ill, treat alcoholism and more. But it's still far from an easy field to break into.Starting in the early '90s, and as more scientists prove it's feasible, increasingly in the
In 1938, a Swiss chemist named Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD for the first time while studying ergots, a type of fungus. Though the pharmaceutical company that he worked for, Sandoz, didn't have any interest in the compound, Hofmann found himself inexplicably drawn to it. Five years later, in the spring of 1943, he synthesized it again, noticing that it seemed to have unusual properties: After accidentally absorbing small amounts through his fingertips one day in the lab, Hofmann had to leave work early, under the effects of what he called "a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition." A few days later, he experimented with taking what he thought was a small dose of LSD, about 250 micrograms (a common dose now is more on the order of 100 micrograms), and proceeded to trip out of his mind, an experience he describes in his book LSD: My Problem Child.
Thinking that it could have medical uses, Hofmann and fellow researchers at Sandoz research laboratories began testing LSD in animals, and in 1947, the first paper looking at psychiatric LSD use in was published. Researchers saw in acid the potential to model psychotic disorders in healthy brains--a way for psychiatrists to induce in themselves the kinds of sensations their patients experienced as a result of mental illness. It could also be a way to break down boundaries, freeing the mind so patients could open up in psychotherapy.
Despite its current reputation, LSD wasn't just for the Beatles and California hippies, it was seen as "an invaluable weapon to psychiatrists," as Time magazine called it in 1955. Research varied widely in legitimacy, but LSD was tested on an estimated 40,000 people around the world between 1950 and 1963.
2012 meta-analysis of LSD-alcoholism trials found though many of the trials from the late 1960s were too small to produce statistically-viable results on their own, in conjunction, they showed consistent, positive results.In 1953, a pair of Canadian researchers tried to use high doses of LSD to scare alcoholics into sobriety, but discovered it instead produced a kind of mystical, near-religious experience for them that convinced them to stop drinking. They were onto something: A
At the same time, the government was also dipping its toes in an acid-filled pool. The CIA saw a more insidious potential in LSD: They thought it could be a truth serum or a route to mind control. Josef Mengele and other Nazi doctors had experimented on concentration camp prisoners with mescaline and other psychotropic drugs.In the midst of Cold War paranoia, the U.S. Navy thought mescaline could be used to get people to reveal information against their will. When the experiments ultimately proved unsuccessful, the government turned to Albert Hofmann's new wonder drug, already beginning to emerge as a psychiatric juggernaut.
It still blows my mind that ecstasy and marijuana is considered more dangerous than cocaine and opium. I really hope this trend of interest continues to wear down that outdated stigma.
This in life, is what blows you mind?
D'Oh! Rolling of my eyes, face palm!
Then finally, ROFL laughter with a thank you to
I whole heartedly agree. In a time when mental illness is found to be more and more prevalent in society; from soldiers suffering PTST, to new mothers suffering depression, business professionals, overtaxed university students, and regular people in all walks of life suffering from depression and other serious, debilitating mental illnesses.
MILLIONS of suffering people could have a cheap, and efficient medication to there illness...
...if not for the dogmatic dribble of those still living in the dark ages; to busy throwing rocks out from under their bridge. Ignore the trolls. Hopefully one day mental illness will be treated with the serious respect it deserves.
Do you need like need a mop and bucket to clean up the mess of your mind being blown too. Well, at least you have a buddy.
Yes some drugs are worse that others. I understand the idea.
The repercussions of law are definitely more harmful than than the drugs themselves. We need harm reduction policies. Treat drugs as a public health problem instead of a criminal one.
"Do you need like need a mop and bucket"
Use of the word like, good job bro
Well like I was having a youthful flash back west coast moment, lol....... like, for sure, ya know.
Your comments are about as substantive as an infants first few sentences.
"Yes some drugs are worse that others. I understand the idea."
Primitive. Try again understanding the post relative to the article. This time think "function."
If your next post is even a fraction mind-blowing as your avatar, there is hope for you yet.
My "insult" was directed at a comment that brought nothing to the article itself besides insulting the first commenter. Isn't that your point your campaigning for yourself you silly goose?
Also, I don't see how my profile being 41 minutes old has anything besides being an ad hominem.
Implicit was my agreement to the first poster. Explicit was my "insult" to the second poster who brought a vacuous reply.
Be objective and bring it on :)
Don't worry about Auroria coming to Anyicon's (Robot's) defense.
Take one look at the nonsensical off topic writing, insulting people who actually try to add to the topic.... its easy to see they are all one in the same...
...If not, oh well. A troll is a troll, and its been proven that their only function is to the detriment of the real science trying to be discussed.
Notice how Auroria's first comment was an insult and had nothing to do with the topic at hand.....
That being said, their comments can be quite amusing and insightful at times. You just have to let the drivel wash over you.
The docs need to up your dos of LSD, lol.
Kudos to PopSci for terrific and non-judgmental overview of the recent psychedelic revival in science. It's about time we took these chemicals seriously as tools and examined the ways they can benefit us, rather than prohibiting them outright. Like any powerful tool, they can be misused, but that's is an issue of public health rather than criminality.
Some of the comments here are proof that the stigma against psychedelics, while unfounded, is still very strong!
I say let each individual enjoy sovereignty over his or her own consciousness. Why should we limited to sanctioned, ordinary forms of consciousness, when fabulous realms of growth and healing remain within our reach?
Those of you interested in the safe and responsible use of psychedelics for self-improvement may enjoy my blog: www.psychedelicfrontier.com
Try living a healthy life style.
"But, I want to be free to use drugs and not be responsible for my actions, waaaa waaaaa"
Freaking morons, eventually you will find your life ruined or in jail or some combination thereof.
I read this as a kid. I'm surprised you didn't mention it here.
"psychedelics are off-patent, can’t be monopolized, and compete with other psychiatric medications that people take daily".
Ahhhhh so that's why psychedellics have been demonised, outlawed and buried by governments. Guess that's what happens when healthcare is put in the hands of profit-hungry corporations with mates in goverment.
Excellent article - thank you.
I volunteer as a test subject !!!
Results of earlier trial and experimental observation were not mentioned in the article, so the Oracle group presents these findings:
The reason the government fears usage of Lysergic Acid is much more political than scientific. LSD removes subjective illusions (ie: the result of everyday influences, attitudes, etc) from the person. What is left are objective truths - about oneself and reality. Ego smashing so to speak. The powers that be fear this more than anything. "but daddy... the King has no clothes.."
What creates a "bad trip" is the participants' resistance to seeing things are they Really Are. Being totally Aware of oneself is scary. Stepping outside of oneself and observing itself can lead to temporary insanity or a "centering" (Strange label that!) of one's being or psyche.
AnyIcon, I think your comment deeply misrepresents the rationale behind psychedelic drug use. I believe these chemicals should be legalized precisely because I DO want to take accountability for my own actions -- rather than having some distant bureaucrat make decisions regarding my mind and body. It couldn't be further from the truth to say that advocates of psychedelics want to be unaccountable.
As for your assertion, "eventually you will find your life ruined or in jail or some combination thereof." I think you have adequately demonstrated that it is the War on Drugs, not drugs themselves, which ruins lives. If the problem with drug use is that people end up in jail, then perhaps we should stop jailing them. Crisis averted.
I don't think people having an opinion different from yours makes them moronic. Having a rigid worldview that affords zero respect for other viewpoints, now that's another story.
Psy frontier, Its nice you try to reason with anylcon, but the man is scared... and you cant reason with fight or flight state in people...let him troll away.
Nothing is true all is permitted
I love this article. I agree with those that believe the individual should be able to determine what they use to expand their minds. I also feel LSD, mushrooms and marijuana are illegal due to the crushing blow they would deliver to the profits of big pharma and the alcohol industry, if legal. Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar, consumerism, etc are all addictive and very legal and extremely popular. Anything that sells and can be controlled by big business seems to be all the rage. Pot and acid don't provide that capitalist fervor, no green gleam for the company. As mentioned, the consciousness raising of mind altering substances stands in stark contrast to the herd like behavior the government and industry need to stay valid. Keep the sheep buying and watching the tube and consuming. That way people will never think for themselves, and question just why are we here. Love and service seems to effete to be real, but there you have it. Just sayin
LSD saved my life in 1967. That individuals should claim ownership over their own minds is anathema to the fascist federal swine; the government believes that we (and our minds) are federal property, that we belong to them. This is the bottom line reason to support the Second Amendment. Live free and blossom in peace and love, and keep your powder dry.
"at least one person died after jumping out of a window under the influence of LSD"
Actually, if you read the article that is linked to here you will see that this person's family claimed the government lied about this, a CIA agent pushed this person out the window to keep him quiet, and so LSD had nothing to do with it. They sued and got an out of court settlement in their favor. This is just one more example of the government campaign to lie about possible harmful effects of LSD. It is in fact very likely that every alleged case of LSD causing someone to do some harmful thing to himself or somebody else is just an urban legend based on some government-encouraged lies. Every one I have checked into has turned out to be that, and I recommend you do the same if you don't want to take my word for it. LSD is one of the most harmless things one can put in one's body, and it has many positive effects. Of course, anything from eating cheeseburgers to strenuous exercise can have harmful effects if one does too much of it, but the campaign against LSD is a particularly shocking example of the irrational tendency of governments to ridiculous and harmful oppression for absolutely no reason.
The truth behind the prohibition of pot is a story of racism and corporate greed.
When you read the psychedelic literature, there is a distinction between the so-called natural psychedelics and synthetic psychedelics that are artificially produced. And I am 100 percent in favor of the intelligent use of drugs !