Move over medical marijuana: Is â€œmedical LSDâ€ next?
If you're someone who likes to spin the heads of marijuana opponents by citing research into its benefits, here's something that will literally trip them up: New and emerging research into the medical applications of psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms, LSD and peyote.
This weekend, San Jose will be host to the largest gathering of hallucinogenic drug researchers since Ken Kesey hosted the Hell's Angels and the Grateful Dead at his ranch in La Honda back in the â€˜60s, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. LSD and similar substances, it seems, can be used for more than just seeing Jesus in the shifting patterns of bathroom grout. Some scientists say they can also aid depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and even posttraumatic stress disorder. Although experiencing PTSD on acid seems like the worst idea possible, the theories are backed up by studies conducted at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Arizona, New York University and UCLA, among others.
According to the study's Web site:
Early research with psilocybin [eg. magic mushrooms] and related substances from the late 1950s to the early 1970s indicated that such substances may help bring about personally meaningful and often spiritually significant experiences that lead to ongoing reductions in anxiety, depression, personal isolation, and fear of death. Regulations enacted in response to excesses of the "psychedelic 1960s" stopped almost all medical research, leaving some promising threads dangling. However, recent regulatory changes have allowed for such research once again. Our recent research in healthy volunteers also suggests a possible therapeutic effect of psilocybin in those distressed over a cancer diagnosis. This research has shown that under prepared and supportive conditions, psilocybin often leads to personally meaningful and spiritually significant experiences with associated sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior.
Like marijuana, psychedelic drugs are classified as Schedule I narcotics, meaning the federal government sees zero medical use for them. As a result, federal funding for research is all but nonexistent.
For more details, see this story at Salon.