Anthropology

Medical marijuana: What happens next in Pa.?

“The process itself of creating regulations and dispensing licenses is probably going to take; we’re estimating a best case 12 to 13 months and probably 18 months before licenses are issued.” Under the law, anyone seeking a prescription for medical marijuana must be suffering from a “serious medical condition” defined as cancer, HIV or AIDS,…

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Anthropology

Women across the Americas incarcerated for minor, non-violent, drug-related crimes at an alarming rate

“In Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Peru, well over 60 percent of each country’s female prison population is incarcerated for drug-related crimes.” The policies that have led to this surge in imprisonment have torn apart families and crippled women’s abilities to find decent, legal employment once they have been released, perpetuating a vicious cycle of…

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An Amazonian religion on New Mexico’s high desert

“The sacramental use ofayahuasca is on the cusp of becoming a permanent part of the colorful religious landscape of northern New Mexico”. After years of litigation, it now seems likely that União do Vegetal (UDV)–or more formally, O Centro Espirita Beneficente União do Vegetal–will build a temple in Arroyo Hondo, just outside Santa Fe. UDV…

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A Closer look at the “First Legal Ayahuasca Church” in America

Amongst the plant healing community, there’s widespread concern that the ayahuasca liquid gold rush is attracting unscrupulous charlatans, who are motivated by money rather than a higher cause, and who may put ceremony participants in unsafe situations. “As you know, its totally a sham,” was the first thing Doblin said. “They do a disservice to…

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Magic mushrooms in North America before the Wassons?

“Of course, I have no way of knowing if the mushrooms that my great-great Grandfather Daugherty was allegedly harvesting were actually P. cubensis”. Nor do I know if the Choctaw or Chickasaw tribes even possess(ed) a knowledge of the visionary properties of coprophilic psilocybin mushrooms. I recount this anecdote only as a means of raising…

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The impact of drug policy on the environment

Forty years of dogged adherence to drug crop eradication and drug interdiction policies have been instrumental in hounding drug farmers and traffickers into increasingly fragile landscapes. New research—much of it using newly available real-time satellite imagery of forest loss—is bringing into sharp focus the devastating ecological costs of conventional drug policies, and how these can…

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Finding a new perspective on psychedelics

The reputation of these compounds is undergoing rehabilitation, but we can’t know how long it will take to shrug off the weight of the mischaracterizations that have been heaped on them for years. While the full history of psychedelic research cannot be summarized concisely, it seems to have ended, at least for a time, with…

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Peyote in the United States: Prisoner of war as the war wanes

While it’s true that peyote, like cannabis, was politically packaged as a sheep’s in wolfs clothing in the late 1960’s to ensure its classification in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), reversing that original CSA classification is a more difficult task for peyote than cannabis. The 2 principal reasons for this include: 1)…

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Who’s in Favor of Addiction and Death?

The best kept secret in the world of addiction treatment and prevention is that we already know how to reduce drug use, addiction, and drug related deaths to a mere fraction of their current rates. Other countries in the world have already done so, but the United States stubbornly refuses to follow suit. What’s worse,…

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