Medicine/Healing

[Is it]…too Late For Cannabis, [and] What About the Future of the Psychedelic Industry?

When we try to medicalize therapeutic drug experiences, a doctor’s note can become the difference between a “good” drug user and a “bad” drug user. But, in our broken medical system, medicalizing drug policy is a moral compromise. It redirects the movement, tilting compassion and liberty toward pathology, perpetuating the racist and stigmatizing overtones embedded in Drug War propaganda. This does not echo the compassion that conceived the Drug Policy Reform movement.

[Throughout the Drug War Nixon started in 1973]… we learned that people who use drugs together tend to take care of one another. Once a culture adopts a norm to care for “the least among us,” a true community can form, complete with necessary safety nets. Shared vulnerability, it seems, begets social responsibility. In the face of federal prosecution, DEA raids, and lifetime prison sentences, compassion fueled the medical marijuana movement, and inspired the drug policy reform movement. Amid homelessness and neighborhoods impoverished by the racist Drug War, dispensaries offered kindness, humanity, food, clothing, dental care, and acupuncture; even tax-prep services. And for those who couldn’t pay, many offered free cannabis through compassion programs. Dispensaries filled the space between the cracks of our broken social systems. It wasn’t a perfect model, but it taught us something. For starters, adhering to a medical-only model neglects accessibility issues inherent to obtaining a medical diagnosis. Many suffering from conditions that psychedelics address cannot equitably access the United States’ for-profit health care regime; most specifically, minorities and people of color. And unless one is culturally conditioned to seek mental health treatment, unless one has access to a proper DSM diagnosis, insurance, an appropriate physician/psychiatrist/therapist, they will never see the benefits of these therapeutic drugs. This confines natural and alternative healthcare in the traps of consumer capitalism, Western medicine, and the bureaucratic and cultural systems that sustain both. If “breakthrough” medicines are not made accessible primarily to those furthest from an access point, then our policies have failed. And if drug policies are removed from the context of the Drug War just so we can push legislation through, we’ve missed the mark entirely. This confines natural and alternative healthcare in the traps of consumer capitalism, Western medicine, and the bureaucratic and cultural systems that sustain both. If “breakthrough” medicines are not made accessible primarily to those furthest from an access point, then our policies have failed. And if drug policies are removed from the context of the Drug War just so we can push legislation through, we’ve missed the mark entirely. Illicit drugs can be therapeutic regardless of social acceptance or legal status, and some people who use drugs are understandably wary of Western medical systems. So when we refuse to include all aspects of drug use in the policy conversation, we aren’t ending the Drug War at all. We’re sustaining it.

Original Article (Chacruna):
It’s Too Late For Cannabis, But What About the Future of the Psychedelic Industry?
Artwork Fair Use: Public Domain

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