Spirituality

Yes, make psychedelics legally available, but don’t forget the risks

Toward the end of [Michael Pollan’s] book, he reports on a psychedelic-research meeting attended by Thomas Insel, former head of the National Institute of Mental Health. Insel was impressed by evidence of psychedelics’ mental-health benefits but warned researchers, “Don’t screw it up!”

Pollan seems to have taken this message to heart. He could have derailed the psychedelic movement by being too critical or evangelical, so he finds a sensible middle ground between these extremes. He recommends not total legalization but a regime in which people take psychedelics with a trained guide …  I hope to see the day when people can take psychedelics safely and legally, especially given the limits of current treatments for mental illness. I nonetheless have misgivings about the popularization of psychedelics.  [1] Psychedelic science, like most fields, is rife with bias (although probably less than, say, psychiatric-drug research funded by the pharmaceutical industry). [2] Far from making you wiser and nicer, psychedelics can make you an arrogant, narcissistic jerk. [3] Mystical experiences can be hellish as well as heavenly.

Original Article (Scientific American Crosscheck): 
Yes, make psychedelics legally available, but don’t forget the risks
Artwork Fair Use: O.C.F.

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