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Research into hallucinogenic drugs begins to shake off decades of taboo (economist.com)
115 points by bchjam on June 25, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 67 comments



"Psilocybin has shown promise in [...] relieving cluster headaches (a common form of chronic headache) and in alleviating the anxiety experienced by terminally ill cancer patients."

Cluster headaches are absolutely not a common form of chronic headache. They are fairly rare, affecting .1% of the population, and are extremely debilitating; many sufferers commit suicide rather than suffer through the pain.

Here is an amazing talk by Bob Wold, the guy who founded Cluster Busters, the non-profit organization that's partnering with Harvard to do the research on psilocybin as a treatment:

http://vimeo.com/10918637

"and in alleviating the anxiety experienced by terminally ill cancer patients."

Here is the talk by one of the researchers who was testing psilocybin for treating anxiety due to terminal cancer:

http://vimeo.com/10931182

Both are among my all time favorite talks, both are extremely powerful and moving. I submitted them to TED as potential talks last year, but apparently no luck so far.


I think you misinterpreted the sentence you quoted -- cluster headaches can be a common form of chronic headache, whilst being rare in the general population. That is, people suffering from chronic headaches are rare in the general population but those who are, are likely suffering from cluster headaches.


Some facts about headaches:

Migraine has a prevalence between 10 and 20%.

The chronology of migraine and cluster headache differs, but they are both chronic issues.

Untreated migraine attacks last several hours and recur ususally at least once per month. ~10% of Migraine sufferer end up abusing pain killers, which increases the attack frequency and leaves them with a permanent, milder background headache.

Cluster attacks last between 15 and 180 minutes (usually less than 1 hour) and recur several times per day during several weeks, then remit, only to replase later on (often at the same period of the week). Hence the name "cluster".

Around 1/1000 cluster patients have "untractable chronic cluster headache", ie daily attacks without interruptions, that resist to medical treatment. (I don't remember the prevalence of drug-sensitive chronic CH).


There is a wide range of "Migraine" with the most common case being relatively mild. Migraine headaches can be dull or severe because the term refers to the symptoms not the severity.


Steve Jobs has said in interviews that his taking LSD as a youth was a life changing experience for him. I am very much in favor of restarting clinical trials as long as it's not abused. I think there might be great potential there and as long as we continue to stigmatize it, we will miss out on any knowledge we could gain from studying it. And even if it turns out to have no medicinal value at all, at least we'd know, rather than treating psychoactive drugs like poison. I mean, we have drugs now for treating fatigue in people who work long and irregular hours, why can't we at least give these compounds a real shot at proving whether or not they have value?


DMT, which is a natural substance similar to serotonin (and also in the human body), is one of the most profound spiritual experiences one can have. It is not like any other drug. It is like opening a door to another dimension. Here's a great documentary on it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc9e7PXsXDE


DMT, which is a natural substance similar to serotonin (and also in the human body)

What does the similarity to serotonin have to say in favor of the drug?

If you want to boost your serotonin levels, it's trivial to do so directly by taking 5-HTP, St. John's Wort, or tryptophan supplements, all of which you can get at your local pharmacy without a prescription.

And be cautious: excess serotonin in the human body is thought to be bad for heart health, which is why supplements like 5-HTP are sometimes prescribed with Carbidopa to slow the 5-HTP -> serotonin transition outside of the brain (Carbidopa doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier, so 5-HTP -> serotonin is unchecked within the brain, whereas it's slowed outside of it), so not as much serotonin ends up in your bloodstream. I have no idea if DMT has similar heart-unfriendly properties to serotonin, but the point is, saying that it's similar chemically and that the substance exists in our body doesn't necessarily mean it's a great thing to take. Our bodies are careful balances of thousands of different chemicals, and some of them are only there in trace amounts, it can absolutely be dangerous to throw the balance out of whack (though if I had to guess, in DMT's case a couple doses is probably not such a problem).

I'm not necessarily knocking recreational drugs: I've dabbled and enjoyed, but chemical similarity is not a good enough reason to assume that something is either safe, effective, or in any way good for you - there are many compounds that are extremely close to things that we find in our bodies that are very dangerous.

...which is exactly why we need more legitimate studies on these things, IMO. I'm glad that the tide is starting to shift on this, we should know a lot more about the potential benefits and risks of all the substances that people ingest, whether they typically ingest them for fun, or for health.


Regardless of how effective drugs like LSD and psilocybin are, they make it difficult to maintain traditional societal hierarchies of power and control and thus will be stamped out.


I think what OP is saying is that if every single person in a given society was to take psilocybin/LSD (or psychedelics in general) then that society would not look like society as it does 'traditionally'. The other posters to this comment thread ask how "hallucinating" would do this, but they need to realize that it is not visions or hallucinations that is the variable of change during episodes of influence under these drugs, but it is the change in thinking that incorporates the qualities of goodness, unity, beauty, hope, acceptance (I think all of these words can be compressed into the word 'love') that would be detrimental to the status quo if everyone were to feel this way.


Thanks.


Where is your evidence for any of that?


I think this is the sort of thing one is meant to consider and reflect upon, not the sort of thing one subjects to Standard Internet Argument Protocol.


So there's no evidence, then.


Evidence for what? The effects produced or how society would change if the effects (in change of thinking) was prevalent in all the members of the society?


Ask the grandparent, not the parent. Parent is simply trying to explain what the grandparent was saying.


Not necessarily. I get how it makes you question authority and generally see life in a different light, but it doesn't exactly do so in a way that it would lead to society breaking down. The long term effects are manifested more internally than externally IMHO.


> they make it difficult to maintain traditional societal hierarchies of power

How? How does making you see things that aren't real challenge any hierarchies?


"see things that aren't real" is a very poor characterization of the psychedelic experience. One attempt at describing a small part of its many aspects: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2498783


"How does making you see things that aren't real challenge any hierarchies?"

While LSD and psilocybin do sometimes cause people to hallucinate, this is only one small part of the psychedelic experience. The real value is in how the drugs change your thinking. It would take an entire book to explain this, but here are a few YouTube videos to give you the basic idea:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c8an2XZ3MU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLXmE_hxCcg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KeqmKwsvM58

It's difficult to explain how exactly they challenge hierarchies, but the 35,000 foot overview would be that psychedelics tend to make one more prosocial, whereas hierarchies tend to be fueled by antisocial behaviors. They also tend to give one self-confidence and internalize one's locus of control, whereas again hierarchies can only exist when people lack self-confidence and have relatively external locii of control. Essentially hierarchies are built on the backs of those trying to fill some sort of void in their lives, whereas psychedelics undermine this by giving one perspective and making one whole.

Here is the best description I've found:

"What is the psychedelic experience? For me it's the full and overwhelming realization of all the beauty, love, and pain, the wonder and possibility, of the human experience. For the first time you see your life truly objectively, what's going wrong, and what's going right. You grasp and grapple with how you can do better, and you are overcome by the newfound desire to strengthen your community, your relationships, and your karma. And so it proceeds for the next 4 to 6 hours.

And as the raw intensity of the experience fades, it leaves behind this lasting sense of optimism, hope, and strength, a sense that something essential has been renewed, replenished, and maybe even reborn. Above all you're left with a need to make things better, to help others, and to improve your life. And at last you have the strength and vigor you need, without which action was not possible.

The morning after taking LSD it's not uncommon for people to re-enroll in school, restart their job search, or reunite with old friends. There is this sense that whatever was holding us back is dead, we've come to terms with it, and now the power is back in our hands.

It's an experience that will shake your faith in society while simultaneously restoring your faith in yourself, the meaningfulness of existence, and your ability to make a difference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6Ps_MBXEdA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2hL6iCSFxk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY59wZdCDo0 "


Agreed. Going on a hallucinogenic trip is a life-changing experience that does not favour rigid structures in your mind nor the society. It's an experience so far out of the common framework of language and rational thinking that it's hard to exactly pinpoint what changes inside of you, but for me one of the biggest eye-openers was seeing myself from an outer perspective, seeing all the little selfish thinking that drives me most of the time. And appreciating the unique experience of life not filtered by my rational and rigid self for a few moments. This experience does not favour the traditonal society where a lot of people would love you being reduced to a part of the machine, for various selfish and misguided reasons.

It should be said that a trip can also be the worst experience of your life; you can live through the biggest fears you could not imagine that even existed. I have been tripping about five times in my life and most of the trips were of mixed nature. I have felt the supreme beauty and I have felt the supreme fear. In retrospective both are worth it.


Use of LSD would be terrifying for governments with strict hierarchies like China. But I think that for countries where social mobility is encouraged (like US) psychedelics would not ruin anything. Example: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both admitted to use of LSD.


All you talk about are emotional boosts, which you can also get from cocaine and amphetamines. Do you recommend those drugs as well?

(As an aside, I don't take YouTube very seriously on the whole unless I happen to know the specific person who made and uploaded the videos.)


You have evidently never taken psychedelics.


> You have evidently never taken psychedelics.

He wasn't joking you know.....why do you think such normally respectable people talk about this...hell man, I'm likely more conservative than you!


How does hallucinating do that, other than people going insane like they are on PCP?


"Hallucinating" is really a misnomer when discussing LSD and shrooms. "Profound changes in perception and cognition" would be more like it.


Fundamentally, the clinical definition of "hallucination" does not apply to 90% of the effects of psychedelic drugs. "Perceptual disturbances" would be the correct term.

A hallucination is the perception of something that is not there at all, and it generally means that the thing is sincerely perceived as real.

Psychedelic experiences typically fulfil neither of these criteria.


Many people genuinely believe that when they take these substances they are communing with the universe, with god(s), aliens, ancestors, or the deep levels of their own subconscious.

To call such experiences mere "hallucinations" or "perceptual disturbances" is both reductionist and dismissive.


To tell someone to their face that their experiences amounted to nothing more than perceptual disturbances would be at best rude, and at worst cruel, agreed.

However I think it's appropriate vocabulary when attempting objective analysis of neurological/psychological phenomena. Reductionism is an inevitable and valid criticism of any such analysis.

(When I said "real" in this instance I was referring to the physical existence of objects perceived, your ability to reach out and touch them. I wasn't trying to make a value judgement about the validity or authenticity of anyones subjective experiences.)


"I think it's appropriate vocabulary when attempting objective analysis of neurological/psychological phenomena"

Without getting in to a deep conversation on objectivity, neurology, and psychology, I'll just say that I don't think these issues are so clear cut as to allow anyone to definitively say that he's on the side of truth and the phenomena he describes are "nothing but X", whatever that "X" may be.

"When I said "real" in this instance I was referring to the physical existence of objects perceived, your ability to reach out and touch them."

There are plenty of things that, even according to the "scientific" world view, purportedly exist and yet can't be touched or directly percieved, such as x-rays and atoms.


I have never understood the mechanics of 'drug is bad if use equal entertainment'. It will be interesting to see if the release of this information and the refereed to thaw in the taboo will lead anywhere...


"It will be interesting to see if the release of this information and the refereed to thaw in the taboo will lead anywhere..."

This document shows the projected timeline for legalizing MDMA for medical purposes: http://maps.org/prospectus.pdf

Essentially the MDMA phase 2 trials are going to continue for another 2 - 3 years, at which point there will be an end-of-phase-2 meeting with the FDA, where they will come up with a plan for phase 3 studies. Phase 3 will take another 3 - 5 years, and that's assuming they're able to raise all the money it's going to take. However, it's looking like there is a good chance of getting MDMA legalized within ten years for medical use if MAPS can raise the money.

Psilocybin is also close to getting moved to schedule 2 or even schedule 3. However, AFAIK the research that's being done isn't formally designed to turn psilocybin into a prescription drug, so I'm not entirely sure how the current research gets used going forward.

Most research into the medical benefits of marijuana has been stalled because of Obama. Essentially the person Obama appointed has decided to block MAPS from getting any marijuana to use for studies that might show potential benefits from marijuana, so even though the FDA keeps approving their studies they can't actually go forward with any of them.


Aren't most recreational drugs addictive and destructive? It's not too hard to understand why there's a stigma.


Food can be addictive and destructive. Sex can be addictive and destructive. Money and power can be addictive and destructive.

"Recreational drugs" can be used in respectful ways. To many they are holy and sacred.

They can enhance your creativity, open your eyes to the wonder of the universe around you, and gift you with empathy for all living creatures.

With them you can experience death and rebirth and profoundly transform the way you understand and relate to the world. They can be intensely therapeutic.

There is certainly a stigma against all that, and against certain drugs and experiences which buck against the need for many people to reduce life to a little tiny and orderly box under their command where they can channel your world view and your understanding of yourself and others in a manner of their liking.

Yet despite all of their efforts they can not fully resist the deep need of humanity to transcend their ordinary state of consciousness. Each society has sanctioned ways of doing this, whether it's through certain approved substances (like alcohol), rituals, or ordeals.

Curiously, societies tend to differ as to which mind altering substances are prohibited and which are allowed. Usually it's the substances with a long tradition of use in the given society that are allowed, and the newer substances which are prohibited. The very same substances which are allowed and even praised in one society might be despised and prohibited in others (alcohol, mushrooms, and marijuana are some great examples).

Mind altering substances which a particular society is encountering for the first time and the use of which can not be easily fit in to the dominant culture's traditions are usually seen as a threat.

But this can change over time as the members of that society get more familiar with the substances and learn to use them in socially sanctioned ways.


"There are no good or bad drugs. Drugs are what we make of them. They have good and bad uses."

http://www.matrixmasters.net/salon/?p=129


Exactly, so using (e.g.) oxycodone recreationally is a bad use, and is thus stigmatized.


If a bunch of assholes can't control their habits and OD or start stealing for fixes, why should everyone else suffer? It's not as addictive as you think, and I feel like some people use demonization of drugs to excuse their own fuck ups. It's just so easy to blame everything on a drug, isn't it?


What the fuck? People destroy their lives for another hit. People I know have done that. Addiction is not the same thing as a habit. It is much more addictive than you think.

If you can find me one junkie who stood on principle and quit cold turkey just because they ran out of money, I will seriously reconsider my position. But I know you can't, because that's not how addiction works.


There's a lot of opiate users who chip/legitimately use their drugs but don't come out because of fucked up stereotypes ;-)


Yeah, you know what, I take it back. It's not the addicts who are assholes, it's our lovely government.


Why do you say that using oxycodone recreationally is bad?


It's extremely addictive, similar to heroin. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Oxycodone#Rec...


Ethanol is so absurdly addictive that trying to quit can literally kill you. Heroin? You'll just wish you were dead. It's dangerous enough that ethanol related death is the number one cause of death in some modern countries, before even heart disease.

Yet most of society would hesitate to label having a beer "bad use". Why? Probably because we're used to it, it's not a boogyman.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Alcohol_withd...


OK, drinking alcohol is bad. I don't. What now?


You misunderstand me. Ethanol is not bad. Very rarely are substances at all actually bad.

Addiction is bad.

In the case of common substances such as ethanol, society at large is generally pretty good at separating the two concepts, but when the substance becomes somewhat more obscure people freak the shit out for no apparent reason.


It depends on the meaning of the word bad.


Wow, that's a lot of downvotes and only one counter-point. What sorts of recreational drugs are not addictive? And what sorts of drugs will not mess you up when taken in "recreational" dosages?


Pot, LSD, and mushrooms, for starters. Except for expansive and distorted definitions of the word "addictive", and except for that one friend everyone seems to have who couldn't handle their acid.


> that one friend everyone seems to have who couldn't handle their acid.

Do you characterize people with other drug sensitivities as "unable to handle their [Advil/Codeine/Penicillin/Accutane/etc]" ?

A drug makes 1% or 0.1% of its users go insane can still reasonably be characterized as very dangerous.


> What sorts of recreational drugs are not addictive?

> And what sorts of drugs will not mess you up when taken in "recreational" dosages?

Alcohol is one, if we change "not addictive" to "not always addictive".

Alcohol certainly can be powerfully addictive, but you can also use it periodically in small doses throughout your adult life without becoming dependent.

Alcohol certainly can be massively destructive, but, depending on your definition of a recreational dose, it not. It can actually have health benefits, and is associated with longevity.


1) Addiction has a lot to do with the person and their community, and very little to do with the molecule in question. Basically 10% of users will get addicted to any drug regardless of what it is: caffeine, heroin, alcohol, crack, etc. While each molecule has wildly different properties, these properties have almost no impact on the percentage of people who will go on to abuse and/or become addicted to the drug. I provide some cites for this here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2186033

Basically the best predictor of serious drug abuse is whether someone had a highly adverse childhood. Those who do are 4600% more likely to use injection drugs then those who didn't. Essentially every single street level drug addict was abused as a child. If you didn't suffer serious abuse as a child then you could use the same drug without developing an abusive relationship with it. (Listen to the public radio interview with the Mator Gabe I linked to, and also read the adverse childhood experience study and specifically the analysis of the drug addiction portion.)

2) The norms of a person's peer group and also why the person is using the drug are also very good predictors of how likely a person is to get addicted. E.g. someone using a drug to escape from emotional pain is much more likely to get addicted to a drug than someone using it for analgesic or spiritual purposes.

3) The method of consumption also plays an enormous role in how likely someone is to become addicted. The faster the drug hits you, the more likely you are to become addicted. Taking a drug transdermally is less addictive than eating it, eating a drug is less addictive than taking it sublingually or snorting it, snorting a drug is less addicting than injecting it, and injecting a drug is less addictive than smoking it. That's why you can drink coca tea several times a day indefinitely without becoming addicted, whereas people smoking crack get addicted extremely quickly.

4) There are basically two components of addiction, physical addiction and 'moreishness'. Physical addiction is a result of how increasing your neurotransmitter levels decreases your density of receptors for those neurotransmitters, so once you stop taking a drug you don't have enough neurotransmitters anymore so you can be in enormous pain (depending on the drug, the method of administration, etc.)[1]. The vast majority of people can just deal with the pain and it's not a big deal. But for those with severe depression, a history of abuse, or other mental problems, they don't have enough inner strength to deal with this pain so they just keep using the drug until it kills them. It's actually very very similar to the studies on 'learned helplessness' that they do with rats, where they see how long they swim before they drown. (The rats with depression just give up and drown much faster than the normal rats, even though they can physically swim just as well.)

The second issue is with the 'moreishness' of a drug. There are a few drugs, especially stimulants, where there is a very short high followed by a ridiculously wicked comedown. With these drugs people tend to just keep doing the drug until they run out of it. The best example of this is probably MDPV, which is usually marketed as 'bath salts'. When people tell you that quitting crack is a joke compared to quitting this drug, you know it's probably bad news. But again, those without severe mental issues do eventually manage, they're just in a world of pain for about a week.

5) The worst drugs to quit if you've been severely addicted are benzos (e.g. xanax, ativan, valium, etc.), and also methadone and some of the other synthetic opiates. Even heroin addicts get through the worst of their symptoms in a week or so, whereas xanax addicts can't sleep for up to a year or more. And what's worse, they feel like they're constantly being electrocuted over and over, they can't think straight, and there are plenty of other horrific issues as well. So basically you don't want to get addicted to drugs with horrific physical withdrawals like xanax, and you don't want to use drugs that are ridiculously moreish, like MDPV, but other than that drug addiction is almost entirely a function of the person and not the molecule.

Obviously you want to follow best practices when using any drug. E.g. if you want to try psychedelics then read Neal Goldsmith's new book Psychedelic Healing, which explains how to use the substances safely and effectively. But if you don't have any mental issues, and if you know how to use a given drug safely, then the risks can be minimal as long as you're disciplined enough to actually do everything correctly every time. (Not unlike driving, rock climbing, skiing, etc.)

That's not to say that everyone should go out and start using drugs. But the fact is that according to government estimates, around 89% of Americans use illegal drugs at some point during their lives (at least once). And making poor decisions about drug usage (including legal drugs) kills around 30% of Americans.[2] So while people say you should eat healthy and exercise, and they're right, in fact learning how to use drugs safely has a much better bang for your buck in terms of improving your overall expected health and lifespan.

It's undeniable that when used properly drugs can have enormous benefits for treating medical issues, relaxing, socializing, gaining spiritual understanding, etc. And what's more, I would argue that if you haven't read extensively about and also tried (for most of them) the drugs that have shaped western civilization (alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, sugar, chocolate, tea, coffee, cocaine, lsd, psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline, and opium), you aren't even really fully capable of understanding the world we live in and why society is the way it is.[3] Which isn't to say that everyone should use all the drugs I just mentioned, but I think taking the time to understand not only the health aspects of drugs, but also how these drugs have affected art, architecture, music, the law, medicine, philosophy, psychology, technology, etc. is probably the single best investment one could make in terms of becoming a self-actualized and well-educated person.

[1] With opiates you also get oxidative damage to receptors. It's effectively the same as having their density reduced, but it's worth mentioning because it can be largely preventing with certain supplements, and also possibly reversed with ibogaine.

[2] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1877771. N.b. it's possible that alcohol-related fatalities have been wildly exaggerated by the NHTSA.

[3] I might actually add ayahuasca to this list as well, though I didn't include it because it hasn't really had any impact on western civilization, at least not yet. It seems like smoked DMT may end up being important as well, though as of yet its contributions have been fairly peripheral.


Hallucinogens are not addictive.


It's great that you are asking questions. Your mind seems open and you are expressing a willingness to learn. To that end I recommend the following books:

The Psychedelics Experience by Peter Stafford

Pikhal by Alexander Shulgin

Acid Dreams by Lee and Shlain

The Illuminatus Trilogy by Shea and Wilson

Plants of the Gods by Richard Evans Schultes

The Archaic Revival by Terrence McKenna

The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide by James Fadiman

That should get you started. Good luck, and have a safe trip.


Primarily just those which result in dopamine production are addictive. Psychedelic drugs do not, and are generally not addictive.


That's false, actually. The most dangerous additive things are generally GABA agonists (alcohol, GHB, etc.) and things that futz with opioid receptors (heroine, etc.). Those classes of drugs produce physical dependance and in extreme cases withdrawal can be fatal.

Dependence on drugs that mess with the dopamine system (nicotine, caffeine, amphetamines, cocaine, etc.) is almost completely psychological. The physical withdrawal symptoms are slight in comparison to the category above.

Psychedelic drugs mostly mess with the serotonin system, which has a lower (but non-zero) propensity for producing psychological addiction, owing largely to the fact that the tolerance curve is very steep and it takes the brain a few days to reset.


He's actually right; dopamine is our primary pleasure reward system. In addition to interacting with GABA alcohol triggers dopamine in the same way caffeine, amphetamines, and even ecstasy do. And please don't tell me you think Opiates have no effect on dopamine...most drugs just keep dopamine around longer by blocking the reuptake. Opiates literally release the stuff. Hence the massice euphoric state.

You have a case with benzos, I suppose but in that case physical addiction is far more prominent than psychological. LSD/halluconigens act on the 5-HT receptors and is not psychologically addictive nor pragmatically possible for physical dependence.


MAPS (maps.org, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) is one of the best run nonprofits out there (I have donated for years). They have very low overhead, and in addition to directly funding key research (which is expensive) have gotten funding from other sources to cover important research into the use of MDMA and hallucinogens to treat diseases and disorders such as PTSD.


Rick Doblin, the director of the multidisciplinary Association or Psychedelic Studies did a talk at google, which you can watch here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwAGkGpv6Ss

Mainstreaming Psychedelics: From FDA to Harvard to Burning Man


A little off-topic but...

This is a very good 60s psychedelic radio station: http://www.techwebsound.com/. Apart from playing very good 60s music, it has a plays (somewhat ironically) a lot of archive recordings of government warnings against LSD, mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs.

Interesting to listen to the formings of society's current attitudes towards drugs.


Is there a genuine resurgence of interest in psychedelics in the geek community, or is it just me? There seems to be a new article posted on HN on psychedelics every few weeks. Could this be the dawn of a new 1960s?


"Could this be the dawn of a new 1960s?"

No. In the 1960s psychedelics were part of the counterculture, whereas today the research and interest is all (purposely) revolving around their potential as tools for the mainstream. In fact that's probably the biggest thing we learned from the 60s, is that if we want these substances to be accepted then we need to integrate them with our existing culture, institutions, and values. If you go to any of the conferences on the academic research into psychedelics then one of the first things you'll pick up on is how much most of them hate Timothy Leary, or at the very least his legacy.


I wonder if zombie movies aren't rooted in a parody of governmental fears about widespread drug use.


Perhaps put the bong down now? :)


It's amazing. The more and more research we do, the more we find out that the FUD surrounding lots of drugs is nothing more than that... FUD.


I haven't seen anyone asserting the abuse potential has vanished (or never existed). They are simply acknowledging there are legitimate uses.


You must have missed the last several drug related posts here on HN. Full of research on that very topic. And yes, the abuse potential is much lower than the government would have you believe.


Yes, I must have. I certainly don't remember any along that particular topic.

I'd be interested to see them if you still have links.




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