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February 2021

Featuring Natalia Starr
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Psychedelic Psychiatry
Featured Article

Psychedelic Psychiatry

The Healing Power of Shrooms, MDMA, LSD…

Illustrations by Spencer Afonso

Are you seeking spiritual enlightenment? Craving relief from debilitating depression or PTSD? Need a way to deal with the significant stresses of this decade? Read on…

Psychedelic drugs have experienced a resurgence in recent years. Their cultural, spiritual and clinical uses have gained in popularity in the U.S. just as their legal standings have improved.

In 1970 the Controlled Substances Act categorized psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as Schedule I drugs—largely in response to the antiestablishment, anti-Vietnam youth culture at the time. However, it has generally become apparent that these drugs do not fit the criteria for this classification: They don’t have a high potential for abuse, there is no lack of safety under medical supervision, and they do have accepted medical uses.

Today, following the trend to legalize marijuana, select cities—Denver in Colorado, Santa Cruz and Oakland in California—have decriminalized the use of magic mushrooms. But their legality remains a sticky issue. By federal law, both mushrooms and marijuana are still illegal and categorized as Schedule I drugs—hell, Tommy Chong was sent to prison in California for selling bongs well after medical marijuana was legalized in the state.

Over the past several years, however, mainstream media and documentary filmmakers alike have demonstrated an increased interest in psychedelic healing. Religious organizations, especially União do Vegetal, have achieved a First Amendment triumph for the use of hallucinogens in organized religious settings. And there is evidence to suggest that even psychedelic usage at music festivals provides opportunities for shedding anxieties and hang-ups and facilitating profound, reparative experiences.

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