Jon’s Stone Cold Cop List #31: MJBizCon finds… only kidding. They didn’t even have weed there.

Well I missed November, but it’s been a crazy month so bear with me. This one’s stacked with all the gems I found during Biz Con… only kidding. The best part about that event was our afterparty with Meth & Red at Brooklyn Bowl, and that wasn’t even official. Y’all know we know how to get down, even at a suit conference. Worth noting that our event and Jimi’s Heat Quest were the only two events I enjoyed period, so we’ll see if I’ll even do the Vegas marathon again next year. I do hope all your time in Vegas was all you hoped it’d be, but it seems apparent the industry is less and less hyped for this one every year. 

But this train doesn’t stop! I’m writing this on a plane to Taipei, en route to my final destination of Bankok, Thailand. Rolling out to check the newly legalized scene with my buds Jimi Devine and the High Rise gang, so you know there’s going to be a ton of transmissions from the road. Hopefully we don’t end up in an South East Asian prison. Only time will tell! 

If you can’t wait until the next edition to hear how it went, follow along with our antics on IG or Twitter. And as always, feel free to ping me and bitch about what I missed, or what should be on the next one!

Green Dawg’s Maracuya

Courtesy of Green Dawg

I’m constantly hunting for ‘out of the ordinary’ flavors, and boy did Green Dawg hit me right in the strike pocket with this one. To start, this sweet yet musky cut is like, repulsively attractive. You know what they say about cologne needing some funk? This one’s allll over that vibe. And while a lot of brands have figured out tips and tricks to inflate the smell of their goods to potential consumers, you know they’re doing it the right way when you can actually taste the flavor on your tongue. Plus, it’s a Green Dawg strain – which means it’s not even trying to play the hype game, they’re just focused on producing really, really good weed that they themselves want to smoke. The ultimate QC process!

Portal Gummies

cop list
Courtesy of Portal Gummies

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably already seen these on my story a few weeks ago, but now that I’ve had some time to do my research I’m pleased to inform you all that they’re so much more than MDMA gummies. While those were dope, and I certainly enjoyed myself, this is only the tip of the iceberg for this team. Also producing both micro and macro LSD gummies, a combination Mushroom & Molly chocolate bars, and DMT both in vape and it’s natural forms, I have no idea how these guys are getting away with this but the drugs are legit so tap in with the gang to get way out there!

Doja Pak’s Giraffe Puzzy

cop list
Courtesy of Doja Pak

I talk about how Doja’s crushing quite a bit, and I get it annoys some people looking for new names, but the truth is, once you see this next cut you won’t care about the other guys. The Giraffe Puzzy (a project the team has been working for years) is truly the one. With a flavor reminiscent of Chem, this bright green bud feels like a lost classic reinvigorated with todays tech. Not only that, but it will get you the perfect level of insanely high, and yet not slow you down. Y’all know I like the daytime steeze. Also worth mentioning their General Purpose pre-rolls. I grabbed one for the first time before Thanksgiving and I’ve gotta say – this is how pre-rolls should be. Three grams of all flower, and it smokes perfectly. They’re also blends of the gang’s favorite mixes – mine was Purp Dino x Stardawg 41 x Giraffe Puzzy, and it was the ultimate experience.

Talking Terps’ Terp Crawford Cases

Courtesy of Talking Terps

Y’all know the Terps are my people, and while I do my best not to include every drop they do, there is so much heat coming out of that camp that it’s hard to go too many lists without including the gang. Now, we know the Terps like high end, and that not every product they release will be in every fan’s budget, and this is likely one of those – but man, just look at how dope they are! Made in Silver, Bronze and Brass, these iconic lighter cases feature TC’s likeness carved into the metals (as well as the classic TT logo emblazoned on the back). And while they might be pricey, it seems like a small price to pay to ensure your lighter always finds its way back to you! They’ve got a gang of other shit out rn too if you’re holiday shopping and don’t want to break the bank, tap in with the boys!

Snowtill’s Piescream

cop list
Grown by Snowtill, shot by Ginja Club

I’ve included Snowtill here before as more of a brand profile, but this time I’ve gotta call out a specific cut he’s been working on. To put it simply: ST’s Piescream is one of the most interesting cultivars I’ve tried recently. It’s got this like gassy and sweet nose, but what blew my mind is the bud has this like grease to it that’s incredible. Normal buds just make your fingers sticky – this provides almost a liquid residue on your fingers that eventually dry out to the stick we all know and love, but it’s clear this plant was finished properly, so I’m looking at this as an advancement in his capabilities. I’ve never seen anything like this before, and the almost lime flavoring on the inhale sort of numbs the mouth. Joe’s onto something special.

Cali-X’s Dole Whip

cop list
Courtesy of Cali-X

You likely already know I’m a big Dole Whip fan, but what Cali-X has managed to do with the cultivar has really taken it to the next level. Definitely the first time I’ve seen it in rosin form, but the flavor will smack you as soon as you crack the jar. While maintaining the pineapple sweetness, Cali’s version of it presents with a far stronger gas aroma than I’ve seen in the past. Not to mention it’s got an excellent cerebral effect that’s perfect for going down a deep rabbit hole, or melting into your couch with a good book.

Mike Glazer’s After Party at the Comedy Store

Courtesy of Mike Glazer

There are very few people I love as much in this industry and our adjacent communities than Mike Glazer. The host of ‘Glazed’, the pre-pandemic variety show at the Hollywood Improv Lab, was my favorite show in L.A. before all that COVID madness fucked our lives up. That said, ya boy is back with another instant classic that I had so much fun at I need you all to know too. Including insanely talented comedians like Neal Brennan, Ali Mac & Frank Castillo, Glazer’s show always has bells and whistles you can’t possibly expect, so you never know exactly what you’re in for, but let me promise you this: you won’t be disappointed you went. I believe the word on the street is there’s another coming before the end of year so keep an eye on his Instagram – you’re definitely not going to want to miss these!

Lemonskrill

Courtesy of Lemonskrill

While this is presumably a new name for many of us, you’re going to recognize the flavor of Skrillmo’s most recent project, Lemonskrill. Akin to Lemon Up, with that same almost sour lemon pungency, Skrillmo has dialed this one in in a classic, yet refreshingly new way. We’ve been chatting online awhile and I’ve got to say, the first taste he provided was certainly a head-turner. Plus, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his marketing is creative, attractive, and you can fit way more than an eighth in the mylar if you feel like taking it on the road!

The Liz

Courtesy of Squints x Foreign Genetics x Westside Gunn

This next one’s a collaboration between Squints, Foreign Genetics and Westside Gunn, and it smaaaacks! I know anytime we hear a celebrity’s name at this stage in the game it’s almost an instant tune out for most of us, but this feels more like a real play than an influencer grift. Squints ain’t no buster. In fact, I’ve been saying for a minute that what Foreign Genetics is doing is impressive, and this certainly continues the legacy. The dark buds have a perfumated nose, with an almost cheesy undertone, but it’s the attractive die cut mylar shaped like a woman’s bust with a third eye that makes it the complete package. And so as not to go too over the top on the celebrity angle, the only mention of Gunn comes from the scorpion pattern utilized in the bottom gusset. Honestly, it’s hard to knock.

GT Rolling

Courtesy of GT Rolling

I’ve talked a lot about professional rollers lately, but something about what GT is doing is taking the experience to the next level. As I always mention, the flower is the most important part of the pre-roll, and every roll I’ve seen from GT smokes like it was just finished curing. Even better, they’ve got some of the most creative ways of promoting their products on Instagram. Hailing from the Mitten, ALL the flavor and terps you’d expect from any strain these guys are working with will be as vibrant as you’d expect had you rolled it yourself. Even better – while I prefer flower cannons over hash holes, his other brand, FlintStoned, can satisfy those needs for you as well! If you’re in Michigan tap in with the boys!

Bonus: These Crazy Skittles

Courtesy of Trap Mart

So y’all know I like exotics, especially of the soda and candy variety, and boy have I got a killer for you this time. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what they’re called because it’s written in another language, but I am happy to describe them to you. Have you had the Skittles Cloudz yet? They’re like a cross between a marshmallow and a gummy, and frankly they’re excellent on their own. However, whatever these new guys are take things up a notch. While the Cloudz are more marshmallow than gummy, these new jawns flip the script and honestly, it’s a way better format. Cards on the table I bought them because they had a lil sticker in the corner that had a cherry on it with some writing I couldn’t understand. I still don’t know what it means bc I didn’t taste any cherry flavors, but would 1000% buy again.

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Berkeley Officials Consider Move To Decriminalize Hallucinogens

Officials in Berkeley, California are set to consider a proposal that would decriminalize psychedelics, including LSD.

The measure is a byproduct of a years-long project that has “lingered for three years in the Berkeley City Council,” according to Berkeleyside, which added that the council is set to “come back to life in a few weeks.”

What distinguishes Berkeley’s proposal from other communities that have moved to legalize hallucinogens is that the northern California city would represent “an even broader proposal: one that could make it the first in the U.S. to decriminalize LSD,” according to Berkeleyside.

“Of the 15 U.S. cities that have softened restrictions on psychedelics, none has included this synthetic hallucinogen. Berkeley Community Health Commissioners Joseph Holcomb Adams and Karma Smart explained that the logic for decriminalizing LSD is that it meets the technical definition of psychedelics,” Berkeleyside reported.

“Berkeley’s resolution was initially drafted by the Oakland-based nonprofit Decriminalize Nature in 2019, and proposed decriminalizing only natural psychedelics, such as psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and mescaline cacti,” the outlet continued. “The resolution spent two years in the hands of the city’s Community Health Commission (CHC), one of 22 civil commissions advising the City Council. Over the last year, Adams and Smart, the two commissioners appointed to study it, entirely rewrote it. If approved by the City Council, the personal consumption of psychedelics will cease to be criminalized in Berkeley; sharing, giving, or distributing psychedelics will, however, continue to be crimes.”

According to NBC Bay Area, Berkeley “city health commissioners voted unanimously to recommend to the city council decriminalize the use of hallucinogens.”

The legalization and decriminalization of hallucinogens has emerged as the latest frontier in the United States’ drug reform movement. 

Earlier this month, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, a Democrat, and Rand Paul, a Republican, introduced a bill requiring the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to classify therapies involving psilocybin and MDMA in order to improve access for patients and researchers. 

“Recent studies suggest that some Schedule I substances such as MDMA and psilocybin could represent an enormous advancement for the treatment of severe post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and addiction,” Booker said in a statement. “Unfortunately, regulatory red tape and a series of bureaucratic hurdles involved in studying Schedule I substances impedes critical research on these and other promising Schedule I compounds. This bill reduces these unreasonably burdensome rules and regulations that delay or prevent researchers from studying – and patients from accessing – this entire class of potential medicines.”

Paul said he was proud to co-lead this legislation, which is known as the Breakthrough Therapies Act, with Sen. Booker that would streamline the registration process for breakthrough therapies currently restricted by outdated drug classifications.

“This bill will make it easier for researchers to conduct studies that can lead to breakthrough therapies to treat patients battling serious and life-threatening conditions,” Paul said in a statement. 

The legislation has won the endorsement of Martin R. Steele, a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant general who leads the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition.

“We urge Congress to swiftly pass the Breakthrough Therapies Act, which responsibly reduces the barriers to research and limited access of potentially life-saving treatments like MDMA- and psilocybin-assisted therapy,” said Steele. “Veterans should not be forced (nor should anyone else) to leave the country – at great expense – to access breakthrough therapies that can be safely provided and further studied in real-world settings here at home.”

Should the bill pass and become law, it would force the DEA to reschedule the aforementioned substances under the Controlled Substances Act. 

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Beckley Foundation Announces LSD, Microdosing Research

A series of three new research projects announced this week will seek to illuminate our understanding of microdosing LSD.

The research is being spearheaded by The Beckley Foundation and its founder, the experienced psychedelics researcher Amanda Feilding.

“The first study will assess the brain changes that take place during the mystical experience—that is, a profound sense of connection or unity that can occur following ingestion of high doses of psychedelic compounds and which is proving to be associated with the benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy…The second study is a collaboration between Feilding and physicians at the University of Basel—the city in which Albert Hofmann first synthesized LSD. This study will examine the therapeutic potential of microdosing LSD for the treatment of apathy and depression in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions…A third study co-led by Beckley and Cornell University will use advanced optical imaging to investigate how LSD alters cerebral blood flow and the connection between neurons and their associated network of blood vessels,” according to Benzinga

The first study leans on research “developed by Feilding and neuroimaging experts from King’s College London and UCL, [and] seeks to expand understanding of the neurobiology of consciousness,” Benzinga reported. All three projects “are part of a larger multi-armed research program developed and led by Feilding and are focused on the use of the latest generation of neuroimaging technologies.”

Microdosing psychedelics has exploded in popularity over the last decade, as many have adopted the approach to alleviate depression and other conditions. 

As such, research into the practice has also blossomed. A study published this past summer found that “psilocybin microdosers demonstrate greater observed improvements in mood and mental health at one month relative to non-microdosing controls.” 

The study, authored by researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Department of Psychology, examined more than 1,100 subjects over a two year period. Researchers observed “small- to medium-sized improvements in mood and mental health that were generally consistent across gender, age and presence of mental health concerns … improvements in psychomotor performance that were specific to older adults.”

Founded in 1998 by Feilding, the Beckley Foundation “has been at the forefront of global drug policy reform and scientific research into psychoactive substances.”

“We collaborate with leading scientific and political institutions worldwide to design and develop ground-breaking research and global policy initiatives,” the group says on its website

Feilding, meanwhile, is an authority on psychedelic research. 

According to her biography on the Beckley Foundation website, she “has been called the ‘hidden hand’ behind the renaissance of psychedelic science, and her contribution to global drug policy reform has also been pivotal and widely acknowledged.”

“Amanda was first introduced to LSD in the mid-1960s, at the height of the first wave of scientific research into psychedelics. Impressed by its capacity to initiate mystical states of consciousness and heighten creativity, she quickly recognised its transformative and therapeutic power. Inspired by her experiences, she began studying the mechanisms underlying the effects of psychedelic substances and dedicated herself to exploring ways of harnessing their potential to cure sickness and enhance wellbeing,” the website says. 

Through the Beckley Foundation, she has “initiated much ground-breaking research and has co-authored over 80 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals.”

“She collaborates with leading scientists and institutions around the world to design and direct a wide range of scientific research projects (including clinical trials) investigating the effects of psychoactive substances on brain function, subjective experience, and clinical symptoms, with a focus on cannabis, the psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, DMT, 5-MEO-DMT) and MDMA,” the website says. 

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Can You Overdose on Psychedelics?

When it comes to using drugs, both medicinally and recreationally, one of the scariest things that can happen is an overdose. I haven’t experienced one personally, but I have seen someone else go through it; and even viewing it from the sidelines was terrifying. Some drugs carry a much higher overdose risk than others. For example, your chances of experience dangerous levels of toxicity on meth or heroin are much higher than if you were using, say, ketamine or MDMA.

As a matter of fact, psychedelics in general (both natural and synthetic) carry a very low threat of overdose. With many compounds in this class of drugs, it’s nearly impossible to reach that point. What are the chances someone could overdose on some of the more popular hallucinogens, like shrooms or LSD? Read on to learn more.


What is an Overdose?

An overdose is the term for the physiological response that occurs when we take too much of a substance or combination of substances. Overdoses are often accidental, but they can be intentional as well and make up a substantial portion of suicide attempts (67 percent, to be exact). Additionally, overdoses can happen from a variety of different substances including both illicit and prescription drugs, alcohol, and even certain vitamins (although the last one is rare).  

An overdose can be fatal, and the most common cause for it is usually respiratory failure, although there are a few other ways that drug use can end in clinical overdose. That said, overdoses can be reversed, and the person can be saved if the correct medical treatment is administered in time (i.e., Narcan for opioid overdoses, or stomach pumping and use of activated charcoal for alcohol poisoning).  

Because of how they function in the human body, opioids are one of the substances most likely to cause overdoses. Our bodies are full of opioid receptors, although they’re largely concentrated in the brain, central and peripheral nervous systems, and in the gastrointestinal tract. When using lower amounts of opioids, these receptors are activated and bodily functions begin to slow down. However, if you take too much, these receptors become overwhelmed, and they eventually shut down completely… resulting in overdose and possible death.  

Another very dangerous substance is alcohol, although in the context of consuming too much, it’s not referred to as an overdose, but rather “alcohol poisoning”. Alcohol poisoning comes on quickly sometimes and it can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and gag reflexes. Alcohol poisoning can potentially lead to coma and also death.  


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The class of illicit substances least likely to cause that level of harm, are psychedelics. Which is interesting as many remain on the DEA’s list of schedule 1 narcotics while more dangerous drugs that CAN, in fact, kill people – such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and various opioids – are classified as schedule 2 or higher. For the record, the DEA defines schedule 1 narcotics as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”; and drugs with the largest number (schedule 4 and 5) are considered safest. So, psychedelics are on the schedule 1 list and meth is not, as if that makes any sense. 

Psychedelics and Overdoses  

Although you technically can overdose on psychedelics, it’s rare with most and nearly impossible with some. Now, let’s quickly discuss a concept known as “effective dose vs lethal dose”. This is referring to the dose it takes to get high versus the dose it takes for the drug to kill someone, and how that ratio compares to other drugs. 

For example, GHB, heroin, and methamphetamine are among the most toxic substances, with a lethal dose that is only a few times higher than the effective dose. Even the lethal dose to die on alcohol is only 10 times the dose needed to get drunk. Compare this with psilocybin, that has a lethal dose estimated to be 1,000 times higher than the effective dose, or even ketamine whose lethal dose is 38 times higher than the effective; one can easily ascertain that psychedelics – both natural and synthetic – are relatively safe. 

The least physiologically toxic substances, or those requiring 100 to 1,000 times the effective dose to cause death, include psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and marijuana. There are no published cases document deaths from smoked marijuana or psilocybin mushrooms, so the actual lethal dose remains a mystery. 

Overdose vs Bad Trip 

Another thing to keep in mind is the difference between an overdose and a bad trip. Some people might mistake the two, but they are fundamentally different. The main contrast between the two is that overdoses are physical and bad trips are mental. Overdoses can be fatal, whereas bad trips are mostly just scary and confusing.  

That distinction is extremely important, because it really highlights the sheer insanity of keep psychedelic drugs illegal. How are drugs like Oxycontin and other opioids (which kill an average of 44 people per day in the U.S.) legal with prescriptions, while psychedelics that are considerably safer remain prohibited?

Now, that’s not to say that opioids should be banned. Regulated, yes. But not outright prohibited. There’s definitely a time and place where opioid-based medications are helpful. But if we can admit that, why is the government so reluctant to admit that psychedelics can be equally helpful, if not more so; and much safer to boot since they cannot lead to physical overdose?

Overdose Risk for Common Hallucinogens

Below we’ll take a look at the four most popular psychedelics, which also happen to be the ones currently in various stages of clinical trials, to see what the levels of toxicity are for each one.

Psilocybin  

It’s very rare to actually overdose on mushrooms. As a matter of fact, recent studies confirm that only 0.2% of magic mushroom users seek emergency medical care after use… the lowest of any recreational drug, including cannabis. A psilocybin “overdose”, or a bad trip rather, can lead to various psychological symptoms, the primary one being very intense panic attacks.  

One risk when eating magic mushrooms, especially if you’re foraging for them yourself, is picking the wrong type. Given that there are over 14,000 different mushroom species in the world, it’s easy to conclude that some many have very similar characteristics – making them hard to tell apart in real life situations. Eating a poisonous mushroom can be fatal, so that’s definitely something you’ll want to be very careful about.  

LSD 

Much like with psilocybin, overdosing on LSD is close to impossible. That doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume in large doses, and yes, you can actually experience toxicity from LSD. But because it’s so strong, it’s very rare for anyone to consume that much.  

Again, you can have a bad trip on LSD. And because it’s such a potent and long-lasting hallucinogen, people can have accidents or physically harm themselves while high. There are some reports of self-harm and suicide attempts while under the influence of LSD, however, based on the research I was able to find online, that’s quite uncommon as well.  

Ketamine  

Ketamine has been around for a while but has recently seen a boost in mainstream acceptance with the FDA approval of Esketamine, current research on another drug called Arketamine, and a surge in medical practitioners who are willing to provide standard Ketamine for off-label purposes.  

That said, it is possible to overdose on Ketamine, and it’s more likely than with other psychedelics. The lethal dose for Ketamine is about 40 times the effective dose, so while that’s considerably more toxic than psilocybin, it’s still much safer than most recreational (and even many prescription) drugs.  

MDMA 

Here, it’s crucial to remember that there are some glaring differences between pure MDMA and ecstasy (which contains MDMA). One of the most substantial differences being that overdoses on ecstasy happen relatively often, whereas with pure MDMA, that is unlikely to happen.  

This is because ecstasy is MDMA cut with some type of other drug, meaning an adulterant is added to enhance its potency (and often to boost the profit margins for producers as well). Methamphetamine is a common adulterant in ecstasy, making it much more dangerous than the pure form.  

Final Thoughts

There are two main things I’d like readers to take away from this article. Number one – psychedelics are safe and you’re unlikely to overdose on them. If anything, that should at the very least quell some people’s anxiety about trying them. Number two – because they are so much safer than other drugs, it makes no sense to keep them illegal, as the reasons behind prohibition are clearly not in our best interest.

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta Delves Into Psychedelic Therapy on Podcast

Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a CNN Original six-part docuseries going around the world, as well as a podcast covering a range of topics.

On Tuesday, November 8 on season five, episode eight of the podcast Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the neurosurgeon and CNN commentator dove into the world of psychedelic-assisted therapy for mental conditions.

Gupta will be exploring the role of psychedelics in medicine for the whole season: “This season on Chasing Life, Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes listeners beyond the basics of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch to explore unique sensory experiences,” the summary reads. “Discover why psychedelics might change your worldview, how animals perceive differently than humans, and how biases in taste might impact the future of food production.” A previous episode last week explored a synthetic version of psilocybin.

The psychedelic renaissance taking place in the world of medicine is impossible to ignore. Gupta invited “Nick” and “Janet” on the show—two people who had just experienced a ketamine-assisted therapy session at a retreat. The two people attempted to describe the experience and dissociation.

“They are part of a growing number of people who are taking so-called psychedelics,” Gupta said after they spoke. “You know them as ketamine, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA. The goal is to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD. Now, most of the compounds are still tightly regulated by the US DEA, so the legal use of them is limited to research studies usually done at academic or medical centers. The anesthetic ketamine, though, at the moment is the only exception.”

The FDA’s approval of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression in 2019 is one example of how it’s being embraced at the federal level.

“Ketamine is a FDA-approved medication. It has a wide range of uses at sub-anesthetic doses,” replied Dr. Meera Garcia, who is recognized for her exceptional work as a clinician. “It is really a great adjunct to psychotherapy, as well as modalities in which people can work through their traumas.”

“That’s Dr. Meera Garcia,” Gupta replied. “She runs the ketamine-assisted therapy retreat that Nick and Janet attended.”

The show also explored art and music created under psychedelics.“How does a psychedelic impact one’s perception of the world and their senses?” Gupta asked. “Yeah, that’s one of the big places that you see profound alterations in consciousness is that our perceptions and when you think of the psychedelic artwork in that time, you know, things like songs like ‘Revolution Number Nine”’ by The Beatles.” He then played some of the distorted sounds.

Gupta’s fascination with psychedelic-assisted therapy dates back several years. On September 1 2014, Gupta interviewed Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and Acid Test author Tom Shroder about past and present research into the benefits of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. “Almost from the day of its discovery, psychiatrists have been fascinated by the properties of LSD and similar drugs, often called psychedelics,” Gupta said at the time.

Gupta Goes from Medical Cannabis to Medical Psychedelics

Gupta got involved with medical cannabis reform under the Trump administration. Repeatedly, then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was criticized after taking office when he said “good people don’t smoke marijuana” and vowed to crack down on it. Gupta took a patient but informed approach to tackling people with old-school views about pot.

In 2018, Gupta Dr. wrote an open letter to Sessions about cannabis and began it by admitting that he did not always support medical cannabis from the get-go. And he also explained how it took years of research to convince the doctor. He explains, “Not only can cannabis work for a variety of conditions such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and pain, sometimes it is the only thing that works.”

Perhaps Gupta’s patient approach to debunking stigma surrounding cannabis can also be applied to psychedelics.

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Australian Capital Territory Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Drugs Including Heroin, Cocaine

The social experiment of decriminalizing drugs and providing a health-based program instead of locking up drug users is taking hold in Australia’s capital.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT)—home of capital city Canberra—passed legislation on October 20 to decriminalize small amounts of drugs, according to an announcement. It’s the first jurisdiction to do so in Australia.

The Drugs of Dependence (Personal Possession) Amendment Bill 2022, introduced by MP Michael Pettersson of the Labor party, decriminalizes just very small amounts of drugs. Punishments will be reduced to warnings, small fines, or a drug diversion program.

The bill was approved in a 13-6 vote. There will be a 12-month transition period beginning in October 2023.

“From late October 2023, the possession of small amounts of certain illicit drugs will be decriminalised,” the announcement reads. “This means people will no longer be exposed to potential prison sentences and instead may be issued a $100 fine or referred to an illicit drug diversion program. If the matter proceeds to court, the person will face a maximum $160 fine, reduced from 50 penalty units and/or two years in prison.

“This reform will reduce the stigma and fear for people who are using drugs to access health services,” the announcement continues. “By diverting people to a drug diversion program, people who use drugs will be offered the health services and support they need while providing a pathway away from the criminal justice system.”

That means Canberrans will no longer face potential prison sentences and instead will be given a slap on the wrist: either only a caution, an AU$100 fine (about $63 USD), or they will get referred to an illicit drug diversion program.

Over the next 12 months, the government will begin to implement oversight arrangements, deliver training to frontline workers like police, and develop public communications with police, the alcohol and drug sector, academic experts, and people with lived experience.

Maximum limits apply specifically to different drugs: Cocaine at 1.5 grams, heroin at 2 grams, MDMA at 3 grams, methamphetamine at 1.5 grams, amphetamine at 2 grams, psilocybin at 2 grams, lysergic acid at 2 milligrams, and finally LSD at 2 milligrams.

ACT officials who supported the bill believe a more health-focused approach to addiction is more effective than locking them up.

“The ACT has led the nation with a progressive approach to reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs with a focus on diversion, access to treatment and rehabilitation and reducing the stigma attached to drug use,” ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said. “This sensible reform is based on the expert advice that a health-focused, harm-reduction approach delivers the best outcome for people using drugs.”

The Guardian reports that the deputy leader of the Canberra Liberals, Jeremy Hanson, slammed the law, calling it “radical.” 

“It wasn’t taken to the community. It’s going to lead to more crime. It’s going to lead to more carnage on our roads,” he told ABC. “It’s not going to change the number of people going into the criminal justice system, and it’s not going to fix the problem that we have now, which is not enough people being able to access treatment.”

Pettersson said that people who use meth are often the ones who are actually in the most need of assistance from health services.

“People that use recreational drugs are taking a risk, and certain drugs cause more harm than others,” he said. “If people are using a substance like methamphetamine, we need to make sure that we do not continue to criminalise them and make it even easier for them to come forward and access the support that they might need.”

In the ACT, weed has been decriminalized already for nearly 30 years.

In America’s capital Washington, D.C., psilocybin, ayahuasca, and mescaline are decriminalized, and efforts to decriminalize all drugs are ongoing.

The post Australian Capital Territory Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Drugs Including Heroin, Cocaine appeared first on High Times.

Decaf Acid: New LSD Derivatives May Offer Mental Health Benefits Without the Trip

On September 28, a large team of scientists from different universities published results of the study in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, in which mice diagnosed with depression were given these novel compounds found in LSD.

According to the study, the mice showed signs of decreased depression without showing any physical indicators that they were high on acid. Apparently, when placed into an uncomfortable or life-threatening situation mice with depression will stop struggling to survive quicker than mice without depression. However, depressed mice will struggle for much longer when given substances like ketamine, psilocybin, and LSD.

“These molecules are potential leads for the development of therapeutics against disorders that have withstood long-term treatment including depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder,” a portion of the study said.

You might be asking yourself the same question I asked, how can anyone tell if a mouse is high? According to the paper, mice on LSD have a signature type of twitch they do with their nose so the scientists can tell if the mouse feels anything. Thus, if you ever see a mouse twitching its nose it could mean he’s tripping his cute little mouse balls off and it would be polite to offer him some water or a granola bar.

In all seriousness, the study represents a potentially monumental breakthrough in mental health treatment for millions of people who suffer from depression but are afraid of, or otherwise unable to handle a psychedelic trip. One of the authors of the study told High Times that the particular compounds used in the study will likely not make it to clinical trials but similar compounds potentially could.

“The particular compounds in the paper are not clinical candidates,” said Dr.  Bryan Roth, a professor of pharmacology at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “As you might not appreciate, the compounds in the paper were discovered some time ago and since then we have evaluated many hundreds of additional compounds to find a potential candidate.”

Regardless of how early in the game it may be, this discovery begs the question of exactly where the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics are found, as a lot of people (myself not included) would likely skip the intense experience if it wasn’t necessarily needed in order for the patient to feel better.

“With hallucination remaining a liability, A goal in this area is the development of drug leads that retain the antidepressant and anxiolytic properties without psychedelic activity,” the study said. “There is much interest in finding agonists that retain antidepressive actions without the hallucinogenic effects of classic psychedelics such as LSD and psilocin.”

“Society would like a molecule that you can get prescribed and just take and you don’t need a guided tour for your trip,” another author of the study, Professor Brian Shoichet, told NPR.

The scientists and doctors involved in the study generally expressed optimism in their reporting that since the antidepressive benefits of drugs like LSD and psilocybin kick in almost immediately and can often last a year or more, these novel compounds may carry the same benefit without the wild ride.

Tripless therapeutics are not a brand new idea, however. A similar study in 2020 had some reported success with derivatives of ibogaine which appeared to produce the same antidepressive properties ibogaine is known for in mice without the presence of any physical symptoms that would indicate the mice were tripping.

Good news America, you may one day be able to easily experience relief from countless ailments through the power of non-psychoactive psychedelics. For those of you in more of a hurry, regular acid is worth the trouble, I assure you.

The post Decaf Acid: New LSD Derivatives May Offer Mental Health Benefits Without the Trip appeared first on High Times.

Welcome To Acid Town

For High Times readers, it’s no secret that corporate startups focused on microdosing psychedelics such as Psilocybe cubensis and LSD are turning heads for those trying to get ahead in today’s economy. While these investment prospects are exciting, curious minds may want to take a look at the bigger picture. A picture sometimes brought into focus by doing tons of acid.

FLASHBACK TO THE NINETIES

During my high school experience of the mid 90s, especially in small towns like the one I grew up in, the drug culture was booming. Hash, shrooms, and acid were king. A few designer drugs like ecstasy were starting to make their way to rural Canada but it hadn’t really hit yet. It was still difficult for people in rural Ontario to get flower.

Much of rural Canada looked like this in the 90s. And still does actually.

In my last High Times article, “The New Narc,” I discussed that in those times, Regan’s reignited drug war was still running rampant even in Clinton’s America. Kurt Cobain had recently died and pop culture was trying to pick up the pieces.

During this time, my best friend, band mate, and party accomplice “Paul” was one of the most impressive humans I’ve ever met. In our early-to-mid teen years, “Paul” and I explored a variety of subcultures and the drugs that went with them. We were not special.

A photo of “Paul” playing guitar.

Kids of the 90s often considered the 60s “drug revolution” as “introductory.” This is the generation that brought us South Park, whose creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, famously went to The Oscars in drag and on acid.

In adulthood, most kids who were products of 90s counterculture revolutions such as grunge, punk, and techno can relate and reminisce about the state of partying experienced in the last few years on Earth before humans had global access to the internet.

Twenty to thirty years later, it’s not hard to imagine why this generation’s zeitgeist has a relaxed and open mind towards drugs. Several counterculture industries like skateboarding, cannabis, and wall art have begun revolutionizing what the corporate landscape of the 2020s can look like.

Modern society has begun rewriting the narratives of what was once considered degenerate behavior.

BAD TIPS / BAD TRIPS

Currently, many private and public psychedelic companies are focusing on mental health, addiction, and PTSD research. While this research is important and exciting, most agree that we may never see psychedelics as a recreational device. This means that those who obey laws, and prescribe as followed, may never truly understand the true potential of their investments.

To gain insight on the psychedelic investment landscape, we spoke with Doctor Darryl Hudson, a respected, peer reviewed, and published molecular biologist based in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Darryl is also a specialist in cannabis and plant medicines. He is celebrated for his work in the field of cannabis and PTSD and has publicly spoken on multiple panels on the aforementioned subjects. He’s also a metalhead, which rips.

Dr. Darryl Hudson. Metalhead. Scientist.

Dr. Darryl’s company GoodCap Pharmaceuticals, are developing low-dose non-hallucinatory products that they hope will someday be available in a prescription drug format. 

According to Dr. Darryl, “Access is the number one concern I have with these medicines. I would hope to see complete decriminalization of psychedelic molecules (for which safety has been established) in the future. At the very least, regulated access through the established medical industry. We desperately need many of these medications to be available to the general public, which means mass production and major corporations getting involved.”

While a leading voice and advocate of psychedelics as medicine, Dr. Darryl fears there are dangers that reflect the early days of cannabis legalization. Dangers those looking to invest and the general public should be aware of. 

“We see problematic behavior in the emerging psychedelic industry from some ‘vulture capitalists’ attempting to profit from these medicines without understanding them. As with cannabis, those who care only about profits are not likely to survive long. Product quality and in this case, patient care is likely to be a bigger factor in gaining long term traction and a loyal consumer base. We have already seen public companies abandon projects,” Dr. Darryl says.

FLASHBACK TO THE FUTURE

In our youth, Paul and I, along with many in our friends group, followed a traditional small town drug-experimentation-trajectory. This trajectory went from beer and liquor to weed and hash, followed by mushrooms.

These kids are on drugs. Me, friend, Paul, bandmate “Kelsey.”

After mushrooms, many moved on to acid. Those who acid agreed with it, did it again and again. Then after that, they did more acid. Then they ate acid for dinner and dessert topped with liquid acid.

LSD and Paul gelled. It allowed him to become Ferris Bueller on drugs (I’ll explain later). It made him somewhat of a visionary. His understanding of this drug, combined with his ability to be productive on it, is exactly why all investors, predatory and casual alike, should experience LSD and all psychedelics to their fullest before investing. Understanding these products could guide more than just a publicly shared company’s success.

USER HABITS AND THE CONSUMPTION OF PSYCHEDELICS

In today’s climate, ideas like organic LSD, LSA, or LSH, have wealthy thought leaders gathering around the Joshua Trees of the world. These forward thinking innovators conduct mind melding money meetings with spores of opportunity. While Netflix originals like Goop homogenize the movement, powerhouse leaders of industry are a buzz with the buzziest buzz words no one can say or spell like “psilocybin” or “psilocin,” the active psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms.

On the street, LSD traditionally came in the form of tiny square pieces of 1cm by 1cm construction paper, usually with a cartoon on them, called “tabs” or “hits.” These tabs were, and still are to this day, ingested under the tongue until dissolution. The high would generally last from four to eight hours.

Today, there is no limit to the consumption methods. Tinctures, capsules, infused edibles, are all easily and readily available with the proper know-how. But all of these have been synthesized in the basements of unsuspecting parents for decades.

“To my knowledge, LSD as well as many psychedelic drugs are not extremely difficult to chemically synthesize,” Dr. Darryl says. “Methods have been published and patented in the past. I recently had a colleague tell me they made the equivalent of 3.5 million doses in an approved GMP setting. With competition in the space for pricing of API’s (approved pharmaceutical ingredients) I do not expect the molecules themselves to be highly valuable. There are many companies in other countries who can and will make these molecules for cheap.”

“Unlike cannabis,” Dr. Darryl says, “people do not consume large quantities of psychedelics, and psilocybin is no exception. By my estimates, most people use less than 10 grams of mushrooms per year. Even if someone microdosed 1/10th of a gram every day, that’s only 36.5 grams in a year. I have smoked that much weed in one night.”

WELCOME TO ACID TOWN

There was no shortage of urban myths surrounding acid in Carlisle, Ontario which I imagine was the same everywhere. Everyone heard the tales and warnings about having flashbacks as an adult. Or, that acid was LSD mixed with rat poison. Or, that it was the most illegal drug because it was classified as a crime against the government. Or, and perhaps the biggest warning about acid was that users could go “clinically insane” after taking 75 hits combined even over a period of time. In our small town, we had no idea about dosage. We had no idea other than the experience. Also, no one gave a fuck at all.

The gates of Acid Town.

Several early mornings in high school, Paul and I would synchronize dropping acid or eating mushrooms so we’d be high by the time we met on the school bus. We would get shipped into a slightly bigger town called Waterdown for school. Our goal was to be “peaking” while playing freeze tag in first-period drama. We had far surpassed the 75 hits mark. The idea that this would make us “clinically insane” became funnier and funnier to us. What we had learned was that LSD was honing our ability to detect bullshit. We thought we had it all figured out. We jammed in our punk band all week and threw shows on the weekends where we’d sling hash and acid to our friends.

High doses of LSD seemed to give us a heightened ability to detect societal and social micro-transactions. For some it meant the ability to detect disingenuous behavior, others could focus on the flaws of our structured society, whatever the scenario, most will tell you that high doses of LSD force internal and external transparency. 

Students participate in Paul’s Acid dream.

Paul somehow managed to become Student Council President of our high school. A miraculous feat considering we never went to school. One of Paul’s more successful initiatives, was a team building exercise designed and concocted by Paul on acid, where he would turn the school’s two story indoor atrium into a giant pirate ship.

His plan was to go to school high on acid while dressed as a pirate and make the entire student body and faculty walk a plank into a sea of crash mats.

Yar.

The initiative was wildly successful and made the local papers. It was also a huge feature in that years’ student yearbook. Paul had the good sense to do the event sober. As it were, our antics wouldn’t be exposed just yet. 

Paul’s parents were lovely hippies who lived in the small town of Carlisle, Ontario. Paul’s mom was a grade two school teacher. She specialized in theater and song. His dad, a reclusive bearded genius who often referred to us as vampires because of our late-night antics. They definitely knew we were on more drugs than just weed, but weren’t sure what.

One school night our merry band of dipshits skipped out early to congregate in Paul’s parents basement, as we often did.

Paul had a lot of acid that night and we ate all of it. An hour or so later, we were having a time. We wandered around Paul’s parent’s house like giggling-acid-zombies observing with humility the absurdity of reality, as one often does on that drug.

We went about our business without a care in the world. In our exploits, we stumbled upon a video camera. This was an exciting find as video cameras weren’t nearly as common as they are now. We didn’t question the why or how this camera had appeared, how could it not be a good idea to film our LSD-induced antics?

We threw the camera over our shoulder and wandered out into the quiet streets of Carlisle, Ontario. Some light mischievous vandalism seemed to be on the menu.

Acid Town’s TD National Bank and Ass To Mouth Center. Free health care rules.

Our quest began with the changing of the letters on the portable marquees at the bank and church. We changed the church sign to read “Beavers & Cunts” instead of “Beavers and Scouts registration” and we changed the local bank’s sign to read, “Welcome To Acid Town.”

We were unsupervised gremlins worshiping at the altar of silly. Our mindset was to challenge all institutional structures and values.

High as fuck and camera still rolling, we rallied back to Paul’s basement dwelling. We had no intention of slowing down. Paul stripped down to tiny leopard print underwear, put on pigtails and wailed on guitar while sporting pink Minnie Mouse sunglasses. A few of us set the table top hockey on fire and played catching trails as the player pieces danced up and down the pressboard. It was excessive to say the least. There was also a ferret for some reason.

In Canada, setting one of these on fire is considered high treason.

The next day, we woke up in the pitch black to Paul’s Mom running down the steps to the basement. She was yelling at the top of her lungs, which was very odd for her. Paul’s Dad could also be heard in the background referring to us as Vampires.

“What the fuck did you do last night?” she yelled.

Paul did his best to cover for us. He said we had only been smoking weed but we were already busted. Hard.

As it turns out, the camera we found belonged to Paul’s mom’s school. We had accidentally taped over Paul’s Mom’s grade two student theater production with our acid trip.

Reenactment photo.
Reenactment photo.

As legend has it; Paul’s mom hit play on the video camera assuming the kid’s play was cued up and left the classroom. When she returned, to her dismay, she found a lot of sad, disappointed and very confused six year olds.

Reenactment photo (Kindergarten Cop).

After that, I was banned from Paul’s house. The jig was up. We were busted. In addition to video taping the evidence, we had also accidentally ratted ourselves out to my mom as well. I had left a message on her answering machine, letting her know I was going to stay at Paul’s house, but the machine also picked up Paul asking everyone how many hits of acid we all wanted in the background. We were terrible drug dealers. 

Keep cool, Ben. They don’t know you’re high. They don’t know what’s in your locker. Just stare at the ground and look exactly like a criminal.

A few nights later, we sat in Paul’s car overlooking Carlisle. Paul revealed that he wanted to infuse the town’s water supply with LSD. He wanted everyone to have as much fun as us.

Paul’s theory was that if we just gave everyone the tiniest bit, maybe LSD would help our uptight small town become more enlightened. Paul wanted to make Acid Town a reality.

As comically villainous as Paul’s theory could be interpreted, he had formulated the notion of microdosing. Although this delivery system would have landed us in jail for a very long time. This is where we decided to chill on the acid for a bit. Maybe let all of the trouble we were in blow over. By this time, everyone in the area knew we were the “Beavers & Cunts” responsible for laying waste to half of the town.

A year or two later, I moved to a new town and slowly drifted from that crowd. Started a new band shortly after, but I think about those days fondly. I don’t regret a thing.

While “enhanced” water supplies are not likely to be the route we see the medical world take psychedelics as a medicine, Doctor Darryl believes that controlled psychedelic experiences can be beneficial.

“To date, the programs involving legal access to psychedelics do so in a highly controlled setting with psychotherapy included, often two people overseeing the actual experience,” Dr. Darryl says. “From a regulatory perspective, this is quite understandable so as to mitigate risks that may be associated with consumption of high doses causing a psychedelic experience.” 

Thirty years later, I returned to Acid Town and I definitely look like I did acid as a teenager.

In retrospect, none of us died from rat poison, none of us are clinically insane, and none of us ended up being considered enemies of the establishment.

Years later, I still keep in touch with Paul and most of that friend group. Paul ended up becoming a real estate mogul, architect, and a great dad. When we reminisce, we laugh at our days under the influence of acid.

Everyone in that group feels that LSD made them a better person in one way or another. Whether the drug itself made us hyper-aware, or fried our brains just enough that we see the world a little differently, most 90s  “acid-heads” will agree that the drug is a vessel towards introspection and often, humility. While at one point we were avid users of LSD, for most, it’s been years since experimenting again. Some haven’t since. 

The potential psychedelics can have on our society is vast. If you’re looking to invest in psychedelic startups, do as much acid as possible. Immediately. You might learn that you dislike LSD. It might become a religion. It might help you detect who the pump and dumps are. Or it might put you 30 years ahead of the thought curve like Paul.

It’s inevitable that Acid Town will be gentrified. It has unlimited potential. However, investors might want to test the water before buying.

The post Welcome To Acid Town appeared first on High Times.

Was the Computer Revolution Caused by LSD?

Every idea comes from somewhere. Just as the apple fell on Newton’s head and he began to create his theories on universal gravitation, the eureka moment does not come from nowhere. Like the film 2001: A Space Odyssey questions, when the first monkey decided to use tools, what was going through its head?

A spark, a moment of genius, it is quite remarkable to imagine how we as a civilization go from something not existing to something existing. Especially when that ‘something’ can change the fabric of society forever. The invention of the computer, the internet and everything that came with that, was an example of one of these ‘somethings’. Nothing had existed like it before, and yet suddenly within around 30-50 years, it was all anyone could talk about. But how did the computer revolution happen and was it really caused by the mind-opening qualities of LSD? 

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The Computer Revolution

The invention of the computer began in the 20th century and has continued to evolve and develop ever since. In fact, we are now at the point where almost 85% of the world’s population owns some sort of smartphone and – whether we like it or not – the metaverse is growing. It’s quite difficult defining what the metaverse actually is because, like in the 70s, the computer then is very different to what it is now. The metaverse is a futuristic concept that will one day be much further developed than it is now. In essence, it is a virtual, online space that people can live in – whatever that actually means. In a sense, this already exists. People spend, on average, around 2-3 hours a day on social media, which is an online space. The more developed version of the metaverse would exist even more sensorially, with people being able to see, hear and perhaps even touch the online space, and be there for longer periods of time. Wired writes:

“Broadly speaking, the technologies companies refer to when they talk about “the metaverse” can include virtual reality—characterized by persistent virtual worlds that continue to exist even when you’re not playing—as well as augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds. However, it doesn’t require that those spaces be exclusively accessed via VR or AR. Virtual worlds—such as aspects of Fortnite that can be accessed through PCs, game consoles, and even phones—have started referring to themselves as “the metaverse.”

Nonetheless, where we are now is far from where we were in the 20th century. So let’s take a step back and discover how the computer revolution started. It is hard to decipher when the invention of the computer actually happened because they didn’t look a thing like they do now. In fact, the first computers were thousands of complex wires, requiring just as many separate transmitters. Very few people came into contact with these machines, and even fewer knew how they actually worked. It was usually specialist men in lab coats, and the computers were mainly used for calculations. In a way, they were like large calculators. The major catalyst towards computer improvement was during the second world war, a time where all industrial and electrical inventions have to be improved fast to better the chances of national victory. Europeana writes:

“In 1936, Alan Turing’s paper On Computable Numbers was the first important catalyst driving innovation in computing. That same year, German pioneer of computer science Konrad Zuse started building computers in his parents’ home in Berlin. Zuse continued developing more complex machines and his Z3, finished in 1941 in part with funding from the Nazi regime, was the first freely programmable electromechanical computer ever built.”

As the 70s arrived, computer’s began becoming smaller, domestic and affordable to the average consumer. By the 80s, around 9% of the US had computers in their homes and these were used for minor administrative tasks, playing games and storing data. But then came the internet. A chance for people to communicate and share using their computers. 

The Invention of the Internet

The inventor Nikola Tesla actually thought up the idea of a world wireless system in the early 1900s but it wasn’t until 1983 that this became a reality. The ‘network of networks’ was assembled on January 1st of that year. Then, in 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. At this point, the web was simply a series of websites and hyperlinks. In 1992, a group of students at the University of Illinois created Netscape, which allowed users to easily search the web – seeing images and words at the same time – with scroll bars and clickable links. History writes:

“That same year, Congress decided that the Web could be used for commercial purposes. As a result, companies of all kinds hurried to set up websites of their own, and e-commerce entrepreneurs began to use the internet to sell goods directly to customers. More recently, social networking sites like Facebook have become a popular way for people of all ages to stay connected.”

And so the internet was born and the never-ending evolution of it was started. However, what was the apple on Newton’s head in this case? How did the computers go from mathematical machines to social connectors? Where did the vision of a world wide web come from? 

LSD and the Computer Revolution

In the 1960s, those involved in the computer revolution decided to think differently about what its use could be. At a similar time, the US was exploring the uses of LSD after Albert Hofman accidentally invented it in 1938. The International Foundation for Advanced Study led around 350 people through acid trips for research. Some of these individuals were key figures in the development of computing. Doug Engelbart, who created the computer mouse, was one of these individuals. The New York Times writes:

“Mr. Engelbart saw much more. His team invented or envisioned “every significant aspect of today’s computing world” — point-and-click screen control, text editing, e-mail and networking”

But he wasn’t the only one with an interest in acid. Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft, was known to dabble in the substance. Plus, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, also did. He used it to spark his imagination, coming at problems from a different angle. He went on to call it one of the three most important things he did in his life. If it really is true – that all of these silicone nerds were taking LSD to increase their imagination and creativity – then perhaps the computer revolution really was caused by aicd. Afterall, every idea has to come from somewhere and this one truly was something that no one had ever seen before. But, it’s also important to understand how LSD works. Harthoghson – a Thomas Leary supporter- believed that acid did not create ideas, but expanded them:

lsd computer revolution

“LSD’s action is thus primarily not psychotomimetic, psychotherapeutic, creative, or even spiritual—but just what it is: mind-manifesting… It acts as a mirror and magnifying glass to its user’s state of mind. If the state of that mind is anxious, LSD could easily function as an anxiety-inducing drug. If it is creative, then it could equally serve as a creativity enhancer. Should it be spiritual, then spirituality will be enhanced.”

In other words, LSD creates and enhances what is already there. If a load of intelligent computer scientists were taking acid in the 60s and 70s, then it was inevitable that they would create something special – like the internet. However, this isn’t necessarily solely due to acid – LSD may have just given them the push towards it. It allowed those individuals – who were known to be recluses, stuck in their own heads – to be creative for a moment. To envisage a future with their ideas. In fact, Thomas Leary – a psychologist and acid advocate – himself called the internet the ‘acid’ of the 1990s. 

Final Thoughts

It’s romantic to imagine that LSD was the sole purpose for the creation of the internet. However, the world is far more nuanced than that. The combination of the free-thinking 60s and the electronic advancement – in response to the distress that was existing in Vietnam and at home in the US – brought about a lot of important discoveries. One of these was the beginning of the internet, and one of these was the magic of drugs. In a sense, these went hand in hand.

When society is full of inequality and distress, it is common for exploration and creativity to occur. These were both examples of that. Did LSD create the computer revolution? It is hard to tell. But perhaps they were both created together, symptomatic of an American society that called for serious social change.

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The post Was the Computer Revolution Caused by LSD? appeared first on Cannadelics.

Psychedelic Advocate Facing Charges Calls for Help, Law Reform in New York

Friday, June 10, psychedelic advocate Aaron Genuth was arrested in Ulster County by New York State Police officers. He is facing serious charges for allegedly possessing several psychedelics including LSD, MDMA, ketamine, and psilocybin. Genuth is calling upon the psychedelic community for help.

Genuth’s vehicle was impounded, and beyond the severe charges he’s facing, he also has to deal with mounting legal fees. A GoFundMe was set up to help Genuth handle growing fees and charges, with support from the Hudson Valley Psychedelic Society and Dr. Bronner’s.

Genuth is founder and president of Darkhei Rephua—a Jewish entheogenic nonprofit he founded. Aaron has been advocating for cannabis, psychedelic, and drug policy reform for over 15 years. He also works with Decriminalize Nature New York, the Hudson Valley Psychedelic Society, and has hosted or produced a variety of community events in New York City and upstate New York over the years.

“Ironically, the psychedelics Aaron is being charged with are either legal in clinical settings, scientifically proven to be beneficial medicines, decriminalized in some places, or on the brink of legalization,” his GoFundMe reads. Ketamine, for instance, is FDA-approved in clinical settings, while the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds psilocybin research. Psychedelics in general are amid a renaissance in the world of psychedelic-assisted therapy.

According to the GoFundMe, Genuth is working with Andrew Kossover of Kossover Law, whose work has included leadership in Bail Reform, Discovery Reform, and reform of the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws.

Friends and associates of Genuth are raising funds to help him A) recover his car and B) get on the road again, covering his initial expenses while he assesses the charges that were filed and legal fees.

Genuth spoke to High Times about his ongoing case and the current situation.

High Times: Should anyone be in jail for psychedelics (and cannabis for that matter)?

Genuth: No. Absolutely nobody should be in jail for psychedelics or cannabis, including me. Cannabis and psychedelic reform and legalization need to prioritize decriminalization and prisoner release and they really haven’t thus far.

Given your work with Hudson Valley Psychedelic Society and Darkhei Rephua, did you have legitimate, educational reasons for having psychedelics?

Yes I did, though I should probably not say much more than that due to the case being active. I will add that there’s no legitimate reason to arrest people for psychedelic or other drug possession.

Tell us what Darkhei Rephua is.

Darkhei Rephua is a 501(c)3 Jewish psychedelic nonprofit that I founded just as the pandemic began. Our focus is on spiritual health and healing that is rooted in community and nature, prioritizing advocacy for psychedelic medicine, culture, and experience. Over the last few years we’ve been hosting gatherings and outreach for New York’s psychedelic and cannabis communities, primarily in NYC and the Catskills. One of the factors that inspired me to found Darkhei was a reaction to the growing positive press around clinical studies and limited research on psychedelics in institutions like Johns Hopkins and NYU. I believe everyone should have access to psychedelic research and healing in the setting that is most optimal for them, including those who feel most comfortable with a medical doctor in a sterile clinical or research environment. I don’t, and I wouldn’t recommend it for most people. I’m concerned that the current representation and media around psychedelics still reinforces the idea that they are dangerous substances that most people shouldn’t be legally allowed to access, produce, or consume. That’s part of the same false narrative around cannabis that still exists—the idea that it should only be medically legal, or only legal if bought through legally regulated outlets, I believe that psychedelics should be represented in an honest and ethical way that first addresses the injustices of criminalization, the class and cost barriers that currently exists, and the fact that humans have been intentionally pursuing spiritual, transcendental, and drug experiences for our entire existence. Institutional researchers shouldn’t have any more legal access to psilocybin than community healers, or anyone capable of cultivating and consuming them. That’s what Darkhei Rephua represents to me, and hopefully to our community.

Tell us about your involvement with Decriminalize Nature New York.

My connection to Decriminalize Nature happened very organically and psychedelically. I was first introduced to the idea and group a week or so before the first initiative passed in Oakland in 2019. I was volunteering at the Queering Psychedelics conference at the table next to them so I had an opportunity to learn a lot about the resolution, and that it was expected to pass, possibly unanimously. This was just after the Denver Psilocybin Initiative had passed and the locally targeted and cultivation focused elements of Decriminalize Nature’s resolution, as well as expanding beyond psilocybin to include all naturally occurring entheogens inspired me to launch it in New York, thinking that we may have a good chance of passing a resolution in one of the progressive towns in the Hudson Valley. I co-launched the group in New York City, which is where I was entirely based at the time. Since the pandemic I’ve been spending most of my time in New York in the Catskills and Hudson Valley, where I joined the founding board of the Hudson Valley Psychedelic Society as director of outreach and policy.

I’ve been a religious and recreational cannabis and psychedelic user for most of my life and I was deeply disappointed with many elements of cannabis ‘legalization’. I spent some time working in and covering cannabis in California just after legalization there in 2018, for publications that include High Times. I’d fallen in love with Northern California’s cannabis community and culture in 2006 or so, ever since my first visit to a pot farm in Humboldt County when I was dragged out west from Brooklyn by hippie friends for my first national Rainbow Gathering. I also worked in the industry around 2013, learning more about the legal and medical markets in California, Colorado, and Washington. When Prop 64 ultimately passed, I watched the cannabis industry quickly transition to a highly taxed, regulated and re-criminalized corporate system. I recognized the Decriminalize Nature model as much more reflective of what many of us wanted and expected to see from cannabis legalization; a complete and permanent end to law enforcement’s ability to arrest or otherwise violently harass us, and the right of all people to cultivate and share plants and fungi. Until we’ve done that, we’re still allowing the perpetuation of the horrific legacies of Anslinger, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Biden, and their many partners in drug war injustice and mass incarceration.

More recently, our group in New York City has had some disconnects with the national board in Oakland regarding some of their more antagonistic strategies and practices. We and some other local groups have launched a Decrim First coalition and initiative that includes all psychedelics and fights for decriminalization as a necessary first step to reforms like therapeutic and medical access. We’ll be operating under that banner while we work through the internal and external issues currently facing Decriminalize Nature. I’ve also been actively working with the New York Psilocybin Action Committee (NYPAC) to advocate for state level reforms that include decriminalization and cultivation in next year’s legislative session. I’ve also worked continually with Students for Sensible Drug Policy because they’re awesome and maintain the focus on student leadership in ending the war on drugs, which, as they like to remind us, is a war on (some) people.

At NYC’s 2022 Cannabis Parade & Rally at Union Square / Courtesy of Aaron Genuth

What happened on June 10?

I’ll have to be somewhat sensitive about what I say here again, since the case is still active. I was pulled over for an expired inspection sticker. I declined repeatedly to consent to a search, so the officer arrested me for suspicion of DUI due to the smell of cannabis in the car, and searched my car. Long (and possibly incriminating) story short, I was charged with possession of psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ketamine. The 98 grams of psilocybin was initially charged as a felony, which would include a mandatory minimum of 3 years in state prison if convicted at trial under New York’s reformed but still draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. Fortunately, I was able to find and retain a very good and qualified lawyer, through supporters of the Hudson Valley Psychedelic Society. Just as fortunately, the Assistant DA is familiar with some of the positive research on psilocybin as well as the Oregon legalization so she dropped the felony down to a misdemeanor. I’m optimistic that my documented advocacy work and the very well documented benefits and positive research results surrounding all of these psychedelics will lead to a relatively positive resolution. I’ve pointed out many times since my arrest that a person without my network and willingness to fight might be in a much more difficult position, particularly if they are a parent and holding a state regulated license, for example a nurse or teacher. A person in that position might lose custody and their job regardless of the results of the trial, and possibly have permanent negative effects on their life.

Is it frustrating that there are FDA-approved ketamine-assisted therapy treatments, yet the punishments are severe?

Yes, very. It’s just as frustrating to me that ketamine treatments are prohibitively expensive for many, despite the drug being very plentiful and cheap to produce. That’s not to suggest that every practitioner is gouging people, the issue at its root is regulatory; the combination of bad drug and healthcare policy creating a perfect storm of disproportionate harm that targets the poorest and most vulnerable. Ketamine was first granted ‘breakthrough’ status by the FDA in 2013 and there’s clinics and practitioners all over the country legally providing this medicine safely, legally, and therapeutically—often with incredible results for people suffering from Treatment Resistant Depression, severe PTSD, and suicidality. It’s absurd that it’s not accessibly available to everyone who needs it in the middle of an extended national mental health, suicide, overdose, and financial crisis. I personally believe that all psychedelics should be completely covered under a Universal Holistic Healthcare program, along with any other healing medicine or modality.

What are some of the charges you’re facing?

I got paraphernalia charges for a scale and the bags that the mushrooms were in. I also got charged with a DUI, which is the charge I’m most concerned about since it’s completely false, I was absolutely sober and returned from the grocery store at 10:30am. I’m an advocate for drug users, drug possession, and responsible drug use, but not for driving unsafely or unsoberly so I’m going to fight those charges from every angle possible. The paraphernalia charges also shouldn’t exist, and are addressed in a bill that Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal will be introducing in the state legislature next year. I and some others from the Decrim community worked on those and other amendments that were added to the bill that AM Rosenthal has introduced for the last 3 years to deschedule psilocybin and psilocin. We also worked with her team on another bill she’s introducing, to introduce more decriminalized and community based research and openings to treatment.

What can readers do to help right now?

My case is hopefully going in the right direction, but it’s been a very expensive disruption to my life and work. Any contributions to my GoFundMe are deeply appreciated. We have a special offer currently; a limited number of donors giving $54 or more will receive a Dr. Bronner’s Magic All-One Chocolate, which they’ve generously provided and allowed me to offer as an incentive. (The chocolates are delicious and vegan and fair trade but not psychotropic, no weed or mushrooms in them.) For those in or connected to New York; please join the Decrim First coalition and support NYPAC! The quickest route I know of to do that is to DM us or comment on Instagram @DecrimFirst or email us at DecrimFirst@gmail.com.

I also urge all New Yorkers who care and can to actively support the policies represented in AM Rosenthal’s legislation by reaching out to your state representatives to support and co-sponsor it, and to push for local reform. Please connect with us for support in reaching out to local legislators and law enforcement about policy and legislation! We’ve got templates for legislation, outreach materials, and experienced advocates and experts ready to back you up. Written and video recorded testimonials can also be very influential. We believe that New York must take immediate steps to meaningful reform that includes cultivation, decriminalization, and community access, and that it’s possible within the next year.

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