some drugs are good, and have always been good

Illegal drugs can be good for you panel discussion

BBC Radio 4
Wednesday 29 October 2008 (rpt: Saturday 1 November at 22:15)

The scientist and writer Dr Susan Blackmore argues that drugs can be good for you. She says most of the problems of drug abuse are really caused by drug prohibition. It would be much better if we decriminalised drugs and taught young people how to use them properly and safely instead. She says that our society doesn’t take the “dangerous wonder” of mind-altering chemicals seriously. As a psychologist Susan wants to understand the mind. She has experimented with hallucinogenic drugs because she wanted to learn “how to face demons and terrors, how to let go of self, how to explore the further reaches of human experience.” She wants a society in which adults are free to take drugs for their own reasons: for comfort and delight, to ease pain, to inspire insight or creativity, and even to face death. Just as we can distinguish between alcohol use and alcohol abuse, so should we accept that there’s a place for positive drug use.

(via specialknives)

As much as Blackmore has kind of annoyed me with several of her previous books, I approve wholeheartedly with this approach.

This may be a reasonable time to point out Sacred Intentions
– a solid look inside the recent John Hopkins psilocybin studies, among the first rigorous mainstream research into psychedelics and therapy done in many years (Of course, they could just ask Stanislav Grof what he found over the last four decades…) which is a reasonably even handed approach. We reported their results back when they came out – but they were overwhelmingly positive, in terms of experience, effect, and lasting positive change in subjects.

And, of course, the point is, we are merely rediscovering something ancient.

Andean Mummy Hairs Show Hallucinogen Use
Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News

Oct. 29, 2008 — Andean mummy hair has provided the first direct archaeological evidence of the consumption of hallucinogens in pre-Hispanic Andean populations, according to recent gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis.

Obligatory shout out to Terence McKenna, who wrote extensively about the role of psychedelics in ancient cultures, and argued persuasively for their role in cultural evolution.

So yeah. Please can we have an open mind and explore our minds and consciousness responsibly with all available tools without being criminalised?

4 Responses to “some drugs are good, and have always been good”

  1.   Pearce
    November 3rd, 2008 | 6:00 am

    Do they give you cancer without having any noticeable positive effects, or cause problems for your liver while increasing the chances that you’ll become violent? ‘Cause if they don’t do those things, we want nothing to do with them. 😛

  2.   Pearce
    November 3rd, 2008 | 6:04 am

    Hm, your blog translates an emoticon with its tongue poking out into a huge smiley face.

  3.   Administrator
    November 3rd, 2008 | 11:14 am

    You can get your cancer causing, organ damaging drugs over the counter.

    A normal smiley comes out like this 🙂
    The tongue pokey outey smiley is the same but has a red tongue.

  4.   Pearce
    November 6th, 2008 | 10:34 am

    That’s a big tongue.