Wednesday, February 26, 2020

A magic mushroom nose spray for psychedelic microdosing?

Rich Haridy does an interesting article in New Atlas. A few clips:
Alongside the rapidly progressing psychedelic science movement, with researchers rigorously exploring the medical and therapeutic uses of previously taboo psychoactive compounds, is a growing grassroots movement to decriminalize some of these substances...The movement ostensibly started with the passing of a ballot initiative in the City and County of Denver back in March. The publicly voted initiative essentially decriminalized the personal use and possession of magic mushrooms...The long game here is looking toward the 2020 US elections and getting a variety of measures on state ballots...Predicting a wave of psychedelic legalization over the coming decade, Oregon-based start-up Silo Wellness has reportedly developed a magic mushroom nasal spray focused on delivering exact, controlled psychedelic microdoses via an easy inhaler...The product is currently being developed in Jamaica, one of the only countries in the world where magic mushrooms are completely legal.
The science is certainly still out over whether psychedelic microdosing confers real benefits or whether the technique is a glorified placebo, akin to psychedelic homeopathy. As scientists work to clinically verify the effects, and safety, of sustained tiny psychedelic drug doses, there is debate over how much of a dose actually constitutes a microdose.
...there is little agreement in the psychedelic community over whether the movement should push for broad legalization, or a more limited decriminalization...Michael Pollan, author of the bestselling psychedelic science book How To Change Your Mind, summed up these divisions in an influential New York Times op-ed earlier in 2019 titled “Not So Fast on Psychedelic Mushrooms”.
Pollan’s general argument is that while psilocybin seems to be traveling a similar path to legalization as cannabis traversed, we should be clear in understanding they are two very different substances. He supports decriminalization of some psychedelic drugs, and enthusiastically promotes the growing medical and therapeutic uses being researched, but is concerned recreational legalization of psychedelics could be dangerous to unleash into a culture dominated by capitalist sentiment.
“I see cannabis being promoted and pushed to people, as capitalism will do,” Pollan said at an event in Melbourne in July. “When I come home from this trip on Monday and I cross through Bay Ridge from the airport to Berkeley, I’ll see three or four billboards for companies that can deliver cannabis to my home in two hours, and I just don’t think we know enough to legalize these [psychedelic] drugs.”
“We should take lessons from cultures that have been using psychedelics for thousands of years,” he said in July. “They’re always used in a very careful cultural container. They’re never used casually, people don’t take them alone, there’s always an elder involved and there’s always an intention involved … We haven’t devised that proper container and I think we need to do that before we legalize it.”

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