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Cognitive Liberty UK

No drug that has been made illegal in the UK has EVER been decriminalised. Consequently, a massive part of the fight to maintain cognitive liberty is preventing new chemicals being added to the list of controlled substances.

Legal highs currently include a whole range of wonderful entheogens, alongside this is an ever-expanding range of new chemicals allowing experiences that previous generation simply had no access to. In many ways, this is a golden age: any psychonaut can order shamanic herbs, witch potions, or the latest scientific breakthroughs from the four corners of the earth with a view to exploring and expanding their mind.

In 2010 we saw mephedrone get banned, we can blame the government and the media, but in truth it was the then-users of mephedrone who share much of the responsibility. This article discusses what we can do to stop currently legal drugs being made illegal.

1) Keep it on the…

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Cognitive Liberty UK

1. Consumerism depends on discontent. If you were content, you wouldn’t feel the need to buy all the pointless stuff on offer: if every one was content the system would break. Adverts are designed to produce discontentment, simple as that. All forms of true spirituality work towards contentment and therefore pose a threat to consumerism and the capitalist system. The myriad forms of spirituality all warn against selfishness, greed, envy and desire: spirituality and consumer-capitalism are thus diametrically opposed.

2. Psychedelics can cause spiritual insights about the nature of the self and the illusory nature of the “material” world. They are known to bring about states of ego-death, i.e. self-less-nes, the same goal of many of the major religious and mystical traditions. The endless pursuit of consumer-capitalist goals, with all the greed and selfishness that is entailed by that pursuit, is challenged by the insights provided by psychedelics. Psychedelics can…

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Cognitive Liberty UK

It’s a class-A drug with some of the lowest risks/harms when compared to other drugs. It’s a class-A drug which therapists want to use to treat alcoholism, opiate-addiction and depression. Research has indicated again and again that it can be of great help to those dealing with the fear and anxiety of terminal illnesses. It’s most well-known effects are to encourage feelings of unity and love in relation to fellow man, to encourage religiosity and spirituality.

When we look at the motives people have for taking LSD, it should seem obvious that imprisoning them is a perversion of justice. People take LSD for spiritual revelation and healing, to bring about positive transformation in their lives. Whether or not this is a sensible approach to reaching those goals is an open question: but it should be clear that they have committed no moral wrong.

We are taking mystics and locking them up…

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A guide for Policy-Makers

 

Decriminalisation or Legalisation?

Decriminalising possession of LSD would mean that to own LSD was no longer a crime. There is the possibility of decriminalisation of possession of small amounts of LSD for only personal use, whilst maintaining laws prohibiting large quantities intended for sale.

The problem with both options is that, by not fully legalising the drug and integrating it into pre-existing models of pharmaceutical manufacture and distribution, the government loses control of both the safety of the product, and the commercial aspects to its sale.

If decriminalised, LSD use may or may not increase: but if it did increase there would be a lot of money to be made from its sale – and it’s better for it to go to the public fund instead of the pockets of ‘unknowns’. Whilst it’s nice to presume that LSD would be made by noble alchemists: if a market developed, large scale criminal organisations would be allowed to seize control of it and that would really not be good.

The NHS Prescription System already deals with hundreds of psycho-active chemicals

…some of which are far far more dangerous than LSD. Many of the drugs the NHS distributes are highly dangerous if used incorrectly, some of them highly addictive, some of them potentially fatal, are we so certain it cannot handle LSD just as it handles Prozac?

The advantage of integrating LSD using this model are many:

1)   The quality and dose of the substance can be carefully controlled, making it safer.
2)    It would be easy to track individual use of LSD for the sake of safety.
3)    Profits could go back into the public purse, instead of either the hands of unknown drug-dealers. Revenues could be used to manage any negative costs of LSD.
4)    Revenues could be used to further scientific research into the drug, its harms and its applications.
5)    Only by integrating LSD with pre-existing models for pharmaceutical distribution (including the NHS) can clinicians gain access to the drug. There are clinical psychologists, highly trained experts, who want to use LSD to help those who are suffering with certain psychological conditions. Legalising instead of merely decriminalising LSD would allow the nation to utilise LSD to it’s best effect according to proven research.

6)    By tightly controlling production, distribution, and supply: it could be ensured that if the new policy on LSD was a failure, it would be easy to regain control of the situation at a later stage.

A good example of this is alcoholism. LSD can treat alcoholism, a condition that costs our nation millions of pounds and thousands of lives every year. Why aren’t we acknowledging this proven fact and utilising the drug to maximum effect?

Important Considerations for Government Policy for the Production of LSD

LSD is such a powerful substance that a single lab can produce enough LSD for not only the United Kingdom, but for the entire world. Some authors have suggested that even in the 70s the CIA could produce the stuff ‘by the tonne’, LSD doses are measured in micrograms.Therefore:

-1 gram is approximately 10,000 doses
– 1 kilogram is 10 million doses
– 1 Tonne is 9 BILLION doses

I would also add that would be a mistake to allow LSD into the hands of the large pharmaceutical companies. Even with adverts banned, such large industries have ways of corrupting policy and, perhaps more importantly, research. If you want accurate research for LSD: leave it to the scientists in universities, not the corporations.

It is our view that it would be best for LSD production to be a nationalised effort, not a private one, for the reasons described above.

Is this still ‘Cognitive Liberty’?

It is a compromise. But living as an individual within society means making compromises. LSD, if abused, can be very harmful, therefore it is ethical to impose a system that allows a certain degree of control, not least of all to ensure the substance is as safe to use as possible.

Ultimately, it would be a great step forward in our fight for Cognitive Liberty. It would end the unjust persecution of current LSD users, who can go to prison for possessing just a couple of tabs. We would be able to use LSD: a drug I know many of you consider to be the sacrament, as our own will and conscience decided.

Taking the Non-Oppositional Stance

It is time to embrace a non-oppositional stance, and I invite the government to do the same. By this we mean: there is no “them and us”, we are all on the same side here, a part of the same one society.

LSD can benefit society, it doesn’t have to be an ‘enemy of the state’.

Aside from the aforementioned applications in the realms of mental health, LSD is an aid to creative minds around the world: just look at your own music collection, look in our many great art museums, in both you will find the fingerprint of LSD. The applications in problem-solving are most promising: architects, city-planners, inventors, investors, engineers, imagine the benefits of utilising this drug for the benefit of society.

It is also vitally important that it is made easier for scientists, psychologists, and researchers to progress our understanding of this most significant chemical.

We would be a nation unique in the world: and we would attract many visitors from other countries who would contribute to our society so as to benefit from our forward-thinking and liberal laws.

This is taking the middle way in ending drug prohibition.

Cognitive Liberty UK

Where the placebo effect refers to a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition that results from a simulated medical intervention, the nocebo effect refers to the opposite.

The nocebo effect shows us that, even when no real drug or cause for harm is present, negative beliefs and expectations can lead to negative physiological, behavioural, emotional, and/or cognitive consequences. It demonstrates the very real effects of conditioning and negative suggestions.

The general consensus amongst clinical psychologists is that psychedelic drugs can cause damage when the user undergoes an extremely emotionally negative or traumatic experience as a result of them.

The purpose of this article is to suggest that the dominant discourses around psychedelics in the both drugs education and the mass-media condition individuals to have negative experiences whilst using them where they otherwise might not.

Both the mass media and the prevailing approaches to drugs education emphasise the risks of using the substances…

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Cognitive Liberty UK

Drug laws attempt to control what you can do with your mind and what experiences you are allowed access to. Drug laws are, quite literally, attempts at mind control.

Cognitive libery is much more than freedom of thought. To believe in cognitive liberty is to believe that the individual is absolute sovereign over their own consciousness. It is an extension of the concepts of freedom of thought and self-ownership. It is a reaction against the prevailing assumption that other people have the right to tell you what you can do with your mind and body in situations that carry only a personal-risk.

Terence McKenna writes:

“We’re playing with half a deck as long as we tolerate that the cardinals of government and science should dictate where human curiosity can legitimately send its attention and where it can not. It’s a preposterous situation. It is essentially a civil rights issue…

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