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Just when you thought it was safe to take LSD, a dangerous look alike floods the market. Reformers blame a drug-policy that forces psychedelics into an unregulated underworld.

On the 10th of June, the NBOME series of psychedelics were placed under a year-long temporary ban by the Government. What will be the outcome of the ban? Even more untested and unheard of research chemicals. Why did the NBOME chemicals become so popular? Because the government won’t do the logical thing and legalise the psychedelics that we actually know about: LSD, DMT, mescaline & psilocybin.

Unlike the aforementioned psychedelics, the NBOME chemicals have not been subject to testing to confirm whether they are physically dangerous or not.  Users who were either unable to access these drugs or feared legal repercussions were forced into a corner and the NBOME chemicals seemed to provide a solution.  As NBOME use became more widespread, we heard more and more about the potential side effects: seizures, fainting and even death.

Unlike with the NBOME chemicals, an overdose of the traditional psychedelics would be a very deliberate act. There has not been a single documented case of a person dying due to LSD, for example.  Alcohol, on the other hand, kills nearly 9000 people in the UK every year. To me, it seems totally unreasonable that I am able to drink myself to death and smoke lung-shrivelling tobacco but I could face up to 7 years in prison for possessing LSD.

A recent report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction showed that the number of new synthetic drugs is rising at increasing rate, with 73 new drugs recorded in 2012 compared to only 49 in 2011. The research chemical, or legal high, market is expanding at an alarming rate. It’s only a matter of time until yet another untested drug takes the place of the NBOME series. How can we tackle this revolving door of legality and prohibition?

The solution, to me, appear rather obvious. For centuries people have used psychoactive substances to achieve a level of altered consciousness and no laws are going to change that. It is the time that the Government ditched its ‘holier than thou’ attitude and actually embarked on a pragmatic change in policy. We have two options; we can allow people to freely use the psychedelics which have been used safely for decades, if not centuries or we can allow people to carry on risking their lives with drugs we know nothing about.

– article submitted by Scott Lumsden.

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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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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