[Noisebridge-discuss] PsychedelicSF

jenny ryan tunabananas at gmail.com
Wed Feb 29 18:29:43 PST 2012


Psychedelics have been held back for a number of reasons - chief among them that many of the core psychedelics are easily found in nature and thus, not nearly as profitable as the synthetic compounds produced by the pharmaceutical industry. 

One must also take into account the recent history of psychedelics with regards to social change and collective consciousness. The re-emergence of psychedelics in popular culture in the 1960s was principal to the emergence of a counterculture that directly challenged the institutions and hypnotized consumer culture that serves as the operational relationship we see in all its gory glory in globalization and neoliberalism today - essentially, a frenetic model that touts consumption and the resultant profits over the health of our minds, communities, and planet. I can elaborate on these structures and historicities if anyone expresses interest.

For more on the close ties between cyberculture and counterculture, I highly recommend Fred Turner's book, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, The Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism.

All in all, Daniel and Kaya have already touched on all of the points I would have made but was too busy to do. I look forward to engaging on one of my favorite topics at one of my favorite spaces this Sunday.

I also welcome further questioning, challenging and inquiry from the NB community, as I feel this is a highly productive collision of spheres. 

<3
/jnny

`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`
"Technology is the campfire around which we tell our stories."
-Laurie Anderson 

"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it."
 -Hannah Arendt

"To define is to kill. To suggest is to create."
-Stéphane Mallarmé

http://jennyryan.net
http://thevirtualcampfire.org
http://technomadic.tumblr.com
http://webnographers.org
~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`

On Feb 29, 2012, at 5:45 PM, "Sean Cusack" <sean.p.cusack at gmail.com> wrote:

> So, maybe this is the interesting question:
> 
> If pharma drugs are more harmful than psychadelics, and psychadelics produce the same results as pharma drugs, and are safe, why do new drugs continually get approved for depression while old skool psychadelics don't hit the market as a cheap generic alternative?
> 
> I'm not quite sure I buy the whole government-pharma conspiracy thing in this instance (now, if you want to talk drug *cost*, I think that's a different issue). Medicare is broke - it would love to find a cheap, generic alternative to ptsd drugs currently marketed by big pharma. Why have psychadelics been held back?
> 
> Sean
> 
> On Feb 29, 2012 2:13 PM, "Daniel Jabbour" <daniel at psychedelicsf.org> wrote:
> On Feb 29, 2012, at 7:47 AM, Nick Parker wrote:
> 
>> 
>>> 3) Psychedelics are essentially like loading a hacked firmware into the
>>> human brain for several hours, resulting in interesting effects and
>>> unconventional thought processes.
>> 
>> Or like exposing a motherboard to static electricity, sometimes resulting in
>> unintended and unpredictable side-effects for years afterward.
> 
> Actually, most psychedelics are relatively harmless drugs to the body, as compared to other recreational drugs such as alcohol. The biggest risk factor is that they can trigger latent mental illness, in those genetically predisposed to mental illness.
> 
> For instance, LSD's LD50 (the dose at which 50% of the population die) has never been measured in man (since no fatal LSD cases have been recorded), and extrapolated from studies with rats show the effective dose and LD50 are hundreds of times apart, making the drug remarkably non-toxic.
> 
> Drug interactions with some types of anti-depressants (MAOIs for instance) can be very hypertensive and should be avoided. SSRIs though, have the opposite effect, making the psychedelic experience more mild (they both act on the same receptors, but in opposite ways- 5HT or serotonin).
> 
> As far as fear of neurotoxicity, or brain damage goes, this is just totally a myth. Even government-funded NIDA studies have shown LSD is remarkably safe on the brain.
> 
> Flash-backs are by in large a myth as well, though I will say there is a condition known as HPPD which is EXTREMELY rare and usually dissipates quickly if it does occur. HPPD is characterized by a persistent perceptual change (such as halos or auras surrounding objects). It has occurred in a relatively small (way less than 1%) percentage of the population, usually occurs immediately after a psychedelic experience, and usually only lasts a short period of days/weeks (though some HPPD patients have reported the effect lasting many months or even years). HPPD is highly dose-dependant, so starting new psychedelic explorers with a relatively low dose and increasing gradually is an excellent way to identify it early and discontinue.
> 
> But I'll just say- Phase I FDA trials establish efficacy and safety of using drugs in humans. The fact that several psychedelic compounds are already past that phase is reassurance to their relative safety. Other psychiatric pharmaceuticals are far far scarier compounds as far as I'm concerned, and widely prescribed to millions every day. The psychedelic therapy model would involve one or two psychedelic experiences a year... compared to altering brain chemistry on a daily basis with some scary unknown compounds.
> 
> Warm regards,
> Daniel
> 
> --
> Daniel Jabbour
> Organizer, Psychedelic Society of San Francisco
> http://www.PsychedelicSF.org
> daniel at psychedelicsf.org
> 
> 
> 
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