Weekend Thoughts - 5.26.18

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Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Assuming that things continue in the same direction that they're heading, some technology companies are poised to become pretty closely enmeshed with the country's policing industry. This week we learned that Amazon is selling facial recognition technology to law enforcement. The technology, dubbed "Rekognition", obviously raises some privacy concerns, not the least of which is due to the fact that the company also sells smart devices to consumers that are capable of recording audio and video. What's to stop Amazon or the police from using data obtained from a consumer smart device to improve the facial recognition tech? Not to mention that also this week a woman claimed that her Amazon device recorded a private conversation and sent it out to a random contact without her consent! I personally never recommended anyone purchase an Amazon smart device and now I definitely won't. The fact is, Amazon has shown that it is more than willing to collaborate with law enforcement in order to bring about increased surveillance. The lesson we can take from this news is that it is becoming increasingly important to carefully assess the amount (and type) of data that you are willing to provide to each technology company.

2. It turns out that the electric scooter rental business has become a cutthroat business for many teens and young professionals. The task of "bird hunting", which involves locating and charging the Bird brand of scooters, can be performed by kids after they are done with school for the day. The bird hunters comb through cities each night, looking for and gathering as many electric scooters as they can carry, shoving them in their cars and charging them at home overnight before placing them back on the streets in the morning. Since each scooter can only be captured once, some kids are getting a bit territorial in especially crowded areas, even resorting to violence on occasion. Not only is this is a fascinating story to read about because it shows consumers a bit of how the sausage is made in this industry—it's totally worth your time to watch the video of the bird hunter with a huge score, which is embedded in the article linked above.

3. Out of the blue, Pornhub made a VPN. The virtual private network will supposedly keep your browsing activity protected from snoopers and censors. This is a pretty interesting move. I definitely didn't anticipate that the world's biggest adult video website would create a VPN, and I'm not sure how successful or secure it will be, but I certainly applaud their effort.

It's time to say goodbye to Weekend Thoughts—today's post is going to be the last one in the series. That's because I have decided to replace the weekly "link roundup" blog post model with a trickle of individual link posts that will be published whenever something worth commenting about is happening in the news. So you can expect to see short posts linking to other blogs and publications in the very near future. Until then, keep thinking wilder.

Image by Ro & Allister, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

This Week in Psychedelics - 5.25.18

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Cannabis

  • New York Democratic Party Endorses Legalizing Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)
  • Greens call for national approach for drug law reform as NT reconsiders cannabis penalties (GreensMPs)
  • EXCLUSIVE: De Blasio to tell NYPD to stop arresting New Yorkers for smoking pot in public (New York Daily News)
  • Cannabis used to grow wild in Europe but went extinct before first farmers arrived, research finds (The Independent)
  • Bill On Trump’s Desk Would Allow Marijuana (And Maybe MDMA) For Some Patients (Marijuana Moment)
  • New Study: Marijuana Leads to “Complete Remission” of Crohn’s Disease with No Side Effects (USA Health Times)
  • Cannabis: It matters how young you start (Science Daily)
  • Africa's first medical cannabis dispensary opens in Durban (Al Jazeera)
  • DEA Report: Marijuana Seizures Fell Nearly 40 Percent in 2017 (NORML)
  • Federal Prosecutors Pledge to Crack Down On Oregon’s Glut of Cannabis Leaking Across State Lines (Willamette Week)
  • Denver’s marijuana tax money being used to fund local projects (KDVR)
  • State urges Florida Supreme Court to stay out of 'homegrown' medical marijuana case (Orlando Weekly)
  • Why anti-marijuana group wants Michigan to legalize weed (Detroit Free Press)
  • Cannabis Industry Delivers 100,000+ Jobs And Billions In Tax Revenue (Forbes)
  • How My Cannabis Prescription Made Me Realize That Weed Should Be Decriminalized (The Intercept)
  • Arizona: Supreme Court Affirms That Lawmakers Cannot Ban Medical Cannabis Access on College Campuses (NORML)
  • Senator Jeff Merkley Cosponsors The Marijuana Justice Act (NORML)
  • With State Senate Bid, Cannabis Pro Leaps Into Politics (Leafly)
  • UK missing out on cannabis industry 'green rush' worth billions because of outdated policies, say experts (The Independent)
  • It's high time to change the law: Northern Territory set to allow the growing and smoking of marijuana (Daily Mail)
  • Cannabis Consumers Want Hollywood To Abandon Marijuana Stereotypes (Forbes)
  • Government looking at how to best source 'quality' medical cannabis for new access programme (The Journal)
  • Part 3, Is Cannabis Better for Chronic Pain Than Opioids? (Leafly)
  • Massachusetts To Study Race, Gender Disparities in Cannabis Industry (High Times)
  • Why Kiss Rocker Gene Simmons Took $2.5 Million to Promote Cannabis (TheStreet)
  • Cannabis ban is death sentence for my epileptic son (The Times)
  • ‘Sustainability Is Not Enough’: Why Cannabis Farmers Should Look to Regenerative Agriculture (Leafly)
  • Money Grows On Weed (The Worldly Magazine)
  • Checking In, Not Checking Out: Cannabis-Assisted Psychotherapy (Psychedelic Support)
  • Five facts you didn’t know about the cannabis industry (CNBC)
  • Former politician, high school teacher among those trying to make it in legal cannabis (The Star)
  • Home labs for extracting cannabis concentrates seen as emerging public safety threat (Press Herald)
  • Author Tao Lin Goes on a "Trip," Discusses How Cannabis Saved His Life (MERRY JANE)
  • Cannabis edibles being popped among Sydneysiders as concerns grow over their use (News.com.au)
  • Nurturing cannabis (Chemical & Engineering News)

LSD

  • Security Troops on US Nuclear Missile Base Took LSD (Bloomberg)
  • The bizarre true story of when the UK military tested LSD on Royal Marines (The Independent)
  • Watch the Virtual Reality Recreation of the LSD Trip That Inspired the Whole Earth Catalog (TIME)
  • The Loop Trip: How Two Kids on Acid Stumbled on the Theory of Everything (Psychedelic Frontier)
  • Victims of alleged LSD brainwashing experiments in Montreal plan to file lawsuit (CTV News)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Magic mushroom treatment improves emotional face recognition in depressed patients (PsyPost)
  • Magic Mushrooms Could Help Treatment-Resistant Depression (The Fresh Toast)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Middle-class people are taking MDMA wrapped in cheese in a new trend called 'brieing' (Business Insider)
  • What a viral story about mums, MDMA, and brie teaches us about fake news (ShortList)
  • Man on five-day ecstasy binge was caught filling hotel bath with potatoes (Mixmag)
  • People Told Us the Cringe-Worthy Stuff They've Done on Ecstasy (VICE)

Iboga/Ibogaine

  • 150 Years into the opioid epidemic, many are resorting to ibogaine treatment (The Jerusalem Post)

Dissociatives

Opiates/Opioids

  • America's 150-Year Opioid Epidemic (The New York Times)
  • Opioid Crisis: What People Don't Know About Heroin (Rolling Stone)
  • The Deadly Opioid Fentanyl Has Made Its Way Into Street Drugs Like Cocaine, Meth and MDMA (Hornet)
  • How fentanyl could alter global drug policy (The Washington Post)
  • Opioid Crisis Compels New York to Look North for Answers (The New York Times)
  • Record-high opium production in Afghanistan creates multiple challenges for region and beyond, UN warns (UN News)
  • Surgeon general urges ER docs to advocate for evidence-based opioid treatment (Modern Healthcare)

Kratom

  • FDA Issues Warning Letters To Kratom Companies For Deceptive Medical Claims (Kratom Guides)
  • Kratom Legality 2018: What Is The Legal Status of Kratom In The US? (Kratom Guides)
  • A mysterious 'pain-relief' supplement has been linked to salmonella in 41 states (Business Insider)
  • Impressive Health Benefits Of Kratom (The Future of Things)
  • What New Research Tells Us About Kratom Benefits & Risks? (Kratom Guides)
  • Kratom distributed in NC recalled over salmonella fears (WTVD)
  • Mother suing Florida gas station that sold her son kratom pills that led to his death (KFDI)

Kava

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • The Spiritual Value of a Bad Trip: A Conversation with Richard Haight (Psychedelic Times)
  • What is Microdosing? (The Third Wave)
  • Evidence supports more pill testing (The Age)
  • How to Change Your Mind: The New Science of Psychedelics by Michael Pollan – review (The Guardian)
  • Changing the conversation to make drug use safer (The Lancet)
  • On Psychedelics: The Organic vs. Synthetic Fallacy (Adventures Through the Mind)
  • Visionary Plant Medicine Integration: Interview with Dr. Katherine Coder Pt. 2 (Psychedelic Times)
  • Why psychedelic drugs could transform how we treat depression and mental illness (Vox)
  • The Two Things Psychedelics Do to Most People With Depression (Tonic)
  • Opening Pandora's Box: Tips for Navigating a Psychedelic Future with Richard Haight (Psychedelic Times)
  • Minor drug users 'should not be charged' (BBC)
  • Dependence on a War on Drugs (Students for Sensible Drug Policy)
  • Potentiating Psychedelics (Psychedelic Heaven)
  • Meet the drug-sniffing dog that parents hire to snoop on their kids (Rooster)
  • Drugs policing: Federation spokesman calls for policy rethink (BBC)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Weekend Thoughts - 5.19.18

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Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Amazon's cashier-less convenience store Amazon Go will be coming to Chicago and San Francisco soon. Pretty cool to see it getting rolled out to more locations—I know I'd love to try shopping there to see what it's like.

2. Things sure are starting to look a lot more like the sci-fi television series Black Mirror. Fans of the show will know that there is an episode that involves a lot of flying robotic insects. Well, now there are actual flying robotic insects in the world. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a laser-powered miniscule robotic drone affectionally named RoboFly. The device is still in its first-generation days, but its interesting to think about a future where you could be walking around and unaware of whether the insects around you are organic or mechanical.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.

Image by pasja1000, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

This Week in Psychedelics - 5.18.18

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Cannabis

  • Historic House Appropriations Committee Vote On Marijuana (NORML)
  • YouTube's cannabis content purge "a huge loss of cultural history" (Straight Cannabis)
  • U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer Says Cannabis May Be De-Regulated Nationwide Within Four Years (Willamette Week)
  • Legalising cannabis ‘would save £900m’ (The Times)
  • State Democrats plan to endorse marijuana legalization (New York Post)
  • State Marijuana Laws Dodge Supreme Court Bullet (Marijuana Moment)
  • Doctors Want More Information on Medical Cannabis, Study Finds (Leafly)
  • Texas Health Department Considers Cracking Down on CBD (Reason)
  • Many U.S. Oncologists Recommending Medical Marijuana (Hemp Gazette)
  • 4 Must-Read Quotes on Marijuana From DEA Head Robert Patterson (The Motley Fool)
  • California Cannabis Regulations May Make Weed Shippers Report Themselves to the Feds (WIRED)
  • Drugs Minister banned from talking about pot — as hubby runs giant cannabis farm (The Sun)
  • Canadian pot growers say marijuana byproduct a wasted opportunity for industry (ChatNewsToday)
  • These Experts Say Weed Could Help Ease Your Endometriosis Pain (POPSUGAR)
  • On marijuana and opioids — the DEA has no clue what it’s talking about (The Hill)
  • Marijuana Users Don't Mind Being Labeled Stoners And Potheads (Forbes)
  • The Legacy of Stop-and-Frisk in New York's Marijuana Arrests (The New York Times)
  • Chittenden, Windsor set plans to erase marijuana convictions (VTDigger)
  • Cannabis use up among parents with children in the home (Science Daily)
  • Oregon Cannabis Growers Turning to Hemp as CBD Extract Booms (Leafly)
  • Cannabis Advocates Defend Cynthia Nixon's 'Reparations' Comments (Forbes)
  • Marijuana Could Be A $3.1B Business In New York, Report Finds (Patch)
  • Cannabis Cup At Cal Expo Will Have Marijuana After City Council Vote (CBS Sacramento)
  • We Can’t Avoid Menopause But Cannabis Makes It Easier (Leafly)
  • Chart: Putting the $55 billion US retail cannabis market in perspective (Marijuana Business Daily)
  • Cannabidiol significantly reduces seizures in patients with severe form of epilepsy (PsyPost)
  • Weed legal states often have fewest drug problems (Rooster Magazine)
  • Cannabis bills get mixed reception from Legislature (Colorado Springs Independent)
  • Can Massachusetts become a leader in marijuana research? (MassLive)
  • Arizona veterans hope federal bill clears path for cannabis research in the VA (Arizona's Family)
  • Part 3, How to Start a Cannabis ‘Mother Plant’ (Leafly)
  • Marijuana-Growing Nuns Documentary ‘Breaking Habits’ Sells to Cranked Up (Variety)
  • California Today: A Start-Up Steps Up to Help Sweep Away Old Pot Convictions (The New York Times)
  • Medlab kicks off cannabis spray trial for cancer patients at Royal North Shore hospital (Stockhead)
  • Two District Attorneys May Stop Prosecuting Most Marijuana Offenses (The New York Times)
  • Most Georgians want legal recreational cannabis, poll shows (Marijuana Business Daily)
  • New Study Highlights The Social Impacts Of Cannabis Legalization In California (Forbes)
  • Medical Cannabis Is So Expensive, This Mum Might 'End Up On The Street' (Ten Daily)
  • What Do Cannabis Entrepreneurs Owe Victims of the Drug War? (Reason)
  • Should Florida let patients smoke medical marijuana? A judge will now decide (Miami Herald)
  • He lost his daughter, his future, all because of something that's now legal (Rooster Magazine)
  • Big Opportunities In Europe's Cannabis Market Come With Big Risks (Forbes)
  • Medical cannabis should be legalised, says Royal College of Nursing (The Telegraph)
  • California cannot afford to wait on banking for cannabis businesses (The Sacramento Bee)
  • Meet the New Faces of Cannabis—10 People Now Shaping Legal Weed in Oregon (Willamette Week)
  • Bill Shorten Says Conservative Politicians Need To "Get Out Of The Way" Of Medical Cannabis Patients (BuzzFeed News)
  • BDS Analytics, a Boulder-based cannabis data leader, lands $3.5 million investment (The Denver Post)
  • RAND Study Says Cannabis Ads May Increase Underage Use (Leafly)
  • How One Chocolatier Wants to Bring Luxury Cannabis to a Mall Near You (Eater)
  • Nina Fern: "The Highly" Intellectual Cannabis Periodical (Forbes)

LSD

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Denver And Oregon Now Want To Legalize Psychedelic Mushrooms (The Fresh Toast)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Brieing is the new cheese and MDMA drug craze middle class women are trying (Metro)
  • The College Student’s Guide To MDMA, Aka Molly (Study Breaks)
  • Dutch researchers find ecstasy and cocaine are getting stronger (Mixmag)
  • MDMA Opens Door for PTSD Patients to Work Through Trauma (UConn Today)
  • DanceSafe Warns Against Super-Strong UPS Shaped Ecstasy Pills (Your EDM)

Ayahuasca/DMT

  • What It's Like to Take Ayahuasca at a Psychedelic Healing Retreat (VICE)

Salvia Divinorum

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • 'Spice epidemic in jails risk to nurses' (BBC)

Dissociatives

  • Intranasal Ketamine Succeeds for Resistant Depression in Phase 3 Trial (Medscape)
  • Specific Features in Mood Disorders May Affect Outcome of Ketamine Treatment (MD Magazine)
  • Lily Allen kicked out of awards after accidental ketamine trip (Daily Star)

Opiates/Opioids

  • This ‘cure’ only makes the opioid crisis worse (New York Post)
  • The Challenge of Ensuring Accessibility to Naloxone for Those Who Need It Most (The American Journal of Managed Care)
  • Opioid Death Rates Are Not Correlated With Prescription Rates Across States (Reason)
  • Would Naloxone Training Save Lives? (TechnoStalls)
  • The County’s Sitting on Thousands of Doses of Naloxone (Voice of San Diego)
  • FDA Head Acknowledges Suffering Caused by Opioid Crackdown (Reason)
  • Naloxone Reverses Deadly Overdoses, But Then What? (North Carolina Health News)
  • Nevada Records Show 'Opioid-Related' Deaths Usually Involve Illicit Drugs or Mixtures (Reason)

Kratom

  • Kratom Legalization! Explore What New Research States About It (Kratom Guides)
  • Why Is Kratom So Much Controversial? (Kratom Guides)
  • Lawmakers urge Louisiana Department of Health to study kratom: why? (Best of New Orleans)
  • Kratom: A dangerous opioid or natural panacea? (WTVD)
  • Drug expert says ‘kratom’ substance seized from two Edmonton stores helped wean him off opioids (The Star)

Kava

Khat

  • Why Ethiopian farmers choose Khat over coffee (Reuters)

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • Michael Pollan: ‘I was a very reluctant psychonaut’ (The Guardian)
  • Global Study Finds Tobacco, Alcohol More Harmful Than Illicit Drugs (High Times)
  • The struggle to turn psychedelics into life-changing treatments (WIRED)
  • Can Psychedelic Drugs Be Medically Useful? (The Wall Street Journal)
  • The case for legalising drugs is overwhelming – so why won't governments listen? (The Telegraph)
  • Britain's first ever city centre recreational drug testing facility opens in Bristol (ITV News)
  • Michael Pollan Opens Up About His Powerful Psilocybin Trip on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show (Psychedelic Frontier)
  • Drug Use by State: 2018’s Problem Areas (WalletHub)
  • Introduction to Cognitive Enhancement, Microdosing, and Nootropics (Psychedelic Times)
  • Carl Jung on Why You Should Be Wary of Psychedelics (Psychedelic Frontier)
  • How Often Should Psychedelics Be Done? (Psychedelic Heaven)
  • Completed suicide among methamphetamine users: A national study (Drug and Alcohol Research Connections)
  • My Adventures With the Trip Doctors (The New York Times)
  • How to meditate on psychedelics with Vincent Horn of Meditate.io (Psymposia)
  • Northern Ireland drug offences rise by 20% (BBC)
  • After the Ceremony Ends: An Interview with Dr. Katherine Coder Pt. 1 (Psychedelic Times)
  • Review shows lack of evidence supporting use of antidepressants for insomnia (Medical Xpress)
  • Breaking Free From Prohibition: A Human Rights Approach to Successful Drug Reform (Julian Buchanan)
  • Movement to Legalize Drug Use Gains in a Former Soviet Republic (The New York Times)
  • Oliver North Worked With Cocaine Traffickers to Arm Terrorists. Now He'll Be President of the NRA. (The Intercept)
  • Is the ‘war on drugs’ preventing a second revolution in mental health treatment? (WikiTribune)
  • After decades of dormancy, psychedelic research makes a comeback (The Globe and Mail)
  • With governments asleep, a music festival is leading the world on drug policy (The Canary)
  • Thanks to Psychedelic Drugs, "Treatment-resistant" Depression is No Longer a Thing (Andrew Joseph)
  • Take it from someone who spent years taking heroin and crack: addiction isn't a physiological problem. It's a mental health one (The Independent)
  • When will politicians quit the war on drugs? (UnHerd)
  • Walking Backwards, or, The Magical Art of Psychedelic Psychogeography by Greg Humphries & Julian Vayne (Psychedelic Press UK)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Weekend Thoughts - 5.12.18

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Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. The sunny state of California may soon become the first U.S. state to require solar panels on nearly all new homes built after 2020. However, not all newly constructed homes would be affected—those that aren't big enough to fit solar panels and properties featuring taller buildings or trees that would throw shade would be exempt from the mandate. This (along with some additional proposed energy standards) would significantly increase the cost of building new homes, hiking it up by an estimated $25,000 to $30,000 per home. On the bright side, the energy savings is estimated to save homeowners between $50,000 to $60,000 over the lifespan of the solar system. Solar may be an effective type of renewable energy for California, but it might not perform as well in places like the midwest because of the less sun and lower home prices. Still, this is an exciting experiment—maybe it'll end up lowering prices in the solar market, enabling even more people to install solar power on their properties. Just maybe. Only time will tell.

2. Uber announced plans to bring a flying taxi service to the market in 2023. The images of the "skyports"—the launchpads and landing sites that the flying taxis would use—are truly stunning. Imagining a world with flying taxis is quite a fun exercise; I invite you to try it.

3. Now that you're done with that daydream, check this out: the bipedal robot that Boston Dynamics has been developing can totally run and jump now. It's also able to maintain its balance when pushed and can pick itself up when it falls over. I'm not sure about this robot in particular, but judging from the other Boston Dynamics robots that I've seen, I imagine this bipedal robot is one tough cookie, too. I imagine that at some point in the relatively near future these robots will be virtually indefatigable, capable of outrunning and overpowering a human being with no problem at all. So if you want to try another mental exercise, try to imagine the fully polished 3.0 version of this robot working on the beat as a cop. 

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.

Image by GenesJourney, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

This Week in Psychedelics - 5.11.17

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Cannabis

  • What Tuesday’s Primary Elections Mean for Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)
  • It’s Time for a New Discussion of Marijuana’s Risks (The New York Times)
  • Illinois bill would use medical marijuana to fight opioids (ABC News)
  • Marches in Peru & Argentina demand new cannabis laws (Euronews)
  • Thousands March in Chile for Legal Cannabis Cultivation (teleSUR)
  • DEA Task Force Backs Group Fighting Medical Marijuana in Utah (Marijuana Moment)
  • Thousands toke and buy weed as Sacramento hosts first legal marijuana fest in California (The Sacramento Bee)
  • Medical marijuana for PTSD and pain signed into Georgia law (Politically Georgia)
  • Legalizing Hemp Brings Schumer And McConnell Together (Forbes)
  • How anti-marijuana Jeff Sessions became the best thing to happen to pot legalization (USA Today)
  • MMJ for Autism Bill Passes Legislature, Moves to Governor (Westword)
  • Canada plans to legalize weed – but will those charged with crimes get amnesty? (The Guardian)
  • Illinois police claim if marijuana is legalized, they'll have to kill their police dogs (The Week)
  • Colorado Cop Debunks lllinois Cop’s Claim That Legal Pot Would Lead to Killing of Police Dogs (Grit Post)
  • Even Where Weed Is Legal, Government Regulation Makes Advertising It a Nightmare (Reason)
  • Missouri Medical Marijuana Initiative Filed (NORML)
  • NORML's New Push to De-schedule Marijuana (Westword)
  • Cannabis Industry Could Be 'A Form Of Reparations,' Says Cynthia Nixon (Forbes)
  • New York: Patients Using Fewer Opioids Following Enrollment In Medical Cannabis Program (NORML)
  • Colorado's Governor Will Decide Whether Cannabis Consumers Get 'Tasting Rooms' (Reason)
  • Senator Kamala Harris Cosponsors The Marijuana Justice Act (NORML)
  • Cannabis Kicks Lyme Disease to the Curb (Health & Fitness)
  • What do we know about women, cannabis and psychosis? (National Elf Service)
  • Interstate Smuggling? How the Vireo Incident Is Testing State Cannabis Laws (Leafly)
  • Mother Credits Marijuana For Transforming Son With Severe Autism (CBS Denver)
  • Cannabis tax revenue in California falls far short of projections (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • How close is New York to legalizing marijuana? (Times-Union)
  • Meghan Markle’s Nephew Is Growing Weed in Oregon—and Created a Cannabis Strain In Her Honor (The Potlander)
  • Report: Rec marijuana consumers use less alcohol, pain medications, sleep aids (Marijuana Business Daily)
  • Lots of Doctors Recommend Weed Without Understanding It (WIRED)
  • Marijuana shops recommend products to pregnant women, against doctors' warnings (CNN)
  • McConnell: I won't support legalizing marijuana (The Hill)
  • Banning home-grown pot would be paternalistic, unenforceable: task force chair (CBC)
  • Marijuana Arrests Soar in Allentown and Bethlehem as Both Cities Consider Marijuana Decriminalization (NORML)
  • Cannabis fans call for legalisation in international celebration of weed (Metro)
  • Letters: ‘Pot’ and cannabis not interchangeable (Palm Beach Post)
  • Avoid These Obvious Mistakes When Investing In Cannabis Stocks (Forbes)
  • Cannabis use among veterans soars as Ottawa cuts paybacks (The Globe and Mail)

LSD

  • These LSD-Inspired Paintings Are Wild, Man (VICE)
  • Might LSD be good for you? (The Spectator)
  • GMU Student Pleads Guilty to Selling LSD to Frat Brother Who Jumped to His Death (NBC4 Washington)
  • Woman allegedly takes LSD before babysitting, stealing child’s toys (WHIO)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • A ‘Magic Mushroom’ Strategy for America’s Opioid Crisis (The Crime Report)
  • First, Marijuana. Are Magic Mushrooms Next? (Daily Beast)
  • Washington Mushroom Hunter Faces Five Years in Prison for Psilocybin (Ladybud)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Thank you, New York Times, for asking ‘Who is behind these studies? Where does the money come from?’ (Health News Review)
  • Scientists Want the FDA to Designate MDMA a 'Breakthrough Therapy' for PTSD (Motherboard)
  • Are Ecstasy Induced Serotonergic Alterations Overestimated For The Majority Of Users? (SAGE Journals)
  • Here Are 4 Conditions That the Drug Ecstasy May Help Treat (Healthline)
  • Psychedelic drug provides relief for veterans with PTSD (Military Times)
  • The Cure for PTSD is Illegal (Andrew Joseph)
  • 'Happy and healthy' schoolgirl, 15, died on mountainside beauty spot after taking ecstasy for the first time (Daily Mail)
  • Children turn stepfather into police after bag of ecstasy was found in 3-year-old's pants (FOX13 Memphis)

Ayahuasca/DMT

  • Peru Authorities Say Canadian Killed Respected Ayahuasca Shaman (VICE)
  • The Magazine Interview: Michael Pollan on his new book and what he learnt smoking the psychedelic venom of a toad (The Sunday Times)
  • 6 Ways Ayahuasca Works like a Good Trauma Therapist (Chacruna)
  • The Bizarre Murder Case of a Revered Ayahuasca Shaman (VICE)
  • Inside Peru’s Amazonian mind-altering drug camps where Westerners flock for spiritual highs and cancer cures (The Sun)
  • How I Became an Ayahuasca Sorcerer (Kahpi)

Peyote/San Pedro/Mescaline

Iboga/Ibogaine

Salvia Divinorum

  • Salvinorin A. Is it possible to have a truly powerful painkiller that is not addictive? (Psymposia)

Dissociatives

  • Author recounts how he ended up high on green ketamine with the Irish President (Metro)
  • Ketamine Stirs Up Hope—and Controversy—as a Depression Drug (WIRED)
  • A depression drug that researchers have called 'the most important discovery in half a century' just got a big lift (Business Insider)
  • Epic twitter thread about doing ketamine at work is nightmarishly hilarious (The Daily Dot)
  • Police use Taser on PCP-high man at least 6 times, family says (KPRC)

Opiates/Opioids

  • Walmart won't provide more than 7 days worth of opioids for some prescriptions (USA Today)
  • Reversing An Overdose Isn't Complicated, But Getting The Antidote Can Be (NPR)
  • People Are Using A $1 Test Strip To Check Their Drugs For Fentanyl (BuzzFeed News)
  • The Complicated Relationship Between Opium and Art in the 20th Century (Artsy)
  • Needle by Needle, a Heroin Crisis Grips California’s Rural North (The New York Times)
  • Arkansas man arrested after 17 pounds of heroin found in fire extinguisher (THV11)

Kratom

  • The First Kratom Leadership Summit Gain The Support From Scientists, Advocates, And Community (Kratom Guides)
  • Two Manufacturers Recall Kratom Supplements for Possible Salmonella (Food Poisoning Bulletin)

Khat

  • Khat (Plant) Market to witness excellent Long-Term Growth Outlook (The Mobile Herald)

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • More drug convictions might be tossed because of evidence snorting chemist (Rooster)
  • Usage of Depression Pills Almost Halved Among Children in Denmark (Mad in America)
  • A revival in the scientific study of psychedelics prompts a journalist to take a trip (Science Magazine)
  • PsyCare UK: 10 years of festival harm reduction in the UK (Psychedelic Press UK)
  • More pill-testing at festivals on the cards after Canberra success (WA Today)
  • The crippling stigma of drug addiction (New York Daily News)
  • Psychedelic drugs appear to fundamentally reorganize the brain — and they're starting to turn into approved treatments (Business Insider)
  • Drugs should be legalised, regulated, and taxed (British Medical Journal)
  • Spiritual Warrior on The Psychedelic Path: Interview with Author Richard Haight (Psychedelic Times)
  • Psychedelic Hero’s Journey of a Traveling Nobody by Traveling Nobody (Psychedelic Press UK)
  • Why alcohol health warning labels are a good idea: findings from the latest Global Drug Survey (The Conversation)
  • How Many Chances Should a Drug User Get? (The New York Times)
  • Ohio patrol uses drug dogs more often with black drivers (Miami Herald)
  • Dealer used dark web, bitcoin and U.S. Postal Service to run national drug business from Denver, feds say (The Denver Post)
  • Supervised injection facilities are necessary; adding drug-checking services would save even more lives (New York Daily News)
  • The Pscience of Psychedelics (JSTOR Daily)
  • Cocaine 'delivered faster than pizza' in Scotland (STV News)
  • The Prohibition of Psychedelics Retards the Evolution of Humanity (Andrew Joseph)
  • Bid to make University of Buckingham drug-free called ‘misguided’ by think tank - and Sir Anthony now thinks so too (Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser)
  • Psychedelics and Personality Changes (Psychedelic Heaven)
  • Drug dealers are 'using professional networking site Linkedin to sell cocaine, heroin, ketamine and Xanax' (Daily Mail)
  • Avicii and what we can learn from his death. (Psychedelic Astronaut)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

The Best Psychedelic Blogs and Publications

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It doesn't really matter if you're brand-new to the psychedelic community or a highly-experienced psychonaut with hundreds of trips under your belt—it can be challenging to find out about all the various websites out there dedicated to psychedelics and drug culture. That's why I decided to put together this blog post detailing the best psychedelic blogs and publications that are currently out there.

The blogs and publications on this list are all different. Some focus exclusively on one particular plant medicine, like cannabis or ayahuasca. Others cover drugs in general. The rest look at a wide variety of topics, including things like politics, economics, sex, relationships, education, media, culture, personal development, the environment, spirituality, food, health, and much more. All of them have at least a few blog posts or articles related to psychoactive substances for you to read, and the collection features such a broad range of editorial styles that I can guarantee that you will find at least a few new sites that'll tickle your fancy.

The list has been sorted alphabetically for clarity and ease of use. Without further ado, here they are:


 

Adventures Through the Mind

Adventures Through the Mind is a blog focusing on psychedelic culture. The content is produced by Canadian author and public educator, James W. Jesso, who is the author of Decomposing The Shadow: Lessons From The Psilocybin Mushroom and The True Light Of Darkness, both about his experiences exploring the potentials of psychedelics.

AlterNet

AlterNet is an alternative news and information publication that covers a wide range of topics, including politics, economics, sex and relationships, education, media and culture, environment, food, and health. The site also regularly features articles on psychedelics, drug reform, and drug policy.

Andrew Joseph

Andrew Joseph has a J.D. as well as a B.A. in Philosophy. A self-described "Psychedelic Advocate", he regularly writes on topics like psychedelics and the drug war. 

Beckley Foundation

The Beckley Foundation is a UK-based think-tank and NGO founded and directed by Amanda Feilding. Its purpose is to pioneer psychedelic research and drive evidence-based drug policy reform.

Big Think

Big Think is where top experts explore big ideas and core skills that define the 21st century, including articles like Can Psychedelics Help You Expand Your Mind? and Can Psychedelics Make Us More Moral?

Botanical Dimensions

Botanical Dimensions is a non-profit ethnobotanical preserve founded on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1985 by Kathleen Harrison and the late Terence McKenna. Its mission is to collect, protect, propagate, and understand plants of ethno-medical significance, including their lore. The organization attempts to appreciate, study, and educate others about plants and mushrooms that are significant to cultural integrity and spiritual well-being. The blog focuses on topics like plants, fungi, culture, food, native knowledge, healing, and shamanism. 

Chacruna

Chacruna is a collective of intellectuals and creatives that love to redefine common knowledge about psychedelic plant medicines. Its contributors include leading anthropologists, psychologists, journalists, neuroscientists, philosophers, therapists, and wordsmiths with deep or new knowledge about psychedelic plant medicines.

Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance envisions a just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health, and human rights, in which people are no longer punished for what they put into their own bodies but only for crimes committed against others, and in which the fears, prejudices, and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. Their mission is to advance those policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.

Eugene Center for Ethnobotanical Studies

An educational, yet leisurely self-paced stroll through the gardens of ethnobotanical and psychedelic plant science, health, policy, and human-rights knowledge, the Eugene Center for Ethnobotanical Studies blog will take you on exploratory excursions into gaian data-forests.

The Fix

The Fix is the world's premier website about addiction and recovery, featuring a daily mix of breaking news, exclusive interviews, investigative reports, essays, and blogs on sober living, lifestyle, and cultural resources, as well as knowledge and wisdom from expert counsel.

Freedom and Fulfilment

Writer Aaron Simon started his blog Freedom and Fulfilment to write about his experience and share ideas on self improvement, spirituality, and how we can create the best lives for ourselves and others. He has published several posts about psychedelics, including Mystical Experience & Psychedelics: Meaningful, Measurable, Life Changing and Can We Derive Values From Psychedelic Experience?

Herb

Herb is not the couch-locked stoner caricature sketched by politicians with a hidden agenda and a lack of imagination. Its writers are diverse. They are free thinkers. They are achievers. And they are not here to scare your parents. They believe that cannabis is more than just a plant. Above all, Herb believes that cannabis is a catalyst to experience, to curiosity, to culture, to community, and to health. It’s not about the plant. It’s about what you choose to do with it.

Herb exists to empower our users to use cannabis to transform their bodies, minds and souls. They want you to do one thing: Grow.

HighExistence Magazine

HighExistence Magazine is for the young movers and shakers who want to put a dent in the world. For the up-and-coming artists, creative types, and entrepreneurs. This magazine will take you by the hand and show you how to live a Higher Existence. Every single article in HighExistence Magazine has a section at the end that explains how the article applies to your life and provides simple, practical steps to follow to implement the teachings.

High Times

High Times is the definitive resource for all things cannabis. From cultivation and legalization, to entertainment and culture, to hard-hitting news exposing the War on Drugs, High Times has been the preeminent source for cannabis information since 1974.

Kahpi: The Ayahuasca Hub

Kahpi is the result of a large collective energy of people with long-term engagement with the realities of ayahuasca culture, science, and experiences. The site features a powerful series of ayahuasca video courses taught by 10 carefully-selected world-renowned teachers. As a charity organization, Kahpi is grateful to receive generous donations from around the world. These donations enable them to offer the Kahpi courses free to access.

Kratom Guides

Kratom Guides is an online health informative site that focuses on educating the people about the importance of the natural herb kratom, which is another name of evergreen tree “Mitragyna Speciosa”. The main purpose of the site is to provide the research-based information about kratom uses, its types, effects, legality, reviews of customers, and other health-related information. 

Ladybud

Ladybud is the #1 women’s lifestyle publication with a focus on activism specific to drug war reform and other socially progressive issues. This publication fills a void in both mainstream and drug policy reform media. Traditional marijuana media focuses on young men and features content about cultivation and party culture. While Ladybud respects these roots, they are doing something very different. Their writers are mostly women in their 20s-60s who cover a wide variety of topics: marijuana activism, culture, beauty, sex, and food. They identify as the average modern woman who also believes the drug war is one of the greatest social and civil rights issues facing our nation and the world today.

Leafly

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource. They make the process of finding the right strains and products for you fast, simple, and comfortable. The Leafly "News" page features the latest cannabis news, including what's new in politics and pop culture, information, lifestyle tips, and more. Whether you’re new to cannabis, a medical marijuana patient, or a seasoned consumer, Leafly is the perfect destination for you!

Marijuana Moment

If you need up-to-the-minute news on the politics, business, and culture of cannabis, you’re in the right place. Edited by Tom Angell, a 15+ year veteran of the legalization movement, Marijuana Moment helps activists, industry professionals, consumers, policymakers, and the public understand developments and trends affecting cannabis.

Merry Jane

MERRY JANE is a new generation's definitive resource for news, culture, and video covering cannabis and beyond. Through exclusive content and engaging perspectives, MERRY JANE brings together the most important information and entertainment for today's audience while also offering vital, interactive tools to explore the new frontier of cannabis products, dispensaries, events, and community. Roll with MERRY JANE!

NeuroticBuddha

There are many pitfalls along the path. Misinformation, quackery, and sometimes just plain lunacy make it difficult for the skeptical yet interested individual to see the real value of the spiritual path through the fog. NeuroticBuddha is for these very people. Written by Michael Stone, this project is for sound minded individuals who are cautious to walk the path and wish to approach it rationally but also with a wondrous curiosity that there is something more profound to be discovered about life. Michael's aim is to thoughtfully explore the wisdom in Buddhism, meditation, psychedelic use, and other spiritual pursuits in order to, even just slightly, silence that neurotic voice within.

New Moon Musings

New Moon Musings is an up-and-coming blog written by Maia Snow, a psybass DJ and PHD student researching gender and psychedelic/visionary culture and mixing it all together to create original commentary about the psychedelic community.

NORML

NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient, and affordable.

The Oak Tree Review

The intent of The Oak Tree Review is to investigate the many branches of psychedelic culture throughout history. Special interest is taken in its manifestations in art and literature.

Psychedelic Astronaut

Psychedelic Astronaut is a website created by artist Joey D. that showcases his one-of-a-kind psychedelic artwork along with information regarding psychedelics or related subjects. If you're new to the psychedelic world, be sure to check out the directory. It is constantly updated with people doing work in the psychedelic scene and will soon feature an upcoming artist’s section for unknown artists to get some attention to attract new fans.

Psychedelics Daily

Psychedelics Daily was started by Hash C Borgir, a Bhang Sadhu (Cannabis Shaman) from Punjab who was raised by his Shaman grandmother and trained in the Arcane Techniques of Ecstasy since the age of three. Hash has traveled the world looking to study the nature of the Sacrality of Manifested Experience from the Masters of Primacy, the Technicians of the Sacred, and the scientists of Ecstasy. Currently residing in the USA, Hash C Borgir has created Psychedelics Daily as a sub-project of The Stoned Apes Non-Profit, spreading psychedelic awareness to decondition the mind, one day at a time.

Psychedelic Frontier

The aim of Psychedelic Frontier is to:

  • Encourage the responsible exploration of non-ordinary mental states.
  • Provide information that enables people to gain better control over their own minds, both in transcendental states and in everyday life.
  • Share stories about the writer's transcendental experiences. These are not your average trip reports.
  • Spread reliable information and ideas on a topic that is fraught with misinformation and controversy.
  • Oppose the dogma, elitism, and pseudoscience that often plague discussions about psychedelics.

Psychedelic Heaven

The purpose of Psychedelic Heaven is to use scientific and experiential data to explain the objective and the subjective effects of different psychoactive substances discussing both positive and negative effects. This blog is for all those who want to hear the unfiltered truth about drugs rather than political propaganda.

Psychedelic Press UK

Psychedelic Press UK was established in 2008 as a blog dedicated to the literature of psychedelic substances. In 2012 it launched a printed house journal, which now comes out 4 times a year, and a new publisher was established to manage both the journal and various other print publications.

As a result, PsypressUK.com is now focused on being an extensive database of book reviews dealing exclusively with drug-related literature. A free web resource for academics and the psychoactively-curious, it aims at providing an extensive introduction to the culture, science, and history of psychedelics.

The Psychedelic Society

The Psychedelic Society advocates the careful use of psychedelics as a tool for personal and spiritual development. The profound experiences of unity and interconnectedness reliably brought about by strong psychedelic trips can help people to live lives of greater love, compassion, and joy.

Psychedelic Times

The mission at Psychedelic Times is to share the latest news, research, and happenings around the study of psychedelics as tools of healing, recovery, and therapy. They are passionate about the incredible potential that psychoactive substances such as marijuana, ayahuasca, MDMA, LSD, iboga, psilocybin, and DMT present to humanity, and are excited to share that passion with you.

Note: I am a regular contributor to Psychedelic Times. If you would like to check out my work there, you can visit my author page.

Psychedelics Today

Psychedelics Today is dedicated to exploring and discussing the important academic/scientific and other research in the field of psychedelics. They are interested in how psychedelics and other non-ordinary states of consciousness relate to the human potential as well as the healing potential that they can foster.

Psymposia

Since being founded in 2014, Psymposia has become a leading educational media and events group for rethinking drugs, in person and online. They bring students, researchers, and diverse voices together from around the world to share fresh perspectives, ask new questions, push boundaries, and shine a spotlight on how emerging psychedelic science and drug policy reform can transform society, law, and medicine. Through investigative journalism, personal stories, and deep conversation series, Psymposia illuminates how emerging trends shape society, law, and medicine.

Reality Sandwich

Reality Sandwich is a magazine of ideas for the transformational community. They cover subjects like shamanism, non-local consciousness, visionary art, alternative economics, psychedelics, permaculture, transformational festivals, meditation, democratic engagement, near death experiences, and tantra, to name but a few. Together these topics are the heart of a vibrant new transformational culture that’s addressing the social, spiritual, and ecological crises of our time.

Note: I am a regular contributor to Reality Sandwich. If you would like to check out my work there, you can visit my author page.

Reset.me

Reset.me provides journalism on natural therapies and medicines to enhance the mind, body, and spirit. Reset.me strives to help expand consciousness and spread more love around the world. The team behind Reset.me endeavors to build a community that connects like-minded individuals worldwide to promote the sharing of knowledge and experiences. Reset your mind. Reset your life.

Rick Strassman MD

Rick Strassman is a medical doctor specialized in psychiatry with a fellowship in clinical psychopharmacology research. He has held a fellowship in clinical psychopharmacology research at the University of California San Diego and was Professor of Psychiatry for eleven years at the University of New Mexico. After twenty years of intermission, Strassman was the first person in the United States to undertake human research with psychedelic, hallucinogenic, or entheogenic substances with his research on DMT. He is also the author of the well known book DMT: The Spirit Molecule which summarizes his academic research into DMT and includes his own reflections and conclusions based on this research.

Rooster

It's a mindset. It's a release. It's a magazine that allows you to relax and fully engross yourself in a humorous and provocative editorial journey that won't drain, but enlighten and excite. The team at Rooster gives you hope that not all journalism comes from the same source or homogenous mentality to make another dollar with repurposed content. They give you an escape from the inevitable and burdensome troubles of life. 

Sapiensoup Blog

If you want answers to tough questions you could probably find them easily at the touch of a button. However, in today’s world we find ourselves flooded by vast amounts of information. And that’s where Sapiensoup Blog comes in. The two bloggers that run the site love science and numbers, and they question everything. Nadine is a research scientist, and Marlene is a marketing manager. Together, they sift through the fog of information to provide their readers with the opportunity to make informed decisions.

Stop The Drug War

StoptheDrugWar.org publishes the publication Stop The Drug War and the Drug War Chronicle newsletter, a widely-read publication that is a staple tool of organizations and advocates worldwide and a venue in which their work is highlighted to others. Their current advocacy focus is international drug policy. They organized sign-on letters and statements during the lead-up to the April 2016 "UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem" (UNGASS), and continue to promote a broad policy reform agenda for the UN and the US Congress and administration.

Techgnosis

Techgnosis is a website run by Erik Davis, an author, award-winning journalist, independent scholar, and lecturer based in San Francisco. His blog covers a wide variety of topics and includes many psychedelic-related posts.

The Third Wave

The First Wave was indigenous use of psychedelics for thousands of years. The Second Wave was the use of psychedelics during the counter-culture of the 60s and 70s. The Third Wave is upon us now. Brought about by recent developments in cannabis legalization and psychedelic research—and it will change the way mainstream culture perceives psychedelic use. The Third Wave provides well-researched, high-quality information specific to the classic psychedelics—and how they can be used to help people like you live more vibrant lives.

VICE

VICE is a magazine focused on arts, culture, and news topics. Founded in 1994 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the magazine's founders later launched Vice Media, which consists of divisions including the magazine as well as a website, broadcast news unit, a film production company, a record label, and a publishing imprint. VICE regularly publishes articles about psychedelics and drug culture.

Westword

More than 1.6 million active users read Westword each month to find stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who’ve won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Four decades after its founding, Westword remains the voice of Denver for faithful readers who appreciate hard-hitting journalism. And better beer.

 

I hope you enjoyed this list and that you learned about a few more psychedelic blogs and publications that you'd like to read. I plan to keep this blog post updated as old blogs die and new ones are born, so if you notice that there are any that I missed or that are no longer around, please contact me and let me know. And don't forget to share this post with your friends, family, and colleagues so that we can funnel more traffic to these websites and spread the love!

Main image by nanobotz, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

 

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to be informed when others like it are published, you can subscribe to the Think Wilder mailing list. I send out a newsletter each month so readers can see the previous month's blog posts at a quick glance.

Book Review - An Appeal to the World

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This is a short—but incredibly sweet—book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It was published in 2017 and contains myriad great wisdom for troubled times. The Dalai Lama once told the co-author of An Appeal to the World, Franz Alt, "I don't have any enemies, only people I haven't met yet." He has spent his life cultivating this positive attitude, and it can be found on every page of this book.

Today's world is marked by division. Politicians are promoting borders rather than inclusion, economic inequality is running rampant, and religion is breeding violence. Yet the need for unity has never been more urgent, because the crises that humanity faces are affecting people all around the world. Many people have lost all hope for the future and wonder what we can possibly do to move forward.

Well, they're in luck, because the Dalai Lama and Alt have created a brilliant book that is capable of watering the seeds of world peace that are already located inside of each and every one of us—even though many people do not know or believe that they exist. He reminds us that all people have two things in common—our universal pursuit of happiness and the compelling desire to avoid suffering. Finding common ground and engaging in an open dialog is an effective way to mitigate the division that we otherwise experience.

One theme that the Dalai Lama repeats several times throughout the book is the concept that ethics are more important than religion. He even goes on to say, "On some days I think it would be better if there were no religions. All religions and all scriptures harbor potential for violence. That is why we need secular ethics beyond all religions." He explains that the core tenets of secular ethics are mindfulness, education, respect, tolerance, caring, and nonviolence. I was pleasantly surprised by how strongly and frequently he spoke about our need to cultivate secular ethics throughout the book.

I was also happy to see that the topic of Trump was also addressed in the book. A lot of people are experiencing suffering because he is currently our President, and hopefully the Dalai Lama's words on this topic will help soothe their psychic wounds.

An Appeal to the World is already a major international bestseller, and for good reason. It's an inspirational, powerful book written by one of the most revered spiritual leaders of our time that has the potentially to truly change the world. It would probably take the average person between one to three hours to read it from cover to cover, and I highly recommend that you do.

4/5 stars. 128 pages.

Weekend Thoughts - 5.5.18

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Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. The Cambridge Analytica drama is finally over—well, almost... the political consulting firm has shut down all of its offices, but in reality it's just rebranded itself as a new company called Emerdata. The new company's Board of Directors includes the daughters of Robert Mercer, the former CEO of Cambridge Analytica, and most of the original company's employees have packed up and moved into the new Emerdata offices already. That was fast! It's not entirely clear what Emerdata is going to be working on, but the company is listed under "data processing, hosting, and related activities." I wouldn't be surprised if Emerdata does something shady and is publicly shamed in the near future, just like what happened with Cambridge Analytica. In other words, even though the original company shut down, it doesn't really solve anything at all.

2. If there's a way to cheat at something, people are usually pretty quick to figure out how to do just that. Well, it turns out that people in China are cheating the system to get discounts on their health insurance by using a "swinging cradle" device to convince health insurance companies that they are getting ten thousand steps per day, even if they're actually sitting around doing nothing. I'm not surprised that this has happened, and I'm interested to see how the health insurance industry will respond to this. The ball is in their court now.

3. Speaking of tracking the state of our health with mobile phones, apps are being developed that attempt to assess your ability to drive. Police officers could use this technology in the future to figure out if someone is fit to operate a motor vehicle, and it would be capable of assessing a wide variety of impairments like whether a person is to drunk or high, too sleepy, or too medicated to drive. In other words, this would be like a universal field sobriety test that runs on mobile phones, taking the police officer's judgment out of the equation. There are already some first-generation apps out there, like Druid and Am I Stoned, that can do this to some extent. It'll be exiting to follow this space and see where it takes us in the near future.

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.

Image by htomek, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

This Week in Psychedelics - 5.4.18

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Cannabis

  • Maine Legislators Override Governor's Veto of Marijuana Legalization (Reason)
  • Zimbabwe legalises marijuana for medicinal use (The Independent)
  • Thailand Authorises Country’s First Medical Cannabis Programme (Talking Drugs)
  • Cannabis versus Cancer (Scientific American)
  • Seattle wipes criminal marijuana convictions for hundreds of people (The Independent)
  • Study: Frequent Cannabis Use Unrelated To Brain Morphology (NORML)
  • Legislation Introduced To End The Federal Government’s Marijuana Production Monopoly (NORML)
  • YouTube Remains Silent as Weed Pages Are Purged (High Times)
  • An easy policy fix: Jeff Sessions should finally reschedule cannabis (The Hill)
  • So far, California has 6,000 licensed cannabis businesses. Here’s what that looks like (The Orange County Register)
  • Ninth Circuit Court Rejects Challenge To DEA’s Classification Of Marijuana Extracts (NORML)
  • NFL player makes medical marijuana history: 'I have a life to live' (CNN)
  • Weed 101: How to Choose Marijuana (Rolling Stone)
  • Igniting A Powder Keg: Discussing Cannabis And Cryptocurrency With Dübercoin CEO Glenn Ballman (Forbes)
  • It's Dumb Not to Have Investments in Cryptocurrencies, Cannabis in a Portfolio (The Street)
  • Trudeau vows cannabis will be legal by summer as senators urge delay (CBC)
  • Marijuana Gives Health-Conscious Consumers Something Alcohol Cannot (Forbes)
  • Feinstein drops opposition to legal pot, giving legal marijuana a new ally (McClatchy DC Bureau)
  • NORML Working With Cory Gardner's Office on Hands-Off-Colorado-Pot Bill (Westword)
  • At 89, legendary psychiatrist and marijuana advocate still wonders about Harvard professorship (Boston Globe)
  • New York Voters Strongly Support Legalizing Marijuana, Poll Shows (Marijuana Moment)
  • Some Prosecutors Are Erasing Old Weed Convictions. Why Isn’t Yours? (HuffPost)
  • Getting off opioids with medical marijuana: Patients turn to pot over pills (CNN)
  • Is Israeli Cannabis a Bubble Waiting to Burst? (Merry Jane)
  • The Quest for an Ancient Culture’s Cannabis-Filled Cooking (Atlas Obscura)
  • Moorenko’s Ice Cream Introduces Cannabis Coffee to Silver Spring (Bethesda Magazine)
  • Veterans' grass-roots movement shares health benefits of marijuana (CNN)
  • Growing 4 cannabis plants for recreational use is not a ‘grow-op,’ experts say (Global News)
  • Investing in Australia’s Cannabis Industry: 5 Companies to Watch (Leafly)
  • Quebec Lawmaker Explains Provincial Ban on Home-Grown Cannabis (High Times)
  • Cannabis tycoons plot to make drug legal in Britain in next five years (The Sun)
  • Lidl offers locally grown cannabis to Swiss shoppers (The Guardian)
  • Medical marijuana may help combat the opioid crisis. But there are better solutions. (Vox)
  • Police Raid Dispensary Over Cannabis-Infused Candy (High Times)
  • Medicinal cannabis should be more than pot luck (Asia and the Pacific Policy Society)
  • Boyack: Medical cannabis initiative opponents are trying to mislead you (Daily Herald)
  • OrganiGram: Medical Cannabis Leader In The Maritimes (Seeking Alpha)
  • Aurora Cannabis Set to Challenge Canopy Growth in Australia? (Smallcap Power)

LSD

  • I Had a Bad Trip on LSD: This is My Story (71 Republic)
  • Diplo, Sia and Labrinth Will Drop New Team Effort 'LSD' This Thursday (Billboard)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Shrooms Could Help Scientists Better Understand Consciousness (Tonic)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Trials testing MDMA as a treatment for alcoholism have begun (Mixmag)
  • Active ingredient in ecstasy may help veterans with PTSD, study finds (CNN)
  • Ecstasy as PTSD relief for soldiers: ‘I was able to forgive myself.’ (Watertown Daily Times)
  • 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans, firefighters, and police officers: a randomised, double-blind, dose-response, phase 2 clinical trial (The Lancet)
  • Ecstasy as a Remedy for PTSD? You Probably Have Some Questions. (The New York Times)
  • Ecstasy island: The is the story of how MDMA reached the UK in 1988 (Mixmag)
  • Lady Gabriella Windsor's ex claims they took ECSTASY at Windsor Castle and swam NAKED in Queen's swimming pool at Buckingham Palace (Mirror)

Ayahuasca/DMT

  • The Global Ayahuasca Community Is Reeling in the Wake of Recent Murders (VICE)
  • Gun used to kill shaman was purchased by Canadian man lynched in Peru: authorities (Global News)
  • Peru's brutal murders renew focus on tourist boom for hallucinogenic brew (The Guardian)
  • The epidemiology of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) use: Benefits, consequences, patterns of use, subjective effects, and reasons for consumption (SAGE Journals)
  • I had an 11-year addiction to heroin — and I beat it with ayahuasca (San Francisco Chronicle)

Iboga/Ibogaine

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • Deadly new drug has reached Australia, pill testing reveals (The New Daily)

Dissociatives

  • Pharma giants are looking to ketamine for clues to the next blockbuster depression drug — and science says they're onto something big (Business Insider)
  • Police say Bryan man rammed his car into other vehicle, possessed PCP (The Eagle)

Opiates/Opioids

  • Cocaine Deaths Are Rising At An Alarming Rate, And It’s Because Of Fentanyl (BuzzFeed News)
  • The US Opioid Crisis Started in India (VICE)
  • Maine Gov. Vetoes Bill Increasing Access to Naloxone Overdose Drug (Governing)
  • To Save Lives, Make Naloxone an Over-the-Counter Drug (Reason)
  • De Blasio Moves to Bring Safe Injection Sites to New York City (The New York Times)
  • Questions Raised About Study Of Device To Ease Opioid Withdrawal (NPR)
  • Afghan Farmers Stick to Growing Opium in the Face of Less Lucrative Options (U.S. News and World Report)
  • The Four Main Reasons People in Denver Overdose on Heroin (Westword)
  • A Vet Helped Smuggle Drugs by Implanting Puppies With Heroin, Police Say (TIME)

Kratom

  • Experts Are Concerned that Kratom Will Become the Next Marijuana (Tonic)
  • Pro-Kratom Scientist Blasts Denver Ban, Federal Policies as Recipe for Death (Westword)
  • What is Kratom and why is it banned in 5 states? (CBS17)
  • Maya Distribution, LLC Recalls Dragon Label Kratom Because Of Possible Salmonella Contamination (US Recall News)

Khat

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • Politicians Are Finally Getting On Side With Pill Testing After The Success Of Groovin The Moo (Junkee)
  • Antidepressant Use Leads to Worse Long Term Outcomes, Study Finds (Mad in America)
  • Storming the Gates of Psychedelia: Scientists Commit to Collaboration in the Face of Capitalist Competition (Chacruna)
  • The Timothy Leary Project: Interview with Jennifer Ulrich (Psychedelic Times)
  • The New Science of Psychedelics (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Jon Hopkins interview: My new album is a psychedelic experience (Evening Standard)
  • President Duterte’s Son Cleared of Drug Trafficking, as Extrajudicial Killings Continue (Talking Drugs)
  • The FDA receives a petition to prohibit sugar alongside cannabis, LSD and heroin (Herb)
  • Everything You Need to Know About Microdosing (The Cut)
  • Pill Testing Probably Won’t Happen In NSW Any Time Soon Because Of This Idiot (Junkee)
  • A New Netflix Series Tells the Story of the Philippines' Drug War. But Its Critics Are Condemning Amo as Propaganda (TIME)
  • The Best Books About Microdosing and Psychedelic Therapy (The Strategist)
  • New Clues In The Psychedelic Treatment Of Depression (High Existence)
  • Kacey Musgraves: ‘Psychedelics have made me compassionate’ (Hollywood.com)
  • People Trying to Quit Their Psychiatric Medications Can Get Help from This Online Group (Healthline)
  • Australia’s First Sanctioned Pill Testing Trial Is Just the Beginning (Sydney Criminal Lawyers)

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychedelics" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.