This Week in Psychedelics - 4.27.18



  • Top Democrats Embrace Marijuana Reform Ahead of Midterm Elections (Truthout)
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta to Jeff Sessions: Medical marijuana could save many addicted to opioids (CNN)
  • NEW POLL: 63% of Americans Believe “Marijuana Should Be Made Legal” (NORML)
  • Sessions Admits There ‘May Well Be Some Benefits From Medical Marijuana’ (Marijuana Moment)
  • Marijuana Legalization Will Be on Michigan's Ballot in November (Reason)
  • Cannabis is having its 'smartphone' moment (Engadget)
  • How activists are fighting for full cannabis legalization in Washington, D.C. (Psymposia)
  • The End of the Joint As We Know It (The Ringer)
  • NORML Delivers Over 10,000 Citizen Comments To The FDA Calling For The Reconsideration of Cannabis Prohibition (NORML)
  • The best way to fight illegal pot is with legal cannabis (The Hill)
  • Why Are Marijuana Policies So Behind in 4/20-Heavy Places Like New York? (Rolling Stone)
  • How Seniors Joined the Cannabis Craze (The New Yorker)
  • Cannabis Flowers Are Legal in Italy. You Just Can’t Eat or Smoke Them. (The New York Times)
  • How 'dank' became a compliment for both beer and marijuana (Detroit Free Press)
  • Greens' cannabis plan could raise $3.6bn (9NEWS)
  • Isle Of Man Could Be The First Place In The British Isles To Decriminalise Cannabis Possession (HuffPost)
  • These Five States Lead the Nation in Marijuana Arrests (AlterNet)
  • Miracle drug or the devil's lettuce? (The Washington Post)
  • The Complicated History of Cannabis in the US (History)
  • FDA Rejects Anti-Legalization Pharma Co’s Cannabis Drug Request (Marijuana Moment)
  • Legalising marijuana is a lot more complex than you might think (The Age)
  • 4/20 Special: How Advocates and Entrepreneurs of Color Are Fighting for Equity in the Legal Weed Business (Colorlines)
  • Liberal party members overwhelmingly vote for decriminalizing drugs while Trudeau repeats opposition (The Georgia Straight)
  • Assemblyman introduces bill that would allow vets to prescribe cannabis for pets (KABC-TV)
  • Utah Medical Marijuana Measure Has Enough Signatures For Ballot (Marijuana Moment)
  • Is marijuana decriminalization possible in the Middle East? (The Washington Post)
  • Anxiety Relief Without The High? New Studies On CBD, A Cannabis Extract (NPR)
  • YouTube Continues Its Cannabis Purge and Nobody Knows Why (Leafly)
  • Facebook Has a Cannabis Problem That ‘Community Standards’ Don’t Solve (Leafly)
  • Two Cannabis Entrepreneurs Share Their Secrets For Success (Forbes)
  • Police Department Offers Prize For Possessing The Most Cannabis (High Times)
  • Medical cannabis oil is legal in Texas, but epilepsy patients still struggle (The Texas Tribune)
  • A Multibillion-Dollar Cannabis Company Has Announced Its Asia-Pacific Headquarters In Australia (BuzzFeed News)
  • Senator Wants Jeff Sessions To Meet With Drug War Victims (Marijuana Moment)
  • Psychedelic Rapper Challenges New Jersey's Cannabis Laws In New 420 Song (PR Newswire)
  • 'The Truth About Cannabis': Inside New Pro-Pot Web Doc (Rolling Stone)
  • Cannabis Cultivation Will Be A Race To The Bottom (Forbes)
  • 'Women of Cannabis' Cultivate Ideas and Relationships (Seven Days)
  • Cannabis and psychosis: what is the link and who is at risk? (The Conversation)
  • Marijuana moguls optimistic about legalisation of recreational cannabis in Australia (ABC)
  • Can Cannabis Make You Sick? (The Stranger)
  • Is This The Most Expensive Marijuana In The World? (Forbes)
  • Could 'one puff' of cannabis ease depression? (Medical News Today)
  • Understanding Terpenes: Linalool (Cannabis Now)
  • Harvard Medical Students Say Schools Need to Teach More About Medical Marijuana (Civilized)


  • LSD Provokes Synesthetic Hallucinations in a Congenitally Blind Man (Psychedelic Times)
  • Couple drop LSD to see if it makes them better at assembling IKEA furniture (Metro)
  • Psychedelic Cyclists – An Irishman’s Diary about Albert Hofmann and Flann O’Brien (The Irish Times)
  • St. Pete man on LSD punches 13-year-old girl in face, knocks her out (WFLA)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • The Man Who Treated His OCD with Magic Mushrooms (VICE)
  • Inside Jamaica's magic mushroom retreat for women (The Independent)


  • Can MDMA Treat Alcoholism? Scientists Begin First Clinical Trials (Newsweek)
  • MDMA research meets Australian antipathy (Cosmos Magazine)
  • An Amsterdam house had so much MDMA discovered inside it's been locked down (Mixmag)
  • Teen dies after taking 'Netflix and Chill' ecstasy pills (New York Post)
  • Melissa McCarthy Snorts Ecstasy With Sex Crazed Puppets in ‘Happytime Murders’ (Variety)
  • Gardaí fear 'bad batch' of MDMA may have killed teen (17) (


  • Canadian Lynched by Mob After Being Accused of Killing Shaman at Ayahuasca Retreat (VICE)
  • UN condemns murder of Peruvian indigenous leader (Andina)
  • A Judge Has Ordered Arrests Over Killing of a Canadian in the Peruvian Amazon (TIME)
  • Effects and risks of ayahuasca, the hallucinogen sought after by Canadians travelling to the Amazon (CBC)
  • How Did Avicii Die? Details On The Artist's Sudden Passing (EDM Sauce)
  • Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates deaths (The Reminder)


  • Why opioid addicts desperate to quit are turning to this risky treatment (New York Post)


  • Ketamine Nasal Spray May Help Reduce Depression Symptoms, Study Says (The Fix)
  • Oral ketamine does not ease cancer-related neuropathic pain (medwireNews)
  • Beneficial effects of ketamine in a chronic pain state with allodynia, possibly due to central sensitization (Science Direct)
  • Document: Hagerstown man smoked PCP before shooting woman (Herald-Mail Media)
  • Boyfriend of Morgan Freeman's slain kin knew what he was doing despite being in PCP haze (New York Daily News)


  • New York Could Open the First Safe Injection Site in the US (The Nation)
  • asha bandele: Prince could still be alive today if America didn’t shame people for using drugs (Mic)
  • Google uses its search skills to help fight opioid addiction (Engadget)
  • The New York Times Suggests Opioids Should Be Reserved for Terminal Patients (Reason)
  • Will Getting Tough on Dealers Curb the Opioid Crisis? (The Crime Report)


  • Leading Scientists Say Salmonella Outbreak Tied To Kratom May Be Side-Effect Of FDA Crackdown & Underscores Need For Regulation … Not A Ban (PR Newswire)
  • Kratom Products Recalled for Risk of Salmonella (Coherent Chronicle)
  • Kratom Wars: FDA, Proponents Square Off on Controversial Opioid-Like Plant (Pain Medicine News)

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • Lessons from Portugal: The Case for Drug Policy Reform (Beckley Foundation)
  • Becoming a Psychedelic Researcher: Alan Kooi Davis (Psymposia)
  • Are psychedelics the answer to depression and addiction? (Salon)
  • Not all drug dealers are the same – it’s time to ditch outdated stereotypes (The Conversation)
  • Harm Reduction: More than just clean needles (Julian Buchanan)
  • A Survey Shows The Most Used Drugs At Music Festivals: Here’s What We Learned (Dance Music Northwest)
  • Antidepressants and Withdrawal: Readers Tell Their Stories (Mad in America)
  • A revolution in teen drug education (New York Daily News)
  • Police chiefs studying decriminalizing drugs as possible solution to opioid crisis (CBC)
  • Just Because You Can't Stop Taking Antidepressants Doesn't Mean You're Addicted (VICE)
  • Pill-testing trial approved for Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra (ABC)
  • Why we should test drugs for safety (Virgin)
  • The Best Drug Documentaries On Netflix Right Now (HotNewHipHop)
  • 'Archaic and harmful': report condemns strict handling of student drug takers (The Guardian)
  • Psychedelic Scholar Robert Forte Talks Conspiracy Theories and Consciousness (Santa Barbara Independent)
  • New Research Provides First Peek at Ancient Mesopotamian Drug Use (Ancient Origins)

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.

75th Anniversary of Bicycle Day


This blog post was originally published two years ago. It is being re-published in celebration of the 75th anniversary of Bicycle Day.


Happy Bicycle Day everyone! For those of you that are unaware, April 19th is a day of celebration in the psychedelic community because it signifies the day that Albert Hofmann, the creator of LSD, took his first intentional LSD trip back in 1943.

You see, Hofmann first synthesized LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) on November 16, 1938 in the Sandoz laboratories in Basel, Switzerland. He was researching lysergic acid derivatives to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant (an analeptic). The chemical was set aside for nearly five years until April 16, 1943, when Hofmann decided to revisit it. While re-synthesizing a new batch of LSD, he accidentally absorbed a small amount through his fingertips and found that it had powerful effects, which he described as being:

"... affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After about two hours this condition faded away."

Three days later, on April 19, he decided to intentionally increase the dose for a self-experiment, at a level that he thought would be a minuscule dose—250 micrograms (an actual threshold dose is 20 micrograms). This is a fairly large dose in actuality, and it hit him like a ton of bricks. Less than an hour later, he began experiencing abrupt and intense changes in perception, and asked his laboratory assistant to accompany him home. The personal use of motor vehicles was restricted because this was during World War II, and the pair had to make the journey by bicycle.

During the bicycle ride, Hofmann struggled with difficult emotions and thoughts, believing that his next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, that LSD had poisoned him, among other anxious thoughts. A house doctor was called for, who could find no physical abnormalities aside from Hofmann's extremely dilated pupils. This reassured Hofmann, who later wrote:

"... Little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux..."

So how does one celebrate Bicycle Day? Well, there isn't really a defined method of celebration, but one could take LSD, ride a bicycle, check out Hofmann's book My Problem Child, donate to MAPS to support psychedelic research or to Erowid to support harm reduction and drug education, attend a local psychedelic dinner, or spread the word about any of these things. At any rate, be safe in whatever you do, and Happy Bicycle Day!

Image by lab604, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Weekend Thoughts - 2.17.18

Image  by  tomdaemon , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by tomdaemon, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

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

1. The bike-sharing war is heating up as competitors eagerly attempt to raise additional funds. LimeBike (which is seemingly Silicon Valley's favored competitor) raised $50 million in funding back in October in an effort to expand into twice as many markets around the country than it previously existed in. The dockless bike-sharing model allows customers to unlock a bicycle with their smartphone and pay $1 to rent it, leaving it wherever they want when they are done riding. The LimeBike service exists in the city where I live (Durham, NC) and a few of my colleagues rented bikes for an afternoon ride a few months ago. The process was easy peasy—both renting and returning the bikes. As a cyclist who commutes by bike to work every day, I have been happy to see bike rentals become more easy and affordable, which will hopefully encourage others to ride bicycles more frequently. But as an environmentalist, I am disturbed by the amount of bikes I see discarded in various areas around town that just seem to stay parked where they are. China even has ridiculous bike-share "graveyards" due to issues with its dockless bike-sharing services. Ultimately, I'd like to see dockless bike sharing expand to more areas, but the ongoing maintenance of the bicycles and the eyesores that parked bikes can create in some places are two things that I think need more consideration.

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

Weekend Thoughts - 10.21.17

Image  by  Pexels , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Pexels, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

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

1. After some victories in the Chinese market, investors in the U.S. are hoping that bike sharing will be the next Uber. The key to the success in China has been the use of a dockless system that allows users to unlock a bike with an app on their mobile phone. That means when a user is done with their rental bike they can leave it wherever they would like—which will automatically lock the bike—and then the next renter will be able to unlock it with their mobile phone! This is pretty exciting for me as a regular cyclist because anytime the friction between renting a bicycle is decreased, it means that more people will be interested in renting them, which means more cyclists on the roads, which is a good thing for cyclists everywhere. Let's hope that the accomplishments in China translate to the United States, where cycling is not as common and the vast majority of roads are not designed with bicycles in mind (yet).

2. There are certainly tons of challenges to think and work through before autonomous vehicles on the roads become the norm, but the former Google self-driving car project Waymo is already starting to train police officers on how to respond to accidents involving self-driving cars. Cops and first responders will need to know how to access an autonomous vehicle after it is involved in an accident, which will be brand-new experience for them, and the cars will need to know how to navigate to a safe place on their own—out of the path of moving traffic. I'm encouraged to see so much work being regularly done in this space, and greatly anticipate the days when hopping in an autonomous vehicle is no big deal at all.

3. Speaking of cars, Electric Vehicle chargers are starting to pop up at Shell stations in the UK. Access to charging stations is an important problem to solve, because without them electric vehicles will not be able to go very far! Being able to pull into a "gas station" to plug in your self-driving electric vehicle is a vision of the future that I can get behind.

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

Weekend Thoughts - 5.20.17

Image  by  Binder.donedat , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Binder.donedat, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

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

1. Well this is a first (for me at least): an argument in favor of electing an artificially-intelligent President instead of a biologically human. It's worth a read—maybe we'll eventually get to the point in our society where this wouldn't seem so crazy.

2. As a child, I was fascinated by dinosaurs. I even wanted to grow up to be a paleontologist, and always responded that way whenever asked "What to you want to be when you grow up?" If I had actually pursued that goal, perhaps I would have ended up taking over after miners in Canada accidentally stumbled across the best preserved fossil of its kind ever found, a 110 million-year old armored plant-eater called a nodosaur. The condition of this fossil is impressive, especially considering its large size and old age.

3. Glowing bike paths are a big hit in the Netherlands and Poland, and America could be next. Texas A&M is adding neon bike lanes to its campus, a true innovation because it is the first of its kind. Increased visibility is always helpful for drivers to see cyclists, so this seems like a win-win for everybody!

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