|Cary Grant: On Mushrooms & LSD|
Should outlawed drugs be legalized for medical use? New studies indicate that marijuana is not the only federally outlawed drug that has legitimate medical uses.
Psilocybin is a natural hallucinogenic found in magic mushrooms, that was once used by native Americans in ancient mystical healing and hunting rituals. A stunning New Yorker article analyzes current medical studies at teaching hospitals such as John Hopkins that have found that psilocybin - one of the harshest penalized schedule one drugs under federal law - is very beneficial for many cancer patients facing death.
The drug temporarily reduces time and space while widening empathy thus allowing the user to forget his or her existence while expanding the definition of self as part of the universe absolved from the indignity of death. When administered by therapists patients unburden their minds of the dread of death and separation from those they love. Those given the drugs often find that it was one of the most comprehensive, important and memorable episodes of their lives on a par with the birth of a child.
Patients make their way thru a classic 'psychedelic drug trip' not unlike those described by groups such as the Beatles in the turbulent sixties before psilocybin and other drugs such as LSD were designated as unlawful. During the sixties it wasn't only Lennon and McCartney who found that the drugs opened up their feelings, to love and to life, but so too many Hollywood elites such as the graying middle aged Cary Grant. He noted that taking LSD helped him understand that he was merely a child of the universe, albeit a debonair one, forever lifting the fear of death from his shoulders, even as Alfred Hitchcock's crop dusting plane flew closer.
So why were these drugs designated by Richard Nixon as unlawful federal schedule one drugs - the most dangerous category - on a par with trafficking in heroin under harsh federal sentencing guidelines? Peace, love, and conscience raising combined with licentiousness was feared as socially explosive.
The tragic solution was to outlaw the drugs to dampen the cultural rebellion of the sixties. The world of Woodstock would become a crime. Those who delved into these chemicals would become criminals filling our prisons with the most nonviolent, antiwar members of society. It's time for the federal government to right these wrongs and legalize every drug that helps people.