Tidbits on Drug Policy

Another two cents thrown in

Hallucinogens and Drug Policy

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Most of the time, the subject matter of this blog is marijuana and/or narcotics, or, in other words, opiates. That is pretty much consistent with the two primary threads that the drug policy debate predominantly adheres to. However, in this post, I would like to digress a bit towards the hallucinogens.

The primary reasons why hallucinogens don’t get as much spotlight from the debaters of drug policy is simply because they are simply (1) not as popular as marijuana – less than 10% of Americans older than 12 tried LSD at least once, as opposed to almost 40% of Americans who tried weed; and, (2) as compared to opiates, the addiction potential of hallucinogens is practically non-existent.

I think hallucinogens merit some discussion simply because they pose some unique issues of their own. Despite being non-addictive and non-toxic, the psychological impact of, say, ingestion of LSD cannot be underestimated. So far, the policy approach to LSD poses more questions than answers. Should LSD use be regulated at all? If yes, then, how? Most psychologists think that LSD use can be very beneficial in a controlled environment. Furthermore, they feel that LSD can be a very effective psychotherapeutic tool.

But – if you are nodding your head after reading the above couple of sentences, think about this: after reading about taking LSD in controlled environment, one of my friends said: “Anybody, who ever tripped on LSD would tell you that that’s complete bullshit! Imagine me tripping on acid surrounded by doctors and hooked up to machines… sounds to me like *the* recipe for a ‘bad trip’!” So, wouldn’t we actually be doing more harm by providing supervised environments for acid trippers? Basically, I am writing about this to demonstrate the rudimentary level of drug policy discourse when it comes to hallucinogens – even the most benign and unquestioned notion about hallucinogen regulation can seem ridiculous upon the slightest reflection. I wonder if there is any solid body of work that tries to tackle these issues? If not, this is definitely something for drug policy addicts to think about.

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