The secret history of psychedelics

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by pmnationtalk on September 19, 2023219 Views

Credit: ReasonTV

Historian Erika Dyck wants to document the deep roots of and battles over LSD, psilocybin, and other psychoactive substances.

Erika Dyck is a professor at the University of Saskatchewan who studies the history of psychedelics with a special interest in the legacy of Humphry Osmond, the British-born psychiatrist who coined the term pyschedelic, gave Aldous Huxley his first dose of mescaline, and conducted pathbreaking work using LSD to help alcoholics stop drinking. Among Osmond’s best-known patients was Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Reason sat down with Dyck at the MAPS Psychedelic Science 2023 conference held in Denver this June, where a reported 13,000 people gathered to talk about all aspects of today’s psychedelic renaissance. We talked about why drugs such as MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD are making a comeback; how tensions are rising between indigenous people and medical practitioners; and whether prohibitionists have finally lost the war on drugs.

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