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April 22nd, 2010
08:08 AM ET

High time for medical use of psychedelics?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="GETTY IMAGES"] Is it really a breakthrough or just an excuse to legalize LSD, ecstasy and more? Early studies from well known institutions like NYU and John Hopkins show significant benefits from the use of hallucinogens for anxiety and depression. Other therapies haven't worked in these cases and psychologists believe hallucinogens help ease fear and defensiveness. But some doctors question whether psychedelics are ever appropriate.

Our question: Should psychedelic drugs be used as legitimate medicine? Tell us what you think….

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Don

    Some of these substances can be Quite Deadly, Be very careful when you tread here, ONLY IF Our Medical researchers administer these substances in a "Highly Controlled" Environment.
    Access for Research and Confirmed Medical use ONLY, "Never to the General population for ANY recreational use", When you start separating Chemicals from these substances, You most likely WILL find Medical uses for some of those Chemicals and Safely Dispose of what remains.
    Our elected officials are NOT DOCTORS or Research Scientists, With the Advanced technology we have today, ALL Options must remain Open, Do away with the "Schedule I" Classification and Change it to "Research I ", Just because we have NOT found A proper use yet, Does NOT mean that there Is no Use!
    Cannabis (A.K.A. Marijuana) had NO business being Classified in the same category as these other substances, As the Medical community has confirmed (Prior to it`s Prohibition) that it has medicinal properties and is Non-Toxic and has never caused a death due to overdose in the 6000+ years of it`s recorded history, Plus it is MORE Valuable as an Industrial crop.
    Cannabis is the ONLY Substance I have seen so far that does NOT belong in Schedule I.

    April 22, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  2. Dan

    This shows you the mentality of our Government. They say salt is bad for you, and are cracking down on prepared foods containing salt, but yet they say these dangerous drugs may be good for you? Did these politicians get their degrees out of the cracker jack box?

    April 22, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  3. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Now here's something new a prescription that comes with a straight jacket what will they think of next .

    April 22, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  4. Carl

    Why not. Now we even have a way to pay for it too; That nut job in Nevada running for the Senate says we can Barter to pay for our health care expenses. Specifically using "chickens" and "paint jobs" as they did back in the day. Shes ahead in the polls so she is either right or the voters in Nevada are really aliens from the planet Mongo! I'd like to challenge all Nevada voters to call their respective doctors and ask them if they accept "chickens" in exchange for their services.

    April 22, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  5. Erik

    These chemicals should be made legal and used to their full potential. It is IMPOSSIBLE to OD on LSD or MDMA or PSYLOCIBIN. One night of talking with a spouse on MDMA can equal 10 years of therapy. People should be allowed to have options even if they are "unconventional". They are incredible for what they can offer to psycotherapy and patients with PTSD and a multitude of mental ailments. Most of peoples issues can be worked through when the ego is disolved, and that's what these drugs can assist in. Dropping boundries and looking at our selves on a higher plane of understanding is important and these chemicals are the way. Patients should have the right to choose how they go about their therapy. More research should be done in professional clinical trials and get the facts seperated from the propaganda we've been ingrained with.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  6. Dan

    If used in moderation, I think this could be great!

    April 22, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  7. christopher bovee

    i noticed that the guy at the end of the segment said there was no medical literature YET... i think we need to do larger controlled studies so that we can stop saying "we don't know the effects". i personally know the effects, and so do all of my friends. let's get the word out that moderation is the key, and psychedelics are the answer.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:28 am |
  8. Cliff Zimmerman

    Breakthrough Technology In The Treatment Of Autism And Related Neurological Disorders

    My name is Cliff Zimmerman. I'm 56 years old, born and raised in Brookyln, NY. I now live in Atlanta. My degrees are in both Music Education and Early Childhood Education.
    Here is why I am contacting you...
    I have spent the last five years developing and patenting a breakthrough technology in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have already conducted an extremely successful clinical trial for Hypertension, at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. Every single test-subject's blood pressure was lowered, some by as much as 49 points. The compelling factor was that when the systolic number needed adjusting, but the diastolic number did not, that is exactly what happened, the same for the reverse. This is because of the direct cause-and-effect on the NTS (Nucleus Tractus Solitarius). Data and details form this trial are available upon request.
    Please be assured that this is not any type of "new age" nonsense, it is completely and totally science-based. This is the only technology that has ever utilized specific frequencies that are purposely all mathematically divisible by each other, resulting in the technology which I have patented, "Prolonged Sympathetic Resonance Vibration." The US Patent is titled "Harmonic and Overtone Audio Therapy For Autism Spectrum Disorder and Regulated Emotional and Psychological Disorders." The result is the most optimum form of Neuro-Plasticity, the brain's ability to literally heal itself. This has never been tested on the human brain before. By employing "The Scientific Method," (double-blind studies, placebo studies, etc.), and utilizing fMRIs, PET scans and blood and chemical analysis, the goal is to prove its scientific and medical efficacy. Some of these benefits will include – but are not in any way necessarily limited to – increases in Serotonin levels, increases in Dopamine levels and decreases in Cortisol levels. The ultimate goal, "The Holy Grail," so to speak, is to stimulate and thereby generate tremendous improvement in the Autistic brain's limbic system, enough to process at least somewhat properly, resulting in a dramatic improvement in alleviating symptomatic Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is because of the effect that it has on the brain's neuro-transmitters on a sub-atomic level, since all matter, is composed of quarks, strings, and ultimately, vibration. This is the vibrational equivalent of Higgs Boson, otherwise known as "The God Particle."
    My company, Sound Therapy International Incorporated, is incorporated in Delaware as a "C" (Closed) Corp., and my Federal Tax ID # is 20-3496601. My web-site is: Although it reads "under construction," scroll-down on that home page to see a picture of me with my daughter Farrah and some of the babies that I have worked with. On the upper left-hand corner, the following links are fully operational: (1) Clinical Data – my research, and please be advised that this is not actual clinical data, per se, but it is not written for the lay person. Also, please scroll-down to read my 'Bio'. (2) Links & Literature – some newspaper Op-Ed articles that I have authored. (3) Contact Us – e.mail.
    These clinical trials that I am proposing will only take 2-3 months and therefore will not involve typical high costs. For any individual/hospital/medical research facility wishing to be associated with this project, the benefits are extraordinary, because, together, we will be testing the most compelling, cutting-edge scientific new technology available in the treatment against Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hypertension, Clinical Depression, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease as well. The financial benefits for any such facility will prove to be more than worth any initial expense. Surely this deserves serious consideration. Perhaps you know, and/or may very well have access to, research facilities that I do not.
    I am represented by the law firm of Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer and Risley, here in Atlanta, and my personal attorney is retired Emory Law Professor Harold Marquis. My cell-phone number is: 678-531-4795. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. – Clifford N. Zimmerman

    April 22, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  9. Kyle D

    Oh course they should! If someone is suffering from some condition that can be addressed, alleviated, or cured by a substance, they should be allowed access to it under a doctor's treatment. Just because of out-dated, ignorant societal views on certain substances like LSD and MDMA, they should not be excluded from the discussion of medical application.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  10. Kyle D

    Of course they should! If someone is suffering from some condition that can be addressed, alleviated, or cured by a substance, they should be allowed access to it under a doctor's treatment. Just because of out-dated, ignorant societal views on certain substances like LSD and MDMA, they should not be excluded from the discussion of medical application.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  11. Edward

    Yes, firmly believe that these drugs can be used to help in a lot of clinical studies to improve a below averagely happy person (I.E. People who suffer from depression.)
    This is actually looking down the right road to happiness for the world if you're a true believer!

    April 22, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  12. William

    Yes, they should.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  13. Nick

    As I am someone who has used many drugs over the years, there's only one illicit drug out there that should be considered for legalization. Marijuana. MDMA is fun but sometimes it sent me down some dark roads.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  14. Brian Barber

    Doctors should investigate whether or not people can benefit from the use of psychedelics! if not, at least they investigated. If so, then great! It beats a daily dose of an "approved" psychoactive substance that ruins one's sex drive, retains water, and drastically alters their day to day personality. Not to mention the amount of folks who "go off" of their meds and sink into a deeper hole or commit suicide.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  15. Sam Moore

    I thought this is what those drugs were developed for in the first place. Of course they are legitimate even if our government does not believe so. It would be a mistake to assume that just because something is declared illegal or illegitimate by our government does not mean that it really is. Our government has made many mistake and been wrong about many things. Our country is dependent on us being educated and informed, not ignorant and fearful.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  16. Anonymous...

    They shouldn't be illegal in the first place. The tryptamines and indole psychedelics are virtually physically harmless and were made illegal on a speculatory basis, with no scientific evidence to back up their becoming illegal. These include psilocybe mushrooms, (5MeO/N,N)-DMT containing plants, and the datura families, etc.

    It disgusts me that these substances are classified in the same category as the hard drugs, since these drugs have no negative [physical] side effects. It shows how much the government trusts us when their only validation for making something illegal is that you might get scared once you take it (bad trip). How disappointing! :c

    April 22, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  17. Todd

    I feel that administering these things in a controlled environment with a trip counselor would be extremely beneficial to ALL people. People would drop many of the selfish habits that they have built up over time and redevelop a sense of empathy that may have been lost or not yet found. The ego death part of the LSD trip is a beautiful thing and can leave one with a renewed sense of vitality and meaning. But I do stress the environment MUST be controlled for most users, especially novice users.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  18. Michael from Miami

    I am 23. I believe that many people could benefit from psychedelics..
    I personally have used MDMA and LSD on several occasions during
    a period in my life where I was experiencing emotional and psychological distress. I do not use those substances anymore and I do not have those problems anymore. I see the truth in my life and the world..

    April 22, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  19. Liz

    I started taking mushrooms after I was date raped. At the time I was an emotional and physical wreck and psylocibin helped me to explore what it was that I was feeling and actually helped me over come it. I think that ruling out the therapeutic benefits of these drugs would be irresponsible. In controlled and safe environment, these drugs could prove to be a god send for many others that struggle with PTSD, depression, anxiety and many other mental disturbances.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  20. philip Forrester

    I believe the physco-active hold great promise and potential. i have used several over the years had had very insightful results. I have also been subjected to Big Pharma 's anti depressants w/ nightmarish results. If they can make you take some of those lousy drugs and make huge profit ,why would they allow competition from another class of far less expensive and non habit forming drugs? $$$$ thats why all they really care about

    April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  21. Justin

    I believe they should be used for medical treatment. Only because there are many promblems that people have that they can help with like deprssion, stress, or even just memories that someone may wish to forget for a short period of time. But when it comes telling a patient to take it at there home with no supervision at all then thats when i draw the line. If they do allow these drugs to treat patient then the patient should take it only under supervision of a professional. Example of this would be the stronger the drug the more supervision they need.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  22. Jessica

    I think psychedelic drugs should be used as medicine! My only concern with those drugs would be the problem of addiction; but you can get addicted to any prescription drug so really how different are psychedelics if they help?

    Also, some people say psychedelics are deadly but once again, any prescription drug taken in too large of a dose can cause death. Look at all of the celebrities that have recently died from perfectly legal, easily accessible drugs.

    I think psychedelic drugs should be given a chance; as long as they're monitored properly who knows? Maybe it will prove to be a great help to people who are truly suffering.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  23. K.Green

    As a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist I am appalled that people (Medical Professionals) would even suggest that these medications that alter your brain severely would even be considered as medication. I agree patients should have the right to choose how they want to acheive their therapy but seriously!!
    This is America, we should be way more advanced in medication studies, then just to resort to something like MDMA. I have seen the effects of these drugs and others on the lives of people who have been abused and have gone through tons of turmoil. The very last thing they need is an altered reality. Treatment (true treatment) does not include psychedelic drugs. There should be better alternative drugs to help with depression, and other mental ailments. This is going too far! I could not believe what I was hearing! Get the Facts Straight!

    April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  24. E H

    Psychedelic drugs have been tried in the past as treatment for medical problems. It failed and left a generation of space heads.

    Why would anyone want to do this to another human? LSD will not let you fly unaided. It does not do much but cause broken bones and death in our youth. Pretty colors are not all that important when it comes to your sanity.

    Skip this crazy idea and move on to something new in medicine.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  25. Loretta

    Absolutely NOT! They use too often Humans as targets to try their opinions and ideas. There is far more that shows why humans should NOT use these as legalized drugs or for medicines! These doctors who are pushing these are not in it for the health benefits of the human race. Short little brief news coverages about these things also should be stopped as well. Media is also a major problem to society. Just to get your quick three minute news coverage and a new topic does far greater damage to society.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  26. Jimmy

    I see a lot of uninformed people posting here about drugs. I did see the one doctor say it isn't in a controlled setting. Having a doctor there is a controlled setting. I vote yes they should be used because they can have a very positive effect. I also read some person trying to link this with the current government and saying moral decay. WRONG! This is my country also and I don't want to have to think or be just like you. Stop your bashing. The new generation want real liberty and freedom not what you have had for the past 50 years.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  27. Donovan Heath

    There really are two sides to this. Having used MDMA, I can honestly say it saved my life. It allowed me to confront fears and emotional trauma that I had buried deep within myself and just did not know how to deal with. After using it, you just kind of realize that none of it matters anymore, because life goes on. Using it as treatment for illnesses like depression, anxiety, and illnesses that stem from things in your past is good way to start the healing cycle.
    BUT. these drugs are highly addictive. The first time you use it, it saves you. The second time, it starts to kill you. The more you do it, the more you will want it. That is if you have an addictive personality. Using too much of the drug can send you deeper into a destructive cycle. After all, in the end these drugs are depressants, all drugs are.

    point in simple. MDMA can be used to help someone start to deal with their problems. But over use can be destructive and can take over one's life.

    I have experienced both sides first hand.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  28. T.L.E.

    Absolutely not. Nor more than marijuana should be legalized. They are both temporary brain altering drugs and not for the better. Too easy to abuse with these drugs rather than searching for the route of the problem(s). Our country, particularly the youth, are severely "dumb-downed" as it is just due to the moral and ethical decline we have seen gradually over the past decades. However, the big pharma companies and the government would be delighted!!

    April 22, 2010 at 9:35 am |
  29. AJ

    These drugs will be used no matter what the law says, so why not offer people the option of using it in a controlled, positive way such as therapy? More studies should be done to understand the benefits and risks. Most antidepressants have tons of harmful side-effects and they are altering the chemicals in a person's brain–much like MDMA. Even when accepting the risks for these antidepressants, it can take weeks or months to find one that is responsive for a patient. Why not offer MDMA as another tool for depression or other mental health issues? Let individuals make informed decisions based on studies and information.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  30. John

    Before two counties go to war the leaders should be required to get together in a warehouse– drop some E, play some house music and in the morning you may find that war has been avoided.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  31. Kristin Davis

    These drugs should most certainly be made legal if they will help ease depression and anxiety. Anxiety is a very real illness, and it prohibits many people from living full lives. Erik is correct in his post that you cannot overdose on acid, ecstasy, or shrooms. LSD was legal in the 1960s and many psychotherapists provided it for their patients, and it worked for many couples' relationships.

    I'm so sick of narrow-minded people getting angry and making ridiculous comments about things (like these drugs) that they know absolutely nothing about or misunderstand, because of rumor and hearsay. Perhaps these same people should "turn on, tune in, and drop out."

    April 22, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  32. Lee

    Yes we should experiment with the questionable drugs, To find there medicinal value. Who knows what we may find out. All knowledge is good! if the patients are willing to be in the study lets go for it.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  33. Rita

    These chemicals were only made illegal because the government wanted an excuse to arrest anti-war protesters in the 60's. Some of them were originally designed as medical drugs, so what is so shocking about testing the medical properties of them. Other psychedelic drugs have been part of religious practices for thousands of years.

    Who are you to say there is no value in them?

    April 22, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  34. philip Forrester

    To DOn Some of these substances can be quite deadly? you are way off with your fear tactic how many die from aalcohol how many have died from mescaline or LSD? Bet youve never tried any

    April 22, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  35. sarah

    i speak as someone that suffered abuse in the past i think that to bring these drugs in to the medium of modern medicine is just suicidal. these drugs are known to be addictive and deadly, how dare any doctor worth his or her degree ever think about prescribing these.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:38 am |
  36. Alex R.

    Psychedelics are certainly not for everyone, but I believe there could some benefits. They tend to be very introspective substances which have helped many understand more about themselves–especially those with disorders such as depression. Using LSD and mushrooms have definitely allowed me to think on many levels and in ways that I wouldn't have considered without and thus, have found a stronger sense of self-awareness in them. But again, they aren't something that should be prescribed for use in any uncontrolled setting. I think that it's unlikely that the FDA would ever turn and allow the use of these types of things, but in the case that they did, there would need to be a whole lot of psychoanalysis done to the individual prior to the "trip." They're very powerful drugs!

    April 22, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  37. Daniel

    Absolutely, the therapeutic potential for psychedelic drugs should be explored. While there are indeed potential risks which come with these (and all) drugs, most psychedelic drugs were originally illegalized due to fears about their effects rather than a comprehensive analysis of their real potential for harm. Therefore, research with these chemicals has been limited. Beliefs that they are "dangerous" stem more from mistrust and fear than legitimately documented problems.

    The little bit of research that has been conducted with drugs such as LSD, MDMA, and even ketamine, have shown the ability to induce profound experiences that are life-changing in very positive ways. Ironically, many of the psychedelic drugs can be used to break addictive patterns with hard drugs - but not merely as drug replacements, but as permanent changes to the mind and brain that are beneficial. While we shouldn't haphazardly distribute these drugs wherever they are requested, research with them should not be prohibited merely on the basis of suspicion of harm.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  38. Matthew Haldeman

    I have taken psilocybin mushrooms and lsd multiple times and all my experiences with them have been 100% beneficial to me. Every experience is an opportunity to learn many things about yourself, and if the right questions are asked many psychological phobias could be resolved. I was depressed from my 1st semester of college back in november and I decided to give lsd a try. I thought about my problems and my entire life and I thought of many ways i could fix my troubled areas to make my life better and make my life happier. Acid was, and still is very helpful to me in my life. Listen to MGMT and Passion Pit.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  39. WHM

    When you get psychedelics from the street you can not be sure of the dosage you are getting which can be dangerous.

    Psychedelics can be used to unravel the mind but could also ravel the mind. Under the supervision of medical doctors I believe psychedelics can be used in a medically.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  40. Michael H. Burnham

    The truth is organic psychedelics have been used for centuries for medicine. The problem is they have been classed as drugs with no medicinal value and have never been studied by the medicinal or scientifically communities. Hopefully someday they will discover there are many benefits to their use in controlled settings such as what presently is being done by those who practice ancient medicine ways in South America

    April 22, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  41. Barnacle Bill

    Psychedelics were being studied by psychiatrists et al some 40 years ago and were proving quite useful when our govt succumbed to the mob and banned them. They've been used by "primitive" peoples in religious ceremonies & rites of passage for thousands of years (usually overseen by at least a shaman). Lastly, these are hardly new areas within Western Culture, see eg The Varieties of Religious Experience by W James. Interestingly, major drug companies have long sent off field agents to bring back samples of herbs used by "primitive" peoples & proceeded to patent & market the active ingredients. This is long overdue, but, from what little I've seen, is finally being approached in a fairly rational fashion.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  42. WHM

    When you get psychedelics from the street you can not be sure of the dosage you are getting which can be dangerous.

    Psychedelics can be used to unravel the mind but could also ravel the mind. Under the supervision of medical doctors I believe psychedelics can be used medically.


    April 22, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  43. Frank Perdomo

    I say yes, let doctors & scientists reasearch theses drugs. The only way we can ever know is by studying them not ignoring them. Back in the 60's Professors at USC, were studying the affects of LSD on the human mind for concentration. The affects were positive. Then fate steped in, with the U.S gov. Banning the reasearch of the drug. LSD's lab coat came off & hit the streets were its been for the last 4o years. Lets not reapeat history. Let commonsense lead us, not fear.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:43 am |
  44. Ryan Paul: Heisler

    These drugs MDMA and Psylocibin have been around for quite some time, but I believe most of the fear derived from the government and people who are unfamiliar with the drug is caused by inexperience with the drugs. To an extent I believe irrational fear drives politicians who are usually known to be white collar, straight edge, conformers who do not wish to see these drugs end up in the hands of their kids. With that being said I believe that these drugs CAN have positive impacts with in the health society WHEN used and studied properly. By not researching these drugs for possible beneficial effects we are limiting our selves as a society to discover new ways to deal with many emotional and traumatic experiences. This should not be viewed as an opportunity to legalize schedule 1 drugs this should be viewed as a possibility to expand our knowledge of the human psyche and how to map it.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  45. Scott Stodden

    Kyra you have me stumped on this one because I don't believe there is treatment in LSD drugs! Drugs like mushrooms, xtacsy, and so many other drugs that relate to LSD drugs in my opinion are not to be used for medical treatment or purposes, we're told there bad for us, they cause brain damage or if you take to much you could die, which one is it? Iam against the use of LSD drugs for treatment of medical purposes of anykind, this is totally unacceptable! Also Kyra I just loved Ailene Crystal and I hope you pass that on to her, I feel so bad for situtation and how Wall Street robbed her of her future, I hope she gets work and Im looking for the President to say alot such as why he accteped money from Goldman Sachs Hmmmmm? I love Obama but that really got to me!

    Scott J Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    April 22, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  46. Paul Zasadny

    I study herbology and psychoactive affects for verity of types of herbs for five years. I found out there are other alterative ways to do recreational use of herbal smoking to have psychoactive affects from herbs that are legal. All these herbs are safe to smoke and the psychoactive affects are medium to mild. These herbs are: Mugwort, Blue Locust, Coltsfoot, Marihuanilla, Calmus, Krantom, Skullcap, Damiana, Cat Nip, Yerba Mate, Passion Flower, Horny Goat Weed, Wild Dagga Lions Tail, Salvia (NOT AN EXTRACT!). Mishma
    Magic mull Mix, happy herbs and 4 Winds (smoking mixtures). These are all great relaxing herbs they would be cheeper and safer then
    tobbaco. I'm trying to to tell collage kids there are other ways to get high that is legal to do.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  47. bob r

    If it works it works, we as americans need to step out of the box when it comes to health care. chiropractic, acupuncture, marijuana, psychedelics, and other holistic medicines have been used for thousands of years by other cultures, and it works for them. Why do we only rely on traditional doctors, and the drugs available at the local pharmacy.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  48. Allan

    There is probably a huge database of research on substances like LSD, MDMA and Psylocibin... but most of the research was done by the various intelligence services and probably never made public.

    That research should be made available to scientists and additional controlled research studies should be done to see if there are any valuable medical usages of these substances.

    As a person who has had a close family member that suffers from mental illness, i am painfully aware of the fact that there are millions of people suffering from neurosis and mental illness in this country and traditional taboos against the use and testing of these substances have prevented most research tthat could possibly help them.

    Frankly, I sincerely believe that many people "self-medicated" with THC when "pot" was more available... but since the "War on Drugs", many of those same people who might have "self-medicated" have gone berserk and shot up college campuses, places of business and maybe even the Post Office!

    April 22, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  49. Lisa

    Research into the medical benefits of psychedelic drugs dates back to at least the mid 1960's, with several thousand scientific papers written and tens of thousands of patients, many of whom saw significant improvements.

    I can't imagine that these drugs could be any worse for patients than the pharmaceutical industry's plethora of side-effect inducing, hospitalizing, and death causing drugs that are currently passed out like candy by main stream medical practitioners. Psychedelics may have equal or more effective medical benefits, with far less harm.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  50. Sentinel2010

    Absolutely not! Psychiatry is whacky enough – whacky, incompetent and corrupt enough that is. Psychedelics is more of the same. In fact it rates right up there with electro-shock "therapy". No only is there absolutely no validity for the use of shock therapy, the only "reasoning" behind that treatment being: "Well, if we can create problems by giving electrical shocks to animals and humans in experiments, then why can't we cure problems with the same"? There logic and science is no deeper than that. The so-called mental health establishment is incompetent at best. They are kind of saying that psychedelics and shock therapy are like nuclear radiation therapy for cancer treatment. It's highly dangerous but in "controlled" circumstances it can be "healthy". Huh! That may work for cancer but psychedelics, shock therapy – and even psychiatry itself. These "treatments" do not, and never will, "work". It is a fact that psychiatry has a history of lunacy – in the profession itself.....

    April 22, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  51. Robert Drouillard

    Yes! There were some clinics in the 70's that provided such an environment for people facing end of life issues, fears, whatever. Being a recreational user at the time I felt it was a good idea and the clinics had good results. I do not understand how anyone can deny access to drugs that could ease all that comes with illness or imminent death. It's not like (YOU) have to take them to help get you through vomiting, paranoia or whatever symptom, but you should be able to make that choice.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:48 am |
  52. Sentinel2010

    Absolutely not! Psychiatry is whacky enough – whacky, incompetent and corrupt enough that is. Psychedelics is more of the same. In fact it rates right up there with electro-shock "therapy". No only is there absolutely no validity for the use of shock therapy, the only "reasoning" behind that treatment being: "Well, if we can create problems by giving electrical shocks to animals and humans in experiments, then why can't we cure problems with the same"? There logic and science is no deeper than that. The so-called mental health establishment is incompetent at best. They are kind of saying that psychedelics and shock therapy are like nuclear radiation therapy for cancer treatment. It's highly dangerous but in "controlled" circumstances it can be "healthy". Huh! That may work for cancer but not for psychedelics, shock therapy – and even psychiatry itself. These "treatments" do not, and never will, "work". It is a fact that psychiatry has a history of lunacy – in the profession itself.....

    April 22, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  53. Clyde

    I find psychedelics to be very therapeutic. After a trip, I always feel warmly toward all people and totally comfortable with my life. It helps me to remember what is most important to me, and these are usually things I already have. People associate drugs with delusion, but psychedelics help you see and think about the world with remarkable clarity. Of course, people react differently to the experience, and a small percentage can become a danger to themselves or others. But if the question is: can psychedelic drugs be therapeutic, then the answer is undoubtedly yes.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  54. Ray

    I feel sorry for the ignorant people I see posting on this thread. These drugs should be available to everyone in controlled amounts. I recently attended a music festival and tried X for the first time. The media and government have made it out to be this terrible drug, but it isn't. I didn't go crazy or lose my mind. It relaxed me and opened my mind. Critics of drugs readily refer to hippies but do you ever wonder why so many of them can gather at event such as Woodstock without fighting. Yet we can go drink alcohol and fight in the streets or smoke cigarettes until we die, lol. I am in love with the peacefulness and happiness at these festivals and will continue to go to them and do these drugs. If they make people happier and more able to cope with life then why not? Fight the real killers out there: cigarettes, unhealthy foods, alcohol, etc...

    April 22, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  55. James Sabo

    I am 62 years old and was around in the 1960's, but never used Psychedelics other than marijuana.
    My interest in LSD grew in the early 80's when I discovered I was an alcoholic and was literally dying of alcoholism. I went into treatment and AA meetings and was off and on sobriety for the next two years.
    It wasn't until I became familiar with Tim Leary's book "Flashbacks" that I found some lasting sobriety.
    He told of successes with treating alcoholism with LSD.
    I was a believer, and since I really believed I would be dead within 5 years if I didn't stop drinking, I didn't see a problem trying out the off the wall, illegal treatment.
    It was great. I was fortunate to obtain really clean and pleasant LSD, and I use it once per week for about 6 months, then once every 2 weeks the next 6 , then once per month and eventually I lost all interest in using it, or any other substance.
    Now at 28 years total soberiety. LSD SAVED MY LIFE

    April 22, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  56. Joe

    This is a long over-due conversation to be held in the medical realm. There are many reasons why people are scared to engage in this topic of discussion, and most of that fear has been socialized as potential chaos from dealing with "the unknown." For thousands of years, the heads of communities have used appropriate doses of psychedelics for multiple has only been recently in modern human history that we have told people that it is not appropriate for them to use the golden secrets of the earth to assist with mental health. The FDA has approved a multitude of mental health drugs that have incredible amounts of undesirable side effects; moreover, doctors have prescribed these man-made drugs in excess, encouraging serious chemical addictions to help drug companies make money. To allow this activity to go on and not even entertain the possibility that there are potentially natural alternatives to these treatments is ludicrous.

    April 22, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  57. chet olson

    After 66 years of life on this planet, I can tell you that some of the most healing episodes I have ever experienced have involved psychedelics. My only regret is that there have been so few. (Unless you are a kid, psychedelics are difficult to obtain.) These are God's gift to humanity and need to be respected rather than feared.

    April 22, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  58. Martha

    Indigenous cultures have used these types of medicines for thousands of years in the form of plant medicines. The shamans are the guides to this inner world of healing the body, mind and spirit.
    It is a sacred and powerful method of healing and transformation. We should let these methods be legal but usually the western doctors are not the appropriate guides. When we bring back the sacred into our deep healing we can truely heal and that most likely won't happen in a clinic but rather a ceremony.

    April 22, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  59. Peter Phillips

    Cocaine,LSD,MDMA,as well as most other controlled substances were first used for generalmedical purposes. Abuse caused regulation. If you can control the abuse,then drugs should be allowed their medicinal uses.

    April 22, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  60. Kristin Davis

    These drugs should most certainly be made legal if they will help ease depression and anxiety. Anxiety is a very real illness, and it prohibits many people from living full lives. Erik is correct in his post that you cannot overdose on acid, ecstasy, or shrooms. LSD was legal in the 1960s and many psychotherapists provided it for their patients, and it worked for many couples' relationships.

    Ignorance creates anger and causes people to make unfounded comments about things (like these drugs) that they know absolutely nothing about or misunderstand, because of rumor and hearsay. Perhaps these same people should "turn on, tune in, and drop out."

    April 22, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  61. Brian


    Doctors are not considering prescribing MDMA or LSD or MUSHROOMS! Sheesh! Before you criticize please take some time to read the facts and develop your argument – don't do what republicans do by pandering to what little info the public has and exploiting it.

    Doctors are considering the use of these drugs for psychotherapy in order to help get a patient to the next step in recovery. What they are discussing is the CONTROLLED use of them – in a hospital, under their observation, with methods to avoid promoting addiction.They're not considering sending patients home with a pill bottle full of them.

    ALSO, doctors hand out percocet, vicodin, valium, and soma. Some of these are opiate derivatives (heroin in other words) but have an incredible capability to alleviate pain in order to promote/expedite healing. What would you say to people who depend on these for their benefits? That they can't have them simply because other people abuse them?

    April 22, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  62. Elizabeth

    okay, I am a psychology major and my teacher for abnormal psych actually just showed us an article about this issue the other day and i had a pretty strong reaction to it. I think that this subject is very difficult because i believe that there could possibly be some benefits to some people from hallucinogens, but there are serrrrious risks involved when using such intense forms of these drugs such as LSD or even psilocybin. for example, giving something like this to someone with an antisocial personality disorder could create cases like charles manson (in the most severe cases). the halucinogens in question are potentially very dangerous and it seems REDICULOUS that we are even having this discussion when they still wont legalize marijuana! marijuana is the least intense and safest hallucinogen to be trying if we are experimenting with such things and experimental use of marijuana is proven not to have long term effects, unlike MDMA and LSD which can potentially destroy lives. Lets work on trying out the safest form of hallucinogen (marijuana) and see what happens, then go from there...

    April 22, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  63. Matthew

    I fully support new research into the uses of psychedelics for depression, anxiety and other disorders. I would fully support the establishment of clinics where people could go for a guided psychedelic experiences. Some of the disorders "normal" people suffer from can be helped by at a little kick in the psychic pants. A good trip in the right setting has the potential to up the heart and the mind to the world around you and inside you, the world we're often too busy to stop and appreciate. For example, the urge to hug a tree or talk to a plant might seem crazy in our every day world, but perhaps we'd be in a better place globally if more people discovered their "love" of the planet.

    April 22, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  64. Don

    To the comment of "philip Forrester"
    There are very few of these substances that I have NOT tried in my 48 years of life, Fear Tactics? LMAO! Alcohol? My point exactly, It kills and it`s Legal, Tobacco too! But it is More difficult for a Minor to obtain Alcohol and Tobacco, """Regulated"""
    I am an AVID supporter of Legalization if not only to establish some type of Control that we currently do NOT have, Along with Education about the TRUE Effects and Consequences of Abuse, Anybody that thinks we have ANY control over these Substances right now are just Fooling themselves, Regardless of their "Illegal Status" People can still readily find these substances very easily, Prohibition is a LACK of Control and Regulation that Always does more Harm than good, Just take an Honest look back at the Alcohol Prohibition Era for your "Historical" Example.
    Denying access to these Substances for Research is like saying, Our Scientists are as smart as they are going to get and our Technology is not going to get better than what it already is, Which is a completely Asinine and Ignorant assumption to make.

    April 22, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  65. I am handsome ( not fat )

    I had seen my friend, a college professor, took zenith and prozac, he then turned into a very emotional guy, crying all the time. I personally do not agree using hallucinogens for anxiety and depression. I think people should be taught how to release anxiety and depression through exercise and group activities instead of relying on drugs to get temporary anxiety and depression. I had the problem before and my way to cure it is to watch inspiring videos which affects my emotions and release depression and to do breathing exercise to release anxiety.

    April 22, 2010 at 12:14 pm |
  66. karen wilson

    You might want to research this but in the 70's my brother was taking a course in drugs–I read that LSD was developed in Germany for headaches??

    April 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  67. K Z

    Absolutely NOT to be using these drugs for humans at all. Look at the destruction that is in the world already because of them. They are being used strictly to kill our people.

    April 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  68. Carol Harrisoon

    I think that if a person has cancer or some painful disease that no other medication can alleviated, then pot/weed/grass/ cannabis, if it can help reduce symptoms, I'm all for it. Those who are against it, obviously haven't walked in the sufferers shoes and will make any excuse not to make it legal.
    In Ontario in Canada, there are government-sanctioned grow operations where those in dire need, can purchase marijuana to help reduce the chronic pain they're in. I know my psychiatrist suggested that if the medication he's prescribed now, doesn't work to reduce my anxiety levels, in turn, reducing my overall muscl tension, that he'd prescribe a pill form of cannabis. ANYTHING is better than chronic pain from osteoarthritis and piriformis syndrome which can be agonizing.

    April 22, 2010 at 9:58 pm |
  69. Carol Harrisoon

    Kyra, this comment has nothing to do with any of your previous blogs but I'm asking because I'm curious. How do you feel since you were moved to the 9-11 a.m. slot? I find your personality is friendly enough but it has changed quite considerably since you were bumped from the 1-3 p.m. slot, just before Rick's List and you and he had such great rapport.
    Also, with all due respect, a viewer can't help BUT notice eye make-up and I think with you, less is more, no offense. Whoever applies it, I think she overdoes it. You have really nice eyes and the eye shadow you use, needs to be more subtle as with the highlighter on your upper brow. Are those your actual eyebrows, because sometimes they seem almost drawn on. I'm not criticizing you, just making observations. I miss your animated personality because honestly, you and your friend (if he still is) Rick Sanchez, had the greatest chemistry and your combined personalities....wonderful to watch and listen to.

    April 22, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  70. maze1gerald

    I frown upon drug use, I had the the experiance of seeing a person flip out before.I don' think I would to see any of that again.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  71. Smith in Oregon

    Former President Nixon who resigned in shame when the world learned he had played a part in the conspiracy to commit a felony crime.

    Nixon's biggest vocal critics were the anti-war protester's who he visually painted as recreational drug takers. He was the ONE that placed recreational drugs into federally administered category's and purposefully in one fell swoop placed many of his most vocal critics into long prison sentences.

    Previously for several years LSD, Mescaline, MDA, MMDA, DMT, and Psilocybin were entirely legal and available thru many outlets.

    The studies by Dr. Leary and others certainly indicate the therapeutic benefits from many if not all of those psychedelic drugs. Of course with the steel booted Republican thugs of the Nixon administration, that made no difference whatsoever.

    These now illegal drugs routinely net the same level of felony charges that armed bank robbery has and these drugs are distinctly a non-violent affair. If that isn't totally Political, you must still be sleeping your way thru life.

    Recently a study indicates person's suffering from PTSD can be significantly benefited thru therapy sessions using Ecstasy which is entirely banned here in America despite many MD's and Psychotherapists who were on the record with the FDA panel stating its benefits.

    Meanwhile thanks to America's Failed War on Drugs, thousands of US Veterans suffering from PTSD are prevented from being helped with Ecstasy, go figure!

    April 23, 2010 at 2:48 am |
  72. Bill Harris

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. God’s children’s free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with their maker.

    April 23, 2010 at 7:55 am |
  73. Bill Harris

    Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for tracking drug-use intentions and outcomes.

    April 23, 2010 at 7:57 am |
  74. uk

    If drugs are outlawed then only outlaws have drugs or was that inlaws o never mind anyway

    April 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  75. Thomas F, TX

    After testing is done and they have a data supported conclusion that may say it can help depression or anxiety, does not mean that it is healthy or beneficial. Pot should be legalized, but a physcadellic like LSD probably shouldn't, and wouldn't pescribe it to people. On the streets its still going to be used to get messed up, and the people taking it as a pescription are going to get just as, if not more messed up as a scientist modifies the drug. A really good question would be, "What could they be testing LSD on?"

    April 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  76. R

    hello Anderson, I'am very happy for all your report, good job. The Americains people needs a man of true as you.

    April 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
  77. scott j

    I think thats a great idea to legalize mdma and lsd and schrooms they are an excellent form of treatment

    April 24, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  78. elitesack

    Yep, legalize them for medical purposes.

    April 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  79. Alexander

    yes, yes, yes. sound research. These institutions are discovering profound instances of healing.

    April 26, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  80. elitesack

    particularly psylocibin (spelling?) mushrooms. no harmful effects with the exception of an upset stomach for 30 minutes during the onset... just shouldnt be legal to drive under the influence :p

    April 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  81. Fred L

    Sounds fishy to me!

    April 27, 2010 at 7:05 am |