New Title Published: Psychedelic Justice – A Chacruna Anthology


REVIEW Psychedelic Justice is a reminder that, as the contributor Alexander Belser puts it, “we have rainbow skeletons in our closet.” Here are just a few examples.  For forty years, the Addiction Research Center coerced federal prisoners—predominantly African American men and other marginalized populations—into dangerously high-dose psychedelic experimentation.  Stanislov Grof, the founder of transpersonal psychology, used LSD for conversion therapy treatment of homosexuals. Timothy Leary emphasized this “benefit” of LSD, and even Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert) used the drug “in hopes it would turn him straight.” The unsustainable sourcing of psychedelic plants like peyote, iboga, and ayahuasca has, in some places, left Indigenous people without access to their own medicines. The prominent roles that women, queer people, people of color, and Indigenous people have played in the history of the psychedelic movement are often minimized or suppressed, and these marginalized groups continue to be excluded from the conferences, research, and discourse of the psychedelic community. The editors of this anthology believe that “a fundamentally different outcome is possible,” but not without a conscious commitment to change. If the psychedelic community fails to clarify its ethical values and embody them through consistent action, psychedelics could become just another tool for perpetuating the colonialist, patriarchal, discriminatory, profit-driven, and ecologically disastrous paradigms of the past. In one essay, Clancy Cavnar affirms that “all medicines can be poison in the wrong hands.” Many people who have had a transformative or therapeutic experience with psychedelics will understand the tendency to believe they are fundamentally good—that they can change the world all on their own, without any overlays of politics or economic concerns. This hopeful naivete is part of what makes psychedelics so good at breaking molds and creating new narratives. It’s why Erica Dyck states in her preface that “psychedelics might be the lubricant…

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Source : New Title Published: Psychedelic Justice – A Chacruna Anthology

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