Psilocybin, psychedelics back on scientific radar

Posted Apr 13, 2010 by Bob Gordon
Since the early 1960s scientific research into Psilocybin and other hallucinogenic drugs has been at a standstill because of widely held taboos. In the twenty-first century that bias is fading and the medical value of psychedelics is again in the news.
Psilocybe mexicana - Jalisco  Mexico
Psilocybe mexicana - Jalisco, Mexico
This week, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) will host a conference in San Jose, California on psychedelic science. Rick Doblin, executive director of MAPS, said, "there's this coming together of science and spirituality. We're hoping that the mainstream and the psychedelic community can meet in the middle and avoid another culture war."
Roland Griffiths, Ph.D, Professor of Behavioral Biology, of the John Hopkins School of Medicine is one of the leaders in the field. In one of his experiments involving 36 people with no serious physical or emotional problems, he and colleagues found that psilocybin could induce what the experimental subjects described as a profound spiritual experience with lasting positive effects for most of them.
The New York Times reports, "In a survey conducted two months later, the people who received psilocybin reported significantly more improvements in their general feelings and behavior than did the members of the control group. The findings were repeated in another follow-up survey, taken 14 months after the experiment."
According to the drugs are now being tested on patients with anxiety and depression subsequent to a cancer diagnosis and "the results have been exceedingly positive." Much of this optimism focuses on the experience of a retired clinical psychologist, Clark Martin, of Vancouver. Dr Martin describes a profound experience that permanently altered his entire world view:
It was a whole personality shift for me. I wasn’t any longer attached to my performance and trying to control things. I could see that the really good things in life will happen if you just show up and share your natural enthusiasms with people. You have a feeling of attunement with other people.