Are Psychedelics Next to be Normalized?
There has been a quiet but steady resurgence of Americans delving into psychedelic substances. But this new psychonaut movement isn't comprised of young college students tuning in and dropping out, instead, it's made of mostly middle-aged and well-educated career-minded people. These individuals are looking for answers to big questions in their lives and transformative experiences.
The steady legalization of cannabis in the United States has created a much-needed conversation about the possible positive effects of recreational and medicinal drug use. The normalization of smoking weed has helped decrease the stigma associated with mood and mind-altering drugs LSD and psilocybin.
Government propaganda campaigns, the misdirected movements of Timothy Leary, and droves of misguided youth helped to create a negative perception around the use of psychedelics that lasted for decades. But now enough time has passed for some of the public fears about psychedelics to fade, and now we know there are much worse dangers to the public than having a trip. Unfortunately today we know the horrifying consequences of the drugs that are the real threats to the public like opioids, synthetic cannabinoids, and other prescription drugs that are easy to abuse.
That decrease in negative attitude has led to new scientific research using these substances for treating certain mental conditions. There is growing testimony that these drugs can be powerful tools for individuals overcoming trauma and even to ease the existential burden for those at the end of their lives. Along with this new scientific attention the phenomenon of microdosing psychedelics as a way of combating depression, stress, anxiety, and other degenerative mental states has made its way into many public spheres. They are taking a small dose of magic mushrooms or acid instead of a pharmaceutical drug that can be prohibitively expensive and have side effects they dislike. It's a fairly straightforward practice, and one only needs to store the shrooms properly, so they last a long time giving a person the option to take small amounts whenever desired.
Along with microdosing, there is still a healthy community of people who enjoy the moving and inspiring experience of a robust psychedelic experience. There are retreats, camps, and meetups that provide a safe and comfortable setting for individual or group trips under the instruction of an expert guide. They are out there to be found for those that are hunting for a significant trip experience.
A clear signifier of this renaissance of psychedelics is the recent legislation passed in Denver, Colorado. Voters passed a citizen-led ballot initiative that established an ordinance decriminalizing the possession of psilocybin mushrooms. This new legislation makes Denver the only place in the United States where magic mushrooms are legal to have. This change in city policy may be the first of many around the country that encourage the research and responsible use of psychedelics.