The Verse’s Laura Catherine Holmes previews a very curious evening, hosted by the Psychedelic Society of Brighton.
Throughout the world, traditional psychedelic plant medicines have been used to heal physical and mental ailments for thousands of years. When substances like MDMA, LSD and cannabis became popular in the 1960s, US President Richard Nixon’s ‘war on drugs’ ensued. In 1964, when the UK had deemed these substances (including other natural psychedelics like the psilocybin mushroom) as having no medical or therapeutic value, they were prohibited.
Since then, it has been almost universally recognised that drug prohibition does not in fact stop people from using drugs. According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, an estimated £6.2billion was added to the economy via illegal drug trade in 2014. Money has been pumped into special drug task forces and prisons to house drug offenders, with almost no real effect on drug use in the UK. Furthermore, it has limited those in scientific study who are so interested in the possility that the substances could be used to help people.
There has been a thriving and ever increasing interest in researching many natural medicines that are restricted to us by law. Recent research suggests for example that MDMA, Ayahuasca, Magic Mushrooms and Cannabis can be used medicinally to treat symptoms of depression and PTSD. With the continuing increase of quitepine (a common atypical antipsychotic) and Propranolol (anxiety) related deaths, it is important more than ever that we facilitate the research dedicated to finding natural and mindful approach to medicine.
This event for the Psychedelic Society of Brighton is an opportunity to learn about and discuss the therapeutic, cultural, recreational and spiritual aspects of psychedelic substances. The Brighton society is a branch of the UK Psychedelic Society.
Speakers on the evening will include:
? Dr Ben Sessa of Bristol University, pioneer of MDMA assisted therapy in the UK
? Rita Ko?árová, MSc., researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health (CZ), Executive Director of Beyond Psychedelics conference and co-founder of the Czech Psychedelic Society.
? Dr Anna Waldstein, anthropologist at the University of Kent, speaking on cannabis in Rastafari communities
? Stephen Reid, Director of the Psychedelic Society
The Psychedelic Society of Brighton Launch takes place on the 26th November at All Saints Church, The Drive, Hove, BN3 3PB. For more details and tickets, head to the Facebook event page.