This article, originally posted in 2012, is being re-posted today in honour of Bicycle Day.
Some time last year I suggested that if a psychedelic substance is alleged to have a medicinal or therapeutic use, we should be studying it scientifically, not prosecuting people who import it (see the post: Free Peter Aziz!). Now it appears that a load of scientists at Harvard Medical School have heeded my words and done just that! Either that or they have succeeded in convincing their University to pay for them to get off their faces for the weekend.Apparently a “new” study in the Journal of Pharmacology suggests that LSD can be used to treat alcoholism – because the effect of going on a trip can cause the acid-head to re-evaluate his addiction from a Higher perspective. I say “new” but this is the Daily Telegraph we’re talking about, and given their reputation for up to the minute scientific reportage it was probably published back in the sixties. Apparently, though, it was quite a party because they had 536 volunteers.
Note: the basic principle – that a psychedelic agent can enable one to take control of an illness, by allowing one to view it from a state of expanded consciousness – is pretty much identical with the rationale behind Ayahuasca use. However, the difference would be that with one you would be sorting out your problems whilst listening to Jimi Hendrix and early Pink Floyd; with the other you would be doing so whilst chundering mightily.At some point, however, all these scientists are going to get a clue that it isn’t necessarily the drug but the psychedelic state that causes the beneficial effects: hence they should be working to induce the state without artificial means.