Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tripping with cancer

The Guardian has an article on recent experiments with hallucinogenic drugs being conducted by scientists, basically the first since the 1970s. LSD for some reason had a very negative reception when it first because popularized, as did MDMA (ecstasy) later on. But what's striking about the trials is not what they're studying, but that they're studying the exact same things that were being studied over three decades ago. That is, because of the restrictions placed on researchers and the government's quasi-monopsony power over scientists through research grants, this promising area was left untouched for a very long time. The ailments that hallucinogens might help are mainly in the psychological field – the article focuses on the post-trip clearness that terminal patients feel after being given a dose of either LSD (acid) or psilocybin (magic mushrooms). It's pathetic that the drug scare has taken this long to get over among the medical establishment, let alone among politicians and voters.

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