A turning point for psychedelics

The psychedelic community is about to get a lot bigger. Up to now it was a select group of visionaries and thrill-seekers. In ten years, however, when psychedelics are available by prescription, the biggest demand may come from ordinary folks. The people who check into clinics for psychedelic therapy will be cancer patients, war vets, alcoholics and others looking for relief more than cosmic enlightenment.

Enlightenment will occur, of course, and spread out way beyond the salons of the cognoscenti. How will society change when anyone can walk into a local clinic and trade their fear for inner peace?

There’s so much promise, but there are also a bunch of obstacles. The folks from middle America who could really benefit from psychedelics won’t get the help they need if they’re held back by prejudice and misinformation. That’s where we come in. It’s up to us—the members of the psychedelic community—to clear the path.

We’re like the pioneers in covered wagons who drove west through the unknown. Once they settled the new land, they held out their hands to the folks back home, the farmers and shopkeepers and schoolteachers who followed once they knew it was safe.

Now it’s our turn to hold out our hands. We’re the psychedelic welcoming committee.

It’s not too early to start crafting a friendly message for newcomers who are suspicious of the whole business. Something like:

“Welcome, friend. We’re here to help you have a good journey. If you follow the guidelines, you’ll be fine. The psychedelic experience is natural and deeply human. You may encounter surprises, but you won’t be alone. We’re your companions all the way and we have a lot of experience bringing travelers safely home.”

The great work that began with Albert Hoffman is about to begin in earnest. We’ve had the experience to ourselves for long enough. It’s time to open the door and welcome the liberal and the conservative, the sick and the well, the people we love and the people we hate. The great work won’t be accomplished until everyone has the opportunity to cross the threshold.

Posted in: Reason and Magic

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