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  • Charles Hayes

Should psychedelics be legalized and regulated?"

Most of us who appreciate psychedelics want them legalized and regulated for safety, but there are hold-outs among us, zealot survivors of proscription who dwell in the wilderness of policy discussion like hermits, fugitives, discontents, alternative lifestyle adherents.

These people seem to believe that most of us haven't earned our right to the sacrament, which, in their minds, must be used outside the bounds of society. Some firebrands have even expressed the theory that repeal and popularity would take us down a slippery slope toward denaturing the chemicals' powerful properties and submitting sheeplike consumers to bondage to an corporatist state via psychedelic-assisted mind-control -- that's mind control by the very same chemicals that once reliably liberated individuals from the state and every other stricture on cognitive and spiritual freedom, In my opinion, this is a Twilight Zone-inspired exaggeration of the downsides of widespread society-sanctioned use. The CIA already failed to deploy LSD as a tool of mind control. Fanning fears that bloating corporate profits would inevitably lead to state-directed or state-purposed drug use is dystopian in the extreme. LSD is called acid because it burns through the haze of maya, whether the veil of illusion woven by the ego, a commercial for the latest Big Pharma cure, or a bulletin from Big Brother. This is not to say that mass ingestion of drugs of certain types can't be manipulated to harmful ends in the wrong hands, or that hustling medicine for profit on a mass scale doesn't have unfortunate side effects, e.g., overdose, injudicious use, and distorted beliefs about both the significance of the drugs and the meanings they purportedly confer. As with any technology of significant power and abuse potential, parents, schools, communities, and governments must do their best to see they don't fall into the wrong hands.

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