Nitrous oxide: my mind, my choice

Posted Thu 11th Jun 2015, 4:48pm

"The prohibition of certain psychoactive substances is an affront to the basic right of bodily autonomy: the right to do whatever we want with our own bodies. In this sense, there are connections to movements for sexual and reproductive rights. As Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, puts it: “Nobody should be punished for what they put in their body, whether it's a cock or a joint”."

Psychedelic Society director Stephen Reid writes in the Independent

June update

Posted Tue 2nd Jun 2015, 11:39am

Welcome to the summer months! The psychedelic happenings continue unabated...

1. Upcoming events

You can find an up-to-date list of our events at

2. What’s hot on Facebook

“People are very, very frightened of dying. They see it as the end. On psychedelics, this sense of self begins to break down,” says Professor Nutt. “People in the psychedelic trip often experience being at one with the world or even with the universe. It’s as if they have died, as if they’ve gone out to another place. They exist beyond their body. That experience can give them a sense of perpetuity, of permanence, of being part of the cycle of life, which of course we all are.”

Prof. David Nutt, ‘Why I think the terminally ill should take LSD’

3. Psychoactive Substances Bill

Last week the government proposed new legislation in an attempt to shut down the trade in ‘legal highs’. The Psychoactive Substances Bill would ban trade in “any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect” excluding “legitimate substances, such as food, alcohol, tobacco, nicotine, caffeine and medical products”. For example, 1P-LSD would be illegal to sell under the new law (though it would still be legal to possess).

It’s been roundly criticised as ‘a bizarre piece of farcically bad drafting’ and ‘contrary to the legal basis upon which this country has operated for hundreds of years’. Prof. Nutt has warned the bill will ‘end brain research in Britain’ whilst charities have pointed out new laws will ‘only drive the drugs underground’. It’s suggested that the bill technically outlaws air freshener, incense, flowers and perfume.

Clearly, there’s scope for challenging the bill, or at least securing a well-defined process for exemptions. We’ll be in touch again soon with ideas for action - feel free to reply to this email with your own ideas.

4. Other events

Best wishes,
The Psychedelic Society team

May update

Posted Fri 8th May 2015, 8:43pm

It’s May, and as always, there’s plenty going on!

1. Events

Nothing going on near you? Set up a local group where you are! Email with expressions of enthusiasm.

2. We’re looking for an office space

From the Psychedelic Society’s director Stephen Reid:

From the end of this month, I’m setting aside several days a week to work on the Society, and I’m currently looking for an office/workspace in London to base myself and other volunteers. If you have a free space, or know of something suitable, please do get in touch via

3. Other stuff we like
Hopefully see you at an event soon!

The Psychedelic Society team

April update

Posted Sun 5th Apr 2015, 12:28pm

Spring is in the air, and there’s plenty more to tell you about!

1. Upcoming events

No events happening near you? We're now in the process of setting up another round of local groups. See here for more details on how to become a local group coordinator.

2. National Psychedelic Coming Out Day, 19th April

On 19th April, you're invited to participate in a national day of 'psychedelic coming out'. Pick someone that may not be aware of your use of psychedelics, and explain to them how psychedelics have benefitted you. Read more

2. Legal group

A message from Paul Powesland, legal group coordinator:

At the Psychedelic Society, as part of our campaigning, we are looking to challenge the current legal framework surrounding psychedelics. This includes both psychedelics whose use is currently prohibited and psychedelics whose use may be prohibited in the future.

In order to do this, we need to research and understand the current legal framework and put together a group of people who can act on legal challenges. As a first step, we would like to have an evening where as many people as possible pool their knowledge of the current the legal and legislative process surrounding psychedelic drugs. The evening is likely to be in early May in London (venue to be confirmed once numbers are known) and will consist of an introduction to the basics of the law in this area and then a general discussion and knowledge share, finishing in what we do next.

The kind of areas likely to be covered are the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, its contents and origins; the workings of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and how their recommendations can be influenced and challenged; parliamentary procedure surrounding the scheduling of drugs; and how to use administrative law to challenge decisions to prohibit the use of drugs.

Whether you are a lawyer, someone who has knowledge or expertise of the laws on drugs or parliamentary procedure, or just someone who wants to learn moreabout these areas for your own interest or to get involved in the Psychedelic Society’s legal work, do send an email to to get on the legal group list and to find out more details about the meeting.

3. What’s hot on Facebook

4. BBC One film on legal highs

A message from Jessica Benhamou at the BBC:

BBC One is making a film on Legal Highs. We are looking to film with individuals who take these substances recreationally with friends, to expand their sense of self-knowledge or even therapeutically. We want people who take them fairly regularly (maybe once a month or more). If you live in the UK and are 18-35 years old and fulfil the above criteria, please do get in touch with Jessica on or by calling 07717177635.

5. Other stuff we like

Hopefully see you at an event soon!

March update

Posted Sun 22nd Mar 2015, 5:33pm

1. Upcoming events

The best way to stay up to date with events near you is to sign up to the Get Involved page on our website. We're also looking for more people to coordinate local groups in towns and universities across the country - see here for more details.

2. Petitions to sign and share

3. Writing/graphics/video production skills? Fan of Private Eye, the Onion or the Daily Mash?

We're looking for people to create satirical content to highlight the ridiculousness of prohibition. See our article on 'Salty Death' as an example, and our new introductory video as background. If you've got an idea, email

4. What's hot on Facebook

We've just hit 7000 likes on Facebook! One widely shared post was on the topic of 1P-LSD, a new, legal LSD analogue. Taking action to keep this magical substance legal is going to be a priority for the Society over the coming months - we'll be in touch again soon with more details on how you can help.

5. Things we like

Perhaps see you at an event soon? If there's nothing happening near you, why not start a local group of your own?