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”."
Posted Tue 2nd Jun 2015, 11:39am
Welcome to the summer months! The psychedelic happenings continue unabated...
1. Upcoming events
- This Saturday 6th June, we’re hitting the streets in London, Leeds and Edinburgh to talk to passers-by about the benefits of psychedelics, dish out information sheets and invite people to our socials. If psychedelics have made your life better, get involved and 'pay it forward'!
- Manchester, Sunday 7th June: the launch of the Psychedelic Society of Manchester with Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris (psychedelic scientist at Imperial College London and close colleague of Prof. David Nutt) and Zoe Cormier (author of Sex, Drugs & Rock n' Roll and co-founder of Guerilla Science)
- Birmingham, Thursday 18th June: Jack Hunter’s talk ‘On the nature of the psilocybe folk: psychedelic entity encounters & the problem of spirits’
- London, Wednesday 24th June: the Psychedelic Society of London reading group discusses Breaking Open the Head by Daniel Pinchbeck
You can find an up-to-date list of our events at psychedelicsociety.org.uk/get-involved
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.”
- "12 out of 15 volunteers receiving psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for smoking cessation were able to remain smoke-free after a 6-month follow-up."
- If you want to trip without breaking the law, you should know about 1P-LSD, "a potent psychedelic which is difficult to distinguish from its popular analogue."
- Reclassify psychedelic drugs so we can properly research them, says a leading psychiatrist
- Eight things you didn’t know about magic mushrooms
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.
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
- Breaking Convention, premier international conference on psychedelic conciousness, July 10-12
- St. Leonards on Sea, Friday 12th June: The Explorers’ Club with Gregory Sams
- London, Saturday 13th June: first meeting of Students Against Cannabis Criminalisation
- London, Saturday 27th June: PUWABA! with DJ YAMANTAKA EYE
The Psychedelic Society team
Posted Fri 8th May 2015, 8:43pm
It’s May, and as always, there’s plenty going on!
- Edinburgh, Sun 17th May: the Psychedelic Society of Edinburgh storytelling evening
- London, Thurs 21st May: the Psychedelic Society of London reading group - High Priest by Timothy Leary
- London, Tue 26th May: legal group meeting (for those with particular legal interest/expertise, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- London, Wed 27th May: the Psychedelic Society of London May Social featuring 'open space' small group discussions and ‘How To Talk About Psychedelics With Your Grandma’
- Manchester, Sun 7th June: the launch event of the Psychedelic Society of Manchester with Robin Carhart-Harris and Zoe Cormier (tbc, save the date!)
Nothing going on near you? Set up a local group where you are! Email email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Other stuff we like
- London, Fri 15th May: Musica Magica
- London, Tue 26th May: Ecology, Cosmos and Conciousness Salon presents: Songlines of Snowdonia: Tapping the Mythic Mains
- Prowl Magazine (edited by Lisa Luxx who gave a spoken word performance at the last London social)
- A sponsored walk for psychedelic research by PsyPressUK editor Robert Dickins
- Hastings, 3/4/5 July: The Explorers Club Playground of Conciousness
- London, 10/11/12 July: Breaking Convention
The Psychedelic Society team
Posted Sun 5th Apr 2015, 12:28pm
Spring is in the air, and there’s plenty more to tell you about!
1. Upcoming events
- Edinburgh, 13th April: launch event of the Psychedelic Society of Edinburgh feat. Prof David Nutt
- Birmingham, 16th April: Psychedelic Society of Birmingham film screening of Easy Rider
- London, 29th April, second social of the Psychedelic Society of London, featuring 'open space' small group discussions and activities and Psychedelic Storytelling and Spoken Word
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 email@example.com to get on the legal group list and to find out more details about the meeting.
3. What’s hot on Facebook
- Psychedelic drugs like MDMA and magic mushrooms are as safe as riding a bike or playing soccer, and bans against them are “inconsistent with human rights”, according to the authors of a letter published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal
- Sign the petition to legalise magic mushrooms
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07717177635.
5. Other stuff we like
- London, 28th April: Ecology, Cosmos & Conciousness Salon
- Brighton, 29th April: Club Imaginal
- Breaking Convention 2015 , London, 10-12th July
Hopefully see you at an event soon!
Posted Sun 22nd Mar 2015, 5:33pm
1. Upcoming events
- London, Tuesday 24th March: the first social of the Psychedelic Society of London
- Dublin, Thursday 26th March: the launch of our sister organisation, the Psychedelic Society of Ireland feat. Dr Robin Carhart-Harris
- Leeds, Thursday 2nd April: launch of the Psychedelic Society of Leeds feat. Dr Ben Sessa
- Edinburgh, Monday 13th April: launch of the Psychedelic Society of Edinburgh feat. Prof. David Nutt
- In addition, last Thursday saw the successful launch of the Psychedelic Society of Birmingham
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
- Do you believe that people should be free to take magic mushrooms without fear of punishment? Sign the petition to legalise mushrooms!
- Since psychedelics are banned, for consistency, shouldn't we ban extreme sports? Sign the petition to ban extreme sports like skydiving or bungee jumping ;)
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 email@example.com.
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
- PUWABA!, next recurring at the NINES in Peckham on 3rd April
- World Unknown, next up 2nd April in London
- The UKC (University of Kent) Psychedelic Society, next up 24th March
- Club Imaginal in Brighton, next up 25th March
- The Transcendental Cafe in Whitstable, next up 28th March
- Breaking Convention 2015 , 10-12th July, London: tickets now on sale
- Nowhere Festival, 7-12th July
Perhaps see you at an event soon? If there's nothing happening near you, why not start a local group of your own?