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?
Posted Tue 18th Nov 2014, 6:44pm
- 400 of us packed out Conway Hall in central London for our launch event 'Mainstreaming Psychedelics' (check out photos, the audio recording and the writeup in Vice)
- Over 1500 of us have now signed the petition to legalise magic mushrooms
- We now have over 2200 people on our mailing list and 4100 Facebook followers
One of the topics that kept popping up during our launch event was the parallel with other civil rights movements. 'Coming out' and 'pride' were key parts of the gay rights movement, and it seems they can play an important part in the movement to decriminalise users of psychedelics too.
It's time to show our #psychedelicpride. You're invited to the first #psychedelicpride photoshoot in central London on Saturday December 13th.
The symbol of #psychedelicpride is the neon fist. You'll dip your fist in a bucket of neon paint, and have your photo taken by a professional photographer for use in a gallery on our website. Top scientist Robin Carhart-Harris will be giving a short talk on his work during the day, and they'll also be free food and drink. Finally, it'll be a great chance to meet new people interested in psychedelics.
Interested in coming along? Register on Eventbrite now.
Don't live in London, but interested in organising a similar event near you? Get in touch via email.
Posted Tue 4th Nov 2014, 4:51pm
Posted Sun 19th Oct 2014, 2:29pm
Edit: changed references from Norman Baker to Lynne Featherstone, the new minister for drugs
AL-LAD is a (legal) close analogue of LSD that's been available online for the past few months. The "subjective effects are almost identical to that of LSD" and it seems to have a similar safety profile (i.e. it's extremely safe).
Unfortunately, on 10th June, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) recommended that AL-LAD should be controlled as a Class A substance.
We've written to Lynne Featherstone MP, the minister for drugs, asking her to reject the ACMD's recommendation. Here's the full text of the letter we sent:
Dear Ms Featherstone,
In a letter to you dated 10th June 2014, Les Iversen, Chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), recommended that AL-LAD, a psychedelic and close analogue of LSD, should be controlled as a Class A substance. I am writing to ask you to reject the ACMD's recommendation.
As you are aware, the ACMD is the statutory body which advises the Government on issues relating to drug misuse. The ACMD derives its power from section 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The Act states:
"It shall be the duty of the Advisory Council to keep under review the situation in the United Kingdom with respect to drugs which are being or appear to them likely to be misused and of which the misuse is having or appears to them capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem."
It is my contention that in recommending the classification of AL-LAD, the ACMD has acted outside its statutory duty: the ACMD provided no evidence or explanation that AL-LAD is 'capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem'.
Indeed, I believe no such evidence exists. AL-LAD is a safe substance. Animal experiments indicate that are that a person would have to take approximately 1,000 times the active dose to risk death, compared to 100x for caffeine and just 10x for alcohol. In addition, there is no suggestion of third-party harm occuring as a result of its production or transportation.
Classifying AL-LAD will have at least three negative outcomes. Firstly, the liberty of those who choose to take it will have been restricted. Secondly, some people are likely to turn to other legal but less safe substances. Thirdly, AL-LAD that continues to be sold underground will likely be of poorer quality, possibly tainted with genuinely dangerous chemicals.
I am encouraged by the Liberal Democracts' willingness to reconsider the UK's drug laws. In the mean time, I implore you to at least hold the ACMD to their proper terms of reference, and ask them to present evidence that AL-LAD is 'capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem'. If and when no such evidence arises, I believe you should reject the recommendation to classify AL-LAD. This would be one small step to safer, saner drug policy in the UK.
The Psychedelic Society