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Having helped begin the recent mainstream media conversation about medical marijuana and the fact that children are dying due to a lack of safe access, Sanjay Gupta is definitely beloved by many in the legalization movement. Now, he’s setting his sights even higher, focusing on psychedelic medicine in a brief segment aired recently on CNN.
In it, Gupta calls out the United States government for testing LSD as a weapon in the 1950s, saying the study didn’t deserve the name “research” because it was “irresponsible.” There’s also an excellent clip in the video of the press conference where the announcement outlawing MDMA was made, and an official from the government says, point blank, that using MDMA would result in permanent brain damage (similar to claims they had been making about cannabis for some time at that point). Medical researchers, knowing the claim was a bunch of hooey, have kept trying to conduct studies using MDMA in the treatment of patients who have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
One of the doctors who administered the MDMA in a therapeutic setting talked about how the drug allows patients with PTSD to revisit and even release their trauma, something that is often not possible without causing extreme distress in the patient.
Essentially, MDMA works by suppressing activity in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that processes fear while increasing activity in the frontal cortex, which is where associations are stored. By allowing patients to remember their trauma without the fear associated with it, the MDMA helps them to process the concept that the trauma was in the past and in time, help to minimize the stimuli which are triggering to the patient.
The brief segment also talks about how LSD was the subject of immense scientific interest when it was discovered and how cultural fears overpowered scientific curiosity and lead to federal prohibition of LSD. The doctors spoke about how both LSD and MDMA was essentially physiologically safe when administered in a monitored medical setting.
You can watch the CNN segment here.
MAPS is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to help them legalize psychedelic therapy, and at the time of publication, there is still a day and a half to contribute. They’ve already raised over $111,000, but they could certainly use more. Consider contributing if you’re able.
For previous Ladybud Magazine coverage of psychedelics as medicine, click here.