Al Jazeera America’s The Stream: Are Psychedelics the New Wonder Drugs?

Summary: Al Jazeera America’s The Stream hosts an episode about psychedelic research with MAPS Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., David Olson, Will Siu, M.D., and Nicholas Powers.

Originally appearing here.

Researchers have in recent years studied the potential benefits of microdosing psychedelic drugs such as LSD and MDMA as treatments for PTSD, schizophrenia, and depression associated with cancer treatment. Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of an ingredient found in magic mushrooms for a drug trial aimed at treating depression. Opponents, though, say the research is too new and limited to be reliable, while others who are critical say what little research does exist excludes communities of colour.

Attitudes to hallucinogenic drug in the US use also appear to be slowly changing. Voters in the city of Denver head to the polls in May to vote on whether to legalise so-called ‘magic mushrooms’. Similar votes may also happen in the state of Oregon and in Oakland, California.

Beyond the potential health benefits, places such as Oaxaca, Mexico – where the expertise of shroom shaman are sought after – have seen economic growth sparked by “psychedelic tourism”.

We discuss the mysticism of mushrooms and other psychedelics and ask our panel are there real health benefits to these drugs?

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Will Siu @WillSiuMD1

Nicholas Powers @egophobia
Journalist & author

David Olson
Assistant professor of chemistry, UC Davis

Berra Yazar-Klosinski @MAPS
Director of research development and regulatory affairs, MAPS