Isn’t it high time we decriminalised the use of psychedelics? – Political Analysis South Africa

Psychedelics have a bad rap, with many people associating these substances with dropouts and dirty hippies, however, research and case studies have provided evidence that suggests otherwise.

In recent years, a growing number of individuals have been travelling to foreign countries, such as Peru, to try indigenous entheogenic brews, which many individuals claim have helped them heal traumas, anxiety and depression.

Are these anecdotal reports true, or is the human urge for adventure just so compulsive that we are willing to travel to the middle of the Amazon jungle and construct arguments to validate our use of these strong psychedelics?

There is no denying that there are real dangers to the use of entheogens, such as the induction of psychosis, and in some incredibly rare cases, death.

That being said, far from the hard street drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, many of these substances are not at all privy to addiction. It has even been claimed that some of them, such as Ibogaine and Ayahuasca, can help those suffering from the illness of addiction. A lot of genuine and proven academic research has gone into the benefits of Ibogaine and how it can assist heroin addicts withdrawal from the devilish drug.

The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has done extensive research into the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics. Individuals from the organisation having stated that correct set and setting are the main ways to ensure that these tools have a therapeutic, rather than damaging, effect.

Beyond this, it seems to be a big possibility that in the near future, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could legalise the therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms, due to the growing amount of evidence.

If it is true that some of these demonised substances could be of great psychological assistance within the right context, then why dont the governments of the world not consider legalising them? Regulatory frameworks could be introduced to ensure that they are used in the most beneficial way.

Dayna Remus

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Isn't it high time we decriminalised the use of psychedelics? - Political Analysis South Africa

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