Pubdate: Fri, 02 Jun 2006
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2006 Southam Inc.
Author: Kenneth Tupper
Bookmark: (Hallucinogens)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Re: Know Thy Poison, Robert Gable, May 30.

Thank you for publishing Mr. Gable's sound analysis of the relative 
harms of different psychoactive substances, information that is often 
absent from the heated public discourse about drug use. However, Mr. 
Gable fails to mention that not only do drugs such as LSD, mescaline, 
psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca "have little or no potential for 
creating dependence," they actually have the potential to treat dependence.

Canada was a world leader in the study of such therapeutic uses of 
psychedelics in the 1950s and 1960s. Unfortunately, growing street 
drug use among youth made this line of inquiry a political liability, 
so research was discontinued despite promising results. The need for 
more and better interventions to treat dependence on highly toxic 
drugs such as alcohol and methamphetamine warrants revisiting the 
project of affirming medical and spiritual uses for psychedelics or 
entheogens, a term whose etymology more accurately reflects many 
aboriginal drug use traditions.

Kenneth Tupper, PhD student

University of British Columbia

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