Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pot lost in Cali, while scientists take a fresh look

Posted By on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Dag! It sucks that California voters decided not to legalize marijuana. But, the fact that such a measure was on that state's ballots is huge, even if it didn't pass. Why? Because we're finally getting real about pot, what it means to smoke it, how it affects our prison system and how it might impact our economy. Whenever you have this kind of interest and communication about something, understanding usually follows ... even if it's slow to come around.

So, it should be no surprise that scientists are taking another look at drugs (not just pot), how they affect us and how we might benefit from them.

From Reuters:

Mind-altering drugs like LSD, ketamine or magic mushrooms could be combined with psychotherapy to treat people suffering from depression, compulsive disorders or chronic pain, Swiss scientists suggested on Wednesday.

Research into the effects of psychedelics, used in the past in psychiatry, has been restricted in recent decades because of the negative connotations of drugs, but the scientists said more studies into their clinical potential were now justified.

The researchers said recent brain imaging studies show that psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ketamine and psilocybin -- the psychoactive component in recreational drugs known as magic mushrooms -- act on the brain in ways that could help reduce symptoms of various psychiatric disorders.

The drugs could be used as a kind of catalyst, the scientists said, helping patients to alter their perception of problems or pain levels and then work with behavioral therapists or psychotherapists to tackle them in new ways.

Read the rest of this article, by Kate Kelland, here.

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