Brave Old World: Decriminalization of psychedelics for health and fun may be coming to a ballot near you

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Credit: Getty Images

[T]here’s a seemingly small issue — only on the ballot in Oregon and the District of Columbia — that’s a sleeper, it seems to me, and worth keeping an eye on. It’s the decriminalization of naturally-occurring psychedelics, in particular, psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in some mushrooms which have long been dubbed “magic.”

Some people fear that relaxing some of the legal restrictions on things that grow in nature could lead to social disruption or higher levels of addiction or worse. The great popularizer of psychedelics, Aldous Huxley, gave us a somewhat sobering description of what might be our future in “Brave New World”, and many in the West have been terrified of these substances for quite a while.

But new research suggests that this shift toward integrating psychedelics into a healthy, responsible life for Westerners may not be new at all. It would, in fact, be a return to a civilization that used these substances as a bulwark of social and personal peace.

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We can rediscover it — with research, open minds and rigorous deployment of science. If you live in DC, or in Oregon, help propel this process of rediscovery forward. We have a republic and a world to rescue.

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