The case for taking psychedelics seriously

If we can get past their undeserved cultural stigma, we’ll find that these drugs have the potential to greatly benefit society.

Mention magic mushrooms to a social conservative and expect a patronizing stare. Magic is for wizards; fungi are for stews. Mixing the two leads teenagers to jump out of windows.

Such skepticism has its merits. In the 1960s, Harvard Psychology professor Timothy Leary famously led the charge for a psychedelic nation. After losing his professorship for allowing undergraduates to be test subjects in his experiments, he took the drugs from his laboratory and offered them to baby boomers across the country. “Turn on, tune in, drop out” became a hippie rallying cry; taking psychedelics became a way to give the establishment the finger.

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