The Use of Psychedelics Should Be a Human Right

Humankind has, from its very beginnings, been using various substances to alter consciousness and even in the animal kingdom we can find animals eating psychedelic plants or mushrooms. Terence McKenna developed an interesting theory about the emergence of consciousness in the early humanoids. While roaming the savanna grasslands of Africa around 18 000 years ago these pre-humans found psilocybin mushrooms growing in the dung of the animals they were hunting and integrated them into their diet. The psychedelic effect of the mushrooms on the humanoids were according to McKenna the ignition spark for the human intellect to grow and expand. It’s an interesting theory and if you project it into the future it shows the potential for further evolution of human consciousness – judging by the current state of the world, a very desirable event.

While the use of psychedelics seems to have been a constant for millennia in human history we currently live in a world where governments have put a global ban on most psychedelic substances (beginning in 1961 with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs). There is a big discrepancy here: governments that exist for some mere hundred years, prohibit plants that have been around for literally millions of years.

The official logic behind prohibition is to protect people from themselves, implying they would not be able to responsibly use these substances. Do we really need the government to babysit us in that way? In that case why is alcohol not illegal? A highly toxic substance with severe side effects accounting for more than 3 million deaths a year (according to WHO). It seems more likely that governments would rather have us drunk and drugged with prescription drugs (which are highly addictive and have severe side effects) than to have us exploring our consciousness and finding new freedoms. In 1971 Nixon declared drug abuse as the “public enemy number one” and waged the ‘War on Drugs’. It is interesting that he picked the effect and not the cause. He didn’t consider social inequality, poverty or lack of education as the main problems in society but its consequences, drug abuse, to be the root evil. The war on drugs was completely ineffective in eradicating drug use but instead put a war on people, in grand scale, mass incarcerations, especially of already marginalized populations such as African-Americans, creating and fueling drug cartels and provoking crime and hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.

The base of prohibition is purely moral evaluation and not scientific evidence. Now research, that is finally able to study psychedelics, is finding that they actually hold a lot of potential to heal diseases that we are struggling with in the modern world. Especially in the mental health sector psychedelics show very promising results for people with depression, anxiety, ptsd and various other conditions. Check out for example the Psychedelic Science conference that happened in April 2017 and brought together all of the most cutting edge research in the field.

Interview with Ben de Leonen, Founder and Executive Director of ICCERS


By | 2017-06-05T19:42:19+00:00 June 1st, 2017|Categories: VIDEO|Tags: , , , |

About the Author:

Six years ago I, I had just turned 27, I received my master’s degree in Anthropology. At that moment I was supposed to transition into a working life mode. My passion was with documentary film making, which had been a substantial part of my education. I imagined how a job in that field would be like: I saw myself taking the metro everyday to work, sitting in an office and realising other peoples’ ideas. My heart cramped up at this outlook on life. It just seemed wrong, I didn’t want to be stuck in a treadmill, executing other people’s ideas, I wanted to realise my own. So instead of looking for a job, I separated from my boyfriend, moved back in with my parents and began looking for myself. I spent 9 months exploring shamanism, meditation, systemic therapies, past-life therapies and meditation. I participated in a vision-quest and spend 4 days alone without food in a forest and encountered my deepest fear - the fear of death. I participated in camps that practiced community life and taught the way of the circle, the ancestral way of sharing oneself in a talking circle. I felt the power and the beauty of the shamanic approach and by the end of that year I finally encountered with the amazonian plant teacher ayahuasca. She showed me the perfect harmony of the universe and then she brought me all the way from Germany into the savanna of central Brazil, where I am based now. For the last 5 years I have been drinking a lot of Ayahuasca in various lineages, intensely exploring my Self. I passed through various crises and got stronger along the way. Since the plant medicines and healing modalities that I have encountered have helped me greatly on my path of deconditioning myself of everything alien to me and of becoming more and more who I am meant to be, I feel the call to share this information and my experiences with healing and medicine with more people. I wish for all of us to be conscious and openhearted human beings so we can co-create a new reality on this beautiful earth. Mapping Medicine is a project straight from my heart to yours. I hope it inspires you on your healing journey!