As the healing power of psychedelics becomes more and more known, these once counter-cultural substances are being studied, decriminalized and absorbed back into the medical model. But now a provocative new discussion asks the question – has the utopian promise of psychedelics been commodified by capitalism itself?
It’s great that everyday people will have access to things like psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuacsa and DMT, but in the race to bring these age old sacraments back into the medical fold the same market dynamics are seeing a race to the bottom for profit margins, lowering of safety and integration, conflicting goals for shareholders, the patenting of sacred substances caretaken by indigenous communities for millennia, and more.
Author and entrepreneur Jamie Wheal says (about the so called “Psychedelic Renaissance”), “we thought we were getting Woodstock. And we’re getting Prozac Nation 2.0.”
“(There’s this) idea of any information technology starts out utopian and democratic ends up hegemonic and centrally controlled, from radios to telegraph to internet to now you could also make the case of psychedelics as an information technology, but it sort of follows those trends. My sense is, yeah, we’re stuffed.” – Jamie Wheal.
Watch the video above and find out for yourself. Tensions are running high in the fast-growing field of psychedelic medicine. As companies use aggressive tactics to corner the market, researchers and activists are being pushed toward check-mate.
Alexander Beiner speaks with Jamie Wheal to make sense of what’s been happening – including patent grabs, Tim Ferriss raising the alarm around psychedelic ethics, and striking new accusations of corporate lobbying to prevent Oregon from democratising psilocybin therapy.