The Case For The Legalization Of Psychedelics
The world is on the brink of discovering that through psychedelics, we can drastically positively alter how we think and potentially destroy destructive opiate addictions. In a article from newscientist.com, the writer who wishes to remain anonymous went into a small clinic in Baja California, Mexico, with 29 other heroin addicts and reported that “With my withdrawal symptoms completely gone, I was perplexed by the state of clarity I was in while seeing the most profound stream of visual phenomena. I was also filled with a sense of awe at the potential for a life free of heroin. Emotional memories forced me to deal with some of the deep subconscious guilt I have repressed for years. This powerful state persisted for over 12 hours. After remaining at the clinic for a week I was allowed to return home and over the next six months felt almost no cravings whatsoever”.  The resurgence of trials showing beneficial effects associated with psychoactive drug use include evidence that MDMA ecstasy) can treat or cure post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety in cases of terminal illness. Additionally, LSD which has been researched as a therapeutic agent, has shown effectiveness against alcoholism, frigidity and various other disorders.  At the Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital, researches found peyote use quite possibly contributed to individuals scoring significantly higher in mental heath aptitude tests than peyote free subjects. 
Prohibition encourages criminals to think in terms of profit. If a dealer can make up to say 25 times the price of a research chemical by deceiving their customers and selling bath salts as MDMA, or a research chemical like 25I-NBOMe as LSD, then they will. It is obvious that governmental quality control cannot be enforced on products that are sold and manufactured illegally. What ends up happening is that the easier to make derivative MDA being sold as MDMA, heroin users unintentionally injecting brick dust, or fentanyl with which had been cut with heroin;  The problem with prohibition, is that it simply doesn’t work and it showcases a sub society that isn’t going to follow the rules set in place. We are aware that psychedelics were being used for psychiatric treatment and findings in the 1950’s and 1960s showed that psychedelics have therapeutic effects. Specifically to ibogaine, Rick Doblin, executive director of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), states that “There have been claims by the government that there’s a high potential for abuse and no medical use, and claims from ibogaine advocates that one dose is a miracle cure. We’re trying to gather some scientific evidence to better evaluate it.” 
The absurd war on drugs effects taxpayers dollars, human lives, and due to enforcements ability to win this war, social inequality occurs. Decriminalization proponents argue that the financial and social costs of drug law enforcement far exceeds the damages the drugs themselves cause. A glaring example, in 1999, it cost $1.2 billion a year to keep 60,000 prisoners, convicted of violating marijuana laws in custody.  Prohibition has caused far more problems, i.e.) drug purity, dosage, quality control then the actual drugs themselves. With decriminalization, one would still would be subject to buying drugs on the illicit market which really has no incentive for proper labelling. Milton Friedman, an American economist states that “mass arrests of local growers of marijuana, for example, not only increase the price of local drugs, but lessens competition.See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true”.  Simply put, With legalization, there are no cartels, no dealers, no drug impurities & regulation or control. With decriminalization, there are still cartels, dealers selling to kids, impure drugs, no regulation & no control.
Finally, from a civil rights stand point, the quest for the legalization of psychedelics is less about the actual ingesting of drugs but rather is the quest for freedom of thought. In Non-Ordinary States Through Vision Plants, Sound Photosynthesis, Terence McKenna states that “We’re playing with half a deck as long as we tolerate that the cardinals of government and science should dictate where human curiosity can legitimately send its attention and where it can not. It’s an essentially preposterous situation. It is essentially a civil rights issue, because what we’re talking about here is the repression of a religious sensibility. In fact, not a religious sensibility, the religious sensibility”. The individual must be sovereign over his own body and mind, and the government’s only purpose should be to prevent members of society harming others.  I agree with Huxley that consuming psychedelics can be seen as a victimless crime where voyagers enter into altered states of consciousness which enable people to push the boundaries of human experience, knowledge and creativity. 
Alexander Shulgin, argues in PiHKAL that through psychedelics, we learn about ourselves. ” I am completely convinced that there is a wealth of information built into us, with miles of intuitive knowledge tucked away in the genetic material of every one of our cells. Something akin to a library containing uncountable reference volumes, but without any obvious route of entry. And, without some means of access, there is no way to even begin to guess the extent and quality of what is there. The psychedelic drugs allow exploration of this interior world, and insights into its nature”. 
- Harvard Science (2005). Study: No psychological or cognitive deficits from peyote. Harvard Office of News and Public Affairs.
- Flam, Faye (2003). Peyote may have medicinal benefits. Knight-Ridder Tribune.
- Trebach, Arnold S.; Kevin B. Zeese; Milton Friedman (1992). Friedman and Szasz on Liberty and Drugs: Essays on the Free Market ￼ and Prohibition. Drug Policy Foundation Press. ISBN 1-879189-05-4.
- NIDA (April 2006). “MDMA (Ecstasy)”. NIDA InfoFacts. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
- BBC (2002-01-30). “Brick dust sold as heroin”. BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
- DEA. “Heroin”. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
- The Drug War as a Socialist Enterprise
- McKenna, Terence (1993). Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge—A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution. Bantam.
- Huxley, Aldous (2004). The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. Harper Perennial Modern Classics. ISBN 0-06-059518-3.
- Shulgin, Alexander; Ann Shulgin (1991). PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story. Transform Press. ISBN 0-9630096-0-5.