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posted by mrpg on Wednesday July 04 2018, @06:19AM   Printer-friendly
from the smoking-is-bad dept.

Submitted via IRC for AndyTheAbsurd

"Leon" is a young Brazilian man who has long struggled with depression. He keeps an anonymous blog, in Portuguese, where he describes the challenge of living with a mental illness that affects some 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Leon is among the roughly 30 percent of those patients with treatment-resistant depression. Available antidepressant drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors do not alleviate his depressed mood, fatigue, anxiety, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.

A new study may offer hope for Leon and others like him.

Our team of Brazilian scientists has conducted the first randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of ayahuasca – a psychedelic drink made of Amazonian plants. The results, recently published in the journal Psychological Medicine, suggest that ayahuasca can work for hard-to-treat depression.

Source: Amazonian psychedelic may ease severe depression, new study shows


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday July 04 2018, @07:43AM (5 children)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday July 04 2018, @07:43AM (#702427) Journal

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayahuasca#Legal_status [wikipedia.org]

    The cultivation of plants from which psychotropic substances are obtained is not controlled by the Vienna Convention. . . . Neither the crown (fruit, mescal button) of the Peyote cactus nor the roots of the plant Mimosa hostilis nor Psilocybe mushrooms themselves are included in Schedule 1, but only their respective principals, mescaline, DMT, and psilocin.

    A fax from the Secretary of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) to the Netherlands Ministry of Public Health sent in 2001 goes on to state that "Consequently, preparations (e.g. decoctions) made of these plants, including ayahuasca, are not under international control and, therefore, not subject to any of the articles of the 1971 Convention."

    Despite the INCB's 2001 affirmation that ayahuasca is not subject to drug control by international convention, in its 2010 Annual Report the Board recommended that governments consider controlling (i.e. criminalizing) ayahuasca at the national level. This recommendation by the INCB has been criticized as an attempt by the Board to overstep its legitimate mandate and as establishing a reason for governments to violate the human rights (i.e., religious freedom) of ceremonial ayahuasca drinkers.

    The legal status in the United States of DMT-containing plants is somewhat questionable. Ayahuasca plants and preparations are legal, as they contain no scheduled chemicals. However, brews made using DMT containing plants are illegal since DMT is a Schedule I drug. That said, some people are challenging this, using arguments similar to those used by peyotist religious sects, such as the Native American Church. A court case allowing the União do Vegetal to import and use the tea for religious purposes in the United States, Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Uniao do Vegetal, was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on November 1, 2005; the decision, released February 21, 2006, allows the UDV to use the tea in its ceremonies pursuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In a similar case an Ashland, Oregon-based Santo Daime church sued for their right to import and consume ayahuasca tea. In March 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Panner ruled in favor of the Santo Daime, acknowledging its protection from prosecution under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Let's see conservatives make a stand for religious freedom as Big Pharma tries to eliminate religious exemptions for ceremonial drug use?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04 2018, @08:05AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04 2018, @08:05AM (#702431)

    You seem to be mistaken, it is not the religion of the conservatives that allow for it, no conflicts there.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday July 04 2018, @08:17AM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday July 04 2018, @08:17AM (#702435) Journal

      Just a "funny" joke added after a long blockquote.

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      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Arik on Wednesday July 04 2018, @08:23AM

        by Arik (4543) on Wednesday July 04 2018, @08:23AM (#702440) Journal
        That's not really a joke. The Revelation of St John the 'shroom 'ead is a pretty key text of Christianity. Made it into the Canon and all that.
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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 04 2018, @11:54AM (1 child)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 04 2018, @11:54AM (#702502)

    The legal status in the United States of DMT-containing plants is somewhat questionable.

    And that's the way law enforcement likes it: don't get it clearly defined black or white, if it falls on the legal side then it's no longer an excuse for arrest. As long as it's grey, they can completely screw up people's lives over it without ever having to go to trial.

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