Since the 1970s, and President Nixon's infamous "War on Drugs," many substances that are recreationally used (and abused) have been banned outright in the United States. That means drug users can't get to them, legally – but neither can scientists. Among those drugs is the class of substances known as psychedelics – LSD and mescaline, for instance.
In today's DNews report, Jules Suzdaltsev examines the question of whether psychedelics should be legalized for medicinal and scientific purposes. It's a catch-22: Lawmakers cite a lack of scientific evidence on the benefits of these drugs, but scientists can't provide any evidence because it's illegal to research the drugs. The little evidence that has been generated suggests psychedelics may be useful for treating addiction, anxiety disorders, PTSD and even schizophrenia.
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Scientific American: Do Psychedelics Expand the Mind by Reducing Brain Activity?
LiveScience: Drugs in Early Americas Included 'Magic' Mushrooms and Toad Skins
The New Yorker: The Drug of Choice for the Age of Kale