In order to better understand their effects, experts and psychedelic enthusiasts alike believe that physicians who study and intend to administer psychedelic drugs ought to have some personal experience with them.
This week, a non-profit patient advocacy group has announced that it is helping Canadian physicians take the steps to do exactly that.
TheraPsil, the Victoria, B.C.-based group, made the news last month when it announced that it had helped four patients with terminal cancer and treatment-resistant end-of-life distress apply for Section 56 exemptions for compassionate access to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
Now, the group is working to help physicians apply for their own exemptions, so they can use psilocybin, the key ingredient in magic mushrooms, as part of their own psychedelic therapy and training.
While the four patients that have applied did so with the support of their MPs and their doctors, only the Minister of Health, Patty Hadju, can authorize exemptions. As of today, those patients have been waiting 71 days for a response from the minister, a wait time TheraPsil says is “a cruelty to people facing an untreatable fatal illness”.
“Canadians with a terminal diagnosis, experiencing psychological end-of-life distress, deserve the right to try new therapies that can improve their quality of life and death,” said TheraPsil founder Bruce Tobin in a news release last month.
“When a safe and effective therapy involves a prohibited substance, we help patients exercise their rights – to align with science and support those in need.”
According to a recent poll, 59 per cent of Canadians approve of the use of psilocybin for terminally ill patients. A federal petition calling for the decriminalization of plant medicines including psilocybin is currently being circulated.
Editor, Inside the Jar
Hippie. Tripper. Grappler. Author. Anarchist
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Whatever. We. Fucking. Want.
It’s expensive. It’s impractical. It makes everything photographed on it look like it took place in the 1970s. So why bother with film?
A few years ago I planned a solo road trip to Haida Gwaii. I drove up in my admittedly unequipped Toyota Echo (thankfully the weather cooperated on my 16-hour drive) and spent the days around my spring birthday staying with a friend in the village of Skidegate.
I took four cameras: two digital SLRs, an instant camera, and a Canon AE-1, circa 1976. It had been my dad’s, and was the first camera I’d ever used. I’d shot hundreds of rolls of black-and-white film with it in high school but for several years it had joined the other vintage cameras I’d collected on a shelf in my bedroom. I figured a trip which I intended to photograph heavily required a little bit of variety, so I dusted it off and shelled out $50 for five rolls of Fujicolor Pro 400H 35mm film for the first time since I’d studied photography in college.
“The more important thing is, we wanted to give people access to the psilocybin experience—and to confirm, or not—that all these things that had happened to us were really happening to us; that it really did seem to open up the doorways to some very strange places. We were looking for affirmation or confirmation of our own experiences.”