Harvard scholars and psychedelic drugs (books)
Magic mushrooms (book and review)
Andy Letcher, Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom (Ecco, 2007). For a review by James Kent in DoseNation, see here.
'Users may also journey to other worlds, communicate with strange beings or chat with the plant itself'
Additional unique physical effects include a strange twisting or pulling of the body, viewing tube- or snake-like patterns and, in some cases, encountering an 'alien geometry.'
Sometimes called “the drug the government forgot to ban,” salvia, a Mexican herb known to give users intense hallucinations, has recently crept into small-town America by way of the internet.
The Batesville Daily Guard reports.
Magic mushrooms ban becomes law
BBC News reports (18 July 2005) that a law banning magic mushrooms and making them a class A drug has come into force in the UK. Read more here. Police carried out one of the first magic mushroom seizures under the new law in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Find that story here.
RCMP release warning about legal pyschedelic herb
The CBC reports (21 July 2005) that teenagers across Canada are buying an herb that packs a powerful psychedelic punch. Health Canada and the RCMP say they're keeping a close eye on the legal sales. Salvia divinorum, a sage-like plant, can produce intense hallucinations when smoked or chewed. Find the full story here.
Do artists need narcotics even more than ordinary people?
In a November 2003 story in The Independent Online, Richard Davenport-Hines examined authors' drug habits, including their recreational use of drugs, their use of drugs to assuage bad nerves, insomnia, or to cope with creative tension and the artistic temperament, and their use of drug sub-cultures as material in their books. Find the full story here.
Artist on LSD
A fascinating series of 9 drawings done by an artist under the influence of LSD can be found here. The exercise was part of a test conducted by the US government during its dalliance with psychotomimetic drugs in the late 1950s. The artist was given a dose of LSD 25 and free access to an activity box full of crayons and pencils. His evolving subject is the medico that jabbed him.
Psychedelics in British culture
An essay by Matthew J. Atha, entitled "Acid, Mushrooms and the Festival Culture: A Brief History of Psychedelic Drugs in Britain" (1996), can be found here.
Psychedelic Mindview (course)
For Tuesday's Northern Star, an online paper for the Northern Illinois University community, Genevieve Diesing reports that there may be a new approach to psychedelics emerging, one that regards them in a "more medical, therapeutic sense." The article essentially reviews a long-running course taught by NIU’s Thomas Roberts, Ph.D., called "Psychedelic Mindview" (EPS 492).
Philip Lamantia is Dead
For the March 21, 2005 New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt profiles Philip Lamantia, an American poet of altered states of consciousness.
"Philip Lamantia's poems are about rapture as a condition," the poet Tom Clark wrote in a review of Mr. Lamantia's "Selected Poems, 1943-1966" (City Lights, 1967) in The New York Times Book Review. "They are spiritual and erotic at the same time. Bright and dark, the enclosed polarities of devotion. St. Teresa and Rimbaud."
...In the 1950's, he began to explore altered states of consciousness through hallucinogenic drugs, attending peyote rituals with various American Indian tribes. He traveled in France and Morocco, returning now and then to the United States, where he plunged himself into urban night life. He became associated with the Beat movement, although his work remained distinct from the Beats' concerns with homosexual themes and everyday minutiae, continuing his own quest for the heterosexually erotic and the mystical.
Find the full article here.