Adding these nine groups to the ‘Organizations’ page today:
Hosted by the National Library of Medicine, this site is a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies being conducted in the US and abroad. Over the past few years, we’ve all been seeing more and more headlines touting newly ‘discovered’ benefits of one psychedelic substance after another – MDMA, psilocybin, LSD – for treatment of any number of chronic physical and mental health conditions – PTSD, depression, and addiction, to name a few. If you have interest in participating in a trial – or just want to see who’s doing what – this is the place to start. Searching on this site today for trials related to psychedelics returns 54 studies (!).
Founded 55 years ago on almost 30 acres along the California coastline, this education center / retreat / spa became especially well known in the 1990’s through the work of scholar in residence Terence McKenna. There are now many similar ‘seminars and spas’ spots but this was one of the first in the US to curate a serious curriculum marrying the mysticism of the East with the science of the West as part of a larger vision to transform humankind. Their current faculty list runs the gamut from spiritual teacher Adyashanti to singer Alanis Morissette to filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson (and that’s just the A’s!), though it looks like their focus has shifted lately to the tech sector fallout we’ve been hearing about recently. Facebook page ; YouTube channel.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was founded in 1970 with a mission to “move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.” While their focus is legislative, because they are one of the oldest such organizations they’ve had time to build up a lot of good “Pot 101” content like FAQs, policy fact sheets, a nice primer article and, my personal favorite, nice summaries on recent medical research; a great site for getting hands on cannabis data. Facebook page.
This is a shout-out to another organization affiliated with the late Terence McKenna – and still being run by his former partner Kathleen Harrison. This non-profit based in California is dedicated to ethnobotany – the collection, protection, propagation and understanding of the world of plants; their uses, their lore, and the cultural knowledge of them. Besides running projects around the world in support of the study and preservation of important psychotropic plants, Botanical Dimensions also offers classes and symposiums throughout the year. Facebook page
Based in the UK, the International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research & Service (let’s hear it for acronyms!) is another group focused on supporting the study and integration of psychotropic plants, though most of their content focuses on the use of ayahuasca and iboga. They offer guides for preparing yourself – or for preparing yourself to guide another – as well as Amazonian travel advice, scientific content, legal and defense advice and a blog that reports related news and developments, mostly from the European nations. Facebook page ; YouTube channel
(From their website) “Erowid is a member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues. We work with academic, medical, and experiential experts to develop and publish new resources, as well as to improve and increase access to already existing resources. We also strive to ensure that these resources are maintained and preserved as a historical record for the future.”
Founded in 1995, Erowid seems to be known as the ‘go to’ site for wide range of trustworthy content on just about any psychotropic plant or substance. Whether looking for pictures, dosing information, trip reports, cultural history, chemical structure or the latest research, this humble website will likely have either what you need or a link to it. Facebook page And for you data junkies out there, they also have a Data Visualization Site.
Launched in 1995, MPP describes itself as the largest group in the US focused entirely on ending the cannabis prohibition in this country. Perhaps uniquely, they put a lot of energy into reforming federal law so most of their staff and budget are located in Washington D.C. The MPP blog is a great way to keep up on the latest news coming from the growing number of states and cities working to decriminalize cannabis use. Facebook page
In 1950, Stanford professor Frederick Spiegelberg, spiritual teacher Alan Watts and others founded the American Academy of Asian Studies. The academy was later joined by Dr. Chaudhuri, head of philosophy at Krishnagar College in Bengal, who co-founded the cultural integration and educational programs that evolved over the years to become CIIS in 1980. Today, this accredited university offers an ‘integral education’ meant to embody ‘a creative synthesis of the highest values of East and West’. They also host a number of public events and their podcast has some pretty interesting content. Facebook page
Currently based in Italy, the website of this new group (2015) provides a pretty generic description: a political organization promoting drug policy reform based on human rights, scientific evidence and compassion. A few things about this site caught my attention, the first being their ICEERS and MAPS advisory board links. Second was this video from a conference last year in which CFA representative William Montgomery argues that policies prohibiting the use of psychedelic drugs impinge on our sovereign cognitive freedoms; he uses an interesting model to make a good case. It’s encouraging to see such a well-spoken argument for responsible psychotropic use coming from the newest generation entering the public discussion.