The what, why and how of health and development

Scientists Launch Crowdfunding Campaign For Ecstasy And Psychedelic Medicine

A crowdfunding campaign raising money for the production of psychedelic drugs and pure ecstasy has been launched by Norwegian researchers seeking to promote their use in health care.

Researchers Pål-Ørjan Johansen and Teri Krebs are looking to raise at least 600,000 USD to kickstart their production of MDMA (ecstasy) and the psychedelic element of magic mushrooms called psilocybin.
Is this what MDMA medicine could look like in the future?

Is this what MDMA medicine could look like in the future?

They believe the world might become ‘a happier and healthier place’ if these drugs were more widely available because of their links to treatment for alcoholism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Johansen, a clinical psychologist who along with Krebs has had a visiting research fellowship at Harvard Medical School, started looking into researching the use of psychedelic drugs after he found they helped him recover from alcohol and nicotine addiction, saying:

“I was a smoker, had PTSD and alcohol problems. MDMA and psychedelics helped me quit smoking and sober up. Now I want to contribute to help make MDMA and psychedelics more available to others.”

In a large survey carried out with people in the US and featured in the scientific journal Nature, Johansen and Krebs also found that users of LSD and similar drugs were no more likely to have mental-health conditions than other respondents.

They argued that a ban on the use of psychedelics is “a violation of the human rights to belief and spiritual practice, full development of the personality, and free time and play”, although conceded that they could not “exclude the possibility use of psychedelics might have a negative effect on mental health for some individuals or groups”.

Now through their non-profit organisation EmmaSofia, based in the Norwegian capital Oslo, they have launched a campaign on crowd-funding website indiegogo to cover the “estimated start-up cost and the first batch of MDMA and psilocybin for medicine, therapy and research”. The money will also support the organisation’s work to legalise recreational use.

They explain on their campaign page that MDMA and psilocybin, which they want to distribute for free for medical or other legally authorised use, can already be used today in therapeutic settings, although procedures differ from country to country.

“Medications can be used after consultation with a physician and after making a request to your local medicines regulatory agency,” the campaign says, adding that distribution will be subject to legal conditions in manufacturer’s and receiver’s country.

The initiative has received support from British campaigner for the decriminalisation of drugs, psychiatrist and neuropsycho-pharmacologist Professor David Nutt who said: “I’m delighted to support the crowdfunding campaign by my colleagues Krebs and Johansen. For a long time I have been fighting to change the view that we have of psychedelics and MDMA. These drugs have enormous potential as treatment for patients with a range of psychiatric disorders.”

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