Erik Davis

Everyone gets worked up about a showdown, especially when the conflict involves colorful characters and positions you really care about. Like many attendees to the conference Cultural and Political Perspectives on Psychedelic Science, I was familiar with the Statement on Open Science and Open Praxis with Psilocybin, MDMA, and Similar Substances, which had been posted earlier this year on Chacruna and elsewhere. The effort was spearheaded by Bob Jesse, a long-time member of the West Coast psychedelic intelligentsia, and a figure whose ethical, intellectual, and big heart bona fides are impeccable. Intervening in the rapidly developing field of psychedelic medicine, the Statement called for a continuing commitment to scientific integrity, data-sharing, and the spirit of service. It also reflected a growing distrust of the for-profit corporate behaviors that have recently been unleashed in the psychedelic space. Though Jesse was too careful to name names, the main sources of concern were two for-profit companies: Compass Pathways, a one-time nonprofit, now moving aggressively into the psilocybin therapy space in Europe, and Eleusis, a less visible but more cheekily-named outfit that has patented LSD for the treatment of Alzheimer’s… continue reading.

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