Lebert F. Lester III, B.A and Michael Crawford, M.A

Psychedelic research is noticeably lacking both participants of color and researchers of color, and “objective” thought patterns are the cause. Clinical research is intended to offer an objective window into new knowledge needed to improve the human conditionThen, when we believe we have learned something worth sharing, we generalize these discoveries to all those who were unable to be a part of the studies conducted. Like any facet of research, psychedelic medicine relies on such methods and subsequent generalizations to help understand and predict how people can be helped. At the same time, it is difficult to make an accurate generalization if the research conducted lacks proper context. As African Americans in the academy, we have seen how biases skew what is often considered “objective” work, and these presentations can be observed in both explicit and implicit ways. The common population pools for most psychedelic studies are an example of this. Many psychedelic studies thus far have contained only white populations, and there is much to be desired when attempting to generalize such findings to people of color. The proportion of people of color with mental illnesses is vastly underestimated,1 and their limited inclusion requires deliberate steps to increase their participation to provide us with an understanding of how psychedelic medicine can be helpful for all, and not just some… continue reading.

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