From MDMA as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder to Ketamine for beating depression, there's a psychedelic revival afoot, one that is firmly rooted in science and medicine. In High Times, Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, policy manager of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), writes about the "Mainstreaming of Psychedelics":
"What brings you to Canada?" the Border Patrol asked Dr. Michael Mithoefer in the spring of 2015. Mithoefer, a psychiatrist, and his wife Annie, a psychiatric nurse, are pioneers in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Mithoefer had been invited to Toronto to address the largest gathering of psychiatrists in the world—the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association—on the results of their research into treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) using MDMA.
Needless to say, if there's ever a time to avoid ruffling feathers with the mention of psychoactive substances, international border-crossing fits the bill. Mithoefer succinctly explained that he was presenting his PTSD research at the APA conference.
"PTSD? Did you know that researchers are using MDMA now to treat war veterans?" the border agent asked him incredulously.
Mithoefer recounts this story to me with delight after he arrives at the APA conference. It's a sign of how much the times are changing: Not only is the famously old-fashioned APA hosting a panel on the use of psychedelics, but a recognition of their therapeutic value seems to be seeping into the public consciousness.