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Prop 19: Amsterdam Psychiatrist Blasts US Drug Czars for Distortions, Fear-Mongering (Letter to the Editor)

On August 25, the Los Angeles Times published an open editorial written by six former US drug czars referring to cannabis policies in the Netherlands while voicing their opposition to California's Proposition 19. On September 2, ENCOD president Fredrick Polak sent an open letter to the LA Times.
Men's News Daily (US)

Study Disputes Marijuana 'Gateway Drug' Theory

Yet more evidence that the tired statement made by prohibitionists that "marijuana is a gateway drug" is false. Researchers said the predictors of whether someone uses harder drugs are social factors such as income status, psychological stress levels, employment status/potential, race and ethnicity, etc., not whether they ever smoked pot before. [Of course, more than a decade ago Institute of Medicine research conducted at the behest of Gen. Barry McCaffrey -- then the U.S. drug czar -- concluded "There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs", and that marijuana has been mistaken for a gateway drug in the past because "Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana -- usually before they are of legal age."]
All Headline News (FL)

Canadian Medical Association Journal Article Sides with Drug Injection Site

Vancouver, BC
An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal slams the federal government for its efforts to shut down Insite in downtown Vancouver, Canada's only safe injection site for drug addicts.
CBC Radio-Canda (Canada)

Marijuana Effective for Pain Relief, Study Finds

The results of a published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal: smoking pot can make some of the pain go away, without the patient getting high. The finding comes from what researchers in Montreal believe to be the first outpatient clinical trial of smoked cannabis, involving 21 people with chronic neuropathic pain.
Toronto Star (Canada)

A Failed "War on Drugs" Prompts Rethinking on HIV Infections Among Injection Drug Users

Drug policy has focused on a policing approach of prohibition and incarceration, which has contributed to spreading HIV within the injection-drug community. Comprehensive drug reform policies are showing better results. Despite massive investments in drug law enforcement in the past three decades, with much of the international interdiction effort paid for by the U.S. government through assistance to national military and police forces, there is "a general pattern of falling drug prices and increasing drug purity" throughout the world, according to the Vienna Declaration.
Scientific American (NY)

Ketamine Is 'magic drug' for Depression

Scientists claim that a single dose of the drug Ketamine, nicknamed Special K, acts like "magic" lifting people out of depression in hours and lasting more than a week. Studies have found it can treat depression within hours, even when years of alternative treatments have failed, and the effects of just one dose can last up to 10 days. The drug was even shown to restore brain-connections damaged by stress.
Daily Telegraph (UK)

Scientists Suggest Fresh Look at Psychedelic Drugs

Swiss scientists suggest that mind-altering drugs like LSD, ketamine or magic mushrooms can be combined with psychotherapy to treat people suffering from depression, compulsive disorders or chronic pain.
ABC News (US)

Mind Altering Science: An OPEN Conference on Psychedelic Research

Stichting OPEN is proud to organize the first academic conference on psychedelic research. We offer you two full days of 21st century, cutting edge research into psychedelics and the psychedelic experience. Our conference is organized for all those with a serious interest in psychedelic research. We also invite therapists, researchers, addiction experts and academics, as well as students to become acquainted with a field of research that regular university curricula barely touch upon.

From addiction treatment to psychotherapy with the aid of psychedelics; from the neurobiology of ayahuasca to the social, ritual and legal implications of its use, and from human psycho-pharmacology and research into extraordinary experiences to new views on the legalisation of psychedelic substances, this conference is dedicated to the exploration of psychedelics research from a broad scientific perspective.

The conference lasts two full days; the conference will start at 9 am each day and end around 6 pm. In between lectures attendees will have ample time to discuss with speakers, to buy books, to acquire more information on psychedelic research, associated organisations and more.


Some of our confirmed speakers are the following:

  • Torsten Passie MD (DE)
  • R. Andrew Sewell MD (US)
  • Peter Oehen MD (CH)
  • Amanda Feilding (UK)
  • Dr. Anwar Jeewa (SA)
  • Bia Labate PhD (BR)
  • Jordi Riba MD (ES)
  • Jose Carlos Bouso MD (ES)
  • Adèle van der Plas (NL)
  • Stephen Snelders PhD (NL)
  • David Luke PhD (UK)
  • Katharina Kirchner (CH)


Some confirmed subjects that will be addressed at our conference are posted below. Please keep an eye on our website: as soon as we receive more information, we will update our site immediately. An accurate timetable will also be posted here as soon as all presentations are confirmed.


9:00 - 18:00

  • Torsten Passie - "Astonishing Similarities of Physiological and Psychoactive Drug Induced States"
  • Jose Carlos Bouso - "Healing Mechanisms of MDMA"
  • R. Andrew Sewell - "Human Psycho-pharmacology Research at Yale University"


9:00 - 18:00

  • Peter Oehen - "MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy - Method and Current Research"
  • Bia Labate - "The Expansion of the Uses of Ayahuasca around the Globe"
  • Anwar Jeewa - "An Exploratory Study of the Short-term Effects of Ibogaine Treatment on Drug Addicts"
  • David Luke - "Exploring Exceptional Human Experience on Psychedelics: Ayahuasca, Telepathine and Parapsychology"


Early registration is now OPEN! Go to our website - - for further information, or head directly for our ONLINE TICKETSHOP. Reduced rates available to students and early birds! For questions and/or remarks: send us an email.

For more information about Stichting OPEN, visit our website at Unfortunately, due to site maintenance our website is temporarily only available in Dutch.

We hope to see you all at Mind Altering Science!

Sat, 10/23/2010 - 9:00am - Sun, 10/24/2010 - 6:00pm
Roetersstraat 15 University of Amsterdam (UvA), Roeterseiland – Building A
Amsterdam 1018 WB

Why Marijuana Decriminalization Should Be a Christian Issue (Opinion)

U.S. drug policy condemns millions of our neighbors to be warehoused in prisons for nonviolent offenses. Today, 1 in 100 American adults is living behind bars. James Clark, a community organizer and Candler School of Theology graduate, reflects on the systemic denial of Christian love and compassion toward those struggling with addiction.
The Huffington Post (CA)

Is Ketamine a Quick Fix for Hard-to-Treat Depression?

The Archives of General Psychiatry published a randomized, controlled trial hailing ketamine as a promising treatment for depression among patients with bipolar disorder. The new paper says that in most cases ketamine "resulted in a robust and rapid (within minutes) antidepressant response."

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