In 2000, following a decades-long hiatus, psilocybin research at Johns Hopkins became the first legal research with psychedelics. In 1970, despite showing promise in the treatment of addiction and depression, association with the counter-culture resulted in psilocybin being classified as a Schedule I drug with no medical value. Since research into psilocybin resumed, studies at Johns Hopkins and other universities have sought to determine the effectiveness of psilocybin as a new therapy for numerous ailments including nicotine addiction, opioid addiction, alcoholism and anxiety reduction in people diagnosed with terminal cancer. Preliminary results as to the efficacy of psilocybin have been impressive enough to justify continued research.
What researchers also found in the course of their studies was that “psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance.” In fact, many study participants ranked their psilocybin experience among the most profound experiences in their lives.
In 2019, Denver became the first city in America to decriminalize psilocybin. Since then, several other cities have followed suit. An initiative to allow the therapeutic use of psilocybin in Oregon has qualified for the November ballot.
Professor Matthew Johnson of the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research will be joined by Kevin Mathews, executive director of the Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform and Education to discuss the ongoing research, legal status and real-world applications of psilocybin.
Our virtual programs are graciously sponsored by Alpine Bank. Colorado Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities have also provided funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan of 2020.