NYU Professor Mark Kleiman tells Business Insider Senior Editor Josh Barro how the government could make certain drugs legal, and how they could do it safely.
KLEIMAN: Are there other things available now, illegal now, that could safely be made available to people for non medical use, under appropriate regulation. Yes I think, and I would be the hallucinogens pretty high on that list. Mushrooms.
BARRO: So like mushrooms? Also, LSD or …
KLEIMAN: Oh yeah, LSD is the boogeyman … by historical accident. I mean there’s no reason to think that LSD is more dangerous or less dangerous than psilocybin, which is what’s in shrooms. It lasts longer, so it’s a little scarier in that way. But for LSD, psilocybin, mushrooms and mescaline, and the whole Sasha Shulgin alphabet of synthetics, the issue is basically accident.
BARRO: People jumping out of windows?
KLEIMAN: People jumping out of windows which unfortunately not to be mythological, but also psychological accidents. People having really scary incidents which leave them scarred.
BARRO: So then the idea is we ned some way to help people not have bad trips? So how do you do that?
KLEIMAN: Help them not have bad trips and have them not do stupid things that hurt themselves or others while they’re in an altered state. And the answer is you acquire a babysitter. Which is, you know, everybody who likes the hallucinogens says, you know, you should always have a babysitter present to make sure you don’t do something stupid and you negotiate with the babysitter that you know you’ll take orders while you’re no longer fully there. We’ll make that the law and establish a licensed class of babysitters. Could you make mushrooms available to people without having a massive number of people going to the ED for mushrooms? Sure you could.
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