Big Acid

The following video is relevant to people who advocate for psychedelic legalization.

Cannabis lawyer Hilary Bricken posits that (a) state-level regulatory factors have given rise to “Big Marijuana,” the for-profit industry that requires deep capitalization and therefore monopoly (functional or actual) and (b) the prohibitionist movement (which is not dead, just dormant waiting for the opportunity to reassert the control they traditionally exercised over the federal drug control agencies) has made “Big Marijuana” the centerpiece of their current position. (To their credit, the prohibitionists have evolved with the current national mood to a position more reasoned and sophisticated than “Just Say No.”)

I have always assumed that the supply side of a legal market for psychedelics will not be dominated by for-profit interests.

Am I wrong? Are there self-limiting factors inherent to psychedelics that will necessarily avoid what Bricken posits, the type of commercialization required by a heavily-regulated supply side to keep consumption steady (if not increasing) in order to be make a profit?

If not, what happens if the supply of psychedelics in a legal market is subject to over-restrictive regulations, limiting the supply only to corporate interests that can obtain financing?  (I ask thinking especially of botanicals if over-harvesting in the natural environment requires cultivation in artificial conditions and thus high-tech expenses.) Will these corporate interests require promotion of psychedelics as part of a hip lifestyle in order to promote consumption? Will use in a legal market increase to the extent that people will simply need higher, deeper, farther experiences, thus shaping a different kind of industry? If yes, what, if any, are the public health consequences?

The only model I can see is one that, presumably through tax incentives, facilitates development of small, not-for profit membership organizations that have both (a) the ability to monitor use by individual members and (b) the ability either (1) to cultivate/manufacture their own ‘products’ [I use that term deliberately] or (2) the ability to purchase collectively from professional cultivators/manufactures, whether (i) domestic or (ii) foreign exporters.

One thought on “Big Acid

  1. I’d like to see religiously exempt organizations lead the way, to forestall commercialization of what, to some, may allow experience of the divine realm of Almighty God. While mainstream Protestant Christian (ideally, those of the neo-orthodox tradition, which goes back about 100 years and represents a majority of the central theology on view, in the United States, today – as opposed to syncretic religions, some Roman Catholic-inflected and/or nominal-Christian, mixing either with nature-religions, spiritism, and/or an animistic worldview) ceremonial use of psychedelics is unusual, it’s not unheard of, and, save for those persuaded to a fundamentalist interpretation of Christian Scripture, does not find prohibition against such ingestion within its tenets.


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