“Money has begun flowing into companies intending to monetize psychedelic therapy as new research has increasingly shown that blowing one’s mind can alter it for the better,” reads a new article for the Los Angeles Times titled “Money is pouring into psychedelics. Meet the mystical hedge fund investor bankrolling the boom.”
Caitlin Johnston –
“This scientific and commercial excitement rests on research showing that psychedelics can supercharge mental health treatment for PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction, and other chronic ailments of the mind, enabling patients to dive deep, confront their traumas and — a rarity for mental illnesses — return healed,” the article reads. “That goes for synthetic chemicals such as MDMA and ketamine as well as plant-derived drugs such as psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms), the South American plant brew ayahuasca, and the West African root-derived substance iboga.”
LA Times’ Sam Dean shares the personal journey of hedge fund investor Sa’ad Shah and his involvement in what has become a multibillion-dollar psychedelics industry long before even the legal infrastructure necessary for such companies to turn a profit is in place. We learn of Shah’s experience with ayahuasca, his interest in mystical traditions and personal growth, and his conviction in the shift that has for the last few years been known as the psychedelic renaissance.
And then, about halfway down the article, we get to the actual meat of the matter:
“Shah welcomes big pharma and big institutions to enter the fray in the interest of spreading the chemical gospel far and wide. He sees the financial and therapeutic potential for psychedelics not in the cannabis model, which would make psychedelics broadly available for retail purchase, but in the pharmaceutical mode — psychedelics as prescribed drugs, with patent rights, administered in medical settings.”
That “with patent rights” bit right there is behind the so-called psychedelic renaissance we’ve been hearing so much about: “favoring the FDA regulatory route over the Oregon route,” as a psychiatrist cited in the article put it. It’s being driven not by the need to free human consciousness from the prohibition-induced coma it’s been under since the sixties so that we can collectively navigate through the many existential hurdles our species is fast approaching with wisdom and insight, but by the agenda to make rich people even richer by forcefully controlling psychedelic substances via the pharmaceutical industry.
And I’ll take it a step further and say that the recent mainstreaming of psychedelics is also due to the fact that the abusive nature of capitalism is causing a widespread mental health crisis that our rulers have a vested interest in preventing so the slaves will keep turning the gears of the machine.
Terence McKenna once said, “Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”
But this is changing. We’re now seeing support for psychedelic use from the same plutocratic class and its corporate media who always work to maintain the status quo upon which their kingdoms are built. Netflix has released multiple documentaries extolling the benefits of hallucinogenic substances for personal growth and healing. Every few days there’s a new mainstream article or news segment about the latest study showing the undeniable mental health benefits of this or that psychedelic substance for this or that psychological ailment.
So what changed? The situation changed. Global capitalist institutions are acutely aware that western civilization is in the midst of a mental health crisis that only looks likely to get worse, with depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse skyrocketing on myriad fronts for years. The increasingly widespread use of antidepressants has not led to an overall decline in symptoms and prevalence of mood disorders in the US, Australia, Canada, England and other wealthy countries. In America young people have been growing progressively more depressed and anxious for over 80 years, and no one knows why.