- Psychedelics and entheogens began as religious sacraments. They were apotheosized for their mind-expanding powers and were thought to open realms to the world of the Gods. It was not until the first psychedelic compound was discovered in a laboratory setting a mere hundred years ago that they entered into formal scientific study. Although they were initially well-received in academic and professional circles, research into their potential was interrupted when they were made illegal. Only recently have scientists renewed the investigation of psychedelic substances, in the hope of demonstrating their potential in understanding and healing the human mind. This thesis will explore the history of psychedelics and entheogens, consider the causes behind the prohibition of their research, and outline their reintroduction into current scientific research. Psychedelic compounds have proven to be magnifiers of the mind and, under appropriate circumstances, can act as medicaments in both therapeutic and non-medical contexts. By exploring the journey of psychedelic substances from sacraments, to therapeutic aids, to dangerous drugs, and back again, this thesis will highlight what is at stake when politics and misinformation suppresses scientific research.
Key Words: Psychedelics, Entheogens, Sociopolitical Ignorance, Spirituality, Drug Policy Reform