The Massive Push to Decriminalize Psychedelics That You Haven't Heard About

Isiah Holmes
May 2, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) Countless individuals are aware of America’s unofficial ganja-day, 4/20, but few find significance in the prior 24 hours. April 19th, dubbed “Bicycle Day” by psychedelic adventurers, immortalizes the night Albert Hoffman took a riveting bike ride home under the grips of LSD-25. This year’s holiday saw massive protests demanding the U.N. end the modern-day witch hunt that is prohibition psychedelics.

Alternet was quick to point out a growing representation of civic voices — separate from government — at this year’s U.N. Assembly. Demonstrators flooded the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza daily, located near a U.N. headquarters, calling for reform. The measures only augment the already intriguing dynamics of 2016’s U.N. General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS), which was also held around the same time in New York City. Months before, U.S. officials hinted at an impending push by the United States for international decriminalization. This political build up, however, failed to climax with tangible reform, which disappointed many attendees.

Nevertheless, activists from the Latin American Caravan For Peace, Life and Justice, Students For Sensible Drug Policy, and Moms United brought hundreds out to demonstrate against global drug prohibition on Monday, April 18th. Moms United, Alternet reports, consists of mothers who have lost children to drug overdoses, incarceration, and other plagues compounded by prohibition.

The Bicycle Day events on Tuesday were spearheaded by psychedelic activist group Psymposia, as well as the Psychedelic Society of Brooklyn.

“The science has been there for 50 years,” says event MC Lex Pelger, “but that doesn’t change hearts and minds.” Pelger insists “when used properly and with intention,” psychedelics “can be tremendously beneficial.” The word “intention” is key, as psychedelics, like DMT and psilocybin, have been used by indigenous cultures for centuries. Although other compounds exist throughout the world, few seem as adaptable as DMT, sometimes dubbed “The Spirit Molecule.” The naturally occurring brain hormone can be smoked or ingested, the latter normally in a traditional brew known as ayahuasca.

Several ayahuasca shamanic practitioners spoke during the Bicycle Day event, some more frank than others. “Psychedelics can help shake you free of your shit,” said one. Another reported their experience “gave [them] a feeling of happiness, energy, and contentment.” More professional representatives, like psychotherapist and author Neil Goldsmith, said, “I do them and bring that insight and wisdom to my practice. Psychedelics should be permitted as an adjunct to psychotherapy.”

Think about the impact that psychedelic culture could have,” proclaimed one ayahuasca user. “These substances can open up to the try to build a better world, to save the world.

These advocates have a point, given the daunting dilemmas coming to define our century. Humanity will need to consider radical new lines of thought in the near future, and psychedelics might be the vehicle. On a milder note, a resurgence in psychedelic research, as well as recent developments from the DEA, suggest a change is afoot. Terence Mckenna might be proud — if only he’d lived to see the day.

This article (The Massive Push to Decriminalize Psychedelics That You Haven’t Heard About) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Isiah Holmes and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. Image credit: Mushroom Observer. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article at

Since you’re here…

…We have a small favor to ask. Fewer and fewer people are seeing Anti-Media articles as social media sites crack down on us, and advertising revenues across the board are quickly declining. However, unlike many news organizations, we haven’t put up a paywall because we value open and accessible journalism over profit — but at this point, we’re barely even breaking even. Hopefully, you can see why we need to ask for your help. Anti-Media’s independent journalism and analysis takes substantial time, resources, and effort to produce, but we do it because we believe in our message and hope you do, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting and finds value in it helps fund it, our future can be much more secure. For as little as $1 and a minute of your time, you can support Anti-Media. Thank you. Click here to support us