|Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 04:38 pm:||
Hi, be patient, this is in ten parts due to the size of the article which is onloy three pages long but had double columns. IT is big enoough for one to read and a great archive article.
I just treceived this inthe mail yesterday from Dr. Guzmán. It has some bad English and tuypos but the overall view is cool.
I have posted after the ten views my comments which I this morning mailed to Guzmán regarding his paper.
I will add any comments he sends back about my suggestions.
So enjoy this paper as I did.
And note, he cited my book, magic mushrooms of the PNW in the paper.
And now here was my letter to Dr. Guzmán
Dear Dr. Guzmán,
Thank you for your most recent reprint on the use and abuse of hallucinogenic fungi.
I would like to point out a few thoughts and notes regarding this paper.
Abuse of mushrooms is virtually impossible since the individual abuses their bodies. not the mushrooms.
Thus I use the word Use and Mis-use of mushrooms since one cannot abuse a mushroom, only their individual self.
And as you and I know, there are many responsible people who do not mis-use the mushrooms, including you, Jonathan Ott, Dennis McKenna, even R. Gordon Wasson. There are many who believe the mushrooms are as sacred to them as they are to the Mazatec and other tribal peoples who use them..
You mention that Use in ceremonies looks towards health problems or to 'talk to God.'
I thought that Maria Sabina and other Shamans said that before the white man came, no one took mushrooms to talk to God?
Has this since changed?
I know Maria Sabina invoked certain Christian elements into her rituals but I never heard her say she took them to talk to God. Would this be a Christian application only used by westerners and not by Mazatec or Zapotecs?
Under your heading of problems, you note that P. cubensis and P. tampanensis are important in stores in Amsterdam and Tokyo. However, Tokyo made magic mushrooms illegal since June 2002. They are no longer sold openly in stores or vending machines anymore.
I should mention that the shrooms are also legal in England and some areas of Denmark (particularly in Christiana, Denmark). They are also legal to grow in England.
And Psilocybe cubensis, although illegal in the USA because of psilocybine/psilocine content under Federal law; They are not illegal under state law in the state of Florida to possess as long as they are fresh.
You mention Panaeolus sphinctrinus. This mushroom as you know does not contain any psilocine or psilocybine regardless of a few analysis' conducted thirty years ago which said they were are not cultivated by those who cultivate other psilocybian species for human consumption.
They are sometimes accidentally picked by people picking or looking for Copelandia cyanescens, but they are not cultivated by anyone growing illicit mushrooms.
And Copelandia cyanescens/tropicalis are also sold openly in shops in Amsterdam along with the P. cubensis and the P. tampanensis sclerotia.
In the United States and most of Europe, recreational use is not just restricted to teenagers or college students.
I have seen adults around the world also collecting hallucinogenic Psilocybes in pasturelands and in man-made environments and other psilocybian species targeted for human consumption of all ages.
Additionally I would like to point out that the overall view of your paper is excellent. However it is hard on one hand to say that the mushrooms if used properly are not dangerous but that we have to stop those who use them abusively.
Basically, the dissimilation of information regarding their proper use should be publicized since the young adults are going to use them regardless of the law.
Is it right for any of us to say to those who do use them that there way is wrong and only are way is right.
I do fully understand that the native peoples of Mesoamerica use the mushrooms with certain habits and restrictions before, during and after their use.
The fact that they have used them in such a manner for thousands of years implies that they must know what they are doing.
In Western civilization, most who use the mushrooms have no idea what they are doing. But then they are learning.
Who is to say that 1000 years from now, Western Civilizations use of these mushrooms might by then be ceremonial and religious.
I myself do not like to see any abuse. But since I too have eaten the mushrooms, they have said to me that it is not my right to tell others what they can or can not eat or do. So then that leaves me with the choice to write about the proper way to do them and hope that some will listen to what I or you or anyone else has to say.
If one listens then one learns.
It is the law enforcement against these mushrooms, which causes more harm.
As we already know the mushrooms are medically safe and are not really subject to an over all abuse. If one consumes to many and has a frightening Dysphoric reaction or bad experience, then they will probably never take them again. Thus there would be no abuse.
And as Dr. Andrew Weil said about the possible abuse of the mushrooms, if one takes them over and over, then eventually the visuals and other shroom effects which the mushrooms are known to cause will disappear and so the user would stop the use of the mushrooms since the tolerance would keep them from the experience.
If one eats them and benefits from them, again then there is no harm.
Going to jail or prison for having them is very harmful and should not be allowed to happen in a country which says one is free and has a right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However Dr. Guzmán, If I am happy eating mushrooms, and my country makes a law which infringes on my right to be happy. Then how free am I if another human being can take me away and lock me up in a prison for doing what my constitution says I have a right to be happy to do.
Sorry, I did not mean to ramble, but I hope you understand how I feel about this matter.
Again I would like to suggest that we all remove this word abuse from the terminology used to describe this problem and call it the mis-use of mushrooms.
Thank you for the paper,
A Friend's Cat (Friendscat)
|Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2003 - 06:12 pm:||
Great article and great letter MJ! Thank you muchly muchly.
I think we both know what kind of "official public programs" would most likely be launched by most countries, including (especially?) the US. Rarely are they truly interested in informing so much as disseminating propoganda.
As we can't trust governments to inform responsibly, it appears the public would be much better served if knowledgeable and experienced people such as yourself did the informing. And forums such as Mycotopia are particularly suited for such since many people curious about mushrooms come here to look for information.
Perhaps a good section for the FAQ?
A Friend's Cat