Adventures Through Inner Space: Meet the 'Psychonauts'

| November 28, 2000

Adventures Through Inner Space: Meet the 'Psychonauts'
W e're all druggies now, says Erik Davis, it's just a matter of time before we drop the rhetoric that supports the use of "pseudo-medicinal recreational drugs" like Viagra but vilifies psychoactive drugs like LSD. In a recent installment of his FEED Magazine column Posthuman Condition, Davis uncovers the growing subculture of "psychonauts" who are furthering research into psychedelic substances.

"[I]n the far margins of legality," Davis writes, "small crews of brave, compulsive, and sometimes wacked individuals continue to compile and share fact, anecdote, and lore about exotic and new-fangled psychoactives and the even more exotic combinations they allow." These pschonauts are expanding our notions of consciousness, he argues.

At the same time, Davis questions the sustainability of the government-sponsored drug war in a time when more and more drugs with questionable medicinal purposes have become available. The drug war breeds ignorance, he says, because of the official misinformation that is often used to justify the multibillion-dollar campaign.

"[W]e are offered a simpleminded and historically insupportable view of 'bad' psychoactive drugs as malefic invaders whose presence in human brains and human societies is somehow aberrant," Davis writes. "At the same time, people are being encouraged to take socially approved psychoactives (or, in the case of Ritalin, force them on their children)."
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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