Editor’s Note: Gabriel Lake Carter continues his commentary on a series of Borghesi-Mellon workshops titled ‘Psychedelic Pasts, Presents and Futures‘, funded by UW-Madison’s Center for Humanities. The second of these, below, reflects on discussions that took place during the ‘Psychedelic Baselines’ roundtable. Points’ Pharmaceutical Inequalities feature is funded by the Holtz Center and the Evjue Foundation.
What are the implications of the rampant media coverage, public awareness, and hype occurring about psychedelics? How is it possible to address the medical needs of people who want psychedelic therapy given the systemic impediments that deny access to medications? What is the most ethical way to promote psychedelics when they remain criminalized? How can current biomedical research be operationalized to help increase access to psychedelics for those in most need? During a recent panel for the “Psychedelic Pasts, Presents, and Futures” Borghesi-Mellon workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, audience members raised these questions to the panel. The aim of the panel was to offer an overview on the current state of psychedelics in order to set a baseline for further discussions. In my reflections on the event, the panel and the subsequent discussion demonstrated a distinct need for transdisciplinary research and education on psychedelics, as well as more critical discussions about the best ways to improve access to psychedelics for those most in need.