Op-ed writer Nate Greenslit is exactly correct in arguing that it would benefit the proponents of the use of psychedelics to focus the discussion toward the treatment of medical ailments ("Are psychedelics the next medical marijuana?" Aug. 6). However, unlike medical marijuana, which is primarily being used to treat pain and glaucoma, the benefits to the field of psychotherapy and healing from psychedelics is enormous.

Psychedelics actually have the potential cure depression, anxiety, phobias, PTSD and other mental illness. Psychedelics, specifically natural plant ethnobotanicals like ayahuasca, have also been demonstrated to be effective in treating alcohol and drug addiction. Medical studies being conducted at Johns Hopkins and New York University suggest that both psilocybin and MDMA therapy help in the treatment of imminent death related anxiety.

But this type of healing is nothing new to jungle shaman who for centuries have been using plant based psychedelics for treatment to heal the ill in their communities. It is long overdue that the government allow the study of all psychedelics. Many leading authorities suggest that they will be integrated into regular medical treatment programs within 10 years.

Seti Gershberg

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