EmmaSofia and the case for psychedelic legalization

"MDMA is not illegal because it's dangerous. It can be dangerous because it is illegal"

By Joanna Rothkopf
Published April 3, 2015 3:45PM (EDT)
   (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-553555p1.html'>agsandrew</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(agsandrew via Shutterstock)

On Wednesday, Teri Krebs, a neuroscience research fellow at the Norway University of Science and Technology, published a letter in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal.In the letter, Krebs, board leader of non-profit EmmaSofia that aims to increase access to psychedelic drugs, vigorously defended the safety of taking controlled amounts of MDMA and other similar drugs.

"Based on extensive human experience, it is generally acknowledged that psychedelics do not elicit addiction or compulsive use and that there is little evidence for an association between psychedelic use and birth defects, chromosome damage, lasting mental illness, or toxic effects to the brain or other body organs," Krebs wrote. "Although psychedelics can induce temporary confusion and emotional turmoil, hospitalisations and serious injuries are extremely rare. Overall, psychedelics are not particularly dangerous when compared to other common activities."

Krebs and her husband Pål-Ørjan Johansen have been leading the charge to increase safety and access of psychedelics through their organization.

Newsweek's Hayley Richardson reports:

EmmaSofia has launched a crowdfunding scheme to raise $30,000 to build a foundation for their long term efforts to legalise the drugs which they believe can be used to treat addictions to substances like heroin, tobacco and alcohol and to help people suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s.

Johansen, a clinical psychologist with experience in providing treatments for anxiety disorders, suicide prevention and drug and alcohol abuse, used MDMA and magic mushrooms to treat his own alcohol addiction. He believes it is crucial that the drug is made available to others who could benefit from it.

Previous studies have indicated that psychedelic drugs have had positive effects on problems from addiction to anxiety to depression, however most drugs (like LSD and psilocybin) have been illegal in the United States since the Controlled Substances Act passed in 1970.

"MDMA is not illegal because it's dangerous," Johansen said. "It can be dangerous because it is illegal."

Watch the video below for more about EmmaSofia's mission:

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Addiction Drugs Health Mdma Norway Psilocybin Psychedelic Drugs Research Video