Alcohol 'most harmful drug', according to multicriteria analysis
Somewhat topically, given reports of Ayahuasquero's facing twenty years in prison for the possession Sacred Medicine, Science Daily reports that state sanctioned drug alcohol is the most damaging drug for both the individual and society. Whilst alcohol is less harmful for the individual than Heroin, Crack and Crystal Meth, the study deemed it overall as at least more than twice as harmful asCrystal meth, cocaine, tobacco, amphetamine/speed, cannabis, GHB, benzodiazepines, ketamine, methadone, mephedrone, butane, khat, ecstacy, anabolic steroids, LSD, buprenorphine and mushrooms.
Consider the amount of money spent "combatting" the latter drugs, and the amount extolling in advertising the glamour of alcohol and one can see that there is something seriously awry with the common cultural viewpoint apropos "drugs". Is this a case of mere misunderstanding?
In a recent post on Taita Juan, I referenced an arrest of Santo Daime members in the UK. Consider the language used in the commercial media about that case;
A COUPLE have been arrested on suspicion of importing a powerful drug linked to a secretive religion, following a police raid on a Dartington home.
Officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Investigation Team headed up the raid which seized what is believed to be a quantity of ayahuasca — a liquid which contains the powerful hallucinogenic dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT, a designated Class A drug in this country....The drug comes in the form of a brown liquid. Police have refused to say where they are keeping the drug until it can be analysed. However it is being stored in special bio hazard bags. Det Sgt Gilroy explained: "At the moment we don't know how potent it is."
or more general media coverage here;
Santo Daime: the drug-fuelled religion A new religion is spreading to Britain - its central sacrament the consumption of a hallucinogenic Class A drug. Here's a report from the faith's heartland in the rainforests of the Amazon
The lost and depressed turn to Peruvian ayahuasca rituals for guidance. A Peruvian potion called ayahuasca is drawing foreigners searching for guidance, insight, relief from trauma or a spiritual high
IQUITOS, PERU -- Kevin Simmons, a 28-year-old Chicago native, said he "was stuck" -- depressed, locked away in his home and taking more than a year to even open his e-mail.
In that latest article the lack attention to journalistic standards shows clearly in the image of a Huachumero in front of his mesa taking something, possibly Cimora from a shell into his nostril, captioned;
Peruvian Andean soothsayer Erick Caceres, 38, inhales ayahuasca through a shell during a ceremony where soothsayers announce their visions, in the central Lima district of Rimac. A range of healing centers perform rituals related to the potion.
"Soothsayer", "potion"! Does the Washington Post purport not to understand the pejorative weight of those words in that context? Such kinds of "reporting" shows at least a lack of desire to understand the issues at hand, and at worst a clear attempt to obfuscate and manipulate popular opinion.
There have been anumber of studiesshowing the individual and societal benefits of the Sacred Medicines, and it is these stories that we need to ensure also populate the mainstream media. Not just the stories of "drug arrests" and "ayahausca tourism" disasters, but stories of the immense capacities to heal and correct imbalance that these Teacher Plants offer us. These stories need to be presented as they are, as stories of hope and of individuals making personal and cultural changes for the better, for the healthier, for the more balanced. They need to be told in a manner accessible to other members of that culture, be it the UK, the US, Australia, Spain, or Sweden..
Certainly those stories exist, and in the mainstream media as well. I've referenced prior this article in theNational Geographicwhich details an adventurer and writer's struggle with depression, and the efficacy if not difficulty of her experience with curing in a Peruvian Ayahuasca ritual. There's another here at theABC. I'm sure there's many more...and the potential for many, many more. Please let me know if you have any to share and in that sharing let us change the, seemingly manipulated, public perception and thus this absurd near global prohibition on the practice of this ancient medicinal and spiritual art and science.