Psychedelics Club changes approach to talking about drugs

13 November 2018

Zachary Engelman

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College is known to be a time for experimentation. People try out new ideas and discover things about themselves. Inevitably, some college students will encounter situations involving psychedelic drugs.

Without extensive research, this topic can be dangerous and scary. At UCCS, there is a club dedicated to helping students safely navigate through the world of psychedelia.

On their web page, the Psychedelics Club at UCCS shares that “Our vision is to inform the public about the positives and negatives associated with psychedelics so the public can make educated decisions both in what policies they support and in personal choices.”

Not seeking to maintain a political agenda, the club aims to present a factual, unbiased look at psychedelics. “Our main focus is on safety and information,”said Anthony Caballero, the club’s president.

Speaking calmly and matter-of-factly, Caballero leads club meetings in a way that is beneficial for those seeking information and addressing every issue the group finds interesting all while maintaining an academic atmosphere surrounding the touchy subject.

During club meetings, participants discuss topics they have questions about, or that they have information they feel could help others in the club. Everyone then does research and thoroughly dissects all the information they can find on the subject.

The club feels that it is important to note the importance of talking about potentially dangerous subjects like this. They think that it can be irresponsible to just label them as taboo and shut down the conversation all together. To them, having a way to spread accurate information about these drugs enables people to make informed decisions for themselves, and can serve to improve the nation’s relationship with drugs in general.

During their meeting on Wednesday, October 31, the group had just met with Mike Cooley regarding his appearance in “From Shock to Awe”, a new documentary  about the usage of psychoactive drugs to help treat veterans with stress disorders. They fact-checked and dug deeper into some topics that he had discussed before moving to the topic for the week.

Such topics discussed by the group included psilocybin, the active psychedelic chemical in what is commonly referred to as “magic mushrooms.” On October 28, the FDA granted breakthrough status to Psilocybin Mushroom Therapy for un-treatable depression caused by conditions like post-traumatic stress.

They cited the recent studies done by the organization and explained that this is the first step on a long path to the drug’s potential legalization.

Caballero had a PowerPoint presentation detailing the facts about this development and the history of this drug. Maxwell Schroeder, the group’s vice president, explained some of the chemistry of the drug, then the group discussed everything in detail, referring to many articles and books that have information on psilocybin.

The conversation rapidly expanded to cover more topics and issues the group members brought up. The students in the group varied widely from gardeners with experience growing legal plants with properties desired for these kinds of drugs, to individuals with vast knowledge of the chemistry of the brain.

For students curious about the facts concerning drugs like this, this club is the place to go. Students that attend have a wealth of experience and literature that can prove helpful for newcomers. The discussions were well informed, and expressed viewpoints from multiple sides of every issue that was discussed.

The club plans to coordinate some showings of movies related to psychedelic drugs later this month.