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I'm curious if anyone has information on any legal  cases that may have occurred involving the prosecution of cluster sufferers using/growing mushrooms or lsd? I hate to say it, but perhaps we need a good-old-fashioned legal martyr to rally behind to get some attention. I'd volunteer . . . but I've got two kids to support.  :)

Oh, I'm Bryan. New to the board, from NYC. Been busting my cycles for 2 years now using mushrooms thanks to the info on the cluster buster site.

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Thanks for popping over here and sharing Bryan!! (I read your post on CH.com)  [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

Great news that you were able to get PF again!

Maybe CH Father could chime in here. I am thinking instead of finding a willing martyr, maybe we should put on our gloves and file suit against the government. It seems to me that there is plenty of evidence that Psilocybin is not addictive, and probably has less potential for abuse than that of many currently legal substances, and that there is an abundance of research that supports the past and present medical significance of this substance.

What do you think CH Father? I am not sure what kind of law your daughter practices. Could this be a possibility and what would the projected expenses be?  Maybe just filing a case could bring about much needed publicity? I would think someone with CH, who hasn't used the alternatives would be the safest bet, as they would have no risk of prosecution. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_psilocybin_mushrooms

"The legal status of psilocybin mushrooms varies world-wide. Psilocybin and psilocin are listed as Schedule I drugs under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances.[1] Schedule I drugs are defined as [highlight]drugs with a high potential for abuse that have no recognized medical uses.[/highlight] However, psilocybin mushrooms have had numerous medicinal and religious uses in dozens of cultures throughout history and have a drastically lower potential for abuse than other Schedule I drugs"

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Since you asked, I'll just babble a bit off the top of my head.  I suspect there's a better--if more difficult--way to go than a lawsuit against the Schedule I status of psilo (and LSD) (though a lawsuit might not hurt as part of an overall strategy, if you could figure out who to sue). Since there's no actual chance at all that psilo would be de-scheduled and made freely legally available (or even moved off Schedule I, in my opinion), I think the real question is, What's the best way to make it legally available to people with CH?

Note that marijuana is also a Schedule I substance, but something like 15 states and the District of Columbia now have laws allowing people to have marijuana for medical use (with a doctor's prescription).  So the scheduling, it seems, doesn't actually prohibit use under controlled circumstances, even though that's what Schedule II (methadone, codeine, etc.) is presumably for.  So, theoretically, you could try to create a movement not to change the scheduling (since the scheduling isn't the actual barrier), but to add psilocybin/LSD to cannabis as something that could be grown and distributed in a controlled way to people for whom it would be beneficial, or to create a cannabis-like initiative for psilo/LSD in a state that doesn't have one.  (California's marijuana initiative was called, as I remember it, the "Compassionate Use Act," which I thought was great PR.)

I guess the big issues right now would be, in technical terms, whether the use of psilo/LSD for CH can be said to be "medically accepted," and I think the answer to that is no; and whether the general public's attitude toward "magic mushrooms" and "acid" is in any way comparable to its attitude toward marijuana -- also no, I think.  But I'm sure marijuana faced the same issues in becoming legalized, although it was helped by the fact that so many people had used it and found it basically innocuous and quittable, and they didn't see the value in law-enforcement costs of trying to stop people from using it recreationally.

So I don't think such a legislative initiative would be successful, but I think it could draw constructive attention.  Turns out that psilo may also be an effective drug for easing the anxiety of terminal cancer patients and helping them cope with their diagnoses, and ecstasy is very effective for treating PTSD (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mdma-drug-ptsd-trauma-psychedelic).  These observations were discussed during a conference last year called "Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century" that drew 1100 people and was reported, as you can see from the link, in places that included Scientific American.

With this kind of activity, and the NatGeo special, and what I presume will be Bob Wold's subsequent appearances on Oprah and The Daily Show and O'Reilly, awareness of the cruelty of depriving people of lawful access to substances that can help CH and other conditions will grow.  I don't think any kind of "legalize psilocybin/LSD" movement -- or anything that can be characterized in that way by the vast Know-Nothing population of our country -- has even the slightest chance of being successful.  But an argument for "compassionate use" of those substances . . . maybe, some day (hopefully, BOL will be available long before that day).  At that conference I mentioned, the head of MAPS said, "This isn't the '60s. We've learned the lessons of that era, and now we're trying to integrate ourselves into science, into medicine, into society."  That's another important thing, I think -- not to get associated with the so-called "crazies" who just want another way to get high. (That latter point was basically the US Supreme Court's basis for ruling against the right of individuals in California to grow their own marijuana for medical use, whatever the legal reasoning they used to get there.)

I don't know . . . maybe this general topic, which I'd call "What can we do?" (with an emphasis on the we), might be suitable for the upcoming Clusterbusters Conference(??)

Directly to Bryan's point, there was definitely a time when I thought being a "legal martyr" was a heck of a good idea.  The more I thought about it, the more I considered what I'm saying here, which is that I think the word is already getting out, and what we can do best is to amplify it.

Well, you asked!

   

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Wow, nice to see some animated and thoughtful responses. It is interesting that Cluster Busting is at its root a subversive movement. There are obviously a lot of barriers, but I think (or hope) we all can agree that legalization is the ultimate goal. I look forward to getting more involved.

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Well, this might be what you mean, and I might just be being picky, Bryan, but I don't care much one way or another about full legalization--all I care about is, selfishly, availability for people it will help.  In that sense, I don't feel very subversive at all.  Full legalization is, for me, a whole 'nother very interesting but secondary discussion.

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Well, this might be what you mean, and I might just be being picky, Bryan, but I don't care much one way or another about full legalization--all I care about is, selfishly, availability for people it will help.  In that sense, I don't feel very subversive at all.  Full legalization is, for me, a whole 'nother very interesting but secondary discussion.

Amen to that.

All I really care about is that the treatment works.

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I agree Jerry!!  I think the absolute best that we can hope for is a "Psilocybin Clinic"......operated in the same manner as Methadone Clinics......you go to the clinic with a Doctors order, the medication is dispensed and ingested in the presence of a Nurse in a treatment room, and when the meds wear off they discharge you.  And that, in a nutshell, is all that we need!!!!!

DD

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I agree Jerry!!  I think the absolute best that we can hope for is a "Psilocybin Clinic"......operated in the same manner as Methadone Clinics......you go to the clinic with a Doctors order, the medication is dispensed and ingested in the presence of a Nurse in a treatment room, and when the meds wear off they discharge you.  And that, in a nutshell, is all that we need!!!!!

DD

I'd accept something like that.

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Well, this might be what you mean, and I might just be being picky, Bryan, but I don't care much one way or another about full legalization--all I care about is, selfishly, availability for people it will help.  In that sense, I don't feel very subversive at all.  Full legalization is, for me, a whole 'nother very interesting but secondary discussion.

Amen to that.

All I really care about is that the treatment works.

I'm not  satisfied with just knowing the treatment works. There are thousands of us that could benefit from this method, but who are reluctant to because of the legal obstacles.

Dallas, I think you are onto something with the "psylosibin clinic". Imagine a time when a recently diagnosed clusterhead walks into a neurology office, and is suggested the psylosibin method as an option. That, to me, is the goal.

CH Father, as for being subversive, I don't think you should short change your rebel side. I see it lurking there. I think this whole board, the whole idea of cluster busting, is one big subversive act. We are suggesting that people break the law, and giving them the tools to do so, in order to achieve a better quality of life. As much as the spirit of the 60's is probably hurting our image as illicit drug users, we could probably use a bit of that immediacy.

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I have to wonder of there'd be a more realistic chance of getting BOL FDA approved and prescribed by neurologists, and if putting the focus on raising awareness about BOL could be the most effective way to get this kind of relief to CH'ers in a mainstream sort of way?

Plus if this BOL stuff really works it would have the tremendous benefit for so many of us of being non-hallucinogenic.

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Bejeeber -- Yes, I mentioned that in my post.  I think making BOL the primary focus is the most expeditious way of getting relief to sufferers (assuming that BOL works as well as we all are hoping), unless CH sufferers are willing to go out and start robbing people to feed their voracious psilo habits, since I'm sure it was fear of crime, primarily, and not compassion that made methadone clinics acceptable to society.  And I also think that the more that people in general appreciate what hell CH is ("Hey, I saw that on Oprah! It's really terrible.") and that psychedelics help it, the easier public acceptance of BOL might be (and we know that public acceptability does in fact affect the FDA's decisions, even though it shouldn't).  And I think that whatever is done to soften up the public in those ways would also benefit the "psilocybin clinic" approach if for whatever reasons -- such as disappointing clinical trial results or FDA resistance -- BOL loses its allure.

Bryan -- From many posts here, I know that using busting materials was/is a big moral/legal issue for a lot of people, and that many intensely dislike the actual experience associated with taking them.  And we all also know that it can save lives.  Somehow I think of "subversive" as wanting to undermine something and even to enlist others in that undermining, whereas my primary motivation, and that of most others, I think, is just to help, and the "undermining" or "subverting" is a necessary evil, not a primary goal.  But here again, I'm afraid that I'm just splitting semantic hairs with someone whose intentions are positive and helpful (you).

Digression . . . You know, ovarian cancer is a disease that can be detected very early if doctors are attuned to seeing it. It's just that the early symptoms, such as frequent urination, are also symptoms of more benign things such as urinary tract infections, and so doctors, as the saying goes, think horses when they see those symptoms; they don't think zebras.  So the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance has arrangements with many medical schools, where women who are suffering from ovarian cancer, and likely to die from it because it wasn't detected early enough (as early as it easily could have been), go into the med schools and talk to the students about what earlier diagnosis would have meant to them and their families.  Put a human face on the suffering caused by taking the symptoms too lightly.  I suppose what I'm saying here is more about oxygen and conventional drugs than about busting when it comes to CH, but the insane occurrence of misdiagnosis and incorrect or nonexistent oxygen prescriptions says to me that CH should have some kind of similar face to ovarian cancer in front of med students, or should come up with some kind of program to change misdiagnosis/misprescription.  (Maybe a hint that busting works would be nice for a willing doctor to give, too, for sure, but obviously that's trickier.)  I'm only saying that it seems to me that there are a lot of options for greater awareness that maybe are not being explored.   I even wonder whether if every successful buster told their neurologist and their family-practice doctor and every other medical professional that they encountered that busting had helped them, that that might be enough to change awareness and perceptions. 

(Truthfully, I have no idea what the larger CH community is doing with regard to awareness, so maybe I just babbled on pointlessly -- not for the first or the last time, unfortunately).

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CHFather,

Good analysis.  I'm sure I'm like most, that once I found an alternative means of stopping my CH attacks.  I've not gone back to the Dr.  ALL of the medicines that my neurologist and primary doctor perscribed either didn't work or had terrible side effects.  I stress TERRIBLE...  Nothing as benign as the alternative methods here.  (Have I mentioned lately I have my LIFE BACK!!! :)

It may be good that everyone approach their doctors and tell them of this wonderful solution to their CH illness.  I doubt any Dr would change the way they perscribe medicine, simply due to liability.  (if they perscribe a medicine that doesn't work or causes another illness, they're not accountable, the drug company would be). 

If enough of us tell enough neurologists and doctors, that might be the start of changing perceptions.

Jeff

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I think one of the best mediums available for exposure is online video. A couple of well placed and well constructed videos, with support from respected physicians, would go a long way to building awareness.

I believe that even if my doctor is wowed by the results achieved here, it is highly unlikely that he would take the case forward to his peers and superiors that they, as a group, need to initiate a movement toward legalization or even latent support.

Laws are changed by constituent pressure on legislators, or opportunity. We can kiss the "opportunity" goodbye because there is no economic advantage in taking this forward. The only hope for such a case must stem from compassion.

-Chris

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An excellent read by Charlotte Walsh -

From sacred entheogen to Class A drug.Charlotte Walsh

Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Law, University of Leicester.

On July 18th, section 21 of the Drugs Act 2005 came into force: as a result, magic mushrooms are now classified as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Following a brief look at magic mushrooms and their effects, this paper charts their usage throughout history, from Saharan tribes in ancient times, through the psychedelic revolution of the 1960s, to the boom in (recently halted) internet sales of them in the United Kingdom. This serves as background to detailed consideration of magic mushrooms' recent change in legal status in this country, from non-controlled fungi to Class A drug. The desirability (or otherwise) of this development is analysed, situated within a comparative and international context, with reference to potential unwanted side-effects.

Full text here  -

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/eslj/issues/volume4/number1/walsh

Quote -

“A final issue of note is that the newly imposed ban on fresh magic mushrooms holds particular significance for those people who had been using them to self-medicate for the types of headaches associated with serotonin activities in the brain, such as cluster, episodic, chronic or migraine headaches. Some sufferers of these debilitating conditions believe that the ingestion of psycilocybin through taking magic mushrooms can not only abort a single attack, but can also terminate the headache cycle for an extended period of time. The 'Clusterbusters' website, dedicated to disseminating information on this phenomenon, purports to be speaking up for 'those lost in broad based laws' and pleads with governmental and law enforcement agencies 'to consider the yearly loss of thousands of people through suicide, due to chronic pain'. Researchers at Harvard Medical School are currently working towards obtaining official Food and Drug Administration approval to conduct a study into the impact of magic mushrooms on headaches. Such research is supported by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, an organisation based in the United States whose mission it is to sponsor scientific research designed to develop psychedelics into approved prescription medicines. 

The likelihood of similar such research being approved in the United Kingdom has been lessened due to the fact that the activation of section 21 was accompanied by the Misuse of Drugs (Designation) (Amendment Order) 2005. This Order confirms legally that magic mushrooms, like psilocin, are designated as having no recognised medical use. Those headache sufferers who would beg to differ on this point must now make an unenviable choice: whether to carry on using magic mushrooms, thereby risking up to a potential seven years' imprisonment for Class A drug possession; or to stop using them, thus being denied what many of them have found to be the most effective treatment they have come across. Those who make the latter choice believe that they will suffer chronic pain as a consequence. Further, abstinence may be thrust upon many former users, regardless of whether or not they are willing to break the law: magic mushrooms are now considerably harder to come by than prior to their prohibition. The most viable option is now for individuals to go out foraging for them in the wild, exposing themselves not only to heightened risks of poisoning through picking the wrong kind, but also to the full force of the criminal law.”

Charlotte will be speaking at “Breaking Conventions” A Multidisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness held at the University of Kent Canterbury UK on April 2nd-3rd 2011

http://breakingconvention.co.uk

shocked

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Yakov Spektor discusses the issue and invites comment –

Hallucinogens and Drug Policy

Yakov Spektor. lawyer, NYC.

http://www.tidbitsondrugpolicy.com/?cat=13

Quote –

“Generally, I believe that many substances currently listed in Schedule I have medicinal properties – albeit unknown to medical science in its current state. The dangers (or the perceived dangers) of these substances got them into Schedule I in the first place. It would be nice if the reports of possible medical benefits of these substances actually induced FDA, DEA and HHS to assume a more proactive stance in investigating these benefits. After all, the medical science would certainly benefit from having another tool added to to its arsenal of treatments.”

shocked

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I'm really glad to see so much discussion and hear some opinions. This is all I can think about lately since I recently had my 4th bust and am now fully convinced of its effectiveness. I think telling our doctors individually is an important step. Also, Ch Father, taking your Ovarian Cancer National Allegiance example a step further. What if there was a petition of some sort amongst us who have experienced success busting. We could take them to our nurologists and other doctors in our areas just to show them some kind of evidence that the treatment works. I'm sure many doctors are aware of it already, and while I don't see many outright recommending, or even alluding to busting as a possible treatment, there is just too much liability involved, it would still be good to establish ourselves and show concrete numbers. I do fear it would be a step for some of us to put a name on a list of that nature, however. .  .

Listen, the numbers are here. I alone have prevented nearly 200 attacks in the last 2 years. How many have any of you? Add that up, put it on paper, and It will look like something to doctors, lawyers, media What if we had a survey to try to find an estimate of how many headaches have been prevented using the busting method, how much mushrooms have been consumed, what the average cost is. It would be an interesting comparative anylasis to the conventional methods, as well as something to tote along with us to our doctors, or whoever will listen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.clusterheadaches.com/cb/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1289871255

More from the conference -

http://www.horizonsnyc.org/site/video

shocked

Shocked posted the above link in the Research & Scientific news.(thanks Shocked!) There are alot of interesting clips, I thought the one by Jill Harris "Challenges in Changing the Legal Status of Entheogens" went over well, in laymans terms, not only the battle for changes of legal status, but also she explains the challengers researchers face in trying to work these scheduled substances. Good overview, the first 25 minutes had the most valuable of info. Helped me  to have a better understanding.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest theraginasian

There is no reason we couldn't rally for Medical Hallucinogens! The key difference here would be quantity. Medical Marijuana is generally sold per gram for effectiveness and potency. With LSD, you are talking MICRO grams to be effective. And if safely controlled and monitored, and then distributed to those who could prove they needed it (Diagnosis by physician). Why shouldn't your doctor be able to work out dosages for your mental health as well? We're so focus on the physical body, we forget the power of placebo and the mind.

CHfather your post was fantastic. But I disagree, and believe that the same route Marijuana takes to legalization, hallucinogens may be next to benefit from social understanding. Look at LEAP - Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. ALL PROHIBITION. not just Marijuana, or some things, but the controlled, responsible, regulation of all substances that can affect human beings, and as much knowledge and understanding as possible. There are only two markets, black and white. Prohibition only closes the white and helps the black, we are all slowly waking up.

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Having been away from my computer for a few days, it's all I can do to catch up with so many posts here, so I just wanted to say thanks, t'asian, and to say again that it would be lovely if we could all come together around something, or some things, to put concerted energy behind. I will raise this topic again, probably (again) in relation to the forthcoming conference.

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guys.... Im a law student in my last semester, would you like my top of the head oppinion?  Also I have never tried any of these busting methods as I think its illegal even with the seeds

bottom line. No you will not be able to defend and will get in trouble if caught. Even if not addictive the way the law works is that in order to do something illegal it would have to be a religous thing. Thats why amish can not send their kids to school, native americans can take peyote...

NOW... if you guys wanna form a religous org and we can get certified as such... some DA would still go after us, get an injunction to stop us while the trial goes on and appeal after appeal...we could DEF get the ACLU to fight it for us though and I could help obviously

now our religous org would be weird becuase we are all diffuse but that part is actually easy as the courts pretty much allow anyone who says they are a religion as long as they arent pretty much lying bare faced which we wouldnt be isnt difficult

Now... here is the prob. Mushrooms we could prevail. LSD Maybe and here is why I have doubts. The way the law works is the govt must show a compelling govt interest. Now... LSD carries hefty penalties even in small amounts becuase the thinking is that you can dose a water supply (terrorism type stuff) so Im betting they could prob shopw compelling interest in keeping it illegal.

thats  my 2 cents

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