Hallucinogenic Mushrooms as Entheogens: The Use of Psilocybin Mushrooms in Recreation, Mental Health and Spirituality
Dr Beug's January 2018 presentation at the MSSF general meeting will share the social history of Psilocybin in the US starting with the 1957 Life Magazine article by R. Gordon Wasson, moving through the 1960s message of Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) to “turn on, tune in, drop out.” Then on to the CIA-financed military experiments (at the Menlo Park Veteran's Hospital and elsewhere) to test the use of hallucinogens for biological warfare which leads directly to Ken Kesey (a test subject for these experiments) & the Merry Pranksters “Kool-Aid Acid Tests.”
In 1968, the US Federal government passed laws prohibiting the possession of psilocybin-containing fungi, and the specific chemical psilocin.
While legal restrictions make it difficult, over the past 20 years, research studies have resumed. Since 2010, a series of papers from researchers including Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins and Charles Grob at UCLA have revealed many important roles for these compounds in psychotherapy.
Dr Beug's specialties are Ascomycetes, the genus Ramaria, and all toxic and hallucinogenic mushrooms. He currently studies the unique fungal ecosystem associated with Quercus garryana and has found roughly 50 previously unnamed Cortinarius species, as well as many unnamed Hebeloma species, plus new species of Russula,Amanita, Polyozellus, Morchella and Sarcomyxa. Many species he has observed and described from the Pacific Northwest were previously thought to be restricted to California and Southern Oregon.
Michael's hobbies are organic farming and winemaking.