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MULTIDISCIPLINARY ASSOCIATION FOR PSYCHEDELIC STUDIES - kids and psychodelics  

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MULTIDISCIPLINARY ASSOCIATION FOR PSYCHEDELIC STUDIES
VOLUME XIV NUMBER 2, RITES OF PASSAGE: KIDS AND PSYCHEDELICS 2004



WE ARE LIVING IN A DEPRIVED SOCIETY, as far as spiritual rituals are concerned. We suffer from a shortage of rites of passage—or at any rate a shortage of meaningful rites of passage. It's true that we get married and we get buried, we have our baptisms and our first communions and our bar mitzvahs, but sometimes they don't seem to touch our hearts very deeply. In the worst cases, they're just episodes we go through mechanically, by rote.—Psychedelic Rites of Passage I've always done psychedelics away from civilization so I could have a deeper relationship with nature and the earth, in an uninterrupted manner. I wanted to help him reconnect to the earth as his mother and to the incredible power and beauty of the animals, birds and plants. We'd had family camp-outs before, but this was the first time that we ever camped out alone. We went to the Steens Mountains in Southern Oregon. I felt at the time that it was the best experience I'd ever had with another person, let alone my son. There wasn't a bit of tension.—A Mother and Son Peyote Ritual
Raising children to have a healthy spiritual attitude about entheogens in a hostile Drug War climate is challenging, but I think a few general conclusions can be drawn from our experience. As parents and caregivers, we must be aware of the example and environment we provide for our children, as they are constantly learning from the examples, good and bad, of others. If children witness a daily demonstration of devotion and reverence towards entheogens, they will recognize the spiritual nature of entheogens.—Parenting the Peyote Way
The message in school is basically, "Don't do drugs, don't do drugs, don't do drugs." Over and over again. It doesn't teach you anything about drugs. It says nothing specifically that might be good about drugs. Everything is bad. No good will come from any of it. And I wonder why they lie about this? I don't know. I suppose that they just want people to believe that what they are saying is true, so that they won't do drugs. However, I agree that people shouldn't be doing drugs at my age—like 13 or 14.—Parenting in a War Zone
DanceSafe's commitment to harm reduction principles means we recognize every individual's right to choose for themselves what activities they participate in. However, there must be a balance between safety and risk when dealing with potentially harmful activities. We refrain from taking a specific policy stance on issues unless we feel that the specific issue may influence the safety and health of our patrons.—DanceSafe
Though peyote and its psychoactive constituent, mescaline, are listed as Schedule I drugs of abuse, millions of peyote "buttons" are legally distributed and consumed across the United States each year by the 300,000 members of the NAC [Native American Church of the Morning Star]. The NAC, in fact, is the largest single denomination amongst Native Americans.—American Indian Religious Freedom
SSDP believes it is imperative that all students receive a comprehensive drug education. The vast majority of current drug education programs—those espousing "Just Say No" solutions to the problems of youth drug abuse—have failed. We need drug education programs that use a harm reduction model instead of zero tolerance reinforcements of the prohibitionist mind set.—Students for Sensible Drug Policy
In a nutshell, kids were repeatedly told that all illegal drugs are equally bad, and use inevitably leads to abuse and addiction. That message "took" until savvy teens figured out that drugs are vastly different from one another in terms of effects and risks; that the vast majority of users do not progress to increasingly harder drugs or become addicted; and that many legal drugs are far more toxic than illegal drugs. With this knowledge, and the realization that they'd been duped, many teenagers became cynical about any drug information coming from adults, no matter how well-meaning the source. This scared me.—The Safety First Approach to Teens and Drugs
For many, it is now a given that DARE not only fails to prevent kids from using drugs but may actually increase such use... The potentially negative "boomerang effects" of the DARE program have been exposed by many researchers... Questions have been raised related to DARE's dominance of the educational market, its profit motives, apparent programmatic reinvention, and the potential (yet ancillary) benefits of having an officer on the school site during these insecure times. Deft public relations have so far allowed DARE to continue despite these debates.—Drug Education and a Resilient (Re)action
Unitarian Universalism is a religion as old as our nation. Grounded in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, we are often in the vanguard on cutting-edge social justice issues. In June 2002, the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) passed a drug policy Statement of Conscience, advocating that marijuana should be legalized (like alcohol) and that all other drugs should be decriminalized and regulated by prescription.—Unitarians Develop Cutting-Edge Drug Education
IN 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court decided an important case (Board of Education v. Earls) opening the doors to much wider drug testing of America's public school students...Under the ruling, America's teenage students are treated like suspects. If a student seeks to participate in after-school activities his or her urine can be taken and tested for any reason, or for no reason at all. Gone are any requirements for individualized suspicion. Trust and respect have been replaced with a generalized distrust, an accusatory authoritarian demand that students prove their "innocence" at the whim of the schoolmaster...The Court's ruling turns logic on its head, giving the insides of students' bodies less protection than the insides of their backpacks, the contents of their bodily fluids less protection than the contents of their telephone calls. The decision elevates the myopic hysteria of a preposterous "zero-tolerance" Drug War, over basic values such as respect and dignity for our nation's young people.—Dangerous Lessons: Urine Testing in Public Schools
The Huichol believe that the best time to learn how to use peyote is during early childhood. Children should have reached "the age of understanding" so they can verbally articulate their experience. Rather than fix a chronological age for initiation, the maturity, interest, and personal circumstances of each child are individually considered. The Huichol find that pre-pubescent children can integrate a peyote initiation better than an adult whose mind is already rigid, or an adolescent going through the confusion of role transition and sexual maturation.—Psychedelic Family Values

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