With the rise of legal recreational marijuana across the country and an unwinding of the drug war on the horizon, more and more people are thinking about how best to shape America's post-prohibition drug culture. What sorts of institutions, attitudes, and practices will help us figure out which chemicals we want to ingest to make ourselves happier, more productive, and more fulfilled? How do we best educate ourselves about the risks and rewards of better living through chemistry when everything from acid to Zoloft is legally in our home medicine cabinets?
Today's guest is working to stage that conversation. Sarah Rose Siskind, who was the head writer on the Reason TV series Mostly Weekly, hosts a monthly show called Drug Test at New York's Caveat theater. Each episode features a different drug—magic mushrooms, most recently—and scientists, researchers, and counselors discussing a particular substance's chemistry, history, and associated rituals. There's also footage of a "VIP" or "very intoxicated person" who performs a variety of mental and physical tests before and after ingesting the drug in question. The result is a frank, smart, and fun discussion of how we might all navigate the world after the drug war.
Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Links related to today's podcast:
Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change, by Tao Lin
Hamilton's Pharmacopeia, on Viceland