Today’s world is marked by a growing political polarization with sharp divisions between political left and political right. Unexpectedly, a common interest in altered states of awareness through the use psychedelic drugs is emerging. It is interesting to note that figures on both sides of this spectrum have expressed interest in these substances, ranging from Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, or Rick Perry on the right, and Oprah Winfrey, Andrew Weil, and Timothy Leary on the left.
It’s important to note, first, that substances like psilocybin and LSD have been shown to have profound effects on human psyche in numerous studies. They often promote a feeling of unity, empathy and openness to novel ideas. These substances, despite their controversial nature, have been gaining popularity among individuals from all political backgrounds.
Joe Rogan is a well-known right wing podcaster who has spoken out about his experiences using psychedelics. He’s particularly fond of DMT and the psilocybin mushroom. Rogan’s podcasts about psychedelics have opened up a wider discussion about these substances.
Elon Musk, the CEO and entrepreneur of Tesla and SpaceX has also shown an interest in these drugs, though with his usual restraint. Elon Musk’s infamous appearance on Rogan’s podcast where he smoked marijuana (albeit not a traditional psychoactive, but still an altered consciousness substance) is only one example of this foray.
Rick Perry, former Texas governor and U.S. secretary of energy, has surprised many. Perry has not personally endorsed psychedelics, but he is advocating the decriminalization in Texas of psilocybin. He calls it a matter for veterans’ mental well-being, a crucial issue given the potential that psychedelics have in treating PTSD.
Timothy Leary was a Harvard psychologist who became a psychedelic advocate in the 1960s. He pioneered research into the potential of these substances to transform individuals and society. Although his slogan “turn on tune in drop out” was misunderstood, it is still a symbol for counterculture exploration of consciousness.
Oprah Winfrey has not publicly endorsed psychedelics, but she has created a forum for discussion about their therapeutic potential. She interviewed Michael Pollan the author of “How to Change Your Mind”, a comprehensive exploration into the history and science of psychedelics. This interview contributed to the mainstream acceptance of this conversation.
Andrew Weil is a Harvard-trained physician and pioneer of integrative medicine. He has been a leader in promoting a holistic approach to health that includes the use of substances such as cannabis and psilocybin responsibly for healing and growth.
In this context, we can see a convergence in interests, and a growing consensus, on the potential benefits of psychedelics as tools of personal growth and therapy. The implications are huge. By their very nature, psychedelics dissolve all boundaries, not only psychologically, but also societally and politically. More people from all political backgrounds are exploring these substances and their effects. This could lead to a greater sense of unity and understanding.
It is evident that the exploration of consciousness via psychedelics has no longer been confined to fringes, but is now a mainstream topic, with figures on both sides of politics participating in the conversation. This is a unique opportunity to bring together political ideologies, and promote a sense of understanding and unity in a divided society.