Jun 08, 2020 I Paul Seaburn

The Good and the Bad in the Latest Psychedelics News

For perhaps the first time since the early 1960s, tremendous progress is being made in the uses of psychedelic drugs for the treatment of psychological illness, the relief of PTSD and anxiety and a host of other areas where research has been stifled by draconian laws. Unfortunately, the improper and careless use of these same drugs continues to give naysayers things to say nay about. This was one of those weeks.

“NEW YORK, June 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Mind Medicine (MindMed) Inc. (NEO: MMEDOTCQB: MMEDF), the leading neuro-pharmaceutical company for psychedelic inspired medicines, has officially launched Project Lucy, a commercial drug development program for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The company intends to initiate a Phase 2b human efficacy trial that will focus on experiential doses of LSD, administered by a therapist. This is the first experiential, psychedelic-assisted therapy to be added to the company's drug development pipeline.


With the launch of Project Lucy, MindMed is now preparing a total of three Phase 2 commercial drug trials based on psychedelic inspired medicines, making it one of the most advanced and largest drug development pipelines in the psychedelics industry.”

LSD 2D skeletal formula and 3D models 570x256
LSD formula and models

With that announcement, MindMed began the process of obtaining FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval to open LSD as an Investigational New Drug, which would allow it to start human clinical trials and ship it across state lines. “Investigational New Drug” is an ironic designation for a drug that was synthesized in 1938 and was legal until the 1960s – not just legal but accepted as a psychiatric drug for a variety of illnesses. That changed in the U.S. with Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classifying it as an illegal Schedule I substance.

MindMed plans to start with high-dose (200mcg or about two tabs) LSD treatment for anxiety – as an alternative to Alprazolam (Xanax) and other benzodiazepines, which has numerous side effects and is one of the most abused drugs on the market today. MindMed has the backing of Silicon Valley funding starting with founder JR Rahn, an early employee of Uber. While being criticized for this being a profit-making venture, Rahn is also being hailed as a progressive leader in a field where micro-dosing is being illegally practiced and touted. Rahn believes MindMed will get FDA approval quickly, since it has already approved similar human testing on psilocybin.

Which brings us to the bad news.

“Spain porn star held after man dies in toad venom ritual”


"The police operation began following the victim's death during the celebration of a mystic ritual based on the inhalation of venom of the bufo alvarius toad."

You can’t get much more sensational than a headline and story like that – combining porn and psychedelic toads. Many media sites covered the arrest of Nacho Vidal, a porn actor, in the southeastern Valencia region of Spain for his connection with the 2019 death of fashion photographer Jose Luis Abad. What was his connection? Vidal allows his country residence to be used for “mystic rituals” which include the inhalation of dried venomous secretions from bufo alvarius, the endangered Colorado River toad or Sonoran Desert toad only in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States whose skin glands secrete 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenine – psychedelic drugs similar to DMT, the Amazonian plant-based drug used to make ayahuasca brews. While Vidal claimed he was promoting the “medicinal benefits” of the toad powder, death is one of those medical conditions that can’t be treated.

Bufo alvarius1
The Colorado River toad

According to El Pais, Vidal and two others are charged with reckless homicide and a crime against public health. Abad suffered a heart attack after ingesting the powder. A video of both the before and after apparently shows Vidal attempting to resuscitate the photographer for 22 minutes before emergency personnel were called.

When making decisions concerning your health, do you get your data from medical sources, entrepreneurs or porn actors selling erotically-shaped candles? That’s really the good and the bad of these recent stories. Progress is easily thwarted and delegitimized by misinformation, fears, stunts, misuse and common but still illegal usage of psychedelics, even in microdoses. For true progress to be made, there needs to be more cooperation on all sides.

However, when it comes to porn stars pushing toads … just say no.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!