Author:
Danelle Jones California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

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Labate, B. C., & Cavnar, C. (Eds.) (2021). Psychedelic justice: Toward a diverse and equitable psychedelic culture. Synergetic Press. ISBN: 9780907791850 (paperback) 9780907791867 (ebook).

Psychedelic Justice presents a powerful community of voices lesser heard, and commands our attention, persuades us to action. The central thesis carries a cautionary tale – that if we are not careful, we may find ourselves simply following the same-old patterns of perpetuating harm, and systemic oppression, no matter how “good” our intentions, or how “noble” the pursuit – our revolution of spiritual enlightenment, healing, a better way of being in the world through altered states of consciousness.

With the re-emergence of psychedelics into mainstream Western consciousness, the ‘renaissance’ for all its noble vision, suffers a potential for the arrogance of ignorance. Many in the community fear that to date, the underground has avoided trappings of modern capitalism, Western medicalization, and other communally distasteful dominant cultural attitudes – but this may change, and perhaps that change is running away with us… fast. Here the authors and editors alike excel, in their collective abilities to bring together the myriad of considerations, woven around common threads, acknowledging the struggle for a prioritization of efforts of collective action that will have meaningful impact, and yet without the sense of overwhelm that usually accompanies the consideration of large scale complex world-changing problems. The work embodies Haraway sense of “staying with the trouble” (Haraway, 2016) and makes visible the conflict, the cognitive dissonance in considering design of what was borne a revolutionary movement, now somehow graduating into a stark world of problems without simple idealistic answers.

Psychedelic Justice comprises a collection of essays from multiple authors, diverse in their backgrounds, expertise, and perspective – galvanized through the dimension of activism. Divided into six sections, readers are invited to explore various aspects of collective action in the field: (1) Inclusion, diversity, and equity; (2) Perspectives on cultural appropriation, colonialism, and globalization of plant medicines; (3) Psychedelics and Western Culture; (4) Queer; (5) Sex and Power; and (6) Sustainability, Policy, and Reciprocity. Each layer unearths new meaning, expands our compassion, offers new doorways to slide through worlds outside our own direct experience. We find ourselves archeologists carefully brushing away the silt to see the bones – and hoping we won't commit the ultimate sin of displacing such precious findings out of context in a darkened museum archive, alone, vulnerable, rendered sterile for want of clinging to a singular “truth”.

Much of the current literature around social justice within the psychedelic sphere is focused on decriminalization and accessibility of these ‘new’ therapies, particularly for minority groups. Psychedelic Justice moves beyond this conversation, steps deliberately into the deeper roots of the psychedelic movement, and a grounding in the belief systems which perpetuate harm against marginalized populations. The authors call for a more equitable world through awareness, understanding, and diligence in addressing the unconscious bias that plagues us – recognition of alternative ways of knowing; dismantling traditional power dynamics that perpetuate systemic oppression; stewardship and respect outside a singular lens of dominant culture, care for the earth, voice to the unheard. One noticeable omission was a neurodivergent perspective, which the authors may choose to explore in future works.

Editors Bia Labate and Clancy Cavnar work alongside each other at the Chacruna Institute, an organization devoted to ‘reciprocity in the psychedelic community’ and ‘the protection of sacred plants and cultural traditions’. Each are prolific writers and scholars in their own right. Labate holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology and her interests include plant medicines, drug policy and social justice. She serves as a cultural specialist with the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a Visiting Scholar at Naropa University's Center for Psychedelic Studies and Advisor for the Veteran Mental Health Leadership Coalition. Labate co-founded the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP) and has authored, co-authored or edited seventeen books and numerous articles in the field. Cavnar holds a clinical Ph.D. in Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and operates a private practice in transformative therapy in San Francisco. She is a research associate for the Interdisciplinary Group for Psychoactive Studies (NEIP), and has co-authored and co-edited numerous books and articles in the therapeutic use of psychedelics, with a particular focus on the experiences of gay and lesbian people when they take ayahuasca.

To be presented with such a rich variety of perspectives is eye-opening. Perhaps the revelation strikes deeper because I personally recognize so many good intentions in the move to decriminalize and expand the use of psychedelics as a healing modality, and yet the gap between intention and impact weighs heavy when unconscious bias is left unchecked. With this collection of essays, the authors support the reader to widen their lens and identify pockets of deep ignorance, which, left unchecked, have a potential for great harm through unconsciously perpetuating a status quo.

There is certainly a sense of adding to the “permanent white water” of social, political, legal, and academic views on the subject – not only as an objective measure, but more importantly the feeling of accelerating change and escalating complexity in an environment (Vaill, 1996). In this situation it may seem easier to resolve to quietly avoid the conversation – to risk bypassing by assuming that good intentions are enough. Readers are challenged to consider whether what we seek is simply a calmness meant to sustain our own comfort.

In their contribution Psychedelic Masculinities: Reflections on Power, Violence, and Privilege, author Gabriel Amezcua asks us to go deeper than a surface-level softening of the masculine whilst in a psychedelic state more sensitive to harm than our waking consciousness may be. Amezcua gets right at the core of it: confrontation with power dynamics and that feeling uncomfortable about it is the road less traveled that we must traverse: the personal work of examining our unconscious or otherwise privilege and biases, a commitment to the work not only on our surface behaviors and thinking, but the opportunity to recalibrate underlying paradigms we all carry, to heal ourselves, and our communities.

Costello and Cassity's Why Oneness Is Not Incompatible with Identity Politics, highlights the pervasiveness of implicit biases in the dominant culture. Identifying an almost singular narrative of “oneness” with the universe as an ultimate, or, ‘the correct’ experience of psychedelic ingestion, the authors explore just how we arrived at this point: a legacy of cisgender heterosexual male literature, measurement tools anchored in equating mystical experience with this one-ness. And they offer an invitation, to walk together to explore the experience of oneness as it correlates with the privilege of a dominant culture. Is “oneness” used as shorthand for “sameness”, as compared to perhaps what James Hall described as “… moving toward intimacy with all humanity even as one achieves great harmony with the vast unconscious.” (Hall, 1987 in Clements, 2004, p. 38). There is a wondrous subtlety in so few pages that encourages the reader to delve into further reflection.

This “further” is key to engaging curiosity and creativity rather than overwhelm. Psychedelic Justice presents clearly an invitation for paradigm shift – not that all answers must be known before embarking on the revolution, but that there must be no compromise on the conscious choice of the underlying structures, the patterns from which the revolution is built – considered, and consciously chosen rather than blithely inherited from our surroundings in an effort to “fit in” and quest for legitimacy in a hostile world. What is required is an active, rigorous engagement with sources of wisdom both traditional and less so, and to “distinguish between feelings of profound engagement, that which I call rigorous, and stultifying ideologies of dead truth which have been used to obliterate the other.” (de Freitas, 2004, in Cole, 2004, p. 269).

To retain a moral high ground set by a legacy of good intentions in the West, it seems the psychedelic movement necessitates leadership vastly differentiated from that which surrounds us. Riane Eisler highlights an almost default position for humanity today in leadership that dominates, force ranks one part of humanity over another through violence (Eisler, 1987). Without conscious engagement, the risk is that psychedelics become “locked up” in a Western psychological model, whilst simultaneously failing to recognize thousands of years of indigenous wisdom in the guidance and respect for plant medicine. Such overt perpetuation of systemic oppression would be a terrible legacy for a movement grounded in ideals of liberation.

What might the revolution look like when organized from an alternative perspective – one where leadership is equated with partnership, where “… social relations are primarily based on the principle of linking rather than ranking” (Eisler, 1987, p. xvii) and we incorporate a variety of ways of knowing. Where “… diversity is not equated with either inferiority or superiority.” (Eisler, 1987, p. xvii). Psychedelic Justice elevates these voices to consciousness with an inherent suggestion of what this reality might look like, how good intentions might intentionally manifest.

Brene Brown is attributed with saying “unclear is unkind”, and clarity is a gift of the authors and editors for Psychedelic Justice, as they hold their compassion forefront and support readers to realize the tightrope we all walk – “The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.” (Lorde, 1984/1979). Is the psychedelic movement actively building a new world, or unconsciously perpetuating the status quo? After reading this book, I believe many readers will be left answering that question in an unexpected way.

References

  • de Freitas, L. (2004). Reclaiming rigour as trust: The playful process of writing fiction. In A. L. Cole (Ed.) (2004), Provoked by art: Theorizing arts-informed research (Ser. Arts-informed inquiry series, v. 2). (pp. 262272). Backalong Books.

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  • Eisler, R. (1987). The Chalice and the blade: Our history, our future (1995th ed.). HarperCollins.

  • Hall, J. (1987). Personal transformation: The inner image of initiation. In J. Clements (Ed.) (2004), Organic Inquiry: Toward Research in Partnership With Spirit. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 36(1), 26–49.

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    • Export Citation
  • Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press Books.

  • Lorde A. (1984). The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house (Comments at the “The personal and the political panel,” Second Sex Conference, New York, September 29, 1979). In Sister outsider (pp. 110113). Sister Visions Press. (Original work published 1979).

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    • Export Citation
  • Vaill, P. B. (1996). Learning as a way of being: Strategies for survival in a world of permanent white water. Jossey-Bass Inc.

  • de Freitas, L. (2004). Reclaiming rigour as trust: The playful process of writing fiction. In A. L. Cole (Ed.) (2004), Provoked by art: Theorizing arts-informed research (Ser. Arts-informed inquiry series, v. 2). (pp. 262272). Backalong Books.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Eisler, R. (1987). The Chalice and the blade: Our history, our future (1995th ed.). HarperCollins.

  • Hall, J. (1987). Personal transformation: The inner image of initiation. In J. Clements (Ed.) (2004), Organic Inquiry: Toward Research in Partnership With Spirit. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 36(1), 26–49.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press Books.

  • Lorde A. (1984). The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house (Comments at the “The personal and the political panel,” Second Sex Conference, New York, September 29, 1979). In Sister outsider (pp. 110113). Sister Visions Press. (Original work published 1979).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Vaill, P. B. (1996). Learning as a way of being: Strategies for survival in a world of permanent white water. Jossey-Bass Inc.

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Editor-in-Chief:

Attila Szabo - University of Oslo

E-mail address: attilasci@gmail.com

Managing Editor:

Zsófia Földvári, Oslo University Hospital

 

Associate Editors:

  • Alan K. Davis - The Ohio State University & Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Zsolt Demetrovics - Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Ede Frecska, founding Editor-in-Chief - University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
  • David Luke - University of Greenwich, London, UK
  • Dennis J. McKenna- Heffter Research Institute, St. Paul, USA
  • Jeremy Narby - Swiss NGO Nouvelle Planète, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Stephen Szára - Retired from National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, USA
  • Enzo Tagliazucchi - Latin American Brain Health Institute, Santiago, Chile, and University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Michael Winkelman - Retired from Arizona State University, Tempe, USA 

Book Reviews Editor:

Michael Winkelman - Retired from Arizona State University, Tempe, USA

Editorial Board

  • Gábor Andrássy - University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
  • Paulo Barbosa - State University of Santa Cruz, Bahia, Brazil
  • Michael Bogenschutz - New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA
  • Petra Bokor - University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
  • Jose Bouso - Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • Zoltán Brys - Multidisciplinary Soc. for the Research of Psychedelics, Budapest, Hungary
  • Susana Bustos - California Institute of Integral Studies San Francisco, USA
  • Robin Carhart-Harris - Imperial College, London, UK
  • Per Carlbring - Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Valerie Curran - University College London, London, UK
  • Alicia Danforth - Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA
  • Rick Doblin - Boston, USA
  • Rafael G. dos Santos - University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Genis Ona Esteve - Rovira i Virgili University, Spain
  • Silvia Fernandez-Campos
  • Zsófia Földvári - Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  • Andrew Gallimore - University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Neal Goldsmith - private practice, New York, NY, USA
  • Charles Grob - Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Stanislav Grof - California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Karen Grue - private practice, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Jiri Horacek - Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Lajos Horváth - University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
  • Robert Jesse - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Matthew Johnson - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Eli Kolp - Kolp Institute New, Port Richey, FL, USA
  • Stanley Krippner - Saybrook University, Oakland, CA, USA
  • Evgeny Krupitsky - St. Petersburg State Pavlov Medical University, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Rafael Lancelotta - Innate Path, Lakewood, CO, USA
  • Anja Loizaga-Velder - National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Luis Luna - Wasiwaska Research Center, Florianópolis, Brazil
  • Katherine MacClean - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Deborah Mash - University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, USA
  • Friedericke Meckel - private practice, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Ralph Metzner - California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • Michael Mithoefer - private practice, Charleston, SC, USA
  • Levente Móró - University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  • David Nichols - Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
  • David Nutt - Imperial College, London, UK
  • Torsten Passie - Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • Janis Phelps - California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA, USA
  • József Rácz - Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Christian Rätsch - University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Sidarta Ribeiro - Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brazil
  • William Richards - Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Stephen Ross - New York University, New York, NY, USA
  • Brian Rush - University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  • Eduardo Schenberg - Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Ben Sessa - Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
  • Lowan H. Stewart - Santa Fe Ketamine Clinic, NM, USA (Medical Director)
  • Rebecca Stone - Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Rick Strassman - University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, USA
  • Csaba Szummer - Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, Budapest, Hungary
  • Manuel Torres - Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
  • Luís Fernando Tófoli - University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil State
  • Malin Uthaug - Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Julian Vayne - Norwich, UK
  • Nikki Wyrd - Norwich, UK

Attila Szabo
University of Oslo

E-mail address: attilasci@gmail.com

Indexing and Abstracting Services:

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  • CABELLS Journalytics

2022  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
226
Journal Impact Factor 4.5
Rank by Impact Factor

n/a

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
4.1
5 Year
Impact Factor
n/a
Journal Citation Indicator 0.97
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

Pharmacology & Pharmacy 91/362
Psychiatry 69/264

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
5
Scimago
Journal Rank
0.416
Scimago Quartile Score

Anthropology Q1
Biological Psychiatry Q4
Clinical Psychology Q3
Health (social science) Q3
Pharmacology Q3
Psychiatry and Mental Health Q3
Social Psychology Q3

Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
4.2
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Anthropology 31/468 (93rd PCTL)
Health (social science) 78/344 (77th PCTL)
Social Psychology 96/292 (70th PCTL)
Clinical Psychology 96/292 (67th PCTL)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 219/531 (58th PCTL)
Pharmacology (medical) 115/260 (55th PCTL)
Biological Psychiatry 30/47 (37th PCTL)
Scopus
SNIP
0.627

2021  
Web of Science  
Total Cites
WoS
not indexed
Journal Impact Factor not indexed
Rank by Impact Factor

not indexed

Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
not indexed
5 Year
Impact Factor
not indexed
Journal Citation Indicator not indexed
Rank by Journal Citation Indicator

not indexed

Scimago  
Scimago
H-index
2
Scimago
Journal Rank
not yet available
Scimago Quartile Score Anthropology (Q3)
Biological Psychiatry (Q4)
Clinical Psychology (Q4)
Health (social science) (Q4)
Pharmacology (medical) (Q4)
Psychiatry and Mental Health (Q4)
Social Psychology (Q4)
Scopus  
Scopus
Cite Score
0,9
Scopus
CIte Score Rank
Anthropology 186/443 (Q2)
Health (social science) 234/323 (Q3)
Clinical Psychology 213/292 (Q3)
Pharmacology (medical) 190/255 (Q3)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 419/529 (Q4)
Social Psychology 243/296 (Q4)
Biological Psychiatry 38/43 (Q4)
Scopus
SNIP
0,381

2020  
CrossRef Documents 8
WoS Cites 37
WoS H-index 4
Days from submission to acceptance 95
Days from acceptance to publication 75
Acceptance Rate 41%

2019  
WoS
Cites
11
CrossRef
Documents
35
Acceptance
Rate
77%

 

Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Publication Model Gold Open Access
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge €990
Subscription Information Gold Open Access
Regional discounts on country of the funding agency World Bank Lower-middle-income economies: 50%
World Bank Low-income economies: 100%
Further Discounts Corresponding authors, affiliated to an EISZ member institution subscribing to the journal package of Akadémiai Kiadó: 100%. 
   

Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2016
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
3
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
Debreceni Egyetem
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Károli Gáspár Református Egyetem
Founder's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary Egyetem tér 1.
H-1053 Budapest, Hungary Egyetem tér 1-3.
H-1091 Budapest, Hungary Kálvin tér 9.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2559-9283 (Online)

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