Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Magic mushroom’s positive effects lasting over a year, say researchers

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine claim to have determined the proper dose levels needed to create positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior that persist for more than a year with the psychoactive substance in so-called "magic mushrooms."

The findings are the latest in a series of experiments done at Johns Hopkins to investigate psilocybin, a psychedelic substance contained in certain mushrooms. The findings were published online this week in the peer-reviewed journal Psychopharmacology.

“In cultures before ours, the spiritual guide or healer had to discern how much of what type of mushroom to use for what purposes, because the strength of psychoactive mushrooms varies from species to species and even from specimen to specimen," said Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study's lead scientist.

"In our laboratory, we╩╝re working with the pure chemical psilocybin, which we can measure out precisely," he added. "We wanted to take a methodical look at how its effects change with dosage. We seem to have found levels of the substance and particular conditions for its use that give a high probability of a profound and beneficial experience, a low enough probability of psychological struggle, and very little risk of any actual harm."

The researchers said 94 percent of the study's 18 participants rated their experiences with psilocybin as among the top five most or as the top most spiritually significant experience of his or her life at a 14-month follow-up. Eighty-four percent also reported positive changes in their behaviors, changes like improved relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased devotion to spiritual practice, which were corroborated by family members and others. more at above link..

WikiLeaks Grand Jury Witness David House Refuses to Testify, Invokes Fifth Amendment

WASHINGTON — A friend of Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of leaking classified files to WikiLeaks, said he declined to answer questions at a grand jury hearing.

Prosecutors, who have not given up bringing charges against the whistle-blower website's founder Julian Assange, had subpoenaed David House to testify before the grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia.

But House said that during the closed-door hearing he invoked the constitution's Fifth Amendment, which protects him from self-incrimination, offering only his name and address and refusing to answer the prosecutors other questions.

"The show trial that is now under way in Alexandria, Virginia has the potential to set a dangerous precedent for regulating the media," House said in a statement issued by Manning's support network.

"Using Nixonian fear tactics that were honed during the Pentagon Papers investigation, the DoJ (Department of Justice) is attempting to dismantle a major media organization -- WikiLeaks -- and indict its editor, Julian Assange," he said.

"The DoJ's ever-widening net has now come to encompass academics, students, and journalists in the Cambridge (Boston) area," he said.

President Barack Obama's administration is seeking to force these individuals to testify "against this media organization in an attempt to cast its publications and those of its media partners -- the New York Times, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and El Pais -- as acts of espionage." more here...
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/06/15/wikileaks-grand-jury-witness-david-house-refuses-to-testify-invokes-fifth-amendment/