The Top Medical School in the US Now Has a Psychedelics Research Center
Johns Hopkins University is known for producing some of the nation’s best doctors, and now it’s preparing them for the approaching era of medicinal psychedelics, too.
Published on September 5, 2019

One of America’s most prestigious medical universities announced that it will soon launch the nation’s first research institute devoted entirely to psychedelics.

According to the university, its new Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research will study both the negative and positive effects of psychedelic drugs, with an explicit focus on developing new pharmaceuticals and therapies for difficult-to-treat maladies. And if you take a peek at the center’s mission statement, you’ll see it reads more like a declaration from MAPS than a top-tier medical school.

“Scientists today are entering a new era of studying a truly unique class of pharmacological compounds known as psychedelics. Although research with these compounds was first started in the 1950s and ‘60s, it abruptly ended in the early 1970s in response to unfavorable media coverage, resulting in misperceptions of risk and highly restrictive regulations,” reads the center’s website

“After a decades-long hiatus, in 2000 our research group at Johns Hopkins was the first to obtain regulatory approval in the United States to reinitiate research with psychedelics in healthy volunteers.”

Since 2000, the university has published 60 peer-reviewed studies on psychedelics. 

Johns Hopkins officials said the psychedelics research center received $17 million from private investors. Its founding staff will include six principal researchers and five postdoctoral students. The center’s first projects will look at psilocybin — the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms — as a potential treatment for PTSD, opioid addiction, Lyme disease, chronic depression, Alzheimer's disease, and alcohol abuse. 

Gallery — Psilocybin-Infused Edibles From 'The Mushroom Bible'

Research at Johns Hopkins’ psychedelics center looking at ‘shrooms as a treatment for anorexia nervosa, a dangerous eating disorder, has already begun. 

Over the past few years, pharmaceutical companies have also shown interest in psychedelics, which are generally considered safe if taken with supervision or by responsible patients. Besides, drug companies are probably getting sick of the lawsuits and negative media coverage due to their lethal and addictive products, so it’s about time to switch to something new (and much, much better).

The Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research’s launch announcement comes just months after federal officials at the National Institutes of Health admitted that psychedelics could become the next generation of life-saving medications

Johns Hopkins University has trained some of America’s finest doctors and medical researchers, including four Nobel Prize winners. The fact that the institution sees promise in medicinal psychedelics should serve as a loud, resonating message to prohibitionists across the country. 

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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