Johns Hopkins University has launched a Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, the first such place in the U.S.
According to CNN, the university is launching the new wing within John Hopkins University School of Medicine. It is expected to be one of the largest research center of its kind in the world. “Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients,” said Paul B. Rothman, dean of the medical faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in a statement. “Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential.”
Currently, the center is funded by private donors who have contributed over $17 million to get the program up and running. It will focus on studying how psychedelic drugs affect the brain, especially focusing on brain function, behavior, learning and memory, the brain’s biology and mood. The center will also look into the medical benefits of psychedelics. “This very substantial level of funding should enable a quantum leap in psychedelic-focused research,” said James Potash, director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in a statement. “It will accelerate the process of sorting out what works and what doesn’t.”
While this is a big deal for psychedelic research, it’s not surprising. Psychedelics are still illegal in most places in the U.S., decriminalization in certain cities has started to occur. Recently, Oakland, California decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms as did Denver, Colorado.
These are some of the first steps in a revolution that looks at substances like cannabis and mushrooms differently than decades past. As cannabis continues to be accepted in more and more states, acceptance of other substances that also have healing properties will follow suit. Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research is a huge leap for the studying of psychedelics as medicine.