Cognitive Liberty News
From the Center for
Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
March 15, 2005
Here’s our report of the top cognitive
liberty news for the past month and some pointers to some important and fun
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BRAIN AWARENESS WEEK - CCLE PARTNERS WITH DANA ALLIANCE & OTHERS
March 14-20, 2005, is Brain Awareness Week!
The CCLE joins the Dana Alliance, other organizations and universities
worldwide as partners in a global effort to enhance public awareness of the
promise and progress of applications in neuroscience. What can you do? Start
thinking out-loud about cognitive liberty. Explain to others why brain
privacy, autonomy and choice are so important. Learn more about Brain
Awareness Week events that may be taking place near you by following the URL
AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS CONSIDER ANTI-DRUG VACCINATIONS
The newspaper _The Australian _ reports
that “a group of Queensland politicians want the federal Government to
investigate giving an anti-junkie vaccination to babies. The vaccination,
being considered by British MPs, would render children immune to becoming
smokers or drug users.”
This follows on a similar proposal made
last year by some British MPs. The CCLE worked to educate the British last
year, and is now working to educate the Australians: Coercive
pharmacotherapy is bad public policy and a flagrant violation of many
important legal rights including Freedom of Thought.
Our 50-page Pharmacotherapy Report (See
next news item) foresaw this trend last year and we have been working hard
to forestall government efforts to enforce social policy by altering the
very architecture of the human body. This is a hugely important issue!
INPUT INVITED ON CCLE PHARMACOTHERAPY LAW REVIEW ARTICLE
Given the importance of nipping coercive
pharmacotherapy in the bud, Richard Glen Boire is working to expand the CCLE
Pharmacotherapy report into a formal law review article. The goal is to make
the report more available for judges, lawyers and policy makers to easily
locate and cite in their own legal briefs, rulings, and proposed bills.
Please read the report by following the above URL, and send us any
suggestions, critiques, corrections, updates, etc., that will help us
improve the law review article. Please email your input to us at
NEW ANSWER POSTED - ASK DR. SHULGIN ONLINE
Dr. Alexander Shulgin has answered a new
question on the topic of:
"Drug Testing Hair
for MDMA (Ecstasy).”
Read Dr. Shulgin's answer and ask your own
question by following the above link!
Ask Dr. Shulgin Online is an online public
drug education program brought to you by world-renowned chemist, Dr.
Alexander Shulgin and the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE).
CCLE PRESENTS | EVENTS | UPCOMING AND REVIEWED
NATIONAL UNDERGRAD. BIOETHICS CONFERENCE
“THE BRAIN & BEYOND”
On April 1-2, the CCLE's Richard Glen Boire
will be in Philadelphia to present at the 8th National Undergraduate
Bioethics Conference on "The Brain and Beyond" sponsored by the UPENN
Bioethics Center. Conference discussion will focus on three main topics:
human enhancement, human subjects research, and brain imaging. Richard will
present a response to the key note address of Dr. Michael Gazzagnia,
Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College.
Richard will also make a longer presentation on Cognitive Liberty,
highlighting both the challenges and opportunities that society will
increasingly encounter. To register for this event, follow the link above.
DRUGS, THE MIND, AND THE BODY – ESALEN
http://www.esalen.org or call Esalen at
David Presti, a member of the CCLE Board of
Advisors and a Professor of Neurobiology at the University of California in
Berkeley, will be teaching a weekend seminar at the Esalen Institute on
California's lovely Big Sur coast Friday evening April 2 to Sunday noon
April 4. The workshop is on "Drugs, the Mind, and the Body" and will provide
a comprehensive overview of the biological, ethnobotanical, psychological,
behavioral, and sociological properties of a variety of familiar and perhaps
unfamiliar psychoactive drugs. Participants will develop a comprehensive and
deep understanding of drugs, the mind, and the body, from molecular and
chemical properties to historical and ritual relationships. The workshop
will be of interest and value to anyone wishing to expand their knowledge
about drugs that influence human behavior. We highly recommend it!
NEUROETHICS SEMINAR – STANFORD
Last week, CCLE Director, Dr. Wrye Sententia, gave a guest lecture on
“Civil Liberties Issues: Rhetoric in Public Ethics & Neurotechnology” at
Stanford University for a student seminar on neuroethics. The seminar was
hosted by Judy Illes, Ph.D., who is the Director of the Stanford Center for
Biomedical Ethics’ Neuroethics Program. If you are interested in having a
guest lecture at your university, please contact us at
CONVERGING TECHNOLOGIES & IMPROVING
In late-February, Wrye gave a lecture on “Converging Technologies and
Evolving Human Rights,” before an international audience at a National
Science Foundation Conference. To the largely technical audience of
engineers & scientists, Wrye addressed challenges in gaining public
confidence over novel and convergent applications in nano-bio-info-cognitive
science. She suggested the concrete ethics of attacking major global
problems, like clean water, as a first proof of concept in claiming the
coming benefits of convergent science.
CCLE Planning & Strategy
Meeting: The Future of Cognitive Liberty
On March 18, the CCLE
will convene the first in a series of small collaborative meetings about
Freedom of Thought and the future of the CCLE. The meetings are intended to
gain feedback and suggestions in forecasting upcoming key issues for the
CCLE to target, and strategies for addressing those issues. Presentations
and discussions will focus on assisting Center staff in clarifying the
implications of developing human rights and novel neurotechnologies and and
on ways in which our small organization can effectively meet the challenges
SALVIA DIVINORUM REMAINS THREATENED IN MISSOURI & LOUISIANA
Last month the CCLE
worked to educate Missouri Legislators bent on outlawing the Mazatec
visionary plant Salvia divinorum. See our letter at:
According to Daniel
Siebert of the The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center (SDRIC)
http://sagewisdom.org, things have gone
from bad to worse in Missouri. According to Siebert, a new bill, HB 633, was
introduced to the Missouri State Legislature on February 23, 2005. This new
bill not only targets Salvia divinorum and Salvinorin A, but also seeks to
add another 12 substances to Missouri's list of controlled substances. In
our experience, these combination bills are very hard to defeat. House Bill
633 is sponsored by Representative Scott A. Lipke (R). It is cosponsored by
Representative Rachel L. Bringer (D), who was the sole sponsor of the
A politician in
Louisiana has introduced a new bill (HB 20) that aims to schedule multiple
species of heretofore legal plants, including Salvia divinorum. We have
never seen a bill of this type, and are in the process of considering
options for responding and educating the politicians behind this bill.
MAPS Benefit Auction
empathogenic drugs such as MDMA is in an early rennaisance, largely because
of the tireless efforts of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic
Studies (MAPS). In order to raise money for this important research, MAPS is
hosting an online benefit auction this week, from Monday, March 14 at six
p.m. until Monday, March 21 at six p.m. 100 Percent of your donation will go
to support MAPS' operational expenses. To see all items, and place your bid,
head to the above URL.
Liberty Watch: From Michael Ostrolenk, CCLE Policy Fellow
The REAL ID ACT (H.R.
418), which passed the House will soon be moving to the Senate attached to a
supplemental appropriations bill. The bill would force states to issue all
adults federally approved electronic ID cards, including driver's licenses.
Licenses or identity cards that do not meet the rules could be rejected --
meaning that your access to airplanes, trains, national parks and court
houses could be denied.
There are immigration,
border control, asylum, and national id provisions within the bill. The bill
gives the Secretary of Homeland Security sole discretion to waive all laws
as necessary to ensure expeditious construction of certain barriers and
roads at the U.S. border. It prohibits courts, administrative agencies, and
other entities from reviewing the Secretary's decision.
The id provisions
include the requirement for specific data, a common machine readable
technology and that as a condition of receiving grant funds or other
financial assistance under the title, States must participate in the
interstate compact regarding the sharing of driver's license data (the
Driver License Agreement). The specific data required include digital
picture and primary residence. Both of these requirements might not seem
problematic. However, it is a mandate from the Federal government which
violates the spirit of federalism, it could violate the privacy of
individual citizens who choose not to give their primary residence for their
own security reasons (e.g., spousal abuse) and it further entrenches the
mistaken notion that free people are required to identify themselves at the
will of law enforcement and government bureaucrats.
The common machine
readable technology could also lead to the use of radio frequency
identifiers (RFID’s). This technology is dangerous in that the information
stored on the identification card will be transmitted at a distance to be
read by those who have the appropriate technology. Think how easy it will be
for state and federal agencies to track citizens every move. They will be
able to do so without anyone even knowing they are being tracked. The
drivers license agreement that is referred to in the bill would set up the
conditions for state databases to be connected to Canadian and Mexican
databases. It would create a tri-national database system. Fortunately,
there is a transpartisan coalition of groups working to defeat the bill once
it arrives in the Senate. This diverse coalition whose members have
different concerns regarding various provisions include the ACLU, Gun Owners
of America, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, American
Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform and the American Policy Center.
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