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Top Cognitive Liberty News
From the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics
May 23, 2005


Here's our monthly update of things done, things to come, and things in process at the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. An online version of this message with working links is available here:

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International Conference on Drugs in the Future
Jun 17, 2005 - London, England

The CCLE's Dr. Wrye Sententia will Chair the International Conference on Drugs in the Future, to be held June 17, 2005, in London. Join Dr. Sententia, the Erowid Librarians, Alexander and Ann Shulgin, and other special visionary guests to supercharge your thinking about the future of drug use, drug information and drug policy. Sponsored by DTL, and supported by Release and the Beckley Foundation.

The Neurotechnology Industry 2005: Strategic Investment and Market Analysis Report of the Global Neurological Disease and Psychiatric Illness Markets

CCLE Advisor Zack Lynch, who heads NeuroInsights and writes the "Brainwaves" column for Corante News, has just released a 250-page report on business opportunities in the neurotechnology market. This is the best, most insightful, and most comprehensive report available on how the neurotechnology marketplace is dynamically evolving.

Cognitive Liberty & Coercive Medication:
Medicating Aliah (Use "access code" MJZL6Y)

The May /June issue of Mother Jones features an excellent article titled "Medicating Aliah," that reports on how drug companies are aggressively lobbying state mental health-care providers to adopt "algorithms" dictating that the newest, most expensive drugs be used in treating psychological disorders, and then pushing state authorities (including public schools) to aggressively diagnose people with mental disorders. Last year, the CCLE's "Making Choices for Children Project" as well as our Pharmacotherapy Report warned of the frightening trend of mixing public benefits with coercive drug practices. These CCLE projects were discussed in Mother Jones "Informed Dissent" column.

CCLE Defends Salvia Divinorum and other Medicinal and Ritual Plants

Last week, we sent a letter and legal analysis to Louisiana Representative Michael Strain, concerning his bill (HB 20) to outlaw Salvia divinorum and a host of other plants with long-standing religious and medicinal use. We also sent our letter and legal analysis to all 18 members of the Louisiana House Judiciary Committee, which is currently considering the bill. Learn more at our Salvia Divinorum Action Center above.

Ethics in Neuroscience: Cognitive Liberty Lecture at Stanford

Last week, CCLE Director, Dr. Wrye Sententia, gave a guest lecture on
"Scanning for Democracy: Cognitive Liberty & New Technology"
at Stanford University for a course on ethical issues in the
neurosciences. This lecture was hosted by William Hurlbut, M.D., Associate
Professor in Human Biology at Stanford, and a Member of the US
President's Council on Bioethics.

The previous week, Dr. Sententia spoke with University of California,
Davis students about "Freedom of Thought & Technoculture: New Issues
in Thinking about Thinking."

To schedule at cognitive liberty talk at your university or event, contact us at, and/or see the above URL.

New Answer: Ask Dr. Shulgin Online

We posted a new answer by Dr. Alexander Shulgin.
The question and answer concern DOB and other possible prodrugs.
Follow the above link to read Dr. Shulgin's reply.

Citizen Cyborg, Reviewed By Cory Doctorow

Last month Cory Doctorow, of boing boing and sci-fi fame, penned a review of James Hughes' new book "Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future." Woven throughout the review is Cory's discussion of cognitive liberty. The review resulted in a wave of visitors to our website, many of whom have shown great interest in helping to develop and promote cognitive liberty.

Send Ram Dass Some Love & Money

After returning from India CCLE Advisor Ram Dass fell ill with a serious infection that has caused other health problems. As a result, he as been forced to cancel most of his speaking tour this year, which provides his income. Friends have been working to raise the necessary funds to pay for Ram Dass' care and living expenses, both short and long term. If you feel moved to contribute to Ram Dass' care and teaching, please send donations to the Center for Spiritual Studies, 57361 Hillcrest Drive, Yucca Valley, CA 92284, tel (760) 365-2333. The Center for Spiritual Studies is a California 501(c)3 with Federal Tax ID # 23-7356960. For more information please contact: Raghu/ Mitchell Markus

Calling Open Source Coders - Help Out Judges Against the Drug War

The first big step of converting Judges Against the Drug War to a fully open source, community-run project has been completed, but we could use more help. Please see the above URL for the temporary site, which has more info about our needs, or zap us an email at

Conferences & Events

May 26, 4-6:30 pm (San Francisco)
Dr. Charles Grob & Dr. Ralph Metzner - Current Research with Psilocybin
Namaste Hall (1453 Mission Street, San Fransico- floor #3). More info: Kathy Anne Woodruff ( or call 415.575.6197).
Dr. Charles Grob, the head of adolescent and child psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will be at the California Institute of Integral Studies to speak about his current research. In addition to the presentation there will be discussion period co-hosted by Ralph Metzner. Dr. Grob author of Hallucinogens, was the first researcher to conduct FDA-approved human research with 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA). Dr. Grob is currently faced with a challenge of recruiting participants for his current approved study, entailing the investigation of the effects of psilocybin on Stage IV cancer patients. Learn more at this talk.

May 27-29, 2005 (San Francisco)
MIND STATES VI: Just Added Alex Grey and the Shulgins!
Visit the CCLE booth and say hello! CCLE Advisor Alex Grey has just been added as a presenter. Also, Ann and Sasha Shulgin will be speaking for a live "Ask the Shulgins."

May 28, 2005 (San Francisco)
Help CCLE Advisor Alex Grey breath continued life into his Chapel of Sacred Mirrors project by attending this benefit gathering. This late-night dance party will feature a talk by Alex Grey, ritual prayerformance by The Matrixters, and music from BenBen Stone Productions, Naasko, and Shakatura.

June 17, 2005 (London)
International Conference on Drugs in the Future
Join the CCLE's Dr. Wrye Sententia as well as the Shulgins and the Erowids in London, England.

January 11th - 15th, 2006 (Basel, Switzerland)
LSD: Problem Child and Wonder Drug
International Symposium on the Occasion of the 100th Birthday of Albert Hofmann

On the occasion of the 100th Birthday of Dr. Albert Hofmann on January 11th
2006, the Gaia Media Foundation will present an International Symposium to his
best known and most controversial discovery.

LIBERTY WATCH: USA Patriot Act and the 109th Congress
From CCLE Washington DC Policy Fellow Michael Ostrolenk

Many of the most problematic provisions in the USA Patriot Act are set to sunset at the end of this year. Some of those provisions include Section 206 (roving wire taps under FISA) and Section 215 ("library record" provision). The idea of sun-setting some of the provisions was an important check that was put into place during the hastily written and passed USA Patriot Act in 2001. When I say hastily written, I am referring to the fact that the final copy of the bill was not available until an hour before the vote. The bill itself contained a laundry list of police powers that the Department of Justice had been trying since the Clinton Administration to get enacted into law. Fortunately, until 9-11 the Republican majority in Congress was much more hesitant to give too broad of authority and power to Clinton's Department of Justice.

Fortunately, there is a concerted effort by many civil liberty groups across the political spectrum including the ACLU, American Conservative Union, Liberty Coalition, Center for Democracy and Technology, Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances and many others to ensure that the sunsets actually do sunset and to even further limit other powers granted under the Patriot Act. Some of the other provisions, which are not set to sunset but are problematic include Section 213 (sneak & peak) and section 802 (definition of domestic terrorism).

To counter-act the administrations interest in keeping and expanding the Patriot Act police powers, various coalitions inside and outside of Congress have formed. An example of a 'strange' bedfellow's coalition that has formed in the House is the new Patriot Act Caucus which is chaired by Republicans Ron Paul and Jeff Flake, Democrat Jerry Nadler and Independent Bernie Sanders. The inside joke is that the caucus covers the political spectrum i.e. a Libertarian, a Republican, a Democrat and a Socialist. This caucus is working to educate other House members on the dangers of the Patriot Act and encourage other members to sign onto bills that reform the act including the Safe Act. (The Safe Act was also introduced in the Senate) There is a similar new caucus in the Senate called the Bill of Rights Caucus, which is chaired by Republican Senator Craig, and Democratic Senator Durbin. Senator Feingold, the only member of the Senate to vote against the Patriot Act is also heavily involved in pushing for its reform.

Outside of Congress, coalitions are also forming or continuing to operate to reform the Patriot Act. One coalition of note is Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, which was founded by former Republican Congressman Bob Barr. It includes such groups as the ACLU, Gun Owners of America, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and the American Conservative Union. Other groups concerned with the USA Patriot Act include the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics, U.S. Bill of Rights Foundation, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, American Policy Center, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Free Congress and the Americans for Tax Reform. From the list of group involved in this issue, it is obvious that this is truly a transpartisan effort.


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Top Cognitive Liberty News is a free service provided by the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. The CCLE is rights-based public policy organization dedicated to promoting freedom of thought. The CCLE depends entirely on the private donations of individuals who seek to protect and enhance freedom of thought in the 21st century.