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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy

Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

The New Social Drug: Cultural, Medical, and Legal Perspectives on Marijuana.

Smith, David E. (Editor). (1970).
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

ISBN: 13-615765-3 paperback
13-615757-2 hardcover
Description: paperback, vi + 186 pages.

Contents: introduction, 11 readings divided into 5 parts: 1: Pharmacology and Classification, 2: The Issue of Marijuana Abuse, 3: Marijuana as a Social Issue, 4: The Issue of Marijuana Regulation, 5: Marijuana as a Political Issue, references.

Contributors: James T.Carey, Gilbert Geis, Erich Goode, William H. McGlothlin, Carter Mehl, Mark Messer, Frederick H. Meyers, Judith M. Nelsen, J. Fred E. Shick, David E. Smith, Roger C. Smith, Michael A. Town, Andrew T. Weil, Norman E. Zinberg.

Excerpt(s): The ritual pattern of use, somewhat less familiar but quite important when considering drug-using subcultures, is the use of a drug as a part (sacrament, perhaps) of a ritual, or more generally drug use to achieve previously defined goals, often of a philosophic or psychotherapeutic type, which may or may not be realistic. The use by the Native American Church is an example of this pattern of use. (Shick, D. Smith, and Meyers, Use of Marijuana in the Haight-Ashbury Subculture, page 58)

Religious Sense
The young people involved in this new movement do not characteristically come from religious backgrounds yet they do reveal a spiritual orientation. Allen Ginsberg was the first to insist on the religious character of the earlier beats; the same thing can be said of this new group.

There is also a pronounced sense of the sacred. The world in which we live consists of a number of forces that are alien to middle-class values. These forces are by and large benevolent. We should strive to make ourselves aware of them, to open ourselves to them, to become attuned to them. The reality perceived by these young people is different from that which is usually referred to by the term. There are two realities, both of which must be discovered: pseudo-reality and the real reality. The pseudo-reality refers to the facade, the performance, the roles, the games, the rules, the routine. More importantly, the games are restricting and prevent the individual from realizing his true self, his wholeness, or the meaning and value of life. ... Perception of the true reality or the real reality enables one to reject material gains, middle-class status, and the institutional means for gaining these ends. These goals are being replaced by a new one, the experience of really being, or having being. Having being, the experience of being in the real scene, leads to an understanding of the true meaning of existence, to the truth of life, to the real-reality.

This openness, which permits one to perceive the true reality, leads quite naturally to a deep reverence for nature and other persons. The reverence is connected with the sense that the world of men, animals, and plants-all living things-is inextricably bound together. It is almost as if all living things were part of one body. (Carey, Marijuana Use Among the New Bohemians, pages 98-99)

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