Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
The Non-Medical Use of Drugs.
[Canadian Government] Commission of Inquiry Into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs. (1971).
Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books.
Contents: Letter of transmittal,
6 chapters, 6 appendices: A. Submissions to the Commission, B.
Letters from Private citizens, C. Commissioners and Staff, D.
Some Surveys of Drug Use Among Canadian High School and University
Students, E. Current Research on Cannabis and Other Drugs, F.
Innovative Services, Glossary of Scientific and Technical Terms,
Note: This commission
and study are often referred to as the "Le Dain Commission"
and the " Le Dain Report." First published
by Information Canada in 1970.
by the Canadian government, the research on which this book is
based was never allowed to stray from the actual experiences of
people who use drugs. In fact coffee houses and universities played
a key role in the investigation. And among the six appendices
is a special section of letters from private citizens-some warmly
in favor of wider legalization-others indignant in their expressions
of grief and outrage. When this volume appeared in Canada it created
a sensation. Its recommendations, which are often surprising,
will provoke as much discussion in other countries. For drugs,
whether they bring delight to the senses or death to the body,
are now a phenomenon that no one can ignore. (back cover)
329. While pleasure, curiosity, the desire
to experiment, and even the sense of adventure, are dominant motivations
in drug use, there is no doubt that a search for self-knowledge
and self-integration and for spiritual meanings are strong motivations
with many. We have been profoundly impressed by the natural and
unaffected manner in which drug users have responded to the question
of religious significance. They are not embarrassed by the mention
of God. Indeed, as Paul Goodman has observed,
their reactions are in interesting contrast to those of the "God
is dead" theologian . It may be an exaggeration
to say that we are witnessing the manifestations of a genuine
religious revival, but there does appear to be a definite revival
of interest in the religious or spiritual attitude towards life.
As one drug user put it: "The whole culture is saying, `Where
is God?' I don't believe in your institutions, but now I know
it's there someplace." ...
330. ... Indeed, there is an active doctrine of
transcendence which sees drug use as a catalytic or transitional
thing to be abandoned as soon as it has enabled you to glimpse
another way of looking at things and of relating to life and people.
Modern drug use would definitely seem to be related
in some measure to the collapse of religious values-the ability
to find a religious meaning of life. The positive values that
young people claim to find in the drug experience bear a striking
similarity to traditional religious values, including the concern
with the soul, or inner self, the spirit of renunciation, the
emphasis on openness and the closely knit community, are part
of it, but there is definitely the sense of identification with
something larger, something to which one belongs as part of the
human race. (page 224)
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Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP