SXSW 2022

The Ethics of "Mainstreaming" Psychedelics


We’re at a pivotal moment in psychedelic history. The interest in psychedelics among the general population is growing exponentially. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into psychedelic drug development, with some projecting the industry is less than five years behind cannabis. But psychedelics aren’t just any other industry. Since they’ve been used ceremonially for millennia, the industrialization of these powerful compounds brings up unique ethical considerations. What does it look like to create a psychedelic “industry” that’s truly inclusive? How can we engage in reciprocity and uphold reverence for the Indigenous stewards of psychedelic plants and fungi? And should anyone be profiting from psychedelics at all?

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  1. The unique ethical considerations around commodifying psychedelics, from their ceremonial use to attempts by pharmaceutical companies to patent them
  2. What business models that have the capital they need to survive might look like, while prioritizing access to psychedelic medicine for healing
  3. The moral obligation of psychedelic companies to give back to Indigenous stewards of psychedelic medicines, and what that looks like



Shelby Hartman, Co-Founder/ CEO, DoubleBlind Magazine

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: 2050
  • Track 2 Health & MedTech
  • Level: Intermediate

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