The Atlantic Daily: Consider the Magic Mushroom
The mushroom lobby is microscopic, but the national discourse on psychedelics is expanding. Plus: What pornography is or isn’t doing to (for?) our sex lives, and more
What We’re Following
Denver is the first city in the United States to virtually decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms (though the city still hasn’t actually made it legal to sell or even possess them), a loosening of restrictions that might expand the use of psychedelics for medical purposes. Some research suggests that psychedelic mushrooms—though extremely tightly regulated—aren’t addictive and might be at least somewhat useful in alleviating a whole host of conditions, from chronic pain to depression to OCD. A slippery-slope argument from opponents recalls the gradual nationwide trajectory toward legalization of marijuana (though the “mushroom lobby” at the moment is ... microscopic). So what’s next?
On the question of how to work with Iran, it’s “maximum pressure” (the U.S.) versus “maximum restraint” (Europe). Is a war against Iran brewing? The current volleys between the U.S. and Iran echo, for many, the buildup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which Britain participated in the “coalition of the willing” (but not France or Germany). This time around, Britain was among the first out of the gate to voice concern about continued escalation against Iran. The Trump administration will have an uphill battle collecting allies in the West, should tensions reach a boiling point.
It’s late on a weeknight. You overhear your neighbors, with whom you share proximity but not intimacy, fighting. The fighting swells to an alarming state. What should you do? Maris Kreizman tells this deeply personal story:
Years later I moved into my first solo apartment, a studio in Chelsea that was tight yet cozy. I used a screen to separate my “bedroom” from my living room, but the close quarters didn’t bother me because those 350 square feet were all mine. I was surrounded by stacks of books piled on the floor and tons of DVDs, and the desire to soak up my solitude and revel in it. A young family of four lived in the one-bedroom apartment next door. The mother had lived there for years, and had a deal on rent that was apparently worth staying for, putting bunks in the bedroom so that her children could have some space while she and her husband slept on a pullout couch in the living area. I could hear every move the family made: the tantrums, the horseplay, the highs and lows of being together constantly. It drove me crazy. I got a better white-noise machine and soldiered on.
On Saturday, May 31, 2008, I came home from a business trip at close to midnight, groggy and jet-lagged, to find crime-scene tape surrounding my building.
(Mark Byrnes / CityLab)
Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing urban dwellers around the world. Jessica Lee Martin shares today’s top stories:
Should Disney World have the right to go nuclear? Levering his immense political power, Walt Disney convinced Florida to give the company its own political jurisdiction in the 1960s. We explain Disney World’s literal nuclear option.
There are more than 2,000 playgrounds spread across New York City, but just a century ago they didn’t exist. The visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger explores the creative and political history of the concrete jungle’s jungle gyms.
Why are communities fighting 5G permit by permit? NIMBY backlash is complicating the next generation of wireless internet technology, with recent help from the California Supreme Court.
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