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FROM THIS EPISODE

Psychedelic drugs declared illegal at the end of the 1960's are now turning out to have medical benefits after all. We hear about the results of recent studies and the controversy over continued research with LSD, Ecstasy and magic mushrooms.

Also, President Obama issues a national security brief, and nightlife returns to the streets of Baghdad. 

Photo: Ian Williams

Producers:
Sasa Woodruff
Jenny Hamel
Evan George

Obama's National Security Brief Released Today 6 MIN, 30 SEC

President Obama has not issued a national security strategy since 2010. Supporters and critics have been eager to see a new one. Today, the White House released an update, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice went to the Brookings Institution to talk about it.

Shawn Brimley was Director of Strategic Planning during the first Obama Administration. He’s now Director of Studies and Executive Vice President at the Center for a New American Security.

Guests:
Shawn Brimley, Center for a New American Security (@shawnbrimley)

A Psychedelic Revival in Modern Medicine 34 MIN, 27 SEC

The over-use and abuse of LSD, magic mushrooms and other hallucinogens in the counter-cultural sixties led to a federal ban signed by Richard Nixon in 1970. Nobody says it's time to "tune in, turn on and drop out" again, but researchers around the country report that psychedelics have real medical benefits after all. They've eased the anxiety of terminal cancer patients and helped suicidal veterans with PTSD want to live again, as highlighted in a recent article by Michael Pollan in the New Yorker magazine. But the risk of adverse side effects has medical authorities preaching caution about continued experimentation.

Guests:
Tom Shroder, journalist and author (@tomshroder)
Jennifer (pseudonym), participant in an MDMA study
Charles Grob, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
Herbert Kleber, Columbia University

More:
New Yorker article on research into psychedelics
Heffter Research Institute
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

Acid Test

Tom Shroder

Curfew Lifts and Baghdad Is Partying Again 8 MIN, 53 SEC

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has lifted the nighttime curfew in the city of Baghdad, imposed by the US military 12 years ago. "Baghdad feels different."  Bars, nightclubs and beauty salons have reopened, and the streets are full of people. That's according to Liz Sly, Beirut Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, who's back in Iraq to cover what she calls a "surprising revival" of the normal life so violently disrupted more than a decade ago.

Guests:
Liz Sly, Washington Post (@lizsly)

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