STORIES

Semper Fry: Marine Officer Endorses LSD Microdosing

By David Jenison on March 19, 2019

Major Emre Albayrak, a Marine Intelligence Officer with 12 years experience, started his Marine Corp Gazette editorial with the following declaration: "The Marine Corps... may gain an advantage over competitors in intelligence analysis, productivity and efficiency if it utilizes the innovative cognitive benefits gained through microdosing with psychedelics, which scientists, Silicon Valley executives, disruptors and biohackers have already harnessed."

That's quite an opening salvo for a military journal, and Albayrak doubled down by arguing that microdosing psychedelics would increase a soldier's "productivity, creativity, problem-solving ability and flow" and give the military "an insurmountable gap over every competitor." A microdose is typically 10 to 20 micrograms of LSD or 100mg of psilocybin (shrooms), or one-tenth of a normal dose, which Albayrak says will heighten alertness, creativity and problem solving without getting the soldier high or causing hallucinations. 

Sergeant Major Ronald Green is unlikely to let Marines take psychedelics, but the forward-thinking argument coincides with even more clinical studies highlighting the benefits of microdosing. 

A PLOS One study published last month followed 98 microdosing participants and found "a general increase in reported psychological functioning across all measures on dosing days but limited evidence of residual effects on following days." Pre- and post-study measures saw reductions in depression and stress and lower levels of distractibility. 

Likewise, ACS Chemical Neuroscience published a study this month in which researchers gave lab rats microdoses of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a psychedelic substance often found in preparations of ayahuasca. Per the researchers, "Low doses of DMT produced an antidepressant-like phenotype and enhanced fear extinction learning without impacting working memory or social interaction…. Our results suggest that psychedelic microdosing may alleviate symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders."

Science already backs up the data presented by Maj. Albayrak in his editorial. If you follow conservative pundit Alex Jones, however, you might already believe the military is taking psychedelics to engage aliens in intergalactic dealmaking

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