Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) — My adjournment matter is for the AttorneyGeneral. On Sunday of this weekend we are celebrating Bicycle Day. This is not the sort of bicycle for which you need to wear shorts or even a helmet; this is Bicycle Day to celebrate the first trip of LSD — lysergic acid diethylamide. LSD was discovered by Albert Hofmann. On 19 April 1943 he took some LSD.
Mr Ramsay — Did he get a trip?
Ms PATTEN — He did get a trip, and he rode his bicycle on that trip. He rode his bicycle home and discovered that during that journey he saw a lot of kaleidoscopic, fantastic images and all the rest.
Mr Drum — And he lost three days!
Ms PATTEN — Actually he didn’t. He came back fairly fine except for some dilation in his pupils, apparently. What emerged from this were some really interesting medical uses for LSD and some really interesting investigations into it. It was even patented in the 1950s. They treated a number of alcoholics with it and found that it had a tremendous effect in treating alcoholism. Over 50 per cent of people responded very positively to it. It was used in psychotherapy; Cary Grant used it in psychotherapy. It was found to have none of the negative effects that many people have attributed to it. It was found to treat depression, and even today there are still studies being done into the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety using psychoactive substances like LSD, with remarkable effect. One study was done in 2014 by Dr Doblin, who found that one treatment with LSD in conjunction with psychotherapy can greatly reduce the anxiety of terminally ill patients as they go towards the end of their lives. Sadly, there are a couple of organisations in northern metropolitan Melbourne that would like to explore further medical research in this area but they cannot because of the prohibition on the substance even for medical uses. The World Health Organisation reported that its assessment of the substance could not find: … a single example of harm from naturally occurring psychedelics … and cited only a handful of anecdotes related to LSD. I ask if the minister would consider reviewing the legal status of some psychedelic substances in relation to medical use.