A career path in psychedelics?

I’m interested in marijuana and psychedelics — could there be a career in research?

For sure, says our elder. Find a university with a broad range of studies, follow your interests and see where it leads.

Dear EWC

I am highly unsure of what career to invest and further myself in. I was at one point set on photography and/or interior design. However, I feel those jobs may not pay enough. I’m very interested in transpersonal experience as well as marijuana, psychedelics and their research. The only issue there is that psychedelics are still illegal, leaving a less than promising career path for the future. I enjoy music a lot but am very partial to my own taste, and I feel I am very creative but lack confidence in it. Any ideas or tips for future careers to look into possibly?

Ketchman replies
Thank you for contacting us. I’ll try to offer some useful perspectives.
When one has such broad interests as you do, picking a specific career to follow is not an easy task. Were I in your position I would consider attending a university that had an equally broad range of studies. Some place that has good art and music departments as well as biological sciences and psychology. You could spend the first year or two taking a variety of courses, poking around the academic departments, and having conversations with professors and students. Those experiences will give you a much better idea of what direction to concentrate on during the succeeding years.
The study of psychedelics has recently been undergoing an interesting resurgence for the treatment of PTSD and a variety of mental illnesses and anxiety, especially for patients with terminal diseases. This might actually be a very good time to get the qualifications necessary to work alongside the scientists doing that research. Many disciplines are likely involved including chemistry, biology, psychology, and medicine, among others. It would seem that there are a lot of pathways to a promising career studying those substances. I did a quick Google search for psychedelic research and came up with lots of hits for prestigious organizations, including John Hopkins, who are involved. You might want to contact a few of them to get a feel for the specialties and degrees that would be best suited to join those programs. My guess, is that if you would like to work at higher levels than a technician it would be necessary to get, at least, a masters degree.
Whatever path you initially choose will not, by any means, cast the rest of your life in stone. What I would urge you to do is to follow wherever your interests might lead, starting from what you discover during your first couple of university years. It’s almost always possible to make radical changes in your life — several times if necessary. I know, for example, of a physics PHD who became a Hollywood screenwriter, a doctor who became a botanist, and an engineer who, mid career, decided to become a skilled carpenter. That’s the kind of stuff that makes life interesting.
Whatever paths you may choose I wish you great luck and exciting adventures. Take us along with you as a resource for whenever you’d like a second opinion or bit of advice on ‘most anything that might come up. Thank you for giving me a chance to help. I hope I have.

Letter #: 453297
Category: Career

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