I came across this article, yesterday, about a woman who group-takes ayahuasca, and I was rather entertained. I was also ever more committed to my "Seriously, people. Don't take hallucinogens!" stance. In full disclosure, I did try them (psychedelic mushrooms), once in my nervy youth, let's say legally, in Amsterdam. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt like I was trapped in a Gaudi building, and not in a good way. The bright walls were melting. Time stood still. It was the longest 6 hours of my life (other than labour, it's own kind of hallucinogenic trip) and made me understand I am not the appropriate candidate to divorce my consciousness from reality as I know it.
I do find it hilarious when conservatives speak about the gateway nature of psychoactive drugs, as if every human being is predestined to fall under the thrall of being high*. Because I really don't believe that most people want to hallucinate. Anyone who's ever had a panic attack knows that it's profoundly wretched to be removed from oneself - to be fundamentally depersonalized
The idea of going to a new-agey vomit-fest, replete with ladies known as "helper-angels", and no stand-by medical assistance goes against every grain of my pragmatism. At least at that TIFF party, if you overdo it with coke, there's probably a doctor from Mount Sinai on hand.
But I know it takes all types and that, for every traumatized psycho-active drug taker there's another one who finds the meaning of existence. (Note: I feel utterly confident you can do that with a spectacular meal, but then I have access.**)
Chelsea Handler, not a public personality I generally recommend, did a vaguely interesting show about taking this drug, all the more interesting because she regularly indulges in all the drugs and has a noteworthy high-tolerance. Moreover, she's a human Venn diagram representation of the intersection of crassness and honesty, which is intriguing in this context, if not in most others. I'm sure you can find the episode on Netflix.
*Please note that I distinguish this experience from being stoned.
** OMG - I'm addicted to spectacular meals. Scaramouche, in my teenaged years, was a total gateway!