EmmaSofia is non-profit organization in Oslo, Norway working to protect the human right of people who use MDMA and psychedelics and to expand access to quality-controlled MDMA and psychedelics.
The name Emma means universal and is a nickname for MDMA (ecstasy, Molly, XTC). The name Sofia means wisdom, as in philosophy, the love of wisdom, and psychedelics (like psilocybin ‘magic’ mushrooms, LSD, ayahuasca) have been called the philosopher’s stone.
In a free and open society everyone should feel safe to follow their conscience, provided this does not harm others. For millions of people, using psychedelics and MDMA is an important part of their personal, spiritual, and cultural lives.
The ban on psychedelics, which first and foremost seems based on ignorance and prejudice, could very well be a disproportionate intrusion into the right of individuals to freely exercise their religion, beliefs and private lives, all of which are protected by human rights conventions.
— Ketil Lund (former Justice of the Supreme Court of Norway), statement to VG newspaper, March 2015
Psychedelics have been used for thousands of years and have been an important part of the global culture for over 50 years.
[The attack by Communists on psychedelic dance festivals] was an attack by the totalitarian system on life itself, on the very essence of human freedom and integrity.
— Vaclav Havel (first elected president of Czechoslovakia), Power of the Powerless, 1985
As a human being, you have a basic fundamental freedom to use psychedelics if you choose, so long as you are not causing problems for other people. “You don’t really need to do that” or “You haven’t proven that’s beneficial” are not valid reasons for infringing on your human rights.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion… to manifest his religion or belief in practice and observance… to rights indispensable for his [or her] dignity and the free development of his personality… to leisure [free time] and periodic holidays… to freely participate in the cultural life of the community… and to share in scientific advancement…. Subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
— Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, 1948
The EmmaSofia Clinic in Oslo is now open and treating patients using evidence-based psychotherapy. We are seeking permission to use MDMA and psilocybin in select patients.
Steinar Madsen at the Norwegian Medicines Agency says that it is not forbidden to use such substances in treatment. “Other substances on the controlled-substances list are also in (medical) use in Norway, including morphine, amphetamine and cocaine.”
— Aftenposten, Medisinsk Sopptur [Medical Mushroom Trip], 21 November 2015
MDMA and psilocybin have not been approved for marketing, this will require further clinical trials demonstrating safety and efficacy. However, non-approved medications can still be used in medicine after making a special request (this is called “expanded access” or “compassionate use” in the US, “named patient” in the EU, and “godkjenningsfritak” in Norway). MDMA and psychedelics have never been banned in medicine, but all patents ran out before a pharmaceutical company could complete the marketing approval process.
Everything in life has risks, and there are clear risks with psychedelics and MDMA. However, taking into perspective the tens of millions of doses are used every year, these substances do not appear particularly dangerous and the risks appear comparable with activities generally considered to have acceptable safety (such as sports).
There is widespread expert agreement that psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and MDMA are much less harmful than alcohol to the individual user and to society. Hundreds of thousands of servings of psilocybin mushrooms (or “truffles”) are legally sold in shops every year in the Netherlands, and Dutch health authorities and police agree that there are few problems related to psilocybin.
[Legal sale of psilocybin magic mushrooms in the Netherlands] poses such a low risk for the health of the individual and for society that prohibiting their use would appear to be a disproportionately grave measure.
— Official Netherlands risk assessment, CAM, 2007
Prohibition of psychedelics, MDMA, and other drugs is supposedly a public health intervention, but it is not based on evidence or consideration of costs and benefits.
The current drug control approach creates more harm than the harms it seeks to prevent.
— Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, 2010
Under international treaties (1971 Psychotropic Convention), the World Health Organization has a responsibility to demonstrate that banning personal use of a substance is a good idea for public health. This was never demonstrated for the classical psychedelics or MDMA. Drug prohibition seem to have been based on out-dated fears, prejudices, and politics, rather than evidence.
The WHO assessment failed to cite a single example of harm from naturally-occurring psychedelics like psilocybin or peyote, and cited only a handful of anecdotes related to LSD. This was in no way an evidence-based harm assessment.
— Teri Krebs (EmmaSofia board leader), “Protecting the human rights of people who use psychedelics”, Lancet Psychiatry, April 2015
No data are available concerning [MDMA’s] clinical abuse liability, nature and magnitude of associated public health or social problems, or epidemiology of its use and abuse.
— World Health Organization assessment of MDMA, WHO TRS 729, 1985
The World Health Organization now recommends ending criminal penalties on use of psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and all other drugs.
WHO has recommended decriminalising drug use.
— Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 4 September 2015
Quality-controlled production and accurate labeling on packaging are basic first principles of modern consumables (medications and foods). People have been injured and killed from fake or contaminated MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD. Banning quality-controlled production appears unjustifiable from a public-health or ethical viewpoint.
Legal regulation protects health. Consumers need to be aware of what they are taking and have clear information on health risks and how to minimise them…. Drug policies should be grounded in scientific evidence and a deep concern for health and human rights.
— Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary General), World Health Assembly, May 2015
EmmaSofia is partnering with a Norwegian pharmaceutical firm that has all necessary licenses to produce medical-grade (cGMP) MDMA and psilocybin, for use in medicine, research, and other legal purposes.