Canada: Advocates, MPs call on federal government to expand access to psychedelics as medical treatments

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May wants Canada to consider expanding access to psychedelics as medical treatments.

May was among the MPs who joined a delegation of patients and health-care practitioners trying to lobby the federal government to make psilocybin – the psychedelic compound produced by magic mushrooms – more readily available.

The group is calling on lawmakers to advance clinical trials to better understand how it could be used for medical treatment of some mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Psilocybin is listed under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and its medical use is restricted to people taking part in clinical trials or those who get an exemption.

Spencer Hawkswell, the CEO of the company leading the delegation, says they are lobbying for “compassionate access” for medicine that he says could be life-affirming.

May says the federal government should expand access to psilocybin before Canada’s assisted-dying laws are expanded to include people whose sole underlying condition is a mental disorder.


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