Pub Med: Crafting effective regulatory policies for psychedelics: What can be learned from the case of cannabis?

Thanks To Lex Pelger for the heads up



The turn of the century brought a resurgence of interest in psychedelics as a treatment for addiction and other psychiatric conditions, accompanied by extensive positive media attention and private equity investment. Government regulatory bodies in Australia, Israel, Canada and the United States now permit use of psychedelics for medical purposes. In the United States, citizen action and corporate financing have led to petitions and ballot initiatives to legalize psilocybin and other psychedelics for medical and recreational use. Given this momentum, policymakers must grapple with important questions that define whether and how psychedelics are made available to the public, as well as how companies produce and promote them. The current push to broaden the production, sale, and use of psychedelics bears many parallels to the movement to legalize cannabis in the United States and other nations-most notably, the use of poorly-evidenced therapeutic claims to create a de facto recreational market via the health care system. Experience with cannabis highlights the value of debating the question of legalization for nonmedical use as such rather than misrepresenting it as a medical issue. The lessons of cannabis policy also suggest a need to challenge hyping of psychedelic research findings; to promote rigorous clinical research on dosing and potency; to minimize the influence of for-profit industry in shaping policies to their economic advantage; and to coordinate federal, state, and local governments to regulate the manufacture, sale and distribution of psychedelic drugs (regardless of whether they are legalized for medical and/or recreational use).

Keywords: cannabis; drug policy; ketamine; psilocybin; psychedelics; regulation.

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