UK: Tory MP Crispin Blunt At Loggerheads With The Home Office Over Psilocybin Research

The Daily Express reports…

In an op-ed seen by Express.co.uk, Crispin Blunt MP describes how he urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to change what is known as the “schedule” of the drug psilocybin. This change would mean it would be easier to run trials on its use in mental health treatments. The Prime Minister had already approved the rescheduling of psilocybin for exploring its potential as a treatment for depression, which he informed Mr Blunt in a meeting in May.

Despite this, the Home Office “fails to act, perpetuating what can be considered the worst research blackout in scientific history,” according to the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group (CDPRG), of which Mr Blunt is chairman.

Rescheduling, in this case, means that psilocybin would be easier to get hold of and test in scientific and medical trials.

Psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, will still be a Class A drug for anyone looking to consume it.

The group say that if the Home Office continues to drag their feet over making psilocybin easier to trial for medical purposes, there will be “dire consequences for the UK’s life sciences sector” and those who “stand to benefit” from new treatments.

Mr Blunt used an analogy to describe the current situation of not looking at the uses of certain illegal drugs in treating mental health problems.

He likened restrictions on cannabis and other currently illegal substances to “keeping an offender whose risk of future offending is close to zero, is desperate and able to become a contributing positive member of society”.

He said: “Some sensible supportive probation supervision might be appropriate, but instead they are locked up in a maximum-security prison at vast expense indefinitely.”

He added: “This delay matters.

“In the 110 days that have passed since the PM’s sign off nearly 2,000 people have taken their own lives; the majority probably preventable when this research is translated into treatment.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “There is an established process for the development of medicines, which enables medicines including psilocybin to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed based on an assessment of their quality, safety and efficacy.

“The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) is currently considering barriers to legitimate research with controlled drugs. The first part of their review was published in July and the second part of the work is now underway. We will carefully consider any recommendations or advice they provide.

“We currently have no plans to reschedule psilocybin under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.”

Source:  https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1493174/psilocybin-drug-law-UK-change-UK-science-research-warning-Crispin-Blunt

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