MP Crispin Blunt raised a point of order in the House of Commons after the UK’s Drugs Minister failed to show up for a debate on access to psilocybin.
MPs from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and SNP called for the ACMD to review psilocybin’s status as a Schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 2001 to remove barriers to research.
The calls are in light of increasing clinical evidence showing that the compound holds potential as an innovative mental health treatment.
The UK’s Minister of State (Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire), Chris Philip, did not make an appearance at the debate, which took place during Mental Health Awareness Week, leading to angry demands for an explanation from MPs.
The Drugs Minister was instead represented by the Immigration Minister at the debate. The Conservative Drugs Policy Reform Group (CDPRGUK) noted that the Immigration Minister – who was unable to pronounce the word ‘psilocybin’ – “understandably, had no detailed understanding of the issue and could not make commitments on behalf of the government.”
Conservative MP, Crispin Blunt, Founder and Unremunerated Chair of CDPRGUK, stated: “Where is the Drugs Minister? What are we to make of his absence?”
Blunt raised a point of order in the main Chamber of the House of Commons on Monday, 22 May, asking: “How can Back Benchers successfully use the procedures of this House to enable debate to hold the Government to account for proposed policy changes they will not make if the responsible Minister will not reply to the debate?
“Particularly when the debate is led by colleagues who have long made personal study of that particular area of policy, such as the hon. Member for Inverclyde (Ronnie Cowan) and myself, and not least when they are reinforced by the harrowing personal experience of hon. Members of this House such as the hon. Member for Warrington North (Charlotte Nichols)?”
MP for Warrington North, Charlotte Nichols, had opened the debate with a passionate speech regarding her own experience with PTSD, describing her experience with the condition as a “living hell”
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