Psychedelic drugs should be legally reclassified so that researchers can investigate their therapeutic potential

Trials of physiologically safe and non-addictive drugs such as LSD are almost impossible, writes James J H Rucker, calling on the authorities to downgrade their unnecessarily restrictive class A, schedule 1 classification

Psychedelic drugs, especially lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin, which is found in the Psilocybe genus of “magic” mushrooms that grow throughout the United Kingdom, were extensively used and researched in clinical psychiatry before their prohibition in 1967. Hundreds of papers, involving tens of thousands of patients, presented evidence for their use as psychotherapeutic catalysts of mentally beneficial change in many psychiatric disorders, problems of personality development, recidivistic behaviour, and existential anxiety.1

This research abruptly ended after 1967, when psychedelics were legally classified as schedule 1 drugs under the UK Misuse of Drugs Regulations and as class A drugs under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Schedule 1 in the UK broadly mirrors schedule I of the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, adoption of which is a requirement of UN membership.2 This classification denoted psychedelic drugs as having no accepted medical use and the greatest potential for harm, despite the existence of research evidence to the contrary.

Indeed, in 1992 John Ehrlichman, …

Psychedelic drugs should be legally reclassified so that researchers can investigate their therapeutic potential | The BMJ.

  1. James J H Rucker, specialist registrar in adult psychiatry and honorary clinical lecturer, MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, London, SE5 8AF
  1. james.rucker{at}kcl.ac.uk

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  • terry hall on Help us treat depression!I would be very interested to hear about your research on your use of psychedelics , I would be very interested if you are looking for new volunteers for further trials , I am 50 years old and I have suffered with depression for 25 years and have fou…
  • Bob on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHi, I have read your articles and I am currently on anti depressants. I have tried different kinds as I have mild PTSD from military service and suffer from depression constantly. I would very much like to assist and be a volunteer for future trials.
  • Chris noton on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHello, I’m am 43 year old male living in oxford and suffered from depression and anxiety for 20 some years and I am a chronic suffer. I am very interested in participating on this type of drug trial. In my 20’s I have picked my own mushrooms once or…
  • Anonymous on Are you having a psychedelic experience in the near future?Hi All, I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done so for many years. After being placed on anti-depressants (again), I had a very bad response and the side effects of increased suicidal thoughts became unbearable. It was an everyday battle o…
  • J Moran on Help us treat depression!Hello, I am wondering if you have completed your research into the use of psychedelics to aid with depression. I suffer with it myself and want to know if you are still looking for volunteers? I am currently 20 years old, turning 21 in September. I a…
  • Leo Tognetti on The administration of psilocybin to healthy hallucinogen experienced volunteersHi Drew Thanks for sharing. What was your method?
  • Richard NAUGHTON on Help us treat depression!These mushrooms have powers beyond the understanding of the modern world that have been lost in translation since the dawn of man . I've used them and felt drawn to them and felt it was a calling . I collected them myself for 15 years ate them , drie…
  • Garry Tickell on Are you having a psychedelic experience in the near future?My name is Garry.I have been using LSD (truffles)every day for the last fortnight.I have bi;polar disorder,and asbergers.I have several different thoughts on what im doing,and why,the hell i have to do it illegally.Right now,i have to start work,so d…

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