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Researcher Argues Psychedelics Should be Reclassified

Accepted submission by takyon at 2015-05-29 04:52:13
Science
James J. H. Rucker, a psychiatrist and honorary lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, has argued in a British Medical Journal (BMJ) article [bmj.com] that psychedelics should be reclassified [eurekalert.org] as schedule 2 compounds:

He explains that many trials of psychedelics published before prohibition, in the 1950s and 1960s, suggested "beneficial change in many psychiatric disorders".

However, research ended after 1967. In the UK psychedelic drugs were legally classified as schedule 1 class A drugs - that is, as having "no accepted medical use and the greatest potential for harm, despite the research evidence to the contrary," he writes.

Rucker points out that psychedelics remain more legally restricted than heroin and cocaine. "But no evidence indicates that psychedelic drugs are habit forming; little evidence indicates that they are harmful in controlled settings; and much historical evidence shows that they could have use in common psychiatric disorders."

In fact, recent studies indicate that psychedelics have "clinical efficacy in anxiety associated with advanced cancer, obsessive compulsive disorder, tobacco and alcohol addiction, and cluster headaches," he writes.

And he explains that, at present, larger clinical studies on psychedelics are made "almost impossible by the practical, financial and bureaucratic obstacles" imposed by their schedule 1 classification. Currently, only one manufacturer in the world produces psilocybin for trial purposes, he says, at a "prohibitive" cost of £100,000 for 1 g (50 doses).

[...] He concludes that psychedelics are neither harmful nor addictive compared with other controlled substances, and he calls on the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs, "to recommend that psychedelics be reclassified as schedule 2 compounds to enable a comprehensive, evidence based assessment of their therapeutic potential."


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