Seattle Physician Launches Push To Reschedule Psilocybin For Medical Use

The DEA recently increased its quota for psilocybin for 2022, as well as for the legal production of psychedelic drugs such as MDMA and DMT, in response to heightened demand and interest within the scientific community to research the effectiveness of these psychedelic drugs in the treatment of mental health disorders.

The Petition To Reschedule Psilocybin

Now, a petition filed earlier this week by a Seattle doctor Sunil Aggarwal, who specializes in end-of-life care, is urging the agency to reschedule psilocybin as a less-restricted Schedule II drug, Marijuana Moment reported.

The document highlighted psilocybin's relatively low potential for abuse and "exceptional promise in relieving debilitating symptoms in those with intractable and otherwise untreatable illness," such as severe anxiety and depression.

"The original placement of psilocybin," the petition says, "was the result of a substantial overestimation of the risk of harm and abuse potential, not rigorous science."

Once/if the main psychoactive component of psychedelic mushrooms is rescheduled, federal barriers to psilocybin research would also be removed.

The document cites recent comments by Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which shed light the on bureaucratic challenges scientists face in terms of marijuana research in the U.S.

A Schedule I designation under the Controlled Substances Act "detracts researchers who want to investigate it because it's just much more cumbersome than doing studies with other substances," Volkow who is also a researcher, said earlier. 

Cancer Patients Bid To Use Psilocybin Dismissed

In the meantime, Aggarwal's federal petition filed by his lawyers came on the heels of a rejection of a lawsuit by the doctor and cancer patients seeking access to psilocybin to help treat end-of-life depression and anxiety. On Monday, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the lawsuit on procedural grounds.

In a letter sent earlier, the DEA said that there was no way for Aggarwal's clinic, the Advanced Integrative Medical Sciences (AIMS) Institute, to dispense a synthetic form of the psilocybin under state and federal right-to-try (RTT) laws, leaving patients with no path forward, the lawyers argued.

Photo: Courtesy of Artur Kornakov on Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralDEANora VolkowPsilocybinPsychedelicsreschedulingSunil Aggarwal
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