Federal Health Officials' Letter To Senators: Psychedelics Illegal Status Limits Research

As reported by Marijuana Moment, officials of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) replied to two senators’ request for a psychedelics research update with a letter stating that federal prohibition makes it harder to study the benefits of psychedelics.  

“Because psychedelic drugs are controlled substances, one additional regulatory consideration for basic and applied research using psychedelic drugs is that these studies must also follow Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requirements, including registration, inspection, and certification of the drugs. These requirements apply to all psychedelic drugs, including natural or botanical products,” according to the document.

While the NIH officials mentioned that early research shows psychedelics have medical potential, their interest is to enable the development of new drugs, such as psilocybin, while preventing their negative side effects.

According to the letter, the institute’s agencies spent nearly $34 million in fiscal year 2022 on 57 projects studying psychedelic and psychedelic-derived drugs with potential health benefits.

The official NIH posture is that modern regulatory protections for participants are not barriers, but rather “necessary and essential safeguards.”

Furthermore, the document assures the government supports an experimental therapeutics approach, not only evaluating the clinical effect of an intervention but also generating information about the mechanisms underlying a disorder or an intervention response. “Understanding the mechanisms of psychedelic drugs is important for identifying new therapeutic targets that could preserve therapeutic effects while minimizing negative side effects,” the letter says.

Read the full psychedelics letter from federal health officials.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.

Posted In: Drug Enforcement Administrationthe U.S. National Institutes of HealthCannabisNewsPsychedelicsRegulationsLegalMarkets

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