While psychedelics, including psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, ayahuasca, dimethyltryptamine, ibogaine, mescaline, and others, were embraced for their medical benefits by scientists and the medical community in the 1950s and 1960s, the political climate and moral panic surrounding psychedelics in the 1970s resulted in their classification as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”). Psychedelics’ classification as a federally illegal substance with a high abuse potential and no medical benefit under the CSA all but halted medical research for the next 50 or so years.
In the last few years, a psychedelic renaissance of sorts has been bubbling up in the medical research community and beyond, and as medical research and clinical studies involving psychedelics have resumed for the first time in decades, more and more studies are indicating that psychedelics have the potential to benefit a wide variety of patients and individuals. Among those who have been shown to benefit from psychedelics are people suffering from addiction, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and end-of-life distress.
Psilocybin is the first psychedelic to the get the green light and in November 2020, the citizens of Oregon set the stage for the rest of the country by legalizing psilocybin therapy. Beginning in January 2023, Measure 109 will allow for the manufacture, delivery, and administration of psilocybin to adults 21 or older in licensed service centers within the state. There will be a two-year development period to give the Oregon Health Authority time to adopt rules implementing Measure 109. This is the first program of its kind in the United States.
Aside from the forthcoming legality of psilocybin therapy services in Oregon, it remains illegal under state and federal law to manufacture, distribute, or possess psychedelics. While psychedelics remain largely illegal under state and federal law, we are hopeful that the recent research and support for the many medicinal benefits psychedelics have to offer results in additional state, and eventually federal, legalization.
Gleam Law is working with clients to help them understand the emerging legal psychedelics field and providing them with the legal counsel required to operate in this new and emerging space.