Scientific and public interest in psychedelic substances such as MDMA and psilocybin has been growing, as more research on the substances is conducted. However, the federal prohibition of these substances has become a hindrance to the advancement of research on psychedelics, despite the commercial investment in psychedelic treatments and growing acceptance by the public.
One of the most studied psychedelics is psilocybin, which is a compound that can be produced by many fungi species including hallucinogenic mushrooms. This compound was designated as a breakthrough therapy in 2018 and 2019 by the FDA, to acknowledge its safety as well as its potential for treating drug-resistant depression more effectively in comparison to current treatments. Despite this progress, psilocybin still remains classified as a Schedule I substance, which inhibits access, stifles innovation and competition, and restricts research.
For the past 20 years, suicide rates in the United States have increased steadily while rates of drug overdose have shot up tremendously. The fallout from the pandemic has worsened the mental health crisis, with data showing that rates of anxiety have tripled since 2019.
Innovation in mental health care has made no progress, with most drugs that are used to treat anxiety and depression being variations of SSRIs such as Prozac, which was developed in 1985. Most of these medications don’t work reliably and cause dangerous and unpleasant side effects, which only highlights the need to reschedule psilocybin in order to facilitate scientific progress and the development of new medications.
Psychedelic substances can be rescheduled using the following legal pathways.
The administrative pathway
This involves the Controlled Substances Act giving the federal attorney general the power to remove substances from the controlled substances list or reschedule them. This power is usually delegated to the DEA. However, President Joseph Biden could sign an executive order that compels the DEA to reschedule psilocybin. Alternatively, government officials and citizens could petition the DEA to act.
The judicial pathway
This entails suing the DEA after it refuses to schedule the petition. Considering potential Congressional and DEA opposition to the rescheduling of psilocybin, this pathway may be the most efficacious.
The legislative pathway
Congress can reschedule psilocybin by altering the Controlled Substances Act. The act, which was enacted in 1970, classifies drugs in different schedules, from Schedule I through Schedule IV. Given the sufficient evidence supporting psilocybin’s low abuse potential and effectiveness, this pathway is a viable option.
Regardless of the specific path leading to rescheduling or even legalizing psilocybin at the federal level, companies such as Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) will be greatly relieved once the existing regulatory hurdles are eased.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/TRYPF
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