Will Court Challenges Lead To Psychedelics Legalization?

Formal clinical research on psychedelic drugs has been yielding a steady stream of successful clinical trials, with different psychedelic drugs and for various medical conditions. And research is rapidly broadening into additional medical treatment markets.

Dozens of publicly listed companies are advancing this research. They are also building the medical infrastructure for this industry: treatment facilities and supporting IP.

And these companies are well-funded. Over US$700 million has flooded into the sector since the Compass Pathways (US: CMPS) IPO last September. Roughly US$400 million of that has been raised by public companies.

What’s missing from the picture for this emerging industry? Legalization of psychedelic drugs for medicinal use.

The road to psychedelic drug legalization

There is some movement here.

At the state level, increasing numbers of U.S. states are either moving toward decriminalization of these substances or at least openly discussing/debating doing so. A pending California bill proposes legalizing the possession of many psychedelics.

Local governments in the U.S. are also getting active here. But these moves are largely to remove (misguided) criminal penalties for the use and/or possession of these substances. By themselves, these initiatives do little do advance the legal psychedelic drug industry.

In Canada (as with cannabis), legal reform is progressing from the top down. Health Canada has begun issuing medical “exemptions” to permit the legal use of psilocybin for medicinal purposes.

It is signaling willingness to continue improving access. For psilocybin, at least, Canada appears to be on a path toward national legalization.

But one drug (or one state) at a time, the normalization of psychedelic drug laws would be a very long road.

Is there another means to expedite this process? Yes. And it lies through our courts.

A Seattle doctor is suing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for denying an application to use psilocybin to provide end-of-life relief for a terminal patient.

It’s the first lawsuit of this nature in the United States, but it may not (and hopefully will not) be the last.

It was a successful federal court challenge in Canada (back in 2000) of its irrational and antiquated cannabis Prohibition laws, which set in motion the chain of events that led to national cannabis legalization (R v. Parker).

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Disclosure: The writer holds shares in MindMed Inc, Numinus Wellness, Cybin Inc, and Mind Cure Health. Mind Cure Health is a client of Psychedelic Stock Watch.

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