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TopherBrennan comments on High Time For Drug Policy Reform. Part 1/4: Introduction and Cause Summary - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: TopherBrennan 09 August 2017 04:11:24PM 2 points [-]

Re: "change the medical classification of several drugs, such as LSD, MDMA (‘ecstasy’), psilocybin (‘magic mushrooms’), so it’s much easier to conduct research on their effects and use them in treatment of mental illnesses."

I'm not sure about other countries, but under the US Controlled Substances Act, theoretically no drug is off-limits for medical research. The problem is that getting approval to conduct research on schedule I substances is very difficult. So the solution doesn't necessarily require rescheduling—Congress could pass a law making it easier to get approval.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 09 August 2017 05:16:20PM 0 points [-]

Thanks for this. I'm only really familiar with the situation in the UK. If you can dig up some info on how things work in the US and what looks like is required there, that would be really helpful!

Comment author: TopherBrennan 09 August 2017 09:42:20PM 0 points [-]

A lot of the heavy lifting in US law is being done here:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/823

TLDR it's possible to get a license to do research with schedule I drugs, but the licensing hurdles are higher than those for prescribing even schedule II drugs (which in the US includes cocaine and methamphetamine). Those hurdles could be lowered in various ways, perhaps with reference to the general procedures for researching new drugs described here:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/355