Doctor working with modern computer interface.

Thank Ketamine for the Telehealth Extension

By Vincent Joralemon

In my last post, I discussed the rise of psychedelic lobbying — how companies with vested economic interests in psychedelics have applied pressure to shape regulations that favor their business models.

One such initiative — the ketamine therapy industry’s push to extend the COVID-era telemedicine flexibilities for prescriptions of controlled substances — highlights how sophisticated these campaigns can be, and how their impact stretches beyond the psychedelic industry.

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Washington, D.C. skyline with highways and monuments.

Psychedelic Lobbying and Regulatory Capture

By Vincent Joralemon

Psychedelic companies and advocacy groups are spending substantial resources to influence regulatory policy, shaping what the blossoming field will ultimately cohere into.

Although regulations are designed to protect the public interest, the rulemaking process is often dominated by lobbying from those with special interests in the fields meant to be regulated. When that leads to undue influence, the result is known as “regulatory capture.”

Yet, not all lobbying campaigns are necessarily problematic — the goal instead should be for regulators to leverage industry insights while maintaining independence in their ultimate decision-making.

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Contemporary art collage. Human hands knitting brain.

Want to Change Minds About Psychedelics? Start with PTSD

By Vincent Joralemon

Psychedelics have a public relations problem, due in part to overzealous promoters, genuine risks, and bad science. But, recent psychedelic legislation sponsored by conservative congressperson Dan Crenshaw shows minds can be changed in this space.

Public perceptions will shape efforts to reclassify, decriminalize, and make psychedelics available for therapeutic use. The most effective way to change peoples’ opinions is to highlight the success stories of those who have tried psychedelics. And, as Crenshaw’s story shows, psychedelic-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a compelling application for precisely those who harbor the most skepticism towards these drugs.

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Washington, USA- January13, 2020: FDA Sign outside their headquarters in Washington. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is a federal agency of the USA.

Mushroom Monographs? The FDA’s Potential Role in a Legal Recreational Drug Market

By Jonathan Perez-Reyzin

Within the psychedelic legal landscape, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a central role — it is the regulatory mechanism by which drugs like MDMA and psilocybin may soon become legal for medical use.

But for many working in drug policy, medicalization is not the exclusive goal. Indeed, there have been calls for legalization of psychedelics for non-medical use — and we are seeing an early attempt at such a model in Oregon.

These efforts are not yet reaching the federal level, but it’s only a matter of time before the legalization of psychedelics and other currently illegal drugs for adult recreational use becomes a federal question, as is already occurring with marijuana. And despite the FDA’s widely recognized role in medicine, few have considered the role the FDA would play in a federal regulatory regime for the non-medical use of drugs, even though it already does regulate at least one recreational substance legal for recreational use: tobacco.

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