Connect with us


Global coalition launches to push for psilocybin rescheduling 

Today marks the launch of the International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative.



Global coalition launches to push for psilocybin rescheduling 

The International Therapeutic Psilocybin Rescheduling Initiative (ITPRI) has launched today to push for the rescheduling of psilocybin across the globe.

For more than 50 years psilocybin has been placed under Schedule 1 of the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances in most countries across the world.

Now, the new ITPRI global coalition initiative will be working to promote and secure the rescheduling of psilocybin under the Act.

The 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances Act is aimed at dangerous drugs which create a serious risk to public health and which have a therapeutic value of little to none. This limits their scientific and medical use much more strictly than other Schedules. 

In recent years, however, evidence of the therapeutic potential of psilocybin has been emerging for mental health conditions including depression and anxiety, as well as end-of-life distress and addiction.

See also  Groundbreaking psilocybin study results show promise for depression

According to professor David Nutt, head of Imperial College London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research and founder of ITPRI partner Drug Science: “Psilocybin’s Schedule I status has severely limited – and continues to limit – neuroscience research and the development of treatments for patients.”

As a result of psilocybin being classed in Schedule I, researchers face numerous regulatory hurdles to study the compounds, which add significantly to the cost, complexity, and duration of research and can negatively impact ethical approvals, funding and collaboration.

The need for a scheduling review

The ITPRI will be working with governments and institutions across the globe through engagement, education and mobilisation to advocate for a more sensible policy that enables scientific and health research into psilocybin.

Speaking to Psychedelic Health, Christopher Koddermann, ITPRI co-founder and chair of the board of directors, commented: “We think this is the right time to pursue this. 

“The goals of the 1971 convention are to balance two things: to “combat abuse” is the term they use, and, to ensure that scientific and medical availability is not unduly restrictive. 

“It is pretty clear that they have got that balance wrong when it comes to psychedelics. The decision to schedule psilocybin, and frankly, other psychedelics in Schedule 1 is a result of largely political factors. 

See also  Could Italy decriminalise psychotropic substance cultivation? 

“They did not do any assessment in terms of therapeutic potential. They did not do any assessment in terms of non-medical use and dependence, and they have never done it – it has never been done at the international level. 

“So, we are stuck with a scheduling decision that was made in the early 1970s and it has never been really looked at.”

The potential for new mental health treatments

There are currently hundreds of millions of people across the globe living with mental health conditions, and there has been no innovation in treatments since the advent of SSRIs – which do not work for many. This situation has also been exasperated by the COVID-19 crisis.

“There has been a huge focus on mental illness as a result of COVID due to what it has done in the US and the UK, and elsewhere, in terms of the rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions,” said Koddermann.

WHO statistics show that mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability-adjusted life years lost, accounting for 37 per cent of healthy life years lost from non-communicable diseases.

Researchers have suggested that psychedelics could help to provide desperately needed new treatments for mental health conditions.

Willem Scholten, ITPRI Advisory Board member and former Secretary to the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD),  the body responsible for international drug control scheduling recommendations, commented: “Rescheduling procedures under the 1971 Convention offer a potentially game-changing opportunity to advance further research and accelerate the approval of treatments for patients.”

See also  Canada's amendment allowing patients access to psychedelics welcomed

Pursuing change for science and health

The ITRPI will pursue the schedule change, basing its objectives on research from a number of leading universities and institutes.

Its ultimate goal is to accelerate research and foster the availability of psilocybin-assisted therapies for those suffering from mental illness and substance use disorder.

Partner organisations in the effort include leading psychedelic research, drug reform and human rights organisations such as The Beckley Foundation, Drug Science, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Mind Medicine Australia, Nierika AC, the Open Foundation and the Osmond Foundation.

“In 2010, the WHO Executive Board adopted guidance for the ECDD as it undertakes reviews. One of the things that guidance states is that recommendations for inclusion in Schedule 1 should only be made when criteria are fully met with respect to both therapeutic usefulness and public health,” said Koddermann.

“In other words, you do not put a compound in Schedule 1 unless you have both — especially serious risk to public health, and very limited if any, therapeutic usefulness. 

“Anybody who is involved in psychedelic research and science would tell you that psilocybin doesn’t tick either box, let alone both boxes. So, it is clearly prime for rescheduling.

“Presuming the ECDD look the evidence in an impartial manner and follow the science, one could anticipate a recommendation out of the ECDD to change the Schedule.”

Scheduling decisions are made by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), and formal scheduling reviews may be initiated either by the WHO or by notification by any State party to the 1971 treaty. The ECDD is tasked with making scheduling recommendations based on a medical and scientific review of the compound in question.

If a review of psilocybin is undertaken by the WHO and scheduling recommendation is provided, the CND may decide to add, transfer or remove the substance from Schedule 1. This must be by a vote of a two-thirds majority. However, the CND must accept the findings of the WHO and is not able to base its decision on other medical or scientific views.

See also  Majority in favour of changing law to boost psilocybin research in UK

The ITPRI has highlighted that a recent precedent exists for such a review and rescheduling of drugs under the UN drug treaties, as, in 2020, the CND voted to accept a WHO recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. 

To achieve its aim in securing the rescheduling of psilocybin, the ITPRI will be pursuing three parallel routes including a WHO-initiated scheduling review, a state party-initiated scheduling review and an ECDD pre-review leading to a formal critical review.

Koddermann concluded: “Given today’s scientific understanding of psilocybin’s high potential therapeutic value and low risk of dependence, a change of its status as a Schedule I drug is long overdue.”

For more information, please visit

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Now is the time for psychedelic access, says campaigner



Now is the time for psychedelic access, says campaigner

Activists in Oakland recently filed a ballot put forward by Dave Hodges seeking to legalise safe and legal access to psychedelics for therapeutic uses. 

In the face of critics, Hodges has said now is the time for safe access to psychedelics.

The Psychedelic Wellness & Healing Initiative would enable the sale, possession and use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes if passed. Psychedelics that would be allowed under the ballot include Psilocybin, MDMA, DMT, and Mescaline.

If passed, the initiative would give doctors and mental health specialists the right to recommend psychedelics to ease the debilitating symptoms of a range of problems, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidality and traumatic brain injury (TBI), among others.

Hodges has said: “Now is the time for safe, controlled medical access for patients in need. The way to solve the problem is not by continuing to ignore it.” 

Hodges’ solution is to create a structure for use that includes proper dosages and access to experts who can help users benefit from appropriate treatment.

The updated initiative language emphasises safety, and gives doctors and mental health specialists the right to recommend psychedelics to ease the debilitating symptoms of a range of conditions.

Research by the University of Michigan and Columbia University shows non-LSD hallucinogenic use on the rise and Hodges has stated that increase means that the initiative providing guidelines for use is needed more than ever. 

Hodges said he hopes Californians will read the initiative, share their thoughts about it over the holiday week and offer feedback via the initiative website,, by 27 November, 2023, the deadline for modifications.

“Now is the time to provide medical and therapeutic access to psychedelics,” Hodges said. “The way to do this is through the initiative.”

Continue Reading


Transform Drugs releases groundbreaking book: How to regulate psychedelics



Transform Drugs releases book: How to regulate psychedelics

UK charity Transform Drug Policy Foundation has published a new book ‘How to Regulate Psychedelics: A Practical Guide’ that sets out how psychedelics can be legalised and regulated for non-medical adult use.

While an increasing amount of research is pointing to the potentially beneficial effects of psychedelic treatment on mental health conditions, many people across the globe are using psychedelics outside of the clinical setting.

The book includes a set of proposals for post-prohibition policies, covering psychedelics including psilocybin, LSD, DMT and Mescaline. 

Previously, Transform’s guides on regulating stimulants and cannabis have been used to advise governments around the world on drug policy. This book seeks to inform the debates on psychedelic drug reforms taking place across the world.

Co-author and Public Affairs and Policy Manager at Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Ester Kincová, stated: “Despite psychedelic drugs being illegal, their non-medical use within society has been steadily increasing. 

“Punitive enforcement has not decreased use or eliminated supply, but it has made use more unsafe. 

“Legalising and regulating psychedelics is a pragmatic move to reduce harm. This is no longer a theoretical debate, states in the US are already recognising the need and  making moves to regulate for non-medical adult use.”

Scientific Chair of Drug Science, Professor David Nutt, added: “Once again Transform have come up with a well thought out and practical plan for the regulation of another group of currently illegal drugs – in this case psychedelics. 

“Their ideas would be both easy to implement and to engage with and will, if adopted, radically enhance the safe use of these remarkable agents.”

Proposals for regulation

The book includes a four-tiered regulation model “that attempts to manage the variety of psychedelic preparations and the different ways in which they are used”.

These include:

  • Private use, home cultivation, foraging and not-for-profit sharing.
  • Membership-based non-for-profit associations for plant-based products.
  • Licensed production and retail adaptable to different products and environments
  • Regulated commercial guided or supervised use

Additionally, a decriminalisation model is proposed which suggests that possession for personal use should no longer be an offence of any kind or be subject to any sanctions; Drugs for personal use should not be confiscated; cultivation of small amounts of plant-based drugs for personal use should be decriminalised, among other suggestions.

The book also includes topics such as embedding social justice, equity and human rights into policy design, how to think about psychedelics regulation, why regulate psychedelics and why now, and psychedelics and the UN drug treaties.

To read the book, please visit

Continue Reading


Oakland ballot seeks to legalise medical psychedelics



Oakland ballot seeks to legalise medical psychedelics

Activists in Oakland have filed a ballot that seeks to legalise safe and legal access to psychedelics for therapeutic uses. 

The Psychedelic Wellness & Healing Initiative would enable the sale, possession and use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes if passed. Psychedelics that would be allowed under the ballot include Psilocybin, MDMA, DMT, and Mescaline.

If passed, the initiative would give doctors and mental health specialists the right to recommend psychedelics to ease the debilitating symptoms of a range of problems, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidality and traumatic brain injury (TBI), among others.

See also  Australia reschedules psilocybin and MDMA

Additionally, it would create a statewide framework for regulating the possession, use, cultivation and production of substances for medical and therapeutic use.

The initiative has been introduced by proponent and founder of the Oakland-based Church of Ambrosia, Dave Hodges, to the California Attorney General’s office for the 2024 ballot, and will need 546,651 valid signatures to qualify.

See also  CDPRG discusses the UK's Reschedule Psilocybin campaign

The filing follows California Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent veto of Senate Bill 58, the bill that sought to decriminalise the use of certain psychedelic drugs. 

Hodges emphasised that SB58 would have been a step forward, but that it had major flaws concerning its lack of provisions to ensure access, public safety and quality control. That veto, Hodges said, compelled him to move quickly on the initiative filing.

When the California Attorney General certifies the initiative for circulation, backers will have about four and a half months to gather the required signatures for ballot placement. 

Signature collecting will begin in early December.

Continue Reading