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Transform Drugs releases groundbreaking book: How to regulate psychedelics

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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.”

See also  Colorado to vote on natural medicine bill to decriminalise psychedelics

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 transformdrugs.org/.

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Policy

Now is the time for psychedelic access, says campaigner

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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, PW4CA.com, by 27 November, 2023, the deadline for modifications.

See also  Global coalition launches to push for psilocybin rescheduling 

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

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Policy

Oakland ballot seeks to legalise medical psychedelics

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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.

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Policy

European psychedelic initiative aims to impact education and regulation

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European psychedelic initiative aims to impact education regulation

A new initiative, the PsychedeliCare Initiative, will launch in 2024 to bring citizens together to educate about psychedelics, call for the reshaping of drug policy and boost EU-funded research on psychedelics.

The European Citizens Initiative is a democratic tool designed to give citizens more power in politics. Any Initiative that reaches one million signatures between at least seven Member States will trigger the European Commission to take action on the matter.

Théo Giubilei, Founder and Organizer of the PsychedeliCare Initiative, explains that the initiative was launched to help introduce a legal framework around psychedelics, co-ordinate the work of Member States and working for change at the international level. 

With the rapid developments in psychedelic research, a core pillar of the initiative’s work will be educating people on psychedelics and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. 

This will be done through social media campaigns, exhibitions, and festivals as well as gathering psychedelic associations around Europe.

“We’ve got a huge mental health issue in Europe, and psychedelics actually can help the people in need. …We need to help the people in need,” said Giubilei.

The Psychedelic European Citizen Initiative will take the shape of a one-year transnational campaign. 

As, recently noted by Psychedelic Access and Research European Alliance (PAREA) in a recent policy briefing to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the fragmentation of European healthcare systems can make the rollout of new therapies difficult, advising the EMA that a centralised co-ordination approach could propel the field forward.

“We believe that the Commission could co-ordinate the work of Member States, for example, in an expert group, and put together the experience of national member states to go to the UN together, and to create a framework for the entire rollout of psychedelic therapies in the EU,” Giubilei continued.

“We want the citizens to get their voice heard. We want affordable psychedelic-assisted therapies introduced in the EU. We also really want the citizens to get to know it [psychedelic therapy] before they go mainstream, so they can ask themselves if they want the institutions to act.”

The initiative is already working with psychedelic associations in the Czech Republic, human rights activists in Malta and Members of the European Parliament.

“All those associations are already doing this work in their states well. We want the added value of the initiatives that create momentum between all those associations,” commented Giubilei.

“We want to create momentum, get these subjects looked at and to have serious debates in the most creative way – I’m interested as a citizen to make things change in Europe.”

To find out more about the PsychedeliCare Initiative, please visit: https://www.psychedelicare.eu/

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