CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, June 12, 2023

Robie on Psilocybin Regulation

Andrew M. Robie (Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students) has posted Ego Birth: Measure 109, The NMHA, and Forward Movement in the Nascent Psilocybin Industry (Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 65, May 2023) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Naturally occurring psychedelic compounds have been used by humans for centuries and were the subject of promising research by Western scientists and academics in the 1950s and 1960s before becoming prohibited under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Despite the continuing prohibition on psychedelics, there has been a resurgence in academic and scientific interest in substances like psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA as effective therapeutic tools for patients with treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and substance use disorders. Along with the burgeoning movement to apply psychedelics in a medical context, a movement to decriminalize and regulate some of these naturally occurring substances in municipalities and states across North America has taken hold, and some psychedelics now sit in a legal gray area in over fifteen cities in the United States. After a brief historical overview of psychedelic use in ceremonial, therapeutic, and “recreational” contexts, this paper explores state-wide ballot initiatives in Colorado and Oregon as well as city-specific efforts to decriminalize and regulate psilocybin, the naturally occurring psychoactive compound found in “magic mushrooms.” The decriminalization of psilocybin presents unique policy concerns in an industry that has the potential for massive growth in the coming decades—growth that could be monopolized, stifled, or outlawed. After a discussion of these issues, this paper provides policy recommendations for regulators and the industry moving forward.

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