HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

The Varieties of Psychedelic Law

Mason Marks (Florida State University, Harvard Law School, Yale University, Leiden University), The Varieties of Psychedelic Law, Neuropharmacology Nat’l Inst. of Health Special Issue on Psilocybin (Forthcoming 2023):

After decades of prohibition, psychedelics are generating intense public and private interest. Scientists are researching the therapeutic properties of these substances, and mounting evidence supports their ability to treat a variety of mental health conditions. Meanwhile, dozens of cities and states are proposing or enacting psychedelics legislation to promote research, increase therapeutic and non-therapeutic access, and decrease criminal penalties associated with producing, possessing, or consuming psychedelics. 

This article is the first to produce a typology of state and local psychedelic laws, which fall into five general categories: decriminalization, supported adult use, medical use, clinical research, and policy analysis. The article defines each category and explains how some jurisdictions create hybrid psychedelic laws that blend categories. Following enactment, government agencies can shift laws from one category to another during the rulemaking process.

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