Decriminalizing Psychedelics

Should hallucinogenic drugs be legalized?

Introduction

New research showing that psychedelic drugs can effectively treat some mental health conditions has spurred successful campaigns to decriminalize their use in Oregon, Colorado and 23 cities. As early as next year, the Food and Drug Administration could approve MDMA — also known as ecstasy — for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), after clinical trials showed it eliminated the condition in 71 percent of patients. But psychiatrists’ associations say the drugs should not be legal unless they have been proven completely safe. Meanwhile, even though use of psychedelic drugs remains illegal under federal law, usage has risen among both younger and older adults, and some experts worry the public is unaware of the risks, including distressing effects that can last months or years. Yet, veterans who ...

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