The Beckley Foundation calls for regulation of LSD and other psychedelics for recreational use at the International Drug Policy Reform Conference.
The Beckley Foundation, through its Founder and Executive Director Amanda Feilding, is urging for ground-breaking reforms to grant legal access, not only to cannabis, but also to MDMA, LSD, “magic mushrooms”, and other classic psychedelics for medical, spiritual and recreational use. Countries around the world are beginning to decriminalise and regulate cannabis use, yet some of the least harmful and potentially most beneficial psychoactive substances – the psychedelics – remain strictly prohibited and taboo. Amanda is explaining how a regulated legal market for certain low-risk psychedelics would help maximise the potential benefits of these substances whilst minimising their potential for harm and the devastating consequences of prohibition.
“If a person is not in any way damaging anyone else by their actions, it should be their freedom to choose their preferred state of consciousness. It would have been much better if these substances [cannabis and psychedelics] had remained as an integral part of the social fabric, controlled by social pressure, with the purpose of minimising harms and optimising benefits.”
The UK is set to enact a blanket ban on the supply of psychoactive substances regardless of whether they are harmful, whilst the global trend is to move beyond prohibition. The recent UNODC leaked briefing paper calls for “decriminalising drug use and possession for personal consumption” and “a health and human-rights based approach to drug policy”. The Supreme Court in Mexico has recognised the basic right “to the free development of personality” and Jamaica has legally protected the right of Rastafarians to use cannabis for spiritual purposes and those who grow it for personal use. Regulated markets for recreational cannabis have been created in five US states and Uruguay, and the Beckley Foundation believes the time has now come for countries to carefully move towards a regulated market for psychedelics. As a first step, the UK government needs to move them from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 so that scientists can investigate their potential benefits and doctors can prescribe them.
Notes to editors:
The Beckley Foundation is a UK-based think-tank and research centre that, since its establishment by Amanda Feilding in 1998, has been at the forefront of global drug policy reform and scientific research into the potential medical benefits and mechanisms of action of psychoactive substances. Its Policy Programme was among the first to develop drug policy built on a scientific evidence-base. The Programme brings together leading international scientists, politicians, and other experts to discuss taboo issues around this complex subject and to explore new regulatory models which aim to protect health and reduce the disastrous collateral harms caused by the policies of prohibition. It’s Science Programme, led by Amanda Feilding, has been and is a leading force in clinical research and brain imaging studies which investigate the potential benefits of psychoactive substances.
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is a biennial event that brings together people from around the world who believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. It brings together over 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries. The event will take place in Washington D.C. November 18-21 2015. DPA Press Release: http://www.drugpolicy.org/legal-access-drugs
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