The House of Commons in the UK will debate the issue of access to psilocybin treatments on Thursday 18th May.
Charlotte Nichols MP, Crispin Blunt MP and Ronnie Cowan MP will open the debate.
They will call on the government to “conduct an urgent review of the evidence for psilocybin’s current status as Schedule 1 under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 with a view to rescheduling, initially for research purposes only, in order to facilitate the development of new mental health treatments”.
Under current law in the UK, psilocybin remains a Schedule 1 drug under the Misuse of Drug Regulations 2001.
This makes psilocybin to be considered one of the “most dangerous” drugs on the market alongside heroin and MDMA.
Those found in possession of a Schedule 1 drug in the UK can face up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine (in some cases they can receive both).
The hope of the House of Commons debate will be to persuade the government to reclassify psilocybin so that further research can be undertaken to understand the possible benefits of using the drug for mental health illness.
Imperial College London is one such institution that is carrying out research using psilocybin, but this was not easy, having to gain permission from the Home Office to do so. This process that took many years.
The UK government has stuck to its strict policy on drug use. They recently announced that they were reclassifying Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, despite the ACMD reporting that the reclassification would be disproportionate to the level of harm associated with the drug.
Labour, the main opposition to the Conservative led government, has joined in pushing a strict narrative around drug use.
Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, recently explained why he was against legalising cannabis. Wes Streeting, the Labour Shadow Health Secretary, went further and said that the “war on drugs hasn’t even begun”.