British Government Plans to Illegalize All Unapproved Psychoactive Substances


Shortly after publishing an article in the British Medical Journal advocating for a loosening of laws to allow more research into psychedelic drugs, a Kings College London psychiatrist was publicly criticizing newly announced British plans to implement absolute restrictions on any psychoactive substances not approved by the government.

“Because psychedelics are not harmful in relation to other controlled substances and are not habit forming, and because evidence suggests medical use, we call on the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs to recommend that psychedelics be reclassified as schedule 2 compounds to enable a comprehensive, evidence based assessment of their therapeutic potential,” wrote James Rucker in the BMJ.

“Drug researchers have warned that a bill to ban the sale of all psychoactive substances will be disastrous for brain research in the UK,” reported The Guardian. “The Home Office bill, outlined in the Queen’s speech, would ban trade in ‘any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect’.”

The government was trying to stop the growth of “legal highs,” the Guardian reported. “Rucker told the Guardian that the government was repeating the mistakes of history. The new law would seriously hinder pharmacological research into the brain, he warned.”

Rucker, James J. H. “Psychedelic Drugs Should Be Legally Reclassified so That Researchers Can Investigate Their Therapeutic Potential.” BMJ 350 (May 26, 2015): h2902. doi:10.1136/bmj.h2902. (Full text)

Psychoactive substances ban will ‘end brain research’ in Britain, experts warn (The Guardian, May 29, 2015)