By Roland Sebestyén
A Conservative MP says the prime minister approved the rescheduling of psilocybin months ago, but the Home Office has yet to act as it was instructed.
According to the Daily Express, the Chairman of the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group (CDPRG), Crispin Blunt MP, has urged Boris Johnson to reschedule the drug psilocybin – a Class A drug that can be found in magic mushrooms – so researchers can explore its potential as a treatment for, among other conditions, depression.
As the paper reiterated, rescheduling would mean that the drug would be easier to acquire by testing facilities.
Although Mr Blunt said the prime minister agreed and approved his proposal in May, the Home Office “fails to act, perpetuating what can be considered the worst research blackout in scientific history.”
Now CDPRG warns that the delay will have “dire consequences for the UK’s life sciences sector.”
Mr Blunt added: “This delay matters.
“In the 110 days that have passed since the PM’s sign off nearly 2,000 people have taken their own lives; the majority probably preventable when this research is translated into treatment.”
In response, a Home Office spokesperson has told The Daily Express: “There is an established process for the development of medicines, which enables medicines including psilocybin to be developed, evaluated in clinical trials and licensed based on an assessment of their quality, safety and efficacy.
“The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) is currently considering barriers to legitimate research with controlled drugs. The first part of their review was published in July, and the second part of the work is now underway. We will carefully consider any recommendations or advice they provide.
“We currently have no plans to reschedule psilocybin under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001.”