7th February 2022
By Roland Sebestyén

A Conservative and a Labour MP have written a joint letter to all MPs urging the rescheduling of psilocybin and other psychedelics in the UK. The move comes after the two MPs addressed the issue in Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).

Crispin Blunt, the Chair of the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group (CDPRG), and Labour MP Charlotte Nichols have published an open letter to all the other MPs to explain why they spent recent PMQs addressing the current scheduling of psilocybin in the UK.

In their letter, they claimed: “Over 10,000 deaths a year in the UK are attributed to suicide and addiction. The emerging evidence is that depression and addiction will be much more effectively treated when psychotherapy can be reinforced with the right dose of the right pharmaceutical class of drug.

“Thousands could be diverted after today’s journeys of depression, trauma, and addiction that end in suicide and death, whilst unamended regulations hinder research and are closing down a great opportunity for the UK’s bioscience industry.”

In an infographic attached to their letter, the MPs reminded everyone that, while there were 6,570 recorded suicides in the UK in 2018, psilocybin was linked to a significant decrease in depressive symptoms for up to six months; significant decreases in anxiety and depression; and 80% smoking abstinence at six months.

Crispin Blunt has long been an advocate for change in the country’s drug policies. A few months ago, according to media reports, Mr Blunt revealed that he had already asked the prime minister to reschedule psilocybin.

Mr Blunt said the PM had approved the rescheduling of psilocybin, the only problem is that “the Home Office has yet to act as it was instructed.”

Mr Blunt, who in an interview in December told Canex that “we’re about 50 years behind in the science and research where we ought to be on classes of drugs like psychedelics and cannabis”, Tweeted that “hundreds of thousands stand to benefit from research into psilocybin for conditions as wide as depression, anxiety and addiction.”

In the letter to their colleagues, the MPs added: “The ask is simple: Psilocybin and other similar psychedelics to be moved to the same levels of control as heroin.

“Rescheduling to Schedule 2, for research purposes only, would address some of the issues and unlock vast potential in new treatments and science.

“The inertia to move on this is not based on evidence and is unacceptable.”

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