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For some in Canada, psychedelic-assisted therapy is now legal, making psychedelics legal, well, sort of.
As of January 5, 2022, Health Canada — Canada’s version of the FDA — passed amendments to Canada’s Special Access Program (SAP).
New Psychedelic Law in Canada
The newly passed amendments read “allow doctors to request access to psychedelics for eligible patients,” explains the Canadian law firm McMillan.
These new amendments allow access to psychedelic substances to medical doctors whose patients pass the criteria of Health Canada, which is having a life-threatening illness that has been resistant to other therapies — or that the patient would require treatment that is not available in Canada.
“It is a gigantic shift in the level of legality in Canada. They’ve been shifted from an illegal drug to a medicine that can be prescribed,” David Harder told the Calgary Herald.
Psychedelics Legal Medical Potentials
After too many years of horrific drug policies and research labs not allowed to research psychedelics, they have entered a new research renaissance — and they are even making a huge splash in the academic industry to the clinical field.
When psychedelics are combined with proper therapy and given in a safe clinical setting, psychedelics such as psilocybin and ketamine have shown great potential towards being used as antidepressants.
At the same time, MDMA in clinical trials looks to be a very effective therapy for PTSD, which is a complicated disorder to treat.
Psychedelics Legal in Canada
Theoretically, before the new amendments, Canadians could access psychedelics, although they were only granted individually for those in palliative care.
According to the new amendment, medical doctors will have to apply the SAP, making psychedelics legal in Canada.
This new program looks to have responses for each patient available in days, and there will not be a waitlist. Though, psychedelics can only be administered in a clinical setting.
Nevertheless, there still are some challenges for accessing psychedelic therapy for people. For example, mental health workers and doctors will be better trained.
The co-founder of Field Trip, Ronan Levy, believes that most palliative care patients will have their applications rejected, only allowing the most severe cases to be accepted.
Nonetheless, he hopes that the criteria will be more accessible, allowing more patients access in the future. Making psychedelics legal in Canada.