The government of Alberta, Canada, formally announced the legalization of the use of therapeutic psychedelics, in particular psilocybin. Officially, legally, it will come into effect at the beginning of the new year. At the moment, the use of psilocybin and a number of other natural psychedelics has already been decriminalized in the province.
In addition to psilocybin, the region's laws will regulate the production and distribution of other natural psychedelics, a list of which will be approved and made public at a later date, according to the provincial Deputy Minister of Health, Mike Ellis, who is also the head of the department of drug addiction. In addition, the laws will spell out the rules for the use of such drugs, as well as who can write prescriptions for their use.
Dr. Rob Tangay, who is advising the provincial government on reform, told reporters that the region's health ministry also has yet to develop standards and norms for therapeutic practice, as well as quality standards for affordable products.
“First of all, we need to find experienced professionals capable of doing psychedelic therapy, which is a rather rare skill in an environment where such practices are not yet regulated,” the doctor notes in an interview.
“We have yet to train new specialists in this field. At first, the flow of patients will have to be dealt with by the available qualified experts, like me.”
It is worth noting that although psilocybin and other natural psychedelics are now banned at the federal level, in practice, a number of provinces and the federal government are conducting research into them, in particular, testing them in practice, under the program of experimental drug use. Alberta has simply become the first region in the federation where the market for such products, as well as the practice of their use and production, will be regulated by law, with clearly defined rules and restrictions.
More specifically, at the moment, psilocybin and similar substances are being studied by the authorities of Canada and the provinces of the country, as a treatment for PTSD, neurodegenerative diseases, as well as in the provision of palliative care. In each of these categories, substances have been able to achieve significant success, which has already generated a dialogue in society about the possible need for an early implementation of comprehensive, federal reforms.
Alberta authorities say the first psychedelic-certified physicians will be able to obtain their business licenses by the start of the year, just in time for reform. Accordingly, the process of selecting specialists should begin before the end of the year. By law, professionals must be able to work with patients in an altered state of consciousness, as well as be knowledgeable about the effects and dosage of various substances, including ketamine, which is expected to be used as a form of alternative therapy for opiate addiction.