As you read this article, you will see my perspective on how the Psychedelic industry can learn from what has been unravelling for the past 20 years on a global level with Cannabis regulation.
Some in the industry certainly believe that there are lessons to learn and would highlight the similarities with licensing, distribution, regulatory oversight, taxes, testing, and more. Others in the industry prefer to ensure there is a complete separation between anything relating to Cannabis and Psychedelics, which means there is likely opposition to the following points because a separation from the stigma associated with Cannabis is more important than seeing the similarities that exist. The final group sees Cannabis as a Psychedelic and would likely view this discussion as counterproductive to the core issue, which is based on the belief that these natural medicines should be readily available for people to consume without any regulation, testing or over-complication.
As someone that has been involved in the Cannabis industry since 2016, these are my observations about how the Cannabis Industry can be leverage to ensure that the adoption of Psychedelics does not lead to a repeat of what occurred in the 1960s with these compounds becoming criminalised.
The importance of responsible use
With the legalization of cannabis, it has become more important than ever for individuals to use it responsibly. This includes understanding dosage, which when looking at consumption of Psychedelics at large doses presents equal to more risks about why promoting responsible use of these medicines is essential to ensure to create a safe and positive experience for patients.
The power of education
Despite the legalisation of cannabis, the stigma associated with it continued to be debilitating and it appears that the clinical research on Psychedelics and the repositioning through labelling of "Psilocybin" rather than "Magic Mushrooms" have been vital points to re-educate the public about the potential of psychedelics. Along with this is the necessary data on patient outcomes, population data, safety risks, benefits, and more. This information will expedite the adoption of these medicines by increasing the understanding and reducing the stigma that has existed for decades.
The need for regulation
With legalisation comes regulation, which ensures that products are safe, accurately labelled, and consistent in quality. The psychedelic community can similarly advocate for the regulation of psychedelics to ensure that individuals have access to safe and effective products.
The potential for social change
The legalisation of cannabis has opened up conversations around drug policy, criminal justice reform, and social justice. The psychedelic community can similarly use the legalisation of psychedelics as an opportunity to drive for change in drug policy, criminal justice reform and social equity initiatives to ensure wealth opportunities are available for everyone. The strong links that Psychedelics have to native and indigenous populations from various parts of the world makes this point even more critical.
Collecting data on the use of psychedelics through a proven technology such as OnTracka, including dosage, side effects, therapeutic outcomes, behaviour change, medication adherence and physiological changes can help inform research, promote responsible use, and inform regulatory decisions related to decisions around access while also ensuring that patients have access to safe and effective substances.
Overall, as you can see, the legalisation of cannabis has demonstrated the importance of responsible use, education, regulation, social change, and data collection. These lessons can be applied to the psychedelic community to ensure that individuals have access to safe and effective substances while promoting positive change that existed around the medicines that have been stigmatised for decades as a result of an outdated approach that is now starting to offer hope to patients and prescribers around the world.