Legal Framework for the Use of Psychedelics in Switzerland

Legal Framework for the Use of Psychedelics in Switzerland
CANNANNEW REPORT

Just in time for summer, the miniseries “How to Change Your Mind” will be launched in July on the Netflix streaming platform. In this documentary series, author Michael Pollan and Co. analyse the history and applications of psychedelic substances such as LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and mescaline. According to experts, research with psychedelics (also known as hallucinogens) or related substances will increase worldwide in the coming years. The market launch of drugs containing MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or psilocybin for the treatment of depression is expected in the next five to ten years[1]. The legal framework regarding the use of psychedelics in patients is very pragmatic in Switzerland and unique internationally. Switzerland is a leader in the research and use of psychedelics in psychiatry and is considered an innovation driver in this field. Nevertheless, the regulatory hurdles for researchers and patients are still extremely high. In this article we elaborate on the requirements under which psychedelics may be used in Switzerland today. Daniel Haymann CV | More articles Daniel Donauer CV | More articles   The psychedelics commonly used today were first synthesized at the beginning of the 20th century. Since about the middle of the 20th century they were used in psychotherapy and partly marketed as preparations (cf. Delysid®, LSD 25). LSD was first discovered by Albert Hofmann, who synthesized, ingested, and learned of the psychedelic effects of LSD in 1943 when he worked for Sandoz Laboratories (“Sandoz”, now a subsidiary of Novartis) in Basel. From 1949 to 1966 LSD was manufactured  and made available to psychiatrists and researchers worldwide. During this time, the substance was used to treat addictive disorders, depression, and anxiety associated with cancer, and was studied in this context. Psilocybin was first extracted and identified in 1958. Between 1961 and 1965, psilocybin was also manufactured by Sandoz and…

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