UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Safety considerations in the evolving legal landscape of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy Mocanu, Victor; Mackay, Lindsay; Christie, Devon; Argento, Elena


International drug policy is rapidly evolving in tandem with promising evidence for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy (PAP) in treating a range of mental health conditions. Canada is among the countries increasingly expanding access to psychedelic substances for therapeutic purposes. The 8-year ban on medical exemptions through the Canadian Special Access Programme was recently reversed in January 2022 and the first exemptions for legal possession and personal use of psilocybin mushrooms were granted in 2020, nearly 50 years since their criminalization. In view of the evolving evidence base and regulatory landscape for PAP illustrated by recent shifts in Canadian and international drug policy, this piece seeks to clarify the special range of factors which ought to be considered to safely expand access to psychedelics. Streamlining access to safe and evidence-based compassionate use of PAP will provide a timely treatment option to those currently in need while encouraging further research and outcome surveillance to refine best practices.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)