Congress and 41 states have accepted right-to-try laws that enable terminally ill patients to try investigational treatments that have yet to be permitted for general use.
By Nina Zdinjak
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is encouraging his colleagues to support him in demanding that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) enable terminally ill patients to legally use psilocybin as an investigational treatment, reported Marijuana Moment.
“There has been a growing body of evidence in recent years pointing to the safety and effectiveness of psilocybin assisted therapy as a potential method to provide care to individuals with treatment-resistant depression and/or anxiety,” Blumenauer wrote to his fellow lawmakers.
Lawsuit Against DEA
While ongoing trials have shown the early potential of psychedelic treatment, the DEA still denies its access. This led to a lawsuit filed in March by a Washington State physician who asked for federal guidance to treat his terminal patients with psilocybin mushrooms and was informed that it is illegal to do that and there was no way around it.
This lawsuit against the DEA is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, with Washington State’s attorney general’s office supporting the plaintiffs. The DEA asked the court to dismiss the suit on the basis of lacking jurisdiction.
It is important to note that Congress and 41 states have accepted right-to-try laws that enable terminally ill patients to try investigational treatments that have yet to be permitted for general use. On this basis, the letter points out that the DEA “has failed to abide” by the law.
In the letter addressed to DEA administrator Anne Milgram who was appointed by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Senate over the summer, Blumenauer stressed that this is an urgent matter.
“Urgent action is needed to ensure that patients currently suffering terminal illness can elect treatment involving psilocybin,” the letter states. “We urge you to take quick action to ensure that the DEA accommodates enacted RTT law and allows terminally ill patients to receive psilocybin for therapeutic use. We appreciate your attention to this urgent matter.”
The letter closes for signatures on Friday, and it is expected to reach the DEA sometime this month.