Psychedelic Policy Reform

The prohibition of psychedelics has failed our society. Not only has prohibition failed to eliminate or reduce the rate of use, it also prevents scientific studies on these substances, increases the potential harm for young people who are using these substances, and stigmatizes people who use drugs.

Our Stance

SSDP believes that people who use drugs should have access to honest education, treatment, and should be approached with compassion. Model Policy

This article on Alternet, Why (and How) We Should Legalize Psychedelics, provides a framework for psychedelic legalization very broadly. Some principles of legalization include:

  1. Minimum age: 18.
  2. Education: At least one coaching session from a trainer about the potential problems and opportunities of use, and what precautions are needed for different psychedelics so as to minimize the chance of bad trips and other serious harms. Training could be based on a standard instruction manual. The trainer, whoever it is, would sign an application for a license for the trainee.
  3. Licensing: Following training, licenses may be issued by specified federal, state or local agencies for the purchase of psychedelics. To qualify, applicants would have to pass an appropriate written exam proving they had learned the prerequisite knowledge about safe psychedelic use.
  4. Non-sharing: Buyers may not legally share with anyone under age, or outside of consenting licensed family or friends, nor may they resell what they buy to anyone.
  5. Violation of these rules will be a violation of law and carry legal penalties.
  6. Who may sell psychedelics? Perhaps pharmacies; just as they used to sell contraceptives. Buyers would have to show their licenses.


What are psychedelics?

Entheogens, or psychedelics, are part of a wider class of psychoactive drugs commonly known as hallucinogens, a class that also includes dissociatives and deliriants. Entheogens means “god-within” or “spirit-facilitating,” and has been considered a more appropriate term to describe these substances by many scholars, who feel that the term has negative connotations (Tupper 2002:500).” Many of these plants and substances have been used in traditional rituals across various cultures and religions throughout time. Entheogens include MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, peyote and more.

This toolkit is intended to serve as a preliminary guide for policy reform for the wide range of substances that are considered entheogens. Given the wide range of effects that each of these substances can have, the regulatory models for each of these substances will look very different.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy publishes the U.S. Campus Drug Policy Gradebook as a resource for students, administrators, and other members of campus communities who seek to ground their approach to drugs in health, safety, and education.