Regulations regarding the use of certain drugs are posing to be a barrier for medical research, according to Prof David Nutt, a former government drugs adviser. Illogical laws make it very difficult to get hold of magic mushrooms, ecstasy and cannabis for research, which has been causing problems for researchers.
The professor, who had always criticised government policy regarding drug regulations and was even sacked from his position of an adviser, for his opinion that ecstasy and LSD are less harmful than alcohol, claims that Psilocybin can be helpful for the treatment of depression.
Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical found in magic mushroom and is a class A drug. It is illegal in the UK. The UK’s Medical Research Council has given a 550,000 pound grant to test the effect of psilocybin. Earlier, the research lab at Imperial College London came to an inference that injections of psilocybin could calm a part of the brain which might be hyper reactive in depression.
Dealing with the drug and testing its effects has always been difficult for researchers, as it must meet Good Manufacturing Practice requirements set out by the EU. Prof Nutt argues that it is almost impossible to find a company that will supply clinical grade psilocybin. In an interview with the BBC, the professor claimed that 50-year-old regulations must be reviewed immediately to encourage the growth of science.