DEA Hearing in 2024: Discussing the Fate of Two Psychedelics

The TDR Three Takeaways for DEA Hearings on psychedelics:

  1. The upcoming DEA hearing on June 10, 2024, will determine the classification of two hallucinogens, potentially impacting research and policy. 
  2. Stakeholders like Panaea Plant Sciences oppose the DEA’s proposal, arguing it restricts scientific progress and treatment innovations. 
  3. Balancing public safety and scientific research remains a key challenge in DEA regulations and drug policy discussions. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has once again positioned itself in the spotlight with its recent announcement of a hearing set for June 10, 2024, to discuss the potential scheduling of two psychedelics, 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) and 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine (DOC), as Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act. The DEA’s proposal underscores the agency’s continuing efforts to regulate substances it deems to have high abuse potential and no accepted medical use, a stance that has sparked controversy and legal challenges from stakeholders such as Panaea Plant Sciences (PPS).

On December 13, 2023, the DEA published a notice of its intent to classify DOI and DOC as Schedule I substances, citing their similarity to other hallucinogens like LSD in terms of chemical structure and effects. The DEA claims these psychedelic drugs can cause severe health outcomes, including prolonged hallucinogenic effects and hospitalizations. This classification is seen as necessary by the DEA to prevent further harm from these potentially dangerous substances.

According to Law 360, Panaea Plant Sciences has sued to block this scheduling. PPS argues that classifying these psychecelics would hinder scientific research and force them to destroy their existing stocks, effectively seizing their property without compensation. They highlight the importance of DOI and DOC in research, particularly for mental health disorders like schizophrenia, and argue that the DEA’s scheduling of these substances would severely restrict scientific advancement and the development of new treatments.

The debate over the scheduling of DOI and DOC is intensified by the DEA’s reports of increasing recreational use of these psychedelics, which they use as a justification for their regulation. However, critics like PPS argue this should lead to a more of an understanding of their benefits rather than an outright ban.

This conflict underscores a larger challenge in drug policy: balancing public safety with scientific progress. The upcoming DEA hearing is important not just for those directly affected by the scheduling of DOI and DOC but also marks a critical point in the ongoing discussion on how to best regulate and manage new substances in U.S. drug policy. Want to keep up to date with all of TDR’s research and news, subscribe to our daily Baked In newsletter.

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