Mexico Discusses Decriminalization Of Psychedelics For Medical Treatment

By Lucía Tedesco via El Planteo — A Mexican senator will present a new bill to legalize psychedelics and provide access to alternative therapy for mental health disorders. 

Green Ecologist Party’s Alejandra Lagunes Soto Ruiz announced the decision at the Intercultural Forum on Entheogenic Medicine. She was joined by several professionals that support the ancestral use of psychedelic substances.

Lagunes spoke about Mexico’s current health crisis as well as the global mental health crisis. While other countries are exploring new paradigms and ways of treating people and mental health issues, Lagunes said Mexico is being left behind. 

“We have our original peoples with infinite wisdom about what psychedelics can do. Nonetheless, the scientific community is not doing any research on them,” Soto Ruiz said.

What Was Discussed In The Mexican Psychedelics Forum

The first professional who joined the party’s presentation was Ismael Ali, director of policy and advocacy at the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Ali said that psychedelics use is vast and that lately, the conversation has been focused on medical use and scientific research toward providing legitimacy. 

“This could become a multimillion-dollar industry and generate economic benefits. But we must build connections between medical and spiritual uses,” Ali said, adding that it could be difficult to integrate the benefits of psychedelics.

Advocate Zara Snapp, a political scientist from Colorado University with a Master’s in politics from Harvard is the author of the Drug Dictionary

“This is the first forum on how to approach plants and substances, and how to relate differently with them,” said Snapp, who has witnessed firsthand how these substances can help in mental health cases.

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer was also present and shared his professional take on the issue: “The prohibition did not work and did not reflect the ancestral cultural practices, nor psilocybin’s benefits on health.” He also offered his support for Mexico’s effort to end the failed war on drugs.

The Next Steps

Although support of the speakers may be viewed as conducive to the legalization of psychedelics, the project has not yet been officially filed. The tendency toward revising drug policy in Latin America is definitely present, in terms of aiming to establish a regulated market.

On the other hand, Mexico is still struggling to achieve consensus on cannabis regulation. For that reason, there is no date as to when psychedelics legalization might become a viable project. 

One thing is certain: several of the forum speakers came from Oregon, which passed a measure legalizing psilocybin service centers in 2020. Therefore, it is possible to assume that there is worldwide support and references that will encourage Mexico to continue on its path.

The story was originally published on January 30, 2023

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