With a medical cannabis program that stinks of reefer madness and the decision to create COVID internment camps, Australia is the last country you’d expect to legalize medical psychedelics.
But a recent decision by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will soon make it legal for psychiatrists to prescribe psilocybin and MDMA come July 2023.
This would be like if Health Canada came to their senses and made Canada’s psychedelic medicine exemption as accessible as the government-assisted suicide program.
(Telling that in Canada, it’s easier to die legally than get psychedelics or even a hospital bed).
Of course, Australians eligible for these prescriptions must demonstrate that their depression or PTSD is “treatment-resistant,” meaning you must first try their cocktail of pharmaceuticals.
So it could be better.
What are Medical Psychedelics?
Everybody knows psychedelics for their ability to induce altered states of consciousness. Many people use them better to understand themselves and their place in the world. In this sense, all psychedelic use is medical or therapeutic. “Experts” will throw the word “medical” in there when doctors and psychiatrists use psychedelics in clinical settings.
Australia’s legal medical psychedelics will consist of MDMA and psilocybin.
MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic compound that produces both stimulant and psychedelic effects. Researchers are interested in how it can treat specific mental health conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers think MDMA increases the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, which can produce euphoria, empathy, and connectedness with others. This helps people with PTSD or depression to process difficult emotions and memories in a therapeutic setting.
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in certain species of mushrooms. Researchers also study it to assist in treating mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.
Researchers think psilocybin works by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain, which can produce a range of effects, including altered thinking, emotions, and perception. Almost everyone who’s tried magic mushrooms has reported that the experience helped them gain new insights and perspectives on their lives, leading to lasting changes in behaviour and outlook.
Which makes you think… Does the government continue its costly and ineffective drug war because they fear people will expand their minds and challenge their authority?
The decision makes Australia the first country to legalize medical psychedelics in this manner. Bureaucrats will list psilocybin and MDMA as Schedule 8 drugs for medical use. However, recreational use will remain prohibited.
But where is the supply coming from?
There are currently no approved products in Australia that contain psilocybin or MDMA. The TGA says the new amendment will allow “authorized psychiatrists to access and legally supply a specified’ unapproved’ medicine containing these substances to patients under their care for these specific uses.”
But no word on who’s growing psilocybin mushrooms for the Australian government.
The TGA says, “there may be products containing these substances that can be imported.” But we’ve covered this before with medical cannabis. Importing to Australia is incredibly wasteful when they have the means to produce cannabis and mushrooms themselves.
Of course, the state bans individual Australias from supplying or promoting the use of psychedelic medicine, with fines in millions of dollars. Australia’s decision to legalize medical psychedelics is institutional and top-down.