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UK Psychiatrist Is Calling for Psychedelic Drugs to Be Reclassified

In the UK, psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin are more legally restricted than heroin and cocaine. In an editorial in the BMJ medical journal, one psychiatrist writes that it’s time that changed.

James J H Rucker of Kings College London calls for psychedelics to be reclassified, so that researchers can more easily conduct trials with the drugs as potential treatments for psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and addiction.

He writes that the classification of psychedelic drugs in 1967 as schedule 1, class A substances—the most strictly controlled—“denoted psychedelic drugs as having no accepted medical use and the greatest potential for harm, despite the existence of research evidence to the contrary.” The drugs are placed in schedule 1 in the US, too.

Rucker told me that he was motivated to push for reclassification owing to his experience as a clinical psychiatrist specialising in mood disorders. “I feel as though there are a lack of avenues for treatment for some people with mood disorders, and I became interested in psychedelic drugs because I was looking to see what other treatment possibilities might be out there,” he said.


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