DEA Cancels Hearing on Psychedelics Ban Amid Legal Challenge

The DEA has cancelled a hearing scheduled for today that would have discussed the agency’s proposed plan to prohibit two different psychedelic compounds that scientists are urging them to keep legal.

“As the matter before DEA is currently stayed, no hearing will commence on June 10, 2024,” states a notice by the DEA on the Federal Register, announcing the cancellation of today’s hearing. The agency says the meeting has been postponed indefinitely, and it comes a month after Panacea Plant Sciences (PPS) filed a lawsuit against the DEA in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington seeking to stop the ban.

The proposed rule would place 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) and 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine (DOC) as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), making them illegal for all purposes including for research and as a medicine. The DEA made a similar attempt to ban these two substances last year, but eventually revoked the effort after a large outcry from from scientists and researchers, many who feel the substances could have medical value.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration proposes placing two phenethylamine hallucinogens, as identified in this proposed rule, in schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act”, states the agency’s proposal. “This action is being taken, in part, to enable the United States to meet its obligations under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances for one of these substances 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine. If finalized, this action would impose the regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions applicable to schedule I controlled substances on persons who handle (manufacture, distribute, reverse distribute, import, export, engage in research, conduct instructional activities or chemical analysis with, or possess), or propose to handle these two specific controlled substances.”

The notice began a required public comment period, with the vast majority of comments opposed to the move.

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